Students and alumna reap benefits of development scheme

Elly Barlow

Two students and an alumna have been enjoying participating in West End performances after being selected for London Musical Theatre Orchestra’s development scheme for young musical theatre players.

The London Musical Theatre Orchestra (LMTO) is the only professional orchestra in the world that is dedicated to musical theatre, and through its development scheme, aims to support ‘the next generation of musical theatre players’.

Every LMTO performance is made up of at least 15% young developing professional musicians from UK conservatoires. Its development scheme aims to provide the opportunity for young talented musicians to gain professional experience while creating a network of industry contacts.

Scheme participants get to play in a West End show, are given lessons with members of the orchestra and are assigned a mentor to help with introductions to notable West End performers.

Postgraduate Certificate Musical Theatre Doubling (multi-woodwind) alumna Eve Abram was selected to take part in the LMTO development scheme recently, and will be playing flute and piccolo with The Planet Rock Orchestra for a night of symphonic Led Zeppelin music on 24 November at the London Palladium.

She added: “It's been really great to have lessons with a couple of West End musicians like Nina Robertson and James Mainwaring, both of whom have exciting and varied musical theatre careers.”

BMus student Elly Barlow, who also auditioned successfully for the scheme, recently played oboe, cor anglais and tenor saxophone with the 40-piece Orchestra at the Audra McDonald concert at the London Palladium in September. The award-winning American singer sang ‘The Great American Songbook’ and Broadway’s greatest hits.

Elly added: “I will be performing at the London Palladium again through the scheme. I will be playing oboe in the Led Zeppelin Symphonic Concert on 24 November and oboe and cor anglais in the Scala Radio Christmas Live Concert on 27 November.”

As part of the Scheme, BMus Benjamin Adams was invited to play in all three shows of Chess in Concert, with music by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and many celebrated West End performers. The shows took place over the summer, where Benjamin was able to meet celebrated lyricist Tim Rice.

Find out more about the scheme.

Pictured: Elly Barlow playing oboe, cor anglais and tenor saxophone with the Orchestra at the Audra McDonald concert at the London Palladium in September.

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