The world’s first disabled-led national youth orchestra

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The National Open Youth Orchestra (NOYO) is a world first, an ambitious orchestra launched in September 2018 to give some of the UK’s most talented young disabled musicians a progression route. It promotes musical excellence, empowering disabled and non-disabled musicians aged 11-25 to rehearse and perform together as members of a pioneering inclusive ensemble.

Some of the National Open Youth Orchestra musicians play acoustic instruments; others, electronic instruments like the Clarion, which can be played with the movement of any part of the body including the eyes.

NOYO collaborates with cutting-edge composers to create exciting new music for a diverse range of musicians and instruments. Our first commission, ‘The Umbrella’ by Liam Taylor-West won a British Composer Award in 2018.

Stay tuned as we inject new diversity and creativity into the orchestra!


NOYO Digital and acoustic instruments NOYO 2019 rehearsal

How to apply?

Applications to start with the National Open Youth Orchestra in September 2020 have now closed. If you're a talented 11-25 year-old disabled or non-disabled musician interested in joining, you'll be able to apply for an audition in spring 2021. To prepare, it's a good idea to familiarise yourself with the 2020-21 Applicants Information Pack. Find out if this could be the orchestra for you!

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National Open Youth Orchestra musicians playing brass, string and electronic instruments. Two Clarions are shown on the picture.

COVID -19 update

Following the Government’s directives in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, National Open Youth Orchestra performances due to take place on 26 April at St George’s Bristol and 9 May in Milton court in London have been cancelled. We are currently liaising with venues and will soon have updates for ticket holders.

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