As NSSO reaches its 28th year, we are delighted to once again return to the spectacular Malvern College as we re-launch after a two-year break due to COVID-19.

Dates for NSSO 2023 coming soon!

We welcome music loving children on all orchestral instruments from grades 3 – diploma level for a week of orchestral music making. Tutored by our professional musicians, the week will also include workshops with surprise guests, fun games and social activities hosted throughout the College’s spectacular facilities and grounds.

Our 2022 Courses

This year’s course will be divided into two orchestras which are broadly distinguished by ability and age with some overlap where appropriate. We offer successful applicants a place in the orchestra where we feel they will be best equipped to take part effectively, successfully and happily.
Standards are indicated for general guidance only – you do not need to have taken a particular examination.
For Summer 2022 only, we will be combining NSSO Sinfonia and Philharmonic to form one spectacular orchestra!

The NSSO 2022 concert videos will be released soon!


Who are we?

As NSSO reaches its 28th year we are proud to be hosted at the spectacular Malvern College as we re-launch after a two-year break due to Covid. Having been based in Malvern since 2016, we have enjoyed inspirational music courses with a world class music faculty in a glorious setting on the slopes of the Malvern Hills.

We welcome music loving children on all orchestral instruments from grade 3 to diploma level for a week of orchestral music making tutored by our professional musicians, workshops with visiting surprise guests, fun and games on the College’s magnificent sports fields and facilities and a full programme of social activities throughout the week.

Our pastoral team work hard to make the children feel relaxed and cared-for whilst giving them an inspirational week they’ll never forget.


When are the courses?

This summer two of our orchestras will be hosted simultaneously from 10th-17th July 2022.  Students will arrive at lunchtime on Sunday 10th with an afternoon of fun and games (parents are welcome to stay for a slice of cake and to settle their children in).

The course ends with a final concert and afternoon tea on the Sunday for the parents to enjoy before they take their children home.


How many orchestra courses are running this year?

Our Academy is for musicians from grade 3-5 and the Philharmonic for players from grade 6 upwards. These grades are approximate and a guideline only. Don’t worry if you don’t take exams – we will accept people based on the letter from your teacher and your audition recording.

The two courses will run alongside each other, with children from both courses joining each other for sports and evening activities every day.


Who are the faculty?

Our wonderful faculty is headed by our Artistic Director, Nicole Wilson who is a professor at the Royal Academy of Music and was a member of the London Symphony Orchestra and a principal violinist with English National Opera. Nicole is proud to bring world class orchestral tutors and conductors from the UK professional music world to tutor individual sections and full orchestral rehearsals. This year the combined Philharmonic & Sinfonia will be conducted by Eton College’s Head of Strings, Leandro Silvera and the Academy will be led by Andrew McDade, Tuba professor at Cardiff University and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.


Where are we?

Malvern College has been the permanent home for NSSO since 2016 and is one of England’s great independent schools, located in a glorious nestled on the slopes of the Malvern Hills. The magnificent campus has a rich and distinguished history from buildings dating from the 1860s to state of the art new buildings such as the fully equipped new theatre to the first-class sports complex, which boasts a 25 meter swimming pool and modern gym facilities. Spread over a spacious 250 acres, accommodation in traditional boarding houses, delicious onsite catering and with excellent rehearsal and performance spaces the children will experience a unique, inspiring week to remember.


How do I apply?

We want to make the application process as easy as possible for everyone. All we require from you is 3 things:

  • An audition video, the details of which are available here
  • A short letter from your current instrumental teacher indicating your approximate standard
  • A deposit of £150. If your application is unsuccessful then you will be refunded this money in full. If you cannot afford to pay this full deposit, please contact us at


When will I hear if I have won a place on the course?

We aim to contact you with the results of your application within two weeks of applying for the course.

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.


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Two weeks have passed since we closed the doors to Malvern College for another wonderful year of NSSO... SO many g…

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Everyone had such a #party at National School Symphony Orchestra! We’re looking forward to next year already. Here…

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A massive HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Steve Bingham @stevebinghamvi2 who shall no doubt continue his dancing looping musical…

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NSSO Drum Corps. NSSO tutor, Field Marshal ‘Oz’ Osborn keeps the other tutors in check! 🥁 🥁 🥁

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Dance of The Comedians! We just love the support, joy and happiness that the trombone section are showing, watchin…

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@stevebinghamvi2 helping our students out with an introduction to looping! 😍 #nsso #nationalschoolssymphonyorchestra

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It was so great to have @Stringfever with us! Brilliant musicians, unique repertoire and loads of fun! 🥳😍…

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Always the staff at the front of the Pizza queue 🍕 😂😂😂 The food’s almost as good as the music, here at NSSO…

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The most unlikely group of secret agents/superheroes but a stellar line up of tutors! All enjoying the sun, the hi…

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And the ability to sleep anywhere, anytime is also an essential part of a musician’s toolkit! 😂

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Our students are LOVING the visit from @Stringfever Inspiration is a big part or what #NSSOSummer22 is all about a…

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RT @NucleoProject: This lucky bunch are spending the week at @malverncollege with @NSSO_UK ! #NucleoNation #gopractice…

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RT @musicalorbiter: We’re so grateful to @DAddarioOrch @malverncollege @NSSO_UK for their support of talented #Ukrainian children giving th…

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Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns. A joy for the NSSO students to conduct this piece, guided by the encouraging…

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Nico & Leandro set up and ready for the Philharmonic... Session 1 is GO! And dinner and a treasure hunt awaits!…

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‘All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.’ – Gandalf the Grey We’ll be in the Malve…

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This is it! Tomorrow we welcome you all to NSSO Malvern College We’re all going to have the best of times! Thank…

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Just TWO more sleeps ‘til NSSO! Can’t wait...

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Quiz night, you say?... Keep those brain cells active for a little while longer. We’ll see you in Three days!…

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Hey all! A reminder (as if you needed it) for all parents and carers to return the Personal Information Forms (PI…

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With instrumental tutors such as Michael 'Oz' Osborn, we think we can pretty much guarantee you a wonderful fun-fil…

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Bassonists! We need you for NSSO this summer. (With or without your medieval aroma....) To find out more or apply,…

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Here at NSSO HQ we are getting super excited about next month's course. Before the fun can commence we need to rem…

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Nicole Wilson, Artistic Director of @hello_nsso has a simple message for you all! “We need more basses!” NSSO is g…

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We’d love some more woodwind players to join us at NSSO this summer Malvern College. Especially players Grades 3-…

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RT @StrettonFest: This is a fabulous course in lovely surroundings - and the bursaries really are generous! All instrumentalists welcome.

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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 581695


Latest News

Welcome from NSSO’s new Artistic Director Nicole Wilson March 20, 2022

When Malvern College approached me to take over from the wonderful John Madden as artistic director for NSSO, I was thrilled to bits! Music courses were the highlight of my childhood. I lived from course to course with an actual count down on my wall to see how many sleeps until the next time I […]

A warm welcome from Leandro Silvera for NSSO Sinfonia members 2021 June 11, 2021

Dear NSSO Sinfonia 2021. I’m absolutely delighted that we will finally be able to meet in person this summer at Malvern College. It will be an amazing course! We have all missed playing together in orchestras (one thing that Zoom can never offer us!) so it will be a pleasure to see you all again […]

A warm welcome from Richard Dickins for NSSO Philharmonic members 2021 June 11, 2021

Hello NSSO Philharmonic members 2021. I’m thrilled that this year we can, after all, meet in person to make music at Malvern College. It will be a pleasure to see again those of you who have been on the course in previous years, and it will also be a great pleasure meeting the many new […]