NSSO Main Orchestra

For secondary school aged children of ABRSM grade 8 standard and beyond.

The National Schools Symphony Orchestra (NSSO) has provided high
quality orchestral experience for talented young players for over twenty years.

Each year NSSO brings together approximately 100 committed young players, mostly between the ages of 13 and 19, though some very able younger players have taken part too.

We provide a week of high-quality orchestral music under the baton of leading professional conductors, with the assistance of a hand-picked team, each respected professional players in their own right.

Through a combination of challenging programmes, uplifting rehearsals and inspirational musicianship, NSSO endeavours to provide our young players with a real taste of the professional orchestral world. Many of our alumni have gone on to perform not only with NYO, but also with some of the world’s leading orchestras.

About the Orchestra

We provide the foundations necessary for building a future as an orchestral musician, whether professional or enthusiastic amateur. At the start of the course players work with specialist instrumental coaches, to help meet the technical challenges of the repertoire, before joining together in sectional rehearsals led by our Heads of Section. The ensuing full orchestral rehearsals are thus carefully prepared for and very positive experiences.

Concert programmes are ambitious. Amongst the repertoire in previous years were, inter alia, symphonies by Vaughan Williams, Saint-Saens, Rachmaninov and Mahler; tone poems by Richard Strauss and Dvorak; concertos by Elgar, Brahms, Britten and Tchaikovsky. There is a commitment to performing music of the last hundred years as well as great orchestral classics such as Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Holst The Planets, Stravinsky The Firebird and Respighi The Pines of Rome.

Other than preparing the music for the final concerts, the music staff also offer Jazz nights and Chamber Music sessions for those who wish to opt for them. In addition, the Repertoire Evenings allow the whole orchestra to explore significant works from the symphonic canon, as well as affording students on the Conductors’ Course the chance to work with the orchestra.

Music is at the heart of the NSSO experience, but there is also a vibrant social programme organised by a hugely experienced and committed pastoral team, many of whom are NSSO alumni. Students may find themselves playing rounders against their tutors one evening, enjoying the facilities of the sports centre or swimming pool the next, competing in a quiz or even just taking in the local town and its amenities.

The friendships and contacts made on NSSO courses often last into adult life and provide a supportive context within which we strive together to make music of the highest order.

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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

Latest News

Early Music Young Composer Award January 30, 2018

The National Centre for Early Music Young Composer Award in associated with BBC Radio 3, and the English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble (ECSE) could be yours! This major national award offers bright, young composers the chance to have their composition heard and performed by ECSE at Turner Sims, Southampton, as well as recorded for broadcast by BBC […]

NSSO at 2018 WOWFest October 18, 2017

We are thrilled that NSSO has been invited to give the opening concert of the 2018 WOWFest and will play in Wells Cathedral on Thursday 12 July at 7.30pm As part of the festival we will also host a concert at Malvern by the German string ensemble Violinissimo.

NSSO Taster Day October 14, 2017

Join us for our Taster Day on Monday 18 December at Malvern College – the ideal way to sample the NSSO experience. A whole day of music-making with NSSO tutors and Artistic Director, John Madden, the chance to enjoy the marvellous facilities of Malvern College, and to take part in a short concert at the end of the day. Details […]