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Meet some of our wonderful players!

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Leon

Violinist and Leader

My name is Leon and I was lucky enough to lead the inaugural concert of The Odyssey Festival Orchestra. I had so much fun and learnt a great deal. I come from a musical family. Both my parents, brother and sister play. This meant that I started the violin at around 6 and went on to join the wonderful Centre for Young Musicians (CYM) where I first met Peter. I am currently studying at the Guildhall and am in my third year. Odyssey’s first concert was a huge success and there was a real buzz from both the players and the audience over what we had achieved but also about what’s coming next. If you have a passion for music and are between 18-30, then don’t hesitate to sign up!

Sophia

Violin

Hi I'm Sophia and I was Third desk of the Seconds at Odyssey's Launch Concert last month at Cadogan Hall. I started playing violin and piano at 6, and whilst not being from a musical family, playing in orchestras from the age of 15 helped me foster a close music community of friends in London. I now play in my university orchestra too(in the picture from I'm playing the piano for a music video at the 150th Golf Open in St Andrews Scotland where I attend university). I travelled all the way back down to London just so I could play in Odyssey's inaugural concert which hopefully shows you how fond I am of Odyssey and everyone involved! If you're a musician, 18-30, can commit to rehearsals and are excited by orchestral music, we'd love to have you!

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Martha

Violin

Hi everyone - I’m Martha, and I led the second violins at Odyssey’s launch concert in September. Both my parents are musicians so I’ve played the violin since I was 4, but I studied Natural Sciences at uni and now work in the sustainability sector (here's a picture of me at a talk I gave at the science museum on climate change). I have loved playing in orchestras since I started seriously in 2015, often alongside many other Odyssey players. It was so exciting to play at the last concert with so many familiar faces and such great repertoire, and I can’t wait for the next one. We’d love to have you join us, so if you’re a musician between 18 and 30, please sign up to audition for our 2023 season! 

Clara

Cello

Hi! I’m Clara and I was a cellist in Odyssey’s first concert in September. I’ve just finished studying maths in Bristol and have moved back to London to do a master’s in maths at Imperial! I absolutely loved the last Odyssey concert - the energy of the performance was so high and it’s a lovely group of people to play with. I felt like I learnt a huge amount from Peter, our cello tutor, and all the musicians around me - it was very intense but in a very good way! Can’t wait for the next one, please have a look at the dates to see if you can join!

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Alex

Violin

Hi! I’m Alex, a recent graduate in the Natural Sciences! I played first violin in the inaugural concert of the Odyssey music foundation last month and really loved it! As someone who plays an instrument to a high level but isn’t pursuing it professionally I really valued the opportunity to continue my music making and education at such a good level. Under the guidance of Peter Ash and other professional tutors the level of musicianship and attention to detail far exceeded that of some university orchestras I’ve been a part of. I’m really looking forward to the next course and future projects so I can keep up my orchestral playing alongside my academic career. Hopefully see you in January!

Tash

Viola

Hey everyone, I’m Tash, and I led the violas at Odyssey’s debut concert in September. Like Martha and Leon, I come from a musical family – a lineage of pianists – so I’ve always been surrounded by music. Playing in an orchestra is my favourite part of it all – the feeling of being part of a wider ensemble, where it’s like an extension of chamber music but on a grander scale and everyone loves what they’re doing, is irreplaceable. I studied theology and religious studies at university, and now work in classical music marketing, so playing in Odyssey was a great way for me not just to reunite with old friends, but to remain involved in doing what I love most – playing! Odyssey is an exciting and important project, and something I am sure will do great things in the future. If you are aged under 30 and looking to get involved with music making to a high standard with a range of likeminded young people, then I can wholeheartedly recommend getting involved in the future!

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Lydie

Double Bass

Hey everyone! I'm Lydie and I led the double basses in Odyssey's launch concert. I come from a family of artists and sportsmen so my sudden swerve into the music world was very unexpected. I'm now in my third year at the Royal College of Music, and I'm looking to specialise in History and Musicology. Having performed with many of Odyssey's players since 2017 I can confidently say that if you're between 18-30 and looking for an orchestra with passion, energy and personality, you should definitely sign up and audition!

Ryan

Violin

My name is Ryan, and I played in the first violins in Odyssey's debut concert. By far my favourite part of playing the violin is orchestral playing, and I have pretty much done so since I started learning the violin 11 years ago. I am currently in my first year studying civil engineering at the Uni of Bath, and it can be hard to find music making opportunities as good as Odyssey, but I could not recommend it enough, as it's a great chance to play wonderful music among such talented musicians, and we have plenty of exciting projects coming up in 2023!

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Anna

Cello

Hey! I’m Anna and I was one of the cellists in the inaugural odyssey concert. I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in projects with Peter and some other odyssey players since I was 14 and I love this beautiful community that’s been created so much. I’m now in my second year at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and doing Odyssey alongside has been such an enriching and unique experience, it’s such a high standard with people who’ve had such different musical journeys. Plus getting to share the stage with such incredible actors as Dame Janet Suzman and Luke Wilson was so exciting- if you fancy applying for the 2023 season I couldn’t recommend enough!

Emmeline

Viola

Hey I'm Emmeline! I've been playing the violin and piano since I was 6 and the viola since I was 12 and I was thrilled to be part of the viola section for Odyssey's debut concert. Currently, I'm a 2nd year student at the University of Leeds studying English language and literature but I spend most of my spare time with the music society where I manage the String Orchestra and co-lead the Symphony Orchestra! Playing in Odyssey was hugely enjoyable, as I played with people I've known from a young age and it was also designed perfectly for students, amateurs and professional musicians! I can't wait to welcome more people on our musical journey!

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Cici

Cello

Hi! I’m Ceci and I’m a 2nd year undergrad at the Royal College of Music, studying harpsichord! I come from a musical family and have been playing piano and cello since I was 7. I attended the Centre for Young Musicians (CYM) where I met Peter Ash before I moved to Junior Guildhall, and then on to a specialist music school where I picked up the harpsichord! In Odyssey’s launch concert I played the cello alongside a fabulous group of musicians. I found the course challenging at first to come back to orchestral cello music after spending so long behind a keyboard instrument. However I was very inspired by Peter’s creative direction as well as playing around such talented musicians. I highly recommend the Odyssey Festival Orchestra as you get to meet and play alongside so many people studying such a breadth of subjects not just music!

Ishmael

Trumpet

Hi everyone- I’m Ishmael and played 2nd trumpet in the inaugural concert of The Odyssey Festival Orchestra in September. I’m currently in my first year at the university of Manchester studying history. I’ve come from a musical family with both my parents being musicians and my brother, Leon, also a current member of the orchestra. The concert in September was such an amazing experience for us all and I’m very much looking forward to all the future projects that Peter has planned. If you are a dedicated musician and between 18-30 I wouldn’t hesitate to apply.

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Valentina

Violin

Hi, I’m Valentina! I’ve been playing the violin since I was 7 years old, and was inspired by Leo Blair when he would perform on stage in primary school. Ever since then, I’ve been fascinated in creating different type of sounds in the violin and become part of a professional orchestra like the Odyssey. Currently I am studying European Politics in King’s College London, but I would like to become an investment banker. Nevertheless playing the violin and being in an orchestra will always be in my best interest and that’s why I enjoy being part of a professional organisation that like to deliver valuable musical product to the players and the audience. I am looking forward to the future in Odyssey and what it holds!

Emily

Cello

Hi I’m Emily! I was a cellist in the Odyssey Orchestra Launch concert at Cadogan Hall back in September.

I’m currently in my third year at the Royal College of Music and have a passion for orchestral playing. There is a real sense of unity and teamwork amongst the players that becomes super rewarding during great concerts. The atmosphere at the last concert was so exciting and there was a real buzz.

If you share a passion for music and meeting other friendly musicians, I highly recommend applying!

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Pablo

Viola

Hola hola! I'm Pablo, born and raised in Madrid, but currently living in London as I am completing my PhD on Egyptian archaeology at UCL. However, in my free time I love playing classical music with my viola. Odyssey orchestra was a fantastic chance to play challenging repertoire, meet brilliant musicians, and overall have loads of fun! Additionally, the conductor Peter Ash was very professional, but also friendly and welcoming (yes, some people are friendly to the violas, even when they sit at the very back of the section!)

Evie

Viola

Hi! I’m Evie and I played in Odyssey’s debut concert in September which was so special. Music has always been a huge part of my life, playing and singing, I studied Viola at the Junior dept. royal academy of music. I am currently studying Medicine at Manchester University where I am still doing lots of chamber and orchestral playing, and Odyssey has given me the opportunity to play at such high standard in London as well as catch up with old friends - throughout the project you could feel how happy everyone was to be there. I can’t recommend enough getting involved as it’s full of great musicians and lovely faces!

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Mina

Viola

Hi my name is Mina and I currently study viola and violin as a joint first study at the Purcell School Sixth Form. My Saturdays are spent at CYM, where I first met Peter Ash and many of the OFO players.. Post A-levels I am hoping to gain a place at one of the UK conservatoires and later perhaps study abroad. I was a member of the Viola Section in the Odyssey’s inaugural concert at Cadogan Hall in September. As everybody who was there would confirm, the night was just electric! The feeling that something special was taking place was felt by everyone. What ever future holds for me I would like to stay with this fantastic orchestra for years to come. If you want to experience bringing ambitious musical programming to life with a like-minded group of young musicians while being guided by experienced and inspirational staff, please do not hesitate and join us!

Sam

Trumpet

Hi! I’m Sam, I led the trumpets in the inaugural concert of The Odyssey Festival Orchestra at Cadogan Hall. It was a concert that I will always remember as I felt the orchestra came alive and performed with incredible energy. Since I started learning the trumpet at the age of 4, I’ve grown to love orchestral music and value having opportunities in orchestras. I started becoming serious about playing music professionally when I joined the Royal College of Music Junior Department as I now study trumpet at Guildhall. I encourage people who like playing in orchestras to audition for Odyssey Festival Orchestra as it’s an amazing experience playing with welcoming and talented musicians.

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Jack

Violin

Hi! I'm Jack (any pronouns), a violinist in the Odyssey Festival Orchestra, and a first-year music student at Cambridge. Having known Peter Ash from CYM, I was lucky enough to have played in 2nd violins in the inaugural concert in September. This was simply one of the most incredible concerts I have ever performed in. Peter was able to push the ensemble to a standard beyond what I thought was possible for a youth orchestra in its first ever outing. This combined with the energy and commitment from all of the Odyssey players for a wonderful overall experience.

Odyssey sees a wide variety of young musicians. Many of us are music students, some of us study other subjects and some are out of education. With rehearsals mostly in the holidays, students like me studying in another city can still participate, and will have the opportunity to play in orchestras when we're not so bogged down with work during term. For any London-based musicians 18-30 interested in orchestral playing, Odyssey is a great opportunity.

Tabitha

French Horn

Hi everyone! My name is Tabitha and I played principal horn at the inaugural Odyssey Orchestra concert. I recently graduated from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and I’m now at the Royal College of Music. Playing with this orchestra, led well by Peter Ash, was a fabulous experience of high quality music making with a lovely selection of musicians. I would highly recommend applying for this orchestra as it covers great repertoire to a very high standard and you’d get to play at some cool venues!

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Daniel

Flute

Hi, I’m Daniel and I am a flute player! I had a great time performing at Cadogan Hall for Odyssey Festival Orchestra’s inaugural concert, under Peter Ash. Peter’s commitment and enthusiasm for the music we play is unrivalled and inspiring. I always learn a lot playing under his direction as he consistently strives for the highest artistic results. I studied an undergraduate degree at the Royal Academy of Music, having previously worked with Peter Ash as a member of the LSSO. I am now performing professionally as a flautist and recorder player, with orchestras including the Royal Opera House and BBC Concert Orchestra, as well as on the musicals Les Misérables and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory UK Tour. Anyone who is looking to explore orchestral playing the deepest level should consider applying to Odyssey.

Alexia

Flute

I am forever grateful to the opportunity of being part of the Odyssey Festival Orchestra as it provides a friendly environment, where young musicians gain valuable orchestral experience that forms them for their future careers.

Our last concert featured works by Ravel and Gershwin, accompanied by text recited by Sir David Suchet. It was incredibly special and the successful challenge of combining words with musical phrases made the audience aplaude with happiness and excitement. The conductor, Peter Ash, created such a wonderful atmosphere and made both the spectators and the orchestra feel incredible!

 

I am looking forward to future rehearsals and concerts with the Odyssey Festival Orchestra and its wonderful conductor and mentors!

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Samy

Violin

Hello, my name is Samy and I recently had the privilege of performing with the Odyssey Orchestra. This was my first time being conducted by Peter and I was really impressed with the quality of the rehearsals and the final concert. I’m currently on a year out before I start my masters at the Royal Academy of Music in September, so this was a really great way to keep up my orchestral playing as well as being surrounded by like-minded musicians in London. I would definitely recommend applying to Odyssey as it’s a really great way to learn core repertoire, develop your orchestral playing, network with potential future colleagues and perform to a very high level.

I’m very much looking forward to playing in the next project - it won’t be one to miss and maybe see you there!! :))

Sarah

French Horn

Hi, my name is Sarah and I am a first year at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. I was principal horn in the most recent Odyssey orchestra concert and I loved every minute of it. It was a pleasure to play with such talented and friendly people, as well as under the baton of the wonderful Peter Ash. It’s certainly a concert that I won’t forget!

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Bogdan

Percussion

Hello!

My name is Bogdan Skrypka and I am a percussionist in the Odyssey Festival Orchestra. I am currently in my third year of studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, studying classical percussion. I have worked with Peter Ash before in the London School's Symphony Orchestra, and I am very honoured to be on board the Odyssey, setting sail to perform across the world, surrounded by young professional musicians to deliver electric, energetic and exciting music to all that come and listen to the Odyssey Festival Orchestra.

When I am not playing music, I enjoy cycling around London for miles on end.

Rosemary

Saxophone

Hello! I’m Rosemary and I am currently studying the saxophone as an undergraduate at the Royal College of Music. Since starting the saxophone at the age of 14, I’ve had only a handful of opportunities to sit in an orchestra, but it’s safe to say that playing with the Odyssey Festival Orchestra in the Queen Elizabeth Hall was one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve ever had - as a listener and performer. Peter has a way of capturing the passion in each individual player and focusing this into the music to create something fresh and unique. If you’re looking to push your playing even further and fall even deeper in love with orchestral music, then there’s no doubt that Odyssey is the place for you.

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Billy

Oboe

Hello! My name is Billy and I am an oboe player in the Odyssey Festival Orchestra under Peter Ash. I came from Shanghai to London for study at the RCM in 2019, and now I am working in London as a freelance musician.

The Odyssey Festival Orchestra has high artistic standards, friendly and dynamic musicians, and attractively challenging programmes! I am very grateful that I can continue to learn and get promoted in such an excellent orchestra after my graduation. See you very soon, my dear Odyssey’s colleagues!

Lucia

Clarinet

Hi everyone! I’m Lucia and I played principal and bass clarinet in Odyssey’s second concert last week. I loved performing such challenging and exciting repertoire in front of a sold-out Queen Elizabeth Hall. What I particularly enjoy about Odyssey is that everyone is committed to do their best and have a lot of fun at the same time. I can’t wait for the next concert!

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Jaeho

Cello

Hi! I’m Jaeho and I played the cello with the Odyssey Festival Orchestra at our most recent concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. It’s always fun to play amazing repertoire but to get a chance to work with such talented musicians and to top it all off, to have a sell out concert at such a prestigious venue was an experience I won’t forget. Also getting coaching and guidance from established professionals in the leading orchestras during rehearsals has been an amazing opportunity for me to develop as a musician.

Joanna

Violin

Hi, I’m Joanna, and I joined Odyssey for their most recent concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. I’ve played the violin since I was about 5, and my favourite thing has always been to play in big orchestras. I’ve always done a lot of music at school and university, and I’m now studying Arts Management at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. I’m so grateful to Odyssey for providing a space where young people like me can play in a large ensemble, an experience which they would otherwise not have. The highlight of the recent concert was the last five notes of Ravel’s La Valse (if you know, you know), as well as Sir David Suchet’s wonderful narration, of course.

I recommend Odyssey to any talented instrumentalists in the London area. It’s a brilliant group of people led by inspiring professionals - an opportunity not to be missed.

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Claire

Cello

Hi everyone - I’m Claire and I play the cello in Odyssey! I started playing the cello when I was 5 years old which means that music and orchestral playing has always been an integral and irreplaceable part of my life - despite not pursuing it professionally or coming from a musical family (I studied French and Spanish at university!) Playing in a variety of student orchestras and ensembles throughout my teenage and university years not only fostered my love for music and playing within an orchestral setting, but also helped me meet some of my closest friends! I have learned so much from Peter and the musicians around me and am thrilled that Odyssey has given me such a unique and special opportunity to continue playing music in my now post-uni adult life!

Ammal

Violin

Hey I’m Ammal and I played violin in the most recent Odyssey Festival Orchestra Concert - The Last Waltz. Was a really fun gig, as we had the perfect combination: amazing repertoire, great venue and a world famous actor on stage with us! I completed my undergrad at the RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music) in July 2022 and currently run my own orchestra as well as freelance. I would encourage people to get involved, as it’s a great crowd and always exciting projects!

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Ginny

Double Bass

Hi, I'm Ginny! I'm in my final year at King's College London, studying Liberal Arts. I had a wonderful time working with Odyssey in their most recent project; it was fantastic repertoire and I really appreciated the opportunity to have Sectionals with tutors on the repertoire. Since I don't study music anymore, there aren't many opportunities to do this kind of detailed orchestral playing, especially for free (!) so I am really grateful for the chance to do so with Odyssey. I've met some great people through this project, and I love that we all learn from one another. Peter is a great coach, and he has a wonderful relationship with the orchestra, so we all just have fun! I would recommend Odyssey to anyone who is looking for high-level orchestral playing!

Ben

Trombone

Hi! I'm Ben, a trombonist in the Odyssey Festival Orchestra currently in my first year at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama!

I heard about the orchestra from one of the trumpet players who urged me to audition. At the time I didn't know anything about the orchestra but I decided to give it a shot! I can say that the standard and atmosphere of the orchestra exceeded all my expectations!

The concert at Queen Elizebeth Hall turned out to be one of the best concerts I've played in to date! Our conductor Peter brought out the best in all the players in a relaxed and comfortable environment which enabled us to give the performance our all!

I'd say that anyone who lives in the London area and is passionate about playing in orchestra should give this wonderful orchestra your time!

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Emily

Bassoon

Hi, I’m Emily and I’m a bassoonist in my first year at the Royal College of Music. I played with Odyssey for the first time recently in The Last Waltz concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall. We had fun putting together the programme of Ravel and Gershwin, under the expert guidance of our conductor Peter Ash. There was a fantastic atmosphere in the sold-out hall and the whole orchestra really rose to the occasion. Rhapsody in Blue soloist Sebastian Flore was amazing, and the whole evening was brought together by Sir David Suchet’s skilful storytelling.

Joining Odyssey has been a fantastic experience, Peter expects high standards of all of us and creates an atmosphere where we can all learn and ultimately produce a performance to be really proud of.

Aisha

Harp

It was my first time performing with the Odyssey Orchestra and it was so exciting being part of the lead up and concert! It was really enjoyable working with Peter Ash who made the entire experience very rewarding! The concert was fantastic and for me personally a magical time working alongside Sir David Suchet who I’ve admired over a long period. I only hope that I get to perform again with the orchestra.

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Agnese

Flute

Hi there! My name is Agnese Ieva and I recently performed with the Odyssey Festival orchestra in "The Last Waltz" concert as a flutist. I massively enjoyed myself, because the orchestra has such a welcoming atmosphere and a high level of performance that is usually only found in professional orchestras. Peter Ash is an extraordinary conductor and Gill Tarlton managed the musicians exceptionally well, which made the whole rehearsal and performance time exciting and interesting.

This orchestra makes exciting opportunities (such as playing in the Queen Elizabeth Hall and being narrated by Sir David Suchet) for music students and does it to an extremely high standard. I would highly recommend this orchestra to anybody who wants to experience truly wonderful musicianship.

Sasha

Trumpet

Hello! I’m Sasha and am in my first year studying at the Royal Academy Music. I played trumpet in the January Odyssey Festival Ochestra concert ‘The Last Waltz’. I can honestly say it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever had the pleasure of being apart of. The energy of every single player and variety of music played was exceptional and something I won’t be forgetting soon I’m sure. Anyone wanting more orchestral experience in a relaxed yet professional feeling environment, at an extremely high standard should not hesitate to apply!

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Daisy

Flute

Hey, I’m Daisy and I played the flute in the last odyssey concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall. I’m currently in my second year at the Royal Academy of Music studying with Karen Jones. The last Odyssey concert was an incredible experience. Peter Ash is so knowledgable and passionate about the music we are playing, he is very inspiring in that way. I didn’t know many people in this orchestra before we started rehearsals, but I can honestly say it is one of the most friendly orchestras I’ve ever played in. I hope to be back playing with Odyssey very soon!

Lucy

Cello

Hi, I’m Lucy, and I had the pleasure of being a part of the cello section in the latest Odyssey concert at QEH.

As a graduate of the RNCM and GSMD and now at the beginning of my playing career, Odyssey has been a brilliant way to expand my orchestral repertoire, and having the opportunity to work with Sir David Suchet wasn’t bad either!

I’m really looking forward to working more with the orchestra in the future, they’re a great bunch!

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Francesco

Bassoon

Hello! I am Francesco and I play the bassoon (+try to play the contrabassoon as you can see). I have known Peter and the rest of the Odyssey team for around 7 years now and as soon as I heard about the setting up of Odyssey I was keen to be involved. Under the enthusiastic guidance of Peter us the members of the Orchestra are nurtured to strive for the highest artistic results. After studying music at the RCM for the past 4 year I can safely say that participating in this orchestra will leave with the right approach to orchestral playing as well as wanting for more music making with wonderful musicians

Molly

Viola

My name is Molly, and I’m a first year music student at Southampton university and joined the odyssey orchestra on viola in January just in time for the concert at the Queen Elizabeth hall. The repertoire and concert was so well put together; the rehearsals were great opportunities to learn from Peter about musicality, and I have so much to take away from the way he approaches pieces. Which, as primarily a singer-songwriter and rock performer, inspires me to look at my own music under a different light. I really look forward to future courses and would highly recommend the orchestra to those looking for a super encouraging and friendly environment to learn.

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Sophia

Saxophone

Performing with the Odyssey Orchestra was an electric experience. It was such a pleasure to perform “American in Paris” and “Rhapsody in Blue” by Gershwin and as soon as we finished the concert, I wanted to do it all over again. It was also a delight to hear Sir David Suchet’s comical and wondrous performances during the introductions to the pieces and in the narration of Ravel’s “La valse”.

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