Help us shape the modern orchestra

to be more inclusive, creative... Awesome!

Why be part of the National Open Youth Orchestra?

The National Open Youth Orchestra brings many opportunities. Playing with amazing musicians, feeling a sense of belonging, improvising and being creative with music, are some of the reasons young people enjoy being part of NOYO.

This is the first orchestra I have ever fitted into. I normally feel like I don’t fit in but I do in NOYO.

National Open Youth Orchestra musicians are supported to realise their musical potential through one-to-one lessons, rehearsals and concerts, in partnership with 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.

Within the National Open Youth Orchestra, we play from notation, but also learn by ear. Because our orchestra is so diverse, our approach to music is very collaborative, guided by musicians’ abilities and creativity. We develop exciting new music with cutting-edge composers, with NOYO musicians very much influencing the process.

It’s a progression route

The National Open Youth Orchestra is 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 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.

I like being in NOYO because they have taught me so much. 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.

Transcript for the video of NOYO Clarion player Ella

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 NOYO guitar and bass player Jaidon

Alumni 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 NOYO alumni 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 NOYO violinist Lizzie

Apply now

Could NOYO be the orchestra for you?

To find out more, please read our latest Applicant’s Information Pack. Please note that the dates and requirements won’t be exactly the same next year – but this year’s Pack still gives a lot of useful information about what the orchestra is about, how we run rehearsals and  how we come together for residentials and concerts.

NOYO is a great, really friendly community to be part of, and a lot of fun, but it also requires commitment!

Alongside Members, we also offer Trainees places to young disabled people with musical potential who we support for up to three years to develop the skills and confidence needed to join the orchestra.

If you are not ready to apply but would like to receive recruitment alerts in the future, please email info@openupmusic.org.

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