A world pioneering inclusive orchestra

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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


Applications are now closed for this year, and will re-open in February 2025. 11-25 year-old disabled and non-disabled musicians interested in joining a regional NOYO Ensemble in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Bournemouth or Cardiff, please click the link to read the 2024 Applicant’s Information Pack. It gives a lot of information about what being part of NOYO is like, and will help you get ready for next year! Also subscribe to our newsletter, so we can let you know when applications open.

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Six disabled and non-disabled musicians are holding their brass instruments. One who is a wheelchair user is showing an iPad screen with colourful shapes on it, which is his Clarion accessible instrument. Another musician is holding an electronic keyboard.

Our 2024 concert tickets are now on sale

Join us for an uplifting afternoon of music in London, Bristol, Poole and Birmingham. Our tour starts in April…

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