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to be more inclusive, creative... Awesome!

Application information

Applications to audition for one of our regional NOYO Ensembles in Birmingham, Bristol, Bournemouth, Cardiff or London will re-open in February 2025. Until then, it’s a good idea to download and read the 2024 Applicant’s Information Pack.

It gives lots of information about the application and audition process, so is useful to start preparing. Also, please subscribe to our newsletter so we can remind you when applications open.

Another great way to understand if being part of NOYO could be for you is to come to our concerts. The first one this year is on 21 April in London. Check our tour dates and come along!

Why audition for a NOYO Ensemble?

NOYO Ensembles create an inclusive environment in which brilliant 11-25 year-old disabled and non-disabled musicians can develop their skills at an advanced level, without the barriers that can make progress difficult for young disabled musicians. Playing with a really diverse group of musicians, improvising, being creative with music and making friends… It’s all part of the experience.

This is the first orchestra I have ever fitted into.

Musicians are supported to realise their musical potential in partnership with the Barbican and Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, Bristol Beacon in Bristol, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in Bournemouth, Midlands Arts Centre, B:Music and Services For Education in Birmingham, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff.

There’s a full programme of rehearsals and socials. NOYO Ensembles are also the entry point for the National Open Youth Orchestra. NOYO Ensembles musicians can audition internally each autumn to perform nationally the following year.

It’s a progression route

There’s no need to read music to be part of a NOYO Ensemble, as we learn by notation, but also by ear. There’s also no need to have passed exam as this would exclude many brilliant young disabled musicians.

Regional NOYO Ensembles are for young disabled people who either already play acoustic or electronic instruments, OR 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 Ensemble 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.

It has helped me to build my confidence performing and being around others.

Hear it from NOYO musicians

Ella plays the Clarion. Check out her innovative digital 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.

Jaidon plays electric guitar, acoustic guitar and bass, 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.

Transcript for the video of Jaidon

Abbie 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.

Transcript for the video of Abbie

Lizzie who plays in various music groups gives an insight into why she considers the National Open Youth Orchestra to be one of the most creative.

Transcript for the video of Lizzie

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