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The London Chamber Orchestra finds a new home at Queen Mary University of London

Queen Mary University of London has entered into a partnership with the UK’s oldest professional chamber orchestra, the London Chamber Orchestra (LCO).

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Students participating in the Music Junction programme. Credit: Marc Gascoigne
Students participating in the Music Junction programme. Credit: Marc Gascoigne

Today, LCO officially began a residency at Queen Mary which will attract leading experts in music performance and music education.

LCO combines the skills of some of London’s most exceptional musicians with a rich history at the heart of 20th century classical music. On their 100 year anniversary in 2021, LCO aim to be fully embedded into a residency at Queen Mary, collaborating the orchestra's activities with Queen Mary staff and students.

Dr Paul Max Edlin, Director of Music at Queen Mary said: “The range of possibilities that can develop between LCO and Queen Mary's students and staff are what makes this exceptional relationship and new venture so exciting. 

“Students will have the chance to work side-by-side with one of the UK's very best and oldest established orchestras, while researchers will find new opportunities to make discoveries in their fields. Ultimately, the wider public are set to benefit enormously from this ambitious partnership.

“Music is an integral part of student life, indeed of life itself, and making music is something that Queen Mary is very proud to encourage.”

A focus on social integration and mental wellbeing

Queen Mary staff and students have already become involved in the Music Junction programme as participants and teachers and hope to grow this collaboration throughout the residency.

Music Junction brings together young people aged 7–18 from very different social and economic backgrounds. Through music making, it aims to promote confidence, nurture self-esteem and encourage them to develop respect for themselves and each other within their wider communities.

Over the academic year, LCO’s team of musicians share their expertise and support the participants through a series of musical activities including flash-mobs, creative workshops, focused instrumental learning sessions, and performances.

Ian Pressland, Music Junction Consultant, said: “We have already benefitted from working with Queen Mary students within LCO’s Music Junction project over a number of years.

“We are delighted that we can now take that relationship further not just out at concerts and music project events, but right into the LCO office at Queen Mary where we hope students and staff will feel welcome and become very much be part of the LCO team.”

LCO's Music Junction project, now in its 10th year, currently has four geographic hubs in Berkshire, North East London, West London and Harrow.

A home for music, arts and culture

Queen Mary’s location within London is unique in terms of its mix of educational and artistic culture. Based around The People's Palace, Queen Mary has a profound history of arts provision, which has long enriched and developed the lives of those in London's East End.

Queen Mary offers music scholarships to students. These offer grants to cover the costs of instrumental or vocal tuition by exceptional London based teachers. Students and staff are also offered opportunities to learn, whether they are beginners or advanced musicians.

The University is also a major contributor to London’s diverse artistic and cultural landscape, and has built strong relationships with its local, national and international audiences through the arts. A new Arts and Culture strategy was launched in November 2017 with the aim of developing the university as a world-leading centre of excellence in arts and culture within higher education.

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