Joining NYO FAQs

Got some questions? That's fine, hopefully you'll find the answers in our FAQs below. If you can't find an answer below feel free to contact us and ask your question. Our super efficient Administrator Paula Watt will be happy to help.

Firstly you'll need to contact our Administrator, Paula Watt, and she'll send you a link to our online application form. You can apply to join us at any time of the year.

There are three orchestras listed on the application form. The criteria below should help you decide. If in doubt just email us for help. If you are interested in NYJO please contact our Administrator
This information is also on the main Join NYO page.

NYTO - Nottingham Youth Training Orchestra
Lower age limit Year 4, Upper age limit Year 9, Woodwind and Brass Grade 3+, Strings Grade 2+

NYIO - Nottingham Youth Intermediate Orchestra
Lower age limit Year 6, Upper age limit Year 13, Woodwind Grade 6+, Brass Grade 5+, Strings Grade 4+

NYO - Nottingham Youth Orchestra (Senior orchestra)
Lower age limit Year 8 (Year 9 for tour), Woodwind and Brass Grade 7+, Strings Grade 6+

NYJO - Nottingham Youth Jazz Orchestra Lower age limit Year 7, Sax/Clt Grade 4+, Tpt/Tbn Grade 4+, Drums/Piano/Vocals Gd 4+

Usually we will invite you along to join in with a rehearsal on a Thursday evening during term time (on a Tues for NYJO) to see how you get on. Some students may be asked to prepare a couple of pieces in advance and you could be given a short piece of sight-reading geared towards your ability level. Nothing to worry about!

If you are not quite ready to join the orchestra that you applied for, you may be offered a place in the orchestra below or added to the waiting list. We will write to you to let you know how you got on and what to do next.

About 80 a year.

It depends on places but at least 60.

We will write to you as soon as we can but please be patient during the summer period as we usually have a lot of applicants to deal with.

Yes as long as you are under 18 and are in full time education.

We will advise as to the best time for you to start. We will send you a welcome letter before you attend for the first time.
NYTO 6:30 - 8:30pm
NYIO and NYO 6:30 - 9:00pm

NYJO Combo 1: 5.00 - 6.00 pm; NYJO combined bands 6.00 - 7.30pm; NYJO Combo 2: 7.30-8.30pm

More information is available on our rehearsal page.

Each section of each of our three orchestras have their own dedicated tutor. Some weeks we have a full rehearsal and some weeks we split off into sectional rehearsals or a mixture of the two. We have a short break half way through each rehearsal so remember to bring a drink and a snack or pocket money for the Tuck Shop.

You will also need to remember to bring a stand, your music and a floor protector where applicable.

We prepare for a concert usually at the end of each term in venues such as the Albert Hall, St. Mary's Church and the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham. NYJO's public engagements can vary in time and place and include concert hall venues as well as corporate and social entertaining, busking and the annual tour.

NYO - £121
NYIO - £121
NYTO - £100
NYJO - £90

Other costs: Residential and Senior tour costs are dependent on destination and numbers attending. However, some NYO workshops are FREE of charge, and concert tickets to see the National Youth Orchestra of GB are NYO’s treat for members!

NYO & NYIO - £363 a year
NYTO - £300 a year
NYJO - £270 a year

It works out at around £4.00-£4.75 an hour. We have a bursary scheme for families who genuinely cannot afford to pay. Please get in touch as soon as possible if you wish to apply for a bursary.

We also run residentials, tours and workshops. Some of the workshops are free of charge. The cost of residentials can be between £110 - £150. The cost of the senior orchestra tour is dependent on the destination and usually takes place during the first week of the summer holidays.

30+ weekly rehearsals
Professional tutors
Full and sectional rehearsals
Orchestra Manager
Up-to-date central location
Professional Administrator
Artistic Director
End of term concerts in public concert halls
Music scores and a range of musical equipment

You usually do not have to audition again to keep your place in your current orchestra. Only under exceptional circumstances (such as lack of practice) would we ask you to do this. However you may be asked to audition to move up to the next orchestra.

Yes. As long as the journey isn't too much for you.

Yes as long as you can manage the extra commitment. We have a policy that school music commitments take priority over NYO.

Nottingham Youth Orchestra owes its success over the last 37+ years to collaboration between professional musicians, talented young people and a team of volunteers from a diverse range of backgrounds and with varying amounts of time to spare.

A small voluntary committee is responsible for organising the orchestras and all the rehearsals, concerts and tours etc. It's a massive job and we depend on the support and help of parents to make everything run smoothly. If you think your parents/carers can spare some time to help then please contact us volunteer. It is very rewarding and we would be very grateful!

Simply contact us for an application form and our super helpful Administrator Paula Watt will send you all the details.