The Orchestra in a few words
OSEL stands for Louvain-la-Neuve Student Symphony Orchestra in French and counts over 70 musicians, mostly students from the Université catholique de Louvain. Philippe Gérard has conducted the orchestra for over 10 years now.
The orchestra offers the possibility to students, faculty and other musicians from Louvain-la-Neuve to take part in a challenging musical project. Being part of the OSEL also means sharing a love for music in a student atmosphere during rehearsal weekends, concerts and tours abroad.
The OSEL plays a key role in the cultural life of Louvain-la-Neuve, with regular concerts in its main concert hall: the Aula Magna. Other concerts in Belgium are organized thanks to relationships with institutions such as the Royal Conservatory of Music of Brussels, the Royal Theatre La Monnaie and the Festival de Wallonie. The orchestra regularly represents the University and the City abroad during tours and festivals.
The Orchestra was founded in 1980. From 1985 to 2002, the OSEL was managed by members of the Orchestrakot (a student group) and some professors at UCL. From 2002 onwards, the orchestra has been managed by the not-for-profit organisation OSEL which organizes concerts, tours abroad and day-to-day operations. The not-for-profit is composed of musicians in the orchestra and a new board is elected every year.
OSEL counts between 60 and 80 musicians led by director Philippe Gérard since 2000. Most musicians are students or alumni from UCL, but the orchestra is open to all musicians willing to participate to its musical project.
Concerts are held at least twice a year in the Aula Magna in Louvain-la-Neuve, with regular concerts in other Belgian cities.
OSEL is Cultural Ambassador of UCL since 2003 and the orchestra takes part to international music festivals where it represents both UCL and Belgium (festivals in Spain, Italy, France, Latvia, etc.).
Rehearsals take place every week during the academic year and auditions are organized in September and in February.