A world pioneering inclusive orchestra

Watch the full videoh

The National Open Youth Orchestra (NOYO) is a pioneering inclusive orchestra where brilliant 11-25 year-old disabled and non-disabled musicians rehearse and perform together. It promotes inclusion by performing exciting music written and arranged for a diverse group of musicians and instruments. It also works with venues to produce accessible concerts.

The National Open Youth Orchestra’s sound innovatively blends acoustic, electronic and accessible instruments. Some are not traditionally found in orchestras, such as the electric guitar or the accordion. Others are unfamiliar, such as the LinnStrument, the Seaboard RISE or the Clarion, which some musicians play with eye or head movement.

The orchestra changes every year, with up to twenty young musicians coming together to present a broad programme of contemporary classical music. All come through the ranks of five regional NOYO Ensembles run in London, Bristol, Bournemouth, Birmingham and Cardiff in partnership with leading arts organisations.

The National Open Youth Orchestra collaborates with cutting-edge composers. Back in 2018, our first commission, ‘The Umbrella’ by Liam Taylor-West won an Ivors Composer Award. This year, we will premiere ‘Elements’ by Alexandra Hamilton-Ayres – beautiful new music that speaks of the climate emergency, a topic musicians deeply care about.

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

String and brass within NOYO NOYO musicians

How to apply?

The first thing to do for 11-25 year-old disabled and non-disabled musicians interested in the National Open Youth Orchestra is to audition for a regional NOYO Ensemble. They're in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Bournemouth and Cardiff. You don't need to live there to apply. You just need to be able to make it there for rehearsals approximately once a month. Come watch one of our Open Rehearsals in February and March. Also read the 2024 Applicant's Information Pack. It will help you prepare for when applications open between 23 February - 24 March 2024.

Read more
NOYO Bristol Ensemble rehearsal showing musicians playing acoustic and electronic instruments

Come to our 2024 Open Rehearsals!

Thinking about applying for an audition? Come find out what it’s like to be a part of NOYO by meeting us in London, Bristol, Bournemouth, Birmingham or Cardiff.

Read more

Sign up to our newsletter

We'll keep you posted about our latest news three times a year including updates and performances. Come on, you know you want to!

Sign up