NSSO Main Orchestra

For secondary school aged children of 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.

• For players of grade 8 and above, admission is by audition
• Perform the Verdi Requiem in Symphony Hall, Birmingham with the NSSO Chorus
• Daily individual instrumental coaching as well as sectional and full rehearsals
• Optional Jazz, Chamber Music or Singing available each evening
• Repertoire Night exploring classics from the orchestral canon
• Extensive range of social and sporting activities, includes swimming and a Malvern Hills walk
• Full board and accommodation, all music and transport between venues is provided
• Resident and non-resident places available

 

Audition:
  • Informal audition lasting 20 minutes (approx.)
  • TWO contrasted pieces to be chosen and played by instrumentalist (maximum total duration of 8 minutes)
  • Sight reading test
  • Viva voce about musical experience and aspiration

Please note, NSSO can provide an accompanist or you can use your own; unaccompanied solo pieces are acceptable, but where there is an accompaniment it must be used.

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 Conducting 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

Steve Bingham joins the NSSO team September 27, 2018

We’re delighted to announce Steve Bingham is joining us as Conductor and Head of Strings for Young NSSO. Steve has worked with a variety of youth orchestras and is currently principal conductor for Ely Sinfonia, Ad Hoc Sinfonia and the City of Peterborough Symphony Orchestra. Welcome, Steve!

Daniel Lauro September 6, 2018

We’re delighted to hear Daniel Lauro (alumnus) has recently been accepted into the London Philharmonic Orchestra Junior Artist Scheme.  Daniel assisted us this year, organising the percussion team and played in both Wells and Malvern concerts. Congratulations Daniel, we wish you a bright and successful musical future.

NSSO Rehearsal July 11, 2018

A short snippet from yesterday’s rehearsal in St Edmunds Hall with Richard Dickins…enjoy! Watch more of all three of orchestras over on the National Schools Symphony Orchestra YouTube channel.