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Help us shape the modern orchestra

to be more inclusive, creative... Awesome!


Why be part of the National Open Youth Orchestra?

The National Open Youth Orchestra brings many opportunities. Playing with amazing musicians, feeling a sense of belonging, improvising and being creative with music, are some of the reasons young people enjoy being part of NOYO.

This is the first orchestra I have ever fitted into. I normally feel like I don’t fit in but I do in NOYO.

NOYO musicians benefit from one-to-one lessons and group rehearsals, in partnership with the Barbican and Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, and in the South-West with Bristol Music Trust, the National Centre for Inclusive Excellence and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Within NOYO, we play from notation, but also learn by ear. Because our orchestra is so diverse, our approach to music is very collaborative, guided by musicians’ abilities and creativity. We develop exciting new music with cutting-edge composers, with NOYO musicians very much influencing the process.

It’s a progression route

The National Open Youth Orchestra is for young disabled people either with physical impairments and/or learning disabilities who either already play music using acoustic or electronic instruments, OR already control assistive technology or a communication aid (such as an Eyegaze computer) to a standard that could translate to playing an electronic instrument such as the Clarion.

It’s also for young non-disabled people who already play an acoustic or electronic musical instrument with fluency and flair.

All NOYO applicants need to demonstrate a passion for music, the potential to play a musical instrument with a high degree of control and expression, and a determination to persevere both musically and personally.

I like being in NOYO because they have taught me so much. It has helped me to build my confidence performing and being around others.

Hear it from our musicians

Ella is a Clarion player in Bournemouth. Check out her instrument, and listen to her Mum Kim’s reasons for supporting Ella through her journey with NOYO and music. With big thanks to Cesca Eaton for the film www.cescaeaton.co.uk


Jaidon plays electric guitar, acoustic guitar and bass. He’s part of NOYO in London and talks about why it’s worth applying. This video contains some audition footage. With big thanks to Tom Holman for the filming and Bertie Gibbs for the editing.


Abbie is the National Open Youth Orchestra harpist. She gives great tips about how to prepare for the audition. This video contains some of her audition footage. With big thanks to Tom Holman for the filming and Bertie Gibbs for the editing.


2019-20 Applications

The deadline to apply for an audition with the National Open Youth Orchestra is 31st March 2019. To apply, download and read the Applicants Information Pack, then complete the Application Form below. If you need any of this information in an alternative format, please email info@noyo.org.uk or phone Doug Bott, Musical Director on 07508 317560 with your requirements:

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