Meet the orchestra


National Open Youth Orchestra musicians play a wide variety of instruments. They also have very different musical tastes from folk to heavy metal, but really enjoy coming together for the National Open Youth Orchestra. In between working hard on their music, there’s banter and jamming at group rehearsals. That’s because NOYO musicians are a friendly bunch, and great fun to be around!

Ella (Clarion), Lizzie (violin) and alumni Abbie (harp) and Jaidon (guitar and bass), share their journey with NOYO, as well as their experience of auditioning here.

Musicians gallery

Watch and hear

‘The Umbrella’ by Liam Taylor-West

‘The Umbrella’, our first commission, was composed by Liam Taylor-West for and with NOYO South-West musicians. It won a British Composer Award in 2018.

Liam said: “Our fine-tuning in rehearsals gave the whole piece a truly collaborative feel. Thank you for helping me decide which bits to leave in, and which to chuck!”

Judges praised it as being “deeply touching, beautiful emotive, joyful, liberating and bespoke, with the work clearly showing a deep level of connection between the composer and participants.”

We’re delighted that music created with and for young disabled people is recognised as being up there with the very best. Check it out!

South-West members of the National Open Youth Orchestra perform ‘The Umbrella’ by Liam Taylor-West

360-degree videos of NOYO rehearsals

We hope these give you a sense of what it’s like being in rehearsal with us.

You can explore the videos in all directions with a few simple moves. On a desktop, you can click and drag with a mouse or click the arrows in the top left-hand corner of the screen. On a mobile device, you can drag your finger across the screen or move it around in different directions.

We were delighted to have the visit of BSO Resound conductor James Rose in London.

Some of our London musicians working on ‘Day One’ by Liam Taylor-West, a modular composition commissioned by NOYO. Leading the session are Beatrice Hubble and Julia Koelmans. NOYO Musicians from left to right: Oscar, Leo, Jaidon, Oliver (hidden), Georgina, Abbie.


In Bristol, this was the first time one of our trainees, Sherwin, joined the rehearsal. He recently started on the Clarion and says “It’s going wonderfully”.

Some of our Bristol musicians rehearsing ‘Wittgenstein’s Chorale’ by Ben Lunn, a modular composition commissioned by NOYO. Leading the session is Charlie Groves. NOYO musicians from right to left: Sherwin, George, Lizzie, Ben B, Ben P, Jamie and Ashleigh.



The National Open Youth Orchestra is delivered through regional NOYO Centres:

London NOYO Centre, in partnership with Barbican and Guildhall School of Music & Drama;

Bristol NOYO Centre, in partnership with Bristol Beacon;

Bournemouth NOYO Centre, in partnership with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra;

Birmingham NOYO Centre, in partnership with Midlands Arts Centre, B:Music and Services For Education.

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