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joining in composers

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The National Youth Orchestra boasts a section you won’t find in any other orchestra: our very own composers. They play a full role in all our residencies, writing new music for groups of brilliant young orchestral players and hearing their ideas brought instantly to life. Being an NYO composer opens up exciting new ways of approaching the compositional process, enabling you to experiment, take risks, and share your passion for making music with other young like-minded musicians. Together you will curate exciting public performances of your music at major venues alongside our mainstage orchestral concerts. You’ll also harness the expertise of our inspirational tutors Anna Meredith and Larry Goves – as well as meeting and working with guest composers whose music the NYO is performing during the year.

Every year, we hold auditions for new composers. Alongside a considerable aptitude for composing, you should have an appetite for adventure, a taste for innovation, and a great team spirit. Vitally, you must be 18 or under on 1 September in the year of your application (so, 1 September 2013 for those applying to be in NYO 2014). Current and former NYO members are entitled to re-apply so long as they are under 20 when the NYO year culminates (10 Aug 2014). You must also be a British citizen, or be resident or studying in the British Isles. You must not be studying full time at a college of music or on a joint course with a music college.

There are three stages to the application process for composers.

1) First you will need to complete an online application form.

2) Then in support of your application we’d like to see some samples of your recent work. Please send us a portfolio of copies of scores of up to three recent compositions, including any live or synthesized recordings on CD where possible. Your compositions can be any scale from solo to orchestra; please ensure each item in your portfolio is marked clearly with your name. You’ll need to enclose a stamped addressed envelope if you would like us to return your portfolio.

3) We will use these portfolios to shortlist and invite some candidates to interview in October 2013 – the interview will be based on a short musical exercise and a discussion about your portfolio and musical ideas etc.

The membership fee for 2014 is yet to be decided, but is always less than one third of the actual cost to NYO of providing you with the exciting musical opportunities outlined above plus five weeks annually of accommodation, three meals daily, up-to-seven days per course of intensive tutoring, workshops and visits from a range of professional musicians, travel to venues, and pastoral support from a dedicated team. Please don’t let the cost of membership deter you from applying: if you are chosen to join the NYO, you will be sent details of our Financial Support Scheme which can cover your costs in full if necessary.

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The National Youth Orchestra is a registered charity no 290598 and a company registered in England no 1858278. VAT reg no 218 6738 40.

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