About Us

Launching in September 2018, the National Open Youth Orchestra (NOYO) will be the world’s first disabled-led national youth orchestra.

NOYO will provide an inclusive progression route, to support the development of the UK’s most talented young disabled people. It will also be open to non-disabled young people, providing an innovative and ambitious musical context for everyone. NOYO musicians will be empowered to radically redefine the idea of ‘The Orchestra’ – inspiring new musical instruments and creating new musical forms for the 21st century.

NOYO is informed by the findings of an extensive feasibility study and builds upon the success of the South-West Open Youth Orchestra (SWOYO), founded in 2015. Trailblazing SWOYO performances have included Bristol Cathedral, the Colston Hall, and a live BBC Radio 3 broadcast on BBC Music Day. In 2017, SWOYO won a Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award in the learning and participation category – the highest recognition for live classical music-making in the UK.

Applications to join NOYO are now closed for 2018/19, but we are welcoming expressions of interest for subsequent years.

Are you aged 11 – 25 with a passion for music?

The National Open Youth Orchestra offers talented young musicians unprecedented training opportunities as part of an inclusive ensemble. It is open to both disabled and non-disabled young musicians. If you’ve got musical potential on acoustic or electronic instruments, or have abilities on assistive technology/electronic communication aids that could translate to playing music, please get in touch.

The videos below show the journey of some of our existing musicians.

Our Partners

  • Barbican Guildhall
  • Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  • Bristol Music Trust
  • abrsm


If you would like more information about the National Open Youth Orchestra, please use the contact form below to get in touch.