About Us

Launched in 2018, the National Open Youth Orchestra (NOYO) is the world’s first disabled-led national youth orchestra.

NOYO provides an inclusive progression route, to support the development of young disabled people with musical potential. It is also open to talented non-disabled young musicians, providing an innovative and ambitious musical context for everyone. NOYO musicians are 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.



Please read the full Applicants Information pack which details who NOYO is for, what being a member of the orchestra entails, as well as application and audition timelines.

We are also holding an Open Rehearsal in Bristol and a Taster session in London for anyone interested in applying. Families, PAs and music tutors welcome!

2 March 2019, NOYO Open Rehearsal, 2pm – 5pm
Bristol Plays Music, 35 Stanton Road, Bristol BS10 5SJ
To attend, please contact Charlie Groves – NOYO Assistant Musical Director 07487 512364 / charlie@noyo.org.uk

16 March 2019, NOYO Taster Session,  11am – 1pm
Barbican Centre (Fountain Room), Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS
To book, please contact: creative.learning@barbican.org.uk



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 aged 11-25. 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 read the Applicants Information Pack and don’t miss the deadline of 31 March 2019 to apply.

New Members will start with the National Open Youth Orchestra in September 2019.

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

Our Partners

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


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