Welcome to the
National Schools Symphony Orchestra

2021 Applications are open

We look forward to welcoming you to Malvern in 2021, and an exciting return to live music-making.  Our thanks and congratulations to all who took part in our hugely successful Digital Celebration in 2020, which was great fun, but no substitute for the amazing experience of being together with other like-minded young people and making music live in the superb facilities of Malvern College.

NSSO Academy and NSSO Sinfonia – Thursday 8th July to Sunday 11th July 2021
NSSO Big Band – Sunday 11th July – Sunday 18th July 2021
NSSO Conducting Course – Sunday 11th July – Sunday 18th July 2021
NSSO Philharmonic – Thursday 15 July to Sunday 18 July 2021

NSSO 2021 will look a little different to previous years – shorter courses, fewer people on site – but, along with our Covid procedures, we are confident we can ensure the safety of our members, staff and their families. Joyfully optimistic that we will all meet again in the summer, we are very much looking forward to welcoming new and returning musicians.


In late March 2020, when lockdown overtook the country, many arts and educational organisations, in the UK and beyond, postponed or cancelled most, or indeed all, of their events and activities. At NSSO we resolutely embraced change rather than postponement or cancellation and launched Project Sunrise with our partners GoodMusic Publishing and PartPlay. Midway through the audition cycle and ensembles not yet complete, our members still submitted almost 200 media files to create a virtual performance of the opening of Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss.

Watch NSSO’s Digital Celebration

As lockdown continued it was clear that the 2020 course could no longer be the annual meeting of more than 200 young musicians for a week at Malvern College. So, following the huge success of Project Sunrise, we launched a three-month long Digital Celebration of our combined musical talent.

We provided members with the opportunity and materials to take part in more virtual performances (supported by our tutors), chamber music, multi-piano ensembles and singing projects, as well as a prize competition each month.  There was also support and encouragement from Nicola Benedetti, Vasily Petrenko and Sir Mark Elder.

The resulting five short films can now be viewed over on the Digital Celebration page.  They offer an insight into the warm, inclusive spirit of NSSO, and all that we value about our engagement with young people – ensuring that everybody can contribute effectively and happily to successful music-making at their own level of ability and experience.


Shortlisted for Best Classical Music Education Initiative 2020

NSSO M&Drama Award Nomination logo
This Music and Drama Education Excellence award, sponsored by Classic FM, honours an educational project which has used classical music in an innovative way, shown musical excellence and has had a positive impact on a significant number of participants.


Latest Tweets

RT @PurcellSchool: Only an hour to go! #LiveAtLunchtime https://t.co/7krKEvj41t

3 days ago

RT @youthESO: Tune in at 7pm tonight to hear the ESO Youth Orchestra play Brahms' Academic Festival Overture: https://t.co/KlJxaAIaHI Hope…

5 days ago

RT @youthESO: The duckling could be any child feeling that they're 'different'. In an era where social media/pop culture create pressure t…

6 days ago

RT @bexlwood: Big shoutout to @ABRSM and @JaquesSamuel for enabling live music exams to go ahead today. My two children came out buzzing fr…

1 week ago

RT @AdventMusical: Super excited to announce that our Musical Advent Calendar website is now live! You can preview the stunning performance…

1 week ago

RT @bexlwood: Please think about supporting us and treating yourself and your loved ones to some seriously life enhancing music this Decemb…

1 week ago

RT @benedetti_fdtn: Supporting Your Young Musician is a one-off session for all of you out there supporting your young musicians with their…

3 weeks ago

RT @CCC_LoveMusic: Excited about The Haunted Concert Hall concert this Saturday? 👻 Here's a little taste of what's coming up! https://t.co/…

4 weeks ago

RT @NucleoProject: @NSSO_UK Awww thanks @NSSO_UK ! We think you guys are amazing too!

1 month ago

Fantastic news for such an important and impactful organisation!! #NucleoNation https://t.co/UHw3dS1fDZ

1 month ago

RT @PurcellSchool: Our students have been working hard this half-term in their large #ChamberEnsemble groups culminating in a concert where…

1 month ago

#ThrowbackThursday to our 25th Anniversary Concert at the @THSHBirmingham. Listen again and enjoy NSSO Philharmoni… https://t.co/9Oj3RNxbud

1 month ago

RT @NickyBenedetti: 400 freelancers gathered today in parliament square, to state their case. (Safely). Their discipline & the sound create…

1 month ago

RT @fshah30: Thank you so much for your support @NSSO_UK - Hope you were blown away. WATCH on ITV Player or YouTube https://t.co/yajR4sdxo…

2 months ago

Wishing @Chineke4Change Junior Orchestra all the very best for tonight’s @BGT performance!! ✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨ https://t.co/f6VutgNE4A

2 months ago

RT @PurcellSchool: Don’t miss @BGT this evening at 8pm on ITV, when the Chineke! Junior Orchestra will take part in the semi-finals! Good l…

2 months ago

RT @EnglishSymphony: We're getting VERY excited for tomorrow's launch of our Music from @WyastoneStudio series, as @SingforJoy3 returns to…

2 months ago

If you haven't seen this already, it's fantastic and certainly worth a watch! 55 young musicians from across the… https://t.co/kHIDZbvhTH

2 months ago

RT @BRB_RBSinfonia: Happy to be back at work! This is our New Normal... What's yours? https://t.co/6o3Us646aI

2 months ago

RT @NucleoProject: ATTENTION MUSIC TEACHERS! We’re looking for some inspired/inspiring instrumental teachers to join our team - currently r…

2 months ago

RT @RoedeanArts: Congratulations to Galina in Year 9, who has been playing virtually with the National Schools' Symphony Orchestra over the…

2 months ago

RT @PurcellSchool: The music goes on... 🌞🎼 #YoungMusicians #Music #MusicEducation #PurcellSchool #MusicSchool (📸: Principal Paul Bambrou…

2 months ago

RT @ISM_music: Currently, we are receiving enquiries about the new #SocialDistancing rules. Please be assured that we will be providing upd…

2 months ago

Good luck and enjoy your first term @wellscathschool, Diego! 🎉 https://t.co/BR1hfJFHJL

2 months ago

RT @TheCBSO: Watch our Centenary concert at home from 7pm TONIGHT! Help us celebrate our 100th birthday by tuning in to our digital concer…

2 months ago

RT @Chineke4Change: We made the @BGT Semi-Finals line up!! 🤩🎉🥳🤩 So proud of the Chineke! Juniors, you have worked incredibly hard to get s…

2 months ago

✨The FINAL NSSO Digital Celebration Performance! ✨ We are immensely proud of the dedication & contribution our pla… https://t.co/s2y8U7Zzu5

3 months ago

RT @dave_oxley_horn: Check out the concert series by @NSSO_UK Please like & comment to encourage future generations of musicians! NSSO Digi…

3 months ago

🎉 NSSO's DIGITAL CELEBRATION DAY FOUR! 🎉 Our penultimate performance goes live in an hour. Simply head over to… https://t.co/Xa57EGGdZn

3 months ago

RT @ISM_music: We've compiled a list of government advice and research articles from other organisations on instrument hygiene and preventi…

3 months ago

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If you have an enquiry about any aspect of NSSO please feel free to get in touch:

NSSO, Malvern College, College Road, Malvern, WR14 3DF

T: 01684 581640 // 01684 581616

E: [email protected]

Latest News

Watch the Digital Celebration August 20, 2020

Monday 24th August – Friday 28th August NSSO’s three month Digital Celebration will reach its conclusion next week with daily virtual performances on the NSSO YouTube channel, starting at midday on Monday 24 August. Each performance will be part of a short programme featuring guest appearances from a range of eminent musicians, along with a selection of Non-Concert […]


Thanks, and congratulations to the members of NSSO who submitted almost 200 audio and video files to Project Sunrise. Their virtual performance of the opening of Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss. Thanks, also to our partners who helped realise the project: Steve Bingham at PartPlay who created the final mix and GoodMusic Publishing who […]

Project Sunrise shines a little light April 8, 2020

For more than 25 years, the National Schools Symphony Orchestra has provided an intensive high-quality orchestral experience for young players aged 9-19. This year, in the face of extraordinary circumstances, we are expanding our activities online to offer all our members the chance to take part in a new experience. With help from our partners PartPlay and Goodmusic, […]