About the Professional Experience Scheme
Applications have now closed for our Professional Experience Scheme in our 2023/24 Season. Details of applications for 2024/25 will be available below in Spring 2024.
Running in partnership with Ulster Youth Orchestra, the Professional Experience Scheme (PES) is designed for musicians who have left school and are studying/planning to study music at tertiary level, or have recently graduated, and are considering a career as an orchestral musician.
Three times between November and May, PES students will come to Belfast to join the orchestra in rehearsals, and where appropriate, be invited to play in concerts. During these visits students will receive support and feedback from a dedicated mentor in the orchestra, including one to one lessons with their mentor, develop skills in auditioning, orchestral section playing, and after specialist training with UO Animateur Jonathan Simmance, participate in the UO’s Learning and Community Engagement projects, as well as taking part in a variety of other opportunities aimed at developing them personally and professionally.
The PES students will visit the Ulster Orchestra together as a cohort and each visit will include a group session for all students and their mentors, to provide collective support and encouragement throughout the Season.
Students are paid the full professional rate for their participation in performances. There is no charge to participate in the scheme and your flights and accommodation will be paid for by the Ulster Orchestra.
We're proud to be working in partnership with the Ulster Orchestra. The Professional Experience Scheme is a unique opportunity to gain insight into the orchestra profession through a visceral and rewarding experience as led by a group of exceptional musicians and staff that really care. Black Lives in Music and the Ulster Orchestra are united in our passion to help develop a professional sector where everyone can belong. If your skills match the requirements then the Professional Experience Scheme is your next step.
Roger Wilson, Director of Operations, Black Lives in Music
The Application Process
There will be a two-step audition process.
Step 1: Applicants should submit a video audition of an own-choice piece lasting no more than 5 minutes.
Step 2: Successfully shortlisted applicants will then be invited to a live audition in Townsend Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast.
The live audition will be informal and relaxed in nature and there will be an opportunity for feedback post-audition for all applicants. For this audition, you will be asked to prepare some music chosen by the panel of Ulster Orchestra musicians.
- Applicants must be aged 18 and over by 1 September 2023 and resident in the UK or Ireland
- Places are available for the standard orchestral string, woodwind, brass and percussion groups. We regret we are unable to offer placements for harp and piano.
We particularly welcome applications from traditionally underrepresented communities.
If you have any questions about the scheme, application process or would like further information, please contact our Orchestra Manager Ruth Millar at [email protected]