An amazing combination of skills go into making a good orchestral musician and playing in the LSSO presents each young member with many exciting challenges. Aside from the sheer technical demands of playing their instrument - control of bow, embouchure, breathing or posture - there are other skills required as well.
Each player must learn to follow the conductor, adjusting their phrasing from moment to moment, both in rehearsal and performance. Each must be able to play as a soloist when required, but also as part of a section. Each must also be able to concentrate when apparently doing nothing - counting thirty bars of rests, for example, before a crucial entry.
The more everyone practises these skills, the better they get at them. And finding the balance between all these elements is crucial when it comes to performance.
The good orchestral musician must learn to respond to the demands of both heart and head – communicating the music emotionally, but also making sure that there is no loss of technical control. Enthusiasm must be focused and channelled towards a shared vision, as each player takes charge of their own destiny and contributes to the success of the group.