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joining in FAQs

Here are some of the questions we are often asked regarding applications for the NYO. Take a moment to see if your query is answered here. If not, you are welcome to email us with any further queries at .

When can I apply for NYO 2014?

Applications are open now! Read about the audition process, and click here when you’re ready to apply. The deadline is 22 July.

How old do you have to be to apply to the NYO?

If you are auditioning for the first time, you must be 18 or under on 1 September in the year you apply. Current and former NYO members aged 18 or over are entitled to re-audition so long as they are under 20 when the NYO year culminates. For NYO 2014, that means new applicants must be 18 or under on 1 September 2013, and current or former players re-applying must be 19 or under on 10 August 2014.

Do I have to have passed Grade 8 before I apply?

No. You need to be of a standard equivalent to that required to pass Grade 8 with distinction (ABRSM/Trinity Guildhall/London College of Music) but you do not have to have taken any exams. If you’ve not taken the exam, instead you must supply written confirmation from your teacher stating that you are of the required standard. There is an option on the application form to indicate this, where you can also upload a scanned copy of a letter from your teacher, or they can email us.

Can I apply on more than one instrument?

Yes. You should make a separate application for each instrument on which you wish to apply.

How much does it cost to audition?

There are no fees for auditioning for NYO. We are also able to help with travel costs to and from the audition venue. A travel cost reimbursement form can be downloaded by this year’s applicants from the dashboard area of our application site.

I’m nervous about the auditions. How many auditions do I have to take and who will listen to my playing?

It’s entirely natural to be nervous about auditions, but we always aim to ensure that our auditions feel informal and very friendly. For most instruments, there are two rounds of auditions. In the preliminary round you will play to an NYO tutor from your instrument family. Your audition will also include a short discussion so you can tell us more about yourself and your interests and ask us any questions, plus a short workshop with other candidates, led by an NYO tutor. In the final round, you will play to at least one NYO tutor of your instrument plus at least one other senior member of the NYO team. The final round will also include a sectional workshop with other candidates which will explore ensemble playing and enable you to draw insight from our experts. For full details on the audition process please go here.

Can I play unaccompanied pieces at my audition?

All instrumental candidates (except harp and percussion) are asked to perform accompanied works and must use the professional accompanist provided by us at auditions. All instrumental candidates must also prepare orchestral excerpts. For full details on the audition requirements go here.

Can I change my audition date if it is inconvenient?

You will be allocated a preliminary audition at your first choice of location, assuming there are sufficient spaces. If this is not possible for you, we will do our best to offer you a preliminary audition at your second choice of location. In the online application form, candidates are able to specify any dates in September which may be difficult for them to attend a preliminary audition.

I am worried that we may not be able to afford NYO course fees. Can you help?

Yes! As soon as you become a member you may apply for financial assistance for course fees which for NYO 2014 are £1695. Every year, a number of people take up places for free or at a reduced rate depending on their financial circumstances. NYO is also able to help with travel costs to and from attendance at courses and offers suggestions for obtaining funds from other organisations. We believe that no member/potential member should be denied access to NYO membership or audition for financial reasons so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

What are the residency dates?

The dates for the 2014 residencies are TBC.

I will be taking GCSEs/A Levels this year. Will there be time and space to do my revision?

There will be quiet times scheduled into all residencies to allow for any members of the orchestra to study, revise and practise.

Will there be opportunities on the residencies to play music other than the concert repertoire?

Yes. One thing that makes NYO such a brilliant team is all the chamber music that goes on amid our big rehearsals. This is your opportunity to bring chamber music you love and have always wanted to play as there are loads of other young musicians at NYO like you who are eager to play more. Sections often give informal concerts during the course too. Have a look at our blog to see videos of several sections having fun performing chamber works on our spring and summer residencies. You will also have the chance to work with NYO’s teenage composers who are resident throughout the course, helping them learn more about writing for your instrument and bringing their ideas instantly to life. Also be prepared to sing and dance: these are great NYO traditions which help us make new connections with our symphonic repertoire, explore our musicianship from a different perspective, shed inhibitions, have fun and become an even stronger team!

What happens when I am not playing my instrument?

NYO is a great place to meet some of the best friends you will have for life, and there are plenty of breaks when you will have the opportunity to make friends with other members of the orchestra. You may occasionally find yourselves doing some surprising things. Our dance workshops traditionally lead to a dance party and other regular evening activities include films, football and lots of games, many arranged by the orchestra themselves so suggestions are always welcome!

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