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The People's Requiem: Orchestra

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We are looking for experienced adult amateur orchestral players to join Royal Northern Sinfonia at Sage Gateshead, working together over several months towards a special performance of Verdi’s Requiem conducted by RNS’ Principal Conductor, Dinis Sousa.

If you have substantial experience of playing regularly with an amateur orchestra of a high standard, are committed, enthusiastic, and willing to put in significant preparation time, then please apply using the form below.

We are looking to create a performance of the highest musical quality that the musical community of this region can deliver, and we anticipate that demand/competition for places in the orchestra will be high. If short-listing is necessary, we may require you to submit a short audition video at a later stage.

Digital work will take place over the summer, and in-person rehearsals are currently planned for the following dates:

  • Saturday 25 September
  • Saturday 23 October
  • Saturday 20 November
  • Sunday 21 November
  • Friday 26 November (evening)
  • Saturday 27 November
  • Sunday 28 November

Applications have now closed. Thank you to those who have applied, we will be in touch soon.

If you have any questions, please see the FAQs below, or contact us on


Who is it for?
Experienced adult amateur orchestral players who are enthusiastic, motivated, and can commit to the schedule above.

I am a young musician – can I take part?
This project is for adult amateur players, but we are looking at future opportunities for participation projects involving younger musicians.

What does it cost to take part?

What equipment / resources are required?
You will need to provide your instrument, but we will provide music (see below).

Do I need to buy the music?
All music will be provided. We will send you a link to online copies for preparation purposes, and you will be provided with hard copies at the first in-person rehearsal. These will need to be returned after the performance.

When will rehearsals be?
Digital work will take place over the summer, and in-person rehearsals will take place on the dates listed above.

How big will the orchestra be?
We’re aiming to have in the region of 90 musicians in the orchestra, including Royal Northern Sinfonia.

What is the level of commitment required?
Our aim is to deliver the highest musical quality that this community can offer. As a result, the project will require significant preparation, and we are looking for people who are motivated and enthusiastic. We will expect participants to commit to watching sectional rehearsal videos, which will be sent out over the summer to form part of the preparation process, doing independent practice, and to attending all rehearsals from September onwards (online and in person).

What happens if there are still Covid restrictions in place in the autumn?
This project is based on social distancing no longer being a requirement by the autumn. If this is not the case, we still aim to run the project, but it will be deferred Spring 2022.

Can I apply for an orchestral AND a choral place, so that if I am unsuccessful for one, I have a chance at being accepted for the other?
Yes, you can; please just note on the form which of the two would be your preference.

I can’t get to all the rehearsals, but I’ve played it before – can I join in?
You are very welcome to apply, but please note that ideally we are looking for players with full availability. Should we be oversubscribed, this may be a deciding factor in selection.

Will we be sitting next to members of RNS?
We aim to seat as many participants as possible next to members of Royal Northern Sinfonia, who will be distributed throughout the orchestra.

How do I access sectional videos?
We will provide instructions for accessing sectional videos nearer the time and support you in joining any online activity. If you are still unsure about any of the technology, we will be happy to run through it with you.

If you have any further queries please contact