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Guildhall and Black Lives in Music seek to improve diversity with scheme for young conductors

The scheme is aimed primarily at applicants from under-represented groups who have recently completely undergraduate or postgraduate studies in conducting or who are studying conducting as part of their degree course

Guildhall Young Artists and Black Lives in Music are offering the opportunity for someone to become Young Conductor in Residence with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra (LSSO) for one year. 

The Conductor in Residence Scheme will give the chosen conductor experience working with the LSSO through the week-long Christmas, Easter and summer holiday courses. They will also receive one-to-one mentoring from professional conductors, will attend audition panels, take sectional rehearsals, gain a professional credit for conducting the orchestra in concert and be paid a fee of £6,000. 

The Guildhall School’s Young Artists section is a network of centres across the country, providing training in performing arts for children and young people. It has had an on-going relationship with Black Lives in Music to attract young musicians from backgrounds which have historically been under-represented within the school and the wider music community. 

As Black Lives in Music Director of Operations Roger Wilson said, ‘This is an excellent opportunity to nurture the diverse conducting talent that we should all wish to see on the podium. Black Lives in Music are confident this ground-breaking programme will help to shine a light on an often-overlooked career pathway in classical music. 

‘We’re pleased to be working alongside Guildhall Young Artists and the LSSO. It’s a tangible, empowering and impactful effort to level the playing field of opportunity for aspiring young conductors from all backgrounds and not just the privileged few.’

Alison Mears, Director of Guildhall Young Artists, said, ‘We are really excited to be working with Roger Wilson and all at Black Lives in Music to realise this important initiative. The conductor in residence post is an opportunity for an aspiring conductor to join the team at LSSO for a year to help train and conduct this outstanding orchestra of young talent and to be mentored by guest conductors.’

How to apply

Time is tight for applications. Candidates wanting to apply to the scheme should do so before the deadline on 15 September 2022, by sending a letter of application summarising your experience and what you hope to gain from the scheme to alison.mears@gsmd.ac.uk.

Interviews will be held on 20 September and those invited to interview will be invited to attend the LSSO concert that evening at Barbican Hall.

Visit the Guildhall School website for more information.

Photo credit: Otis Enokido-Lineham conducting the LSSO at the LSSO & CYM Anniversary Concert (2022). Photo by Kevin Leighton