Do you remember the first time you saw an orchestra live? Read Andy Barclay’s Story

Every year the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s schools’ concerts allow over 16,000 young people to see the Orchestra live. Six out of ten children attending the concerts will be experiencing an Orchestra for the very first time. Across February our musicians will be sharing their first experiences of seeing a live orchestra. Here is our Principal Percussionist Andrew Barclay’s story ...

'It may seem surprising that as Principal of the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Percussion Section, of which I have been a member for the last eighteen years, I only experienced a live orchestral concert for the first time at the age of 16. Concerts for schools didn’t exist when I was young, or if they did my south London school didn’t take advantage of them. My first experience of the Royal Festival Hall was attending a concert with my friend’s parents. 

Every year the London Philharmonic Orchestra performs live to over 16,000 London school children through a series of specially-designed daytime concerts which link to what the children are learning at school. For the younger children the concerts are all about exploring the Orchestra – how loud and soft can we play? What does the conductor do? How low does the tuba go? At GCSE and A-Level we go deeper, delving into music theory and history, performing and analysing the pieces being studied to help the students do better in their exams.

I’ve always considered the Orchestra’s schools’ concerts as vitally important, and as a father of a musical child I am so pleased that my son has had the opportunity to attend and learn from these unique performances. As well as playing in the majority of the concerts I’ve also had the opportunity to present a number of them. Standing on stage in front of thousands of smiling faces I have seen first-hand what our schools’ concerts can achieve.'
- Andrew Barclay, Principal Percussionist

Tickets for the concerts cost just £9. However, for some of the most disadvantaged schools in south London this amount remains a barrier to attending. Fill our concert hall - give £9 today to help a south London child attend for free and enjoy their first orchestral experience.

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For further information visit our Tickets Please page.