I had a fantastic time yesterday!
I think a few people had commented on the difficulty of the music as they acknowledged that in the initial welcome but made the point that they realised it was hard, but that you shouldn't worry about it, the professional's would be at the concert and the most important thing was to play what you could and enjoyed the day.
We had a 90 minute sectional rehearsal before lunch - the woodwind sectional was run by Jonathon Small (oboist!). I think he did a really good job was very encouraging - we ran through most bits and took things at a speed that we could generally play. The sectionals were done without the Phil players there and I was a bit disconcerted to be the only one on first oboe - there were 3 second oboes but I guess the split may have been based on what grade people were who applied. The rehearsal flew by.
After lunch we had full rehearsal, which the Phil players joined us for. Very positive feel to the whole thing, and (in woodwind at least) the players dropped back to let the amateurs take the solos that they could (and did a bit of coaching to help with those) but would back up the bits that were more difficult.
We had a break before the main concert - which was a good opportunity to have a cup of tea and a cake with Vicky Violin and Allegretto.
It was lovely to meet you both!
The concert was a great way to round of the day. I think it went well very well, there were a good number of people there and it was amazing to play in the Philharmonic Hall. The Gershwin was particularly amazing to play.
So as you could see I would whole heartedly recommend this event to anyone (though you probably would need to really be about grade 6/7 at least to really get the most from it!). BUT it does sell out very quickly so you need to book as soon at tickets go on line. I would love to go again but due to the scarcity of woodwind places, and the demand, I think it is only fair to let someone else have a go next time. So will hold off booking for the next one.
The next one will be 15 June 2013, tickets on sale in September.
They also do a Supersing, though this is 5 weeks of rehearsal so you probably need to be in the Liverpool area to do that - the choirs sing in the second half of the concert and were fab! So I imagine that was pretty fun too.