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.