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  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA

National Youth Orchestra seeking to recruit new musicians from Northwest.

PREVIEW By Steve Cooke

The National Youth Orchestra is offering new ideas, new friends, and new music to explore for teenage musicians in 2024.

The National Youth Orchestra is renowned about unlocking the potential of the UK’s teenagers through the power of orchestral music. To that end, applications are now open for entry into the NYO 2024 and its NYO Inspire programme.

NYO 2024

NYO 2024 is for teenage musicians playing orchestral instruments at Grade 8 and above. The fun and friendly audition process is free and there’s no need for students to have taken graded exams, this is just a benchmark level.

The NYO community is jam-packed with like-minded musicians who want to share their music with other young people, take on audacious musical challenges and take part in awe-inspiring performances in UK concert halls, schools and surprising spaces and places.

Applications close on 29 May 2023 with first round video auditions to be submitted by 11 June 2023. Final round assessments in person take place in September. These take place across the UK and are led by NYO tutors (all of whom are professional musicians) alongside NYO alumni who help to run creative workshops as part of the audition process.

Full details on how to apply at

NYO Inspire 2024

For students playing at Grade 6 and above, the NYO Inspire Programme offers the chance for young musicians to take their skills and talents to the next level. NYO Inspire is a series of FREE high-quality ensemble music opportunities that include one-day events and residencies structured around weekends and school holidays. The programme accelerates learning for musicians who are traditionally under-represented or who may experience barriers in taking their playing to the next level.

There are no auditions for the NYO Inspire Programme and applications are open year-round.

About The National Youth Orchestra

The National Youth Orchestra is the UK’s leading organisation activating teenagers’ confidence, optimism, and skills to play their part in the world today, through playing and sharing orchestral music. Championing orchestral music as a powerful agent for teenage development.

They are a national community where teenage musicians from all backgrounds and different levels of ability pursue music together in the face of extreme pressures and limited opportunities for collaboration. Their work supports their development in both music and in life through projects, collaborations, workshops, and performances.

Opening doors for young people, introducing them to new ideas, new experiences, new friends, and new music to master. Joining The National Youth Orchestra is the greatest adventure teenagers can have through playing music together.

Internationally celebrated as ‘the world’s greatest Orchestra of teenagers’ is at the heart of this community: a body of musicians opening up orchestral music to thousands more young people through sharing their performances, musical knowledge, and experience.

Teenage role modelling and peer inspiration are central to THEIR approach giving teenagers the confidence to see that they can make a difference to others through the power of music.

Find out how to play a part at NYO at

Testimonials from two N W NYO musicians about to age out and move on to the next stage of their musical journey...

Sofia Patterson-Gutierrez 19, Flute, Stockport

‘I have been playing the flute for about 9 years now, having started with ten-minute taster lessons that my primary school offered. From then, taking part in my school band as well as local music bands and being able to play with other musicians is what really inspired me to carry on going. I eventually made it into Chetham's and NYO has helped fuel my passion for music making - to say the least! All of these opportunities have led to my recent success in winning the Woodwind Final in BBC Young Musician 2022.’

‘To be honest, being part of NYO has had one of the biggest impacts on my life - I have made such amazing friendships and it has really pushed me and motivated me to carry on being a musician. I remember shaking sitting in the first tutti rehearsal, blown away by the power and amazing energy surrounding me, which is something I have never felt anywhere else. What could have been a really daunting experience was made so enjoyable by other musicians and support staff who made me feel at home. Being part of NYO not only helps me improve as an individual musician, but also helps develop the skills I have learnt in working with others in such a high energy environment.’

Toby Johnson Jones 18, Horn, Oldham

‘I have been part of the NYO community for the last 5 years and I have to say I have had the best time ever. I initially joined the NYO Inspire programme and that led to being invited to be part of the Inspire Orchestra. For the last two years I have been an orchestral member of the National Youth Orchestra in the French horn section. I have made some brilliant friends and the tutors and organisation are so supportive. Each NYO experience is so different and exciting, it just wants you to become a better musician and spread the word about the amazing time you have. Next year I will be studying French horn at the Royal Northern College of Music.’

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