Developing musicians - London Musical Theatre Orchestra

Developing musicians

At LMTO we are committed to supporting the next generation of musical theatre players.

Our development scheme is at the heart of who we are. Every time the orchestra performs, a number of seats in the orchestra are reserved for young developing professional musicians.

We work with some of the best students and recent graduates from UK conservatoires, giving them unparalleled opportunities to gain professional experience and create a network of industry contacts.

Thanks to LMTO, recent alumni can now be found playing in pits across the West End and local theatres, including The Phantom of the OperaWicked, The Lion King, Miss SaigonLes Misérables and many others besides.


Finding the stars of the future

Our development programme starts with Sitz. We meet just over 400 musicians every year at Sitzes, where players have the opportunity to develop their musical theatre skillset and network with likeminded musicians.

The programme is further supported by the Sandy and Zorica Glen Workshops. Around once a month, we offer a professional development workshop, ranging from talks on orchestrating, rehearsing an orchestra and how to tackle your tax return, to practical sessions and masterclasses with LMTO’s top players.


A career kick-starting experience

Finally, once a year we hold auditions for recent graduates interested in becoming a ‘Dev’. The scheme is designed to help bright new talent gain a foothold in the industry through 3 main opportunities:

  1. Playing in at least 1 LMTO professional concert during the year
  2. Being paired with a mentor from the industry
  3. A lesson with a West End chair holder

Sitting next to a world-class player is the fastest way to improve your playing. As well as being an exceptional learning opportunity, Devs are able to develop their industry network.

The mentoring opportunity is designed to help young players navigate the wider industry outside the orchestra, providing a lasting and meaningful source of advice, support and guidance.


How to become a Dev

We are a community of musicians who love musical theatre so step 1 is to become a member of our Sitz mailing list; get involved in our monthly opportunity to rehearse a full score in a day and in our workshops, immersing yourself in the genre and its intricacies.

Applications will open for the 2024-25 Dev Scheme on the 17th May 2024. All information including audition dates and eligibility requirements will be shared through our Sitz mailing list so ensure you have subscribed before then and keep an eye on your emails to find out how to apply.

What our devs have to say:

Dev Scheme participant Kristina Surma is playing a violin. It is a candid shot of her playing in action.

Auditioning for LMTO’s Dev Scheme was the best decision I made, a month after moving here from Ukraine. I’ve been a part of Chess at Drury Lane, and Audra McDonald and Scala Radio Christmas Live at the Palladium, among others.

As a Dev I was warmly welcomed, and LMTO helped me to integrate into the industry. I collaborated with so many different people and I have a mentor who helps me to improve my professional skills and to develop my career.

Thanks to LMTO and the Dev Scheme, it became easier to start from scratch as a person and musician in a new country.

Kristina Surma

Dev Scheme participant Louisa Kataria poses in front of a blue background. She is stood at a 3/4 angle, looking to the side, smiling and proudly holding a saxophone.

Discovering Sitz was a lifeline at that point in my education – a year later, and I had made my West End debut with LMTO playing for Scala Radio Christmas Live at the London Palladium, and, thanks to connections through my mentor, had ‘sit-ins’ with industry professionals at both Mary Poppins and Frozen.

The Dev Scheme has led to opportunities to perform at Wembley Arena, as well as do my first professional run of a musical. LMTO has opened the door into the industry for me.

Louisa Kataria

LMTO Dev Scheme participant Honor Halford-MacLeod on stage receiving applause. She has just conducted Bonnie & Clyde in the West End

Over the last year I have been assistant musical director on a west end show, played on a west end cast album, MD-ed two off west end shows, and am currently MDing a tour. I know that participating in the dev scheme has helped me massively with taking on these projects, giving me the skills and qualities to do so, and also providing me with a support network of my mentor and the wider players, and also a wonderful community of people who are on the journey with you! I have learnt and grown so much throughout the scheme!

Honor Halford-MacLeod
Keys player and Musical Director

Trusts & Foundations

We welcome all enquiries from interested Trusts and Foundations who have a passion for supporting the arts, and for the development of talented musicians. At this early stage, the most welcome gifts are unrestricted funds, but as LMTO grows we look forward to being able to offer specific areas of funding needs, such as sponsoring a chair in a concert for an up and coming musician.


Corporate Partnerships

As well as philanthropic gifts, we also offer plenty of unique and prominent sponsorship opportunities. As the availability of these opportunities changes regularly, please get in touch below.

Get in touch

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