I have attended NSSO before. Do I need to re-audition?
No. You will not be asked to re-audition unless we are inundated with players of your instrument. If this is the case you will be informed and have to re-audition in March.
I’m worried that I won’t know anyone else on the course.
There is no need to worry. Lots of players don’t know anyone else the first time that they come. NSSO courses are great fun and a good way to meet other musicians who have the same interests as you. It is also a chance to make lasting friendships.
I am worried that I cannot afford the fees, is there any financial help available?
We only accept the best musicians into the NSSO. Other than musical talent there should be no other barrier for children to join, including financial constraints. We have a limited number of means tested bursaries available and parents should contact the NSSO Administrator for further details.
Who will look after me during the course?
We have a team of very friendly caring staff. These consist of the Artistic Director, Assistant Directors of Music, professional instrumental coaching staff, a large pastoral staff and, of course, the conductor. All staff have CRB clearance.
Will I be able to practise the music before the course?
We do not recommend that you practise the music in advance as it is part of the NSSO experience to learn the repertoire together with your colleagues. However if you really do want the music in advance please contact the NSSO Administrator.
I’m not sure if I am of the right standard.
Whilst we would normally expect musicians on the NSSO and NSJO course to be working towards Grade VII or above, and musicians on the Young NSSO course to be between Grades III and VII in standard, we do not consider Grades and certificates to be the best indicator of talent or enthusiasm. If you would like to be a member of NSSO, NSJO or Young NSSO please do audition. Our auditionners are expert musicians who will quickly assess whether you are of a standard which will enable you to enjoy and benefit from the experience.
How can I stay involved and in touch after I leave the orchestra?
Over 400 young musicians have played with the National Schools Symphony Orchestra over the course of its life and we do our best to keep in touch with all of them. Any person who has been involved with NSSO is welcome to join the NSSO Alumni group on Facebook which is updated with news and details of forthcoming events and reunions. Please note that NSSO is not responsible for the content of external websites.
What instruments are you looking to have in the Jazz Orchestra?
We are looking for a full range of saxes, trumpets and trombones, as well as doubles up rhythm sections with two pianists, guitarists, bassists and drummers.