The National Youth Orchestra is looking to recruit new musicians from across the North West with applications currently open.

The National Youth Orchestra is running two schemes run which aim to unlock the potential of the UK’s teenagers through orchestral – NYO 2024 and NYO Inspire 2024.

NYO 2024 is the scheme for teenage musicians playing orchestral instruments at Grade 8 and above.  The audition process is free and does not require formal graded exams to have been taken, rather than just reaching the benchmark level.

The NYO community is jam-packed with like-minded musicians who want to share their music with other young people, take on audacious musical challenges and take part in awe-inspiring performances in UK concert halls, schools and surprising spaces and places.

Applications close on 29 May 2023 with first round video auditions to be submitted by 11 June 2023. Final round assessments in person take place in September. These take place across the UK and are led by NYO tutors (all of whom are professional musicians) alongside NYO alumni who help to run creative workshops as part of the audition process.

NYO Inspire 2024 is aimed at students playing at a Grade 6 and above standard.  If offers the change for young musicians to push their skills and talents to the next level through a series of free high-quality ensemble music opportunities including one-day events and residencies around weekends and school holidays.  NYO Inspire 2024 does not have an audition process and applications are open all year round.

The NYO has benefited a string of musicians from the north west including Sofia Patterson-Gutierrez, 19, from Stockport who said, “I have been playing the flute for about 9 years now, having started with ten-minute taster lessons that my primary school offered. From then, taking part in my school band as well as local music bands and being able to play with other musicians is what really inspired me to carry on going. I eventually made it into Chetham’s and NYO has helped fuel my passion for music making – to say the least! All of these opportunities have led to my recent success in winning the Woodwind Final in BBC Young Musician 2022.

“To be honest, being part of NYO has had one of the biggest impacts on my life – I have made such amazing friendships and it has really pushed me and motivated me to carry on being a musician. I remember shaking sitting in the first tutti rehearsal, blown away by the power and amazing energy surrounding me, which is something I have never felt anywhere else. What could have been a really daunting experience was made so enjoyable by other musicians and support staff who made me feel at home. Being part of NYO not only helps me improve as an individual musician, but also helps develop the skills I have learnt in working with others in such a high energy environment.”

Full details about the NYO are available at the NYO website.