NSSO Philharmonic

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
• 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

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 […]

PROJECT SUNRISE AND THE FUTURE May 3, 2020

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, […]