All Rehearsal Orchestra course fees are subsidised by our fundraising activities and fees are further reduced for students. Where needed, we seek to provide additional bursaries to student players attending our courses, to enable as many as possible to benefit from the opportunities we offer. Bursary funding forms a key part of our work in nurturing the professional musicians of the future.

We have three specific bursary schemes:

Our Co-Principal Strings Student Bursary Scheme provides current full-time students studying at UK conservatoires with the opportunity to work intensively on large-scale symphonic repertoire with prominent conductors, without the pressure of public performance, at the same time as benefitting directly from the experience of our professional string principals. Successful applicants to the scheme are offered a bursary-funded place on one of our London weekend courses as co-principal first or second violin, viola, cello or double bass. A contribution to travel costs is also available to participants studying outside London.

A recent legacy gift by Harold Taylor, partner of Gillian Halse Noel who co-founded the Rehearsal Orchestra in 1957, enabled us to launch the Gillian Halse Bursary Fund which offers student bursaries for our annual Edinburgh rehearsal week, a stimulating week of concentrated music making which has been held every year since the orchestra's foundation.

Play ON, our newest bursary programme, was launched thanks to a grant from the Victoria Wood Foundation. The project provides bursary-funded places, including a travel allowance, on our London weekend rehearsal courses in 2022 and 2023 to current conservatoire students and young professional players, particularly those who graduated during the pandemic. The pandemic severely restricted young musicians’ opportunities for gaining orchestral experience and collaborating with others. At the same time, they were among those most adversely impacted financially by the pandemic, most having received no, or very little, Government assistance to replace lost freelance income from performing and teaching.

A bursary can make a big difference to a student musician, both financially and in terms of professional development. If you are interested in making a donation specifically towards funding bursaries, please contact us.

A hugely beneficial and enjoyable experience. I have discovered two new works which I might otherwise not have come across. Sitting amongst the principal string players is a hugely valuable learning experience, allowing me to realise the issues I should be considering and discussing in student-led ensembles. My desk-partner was very welcoming and I really learnt how the part should be played without having to be told through words.

Violin postgraduate student, RNCM