Contact Information

General Inquiries: 01865 987 222
Box Office: 01865 980 980
Email: [email protected]


Sit Side-by-Side with a professional player in an Oxford Philharmonic concert.

Our Side-by-Side scheme gives young musicians from Oxfordshire the opportunity to sit alongside a professional player in the opening work of up to three of our Oxford season concerts.

Sit Side-by-Side the Oxford Phil

About Side-by-Side

Our Side-by-Side scheme provides the opportunity for student string, wind, brass and percussion players from Oxfordshire to sit side-by-side with a professional player in the opening work of up to three of our Oxford season concerts. This is a unique performance experience reaching beyond what ordinary music education provides.

The Side-by-Side series of webinars, sectionals and tutti rehearsals with professional orchestral players will enable young musicians to gain unique insights into orchestral performance and perform their very best in concert.

How to apply

Applicants to Side-by-Side must be aged 14+ and play to Grade 8 standard or above. Applicants must be a student at school or university in Oxfordshire.

Applications for Side-by-Side 2023/24 will open in the summer.


Thursday 17 November 2022

Brahms Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80
Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey conductor

Sunday 5 February 2023

Dvořák In Nature’s Realm, Op. 91
Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey conductor

Saturday 3 June 2023

Morfydd Llwyn Owen Nocturne
Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey conductor

Audition information

Date and location TBC

Auditions will last 12 minutes and will consist of three components:

  • 4-5 minutes of an accompanied solo work (this can be an excerpt of a longer work)
  • Two orchestral excerpts provided 4 days in advance
  • Sight reading provided in the audition

An accompanist will be provided although you may bring your own.

If you have any questions, please contact Cayenna Ponchione Bailey (Side-by-Side Scheme Coordinator) or William Emery (Education Officer).

If you are a string player studying at the University of Oxford and play to Diploma standard or above, you may be interested in our Orchestral Apprenticeship programme, another opportunity to play alongside the players of the OPO. If applying for the Orchestral Apprenticeship, you need not apply separately for Side-by-Side as you will automatically be considered.