Helpful information / Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL & FINANCIAL

  1. What happens once I have submitted my online application form and paid my deposit?
  • You should receive an email confirming safe receipt for both, please do check your spam email just in case it has fallen in there.
  1. I’m having trouble accessing my online account, what should I do?
  • Please email hello@nsso.org explaining the issue you are encountering, along with details of the web browser and type of device you are using. It may also help to include screenshots.
  1. I have missed the closing date for applications – can I still apply?
  • Please contact us in the first instance. We may have spaces for certain instruments in each orchestra and therefore you may still be able to apply.
  1. If I decide to cancel my place will I get any money back?
  • If you cancel in writing prior to the 21st June then any course fee paid will be refunded LESS the initial deposit payment of £150. If you cancel after the 21st June then no refund under any circumstance is given and we advise you take out insurance to cover this eventuality.
  1. When is the final payment due?
  • All payments are due in full by 31st May,
  • For applications received after 31st May 2019, full course payment is due on application.
  1. How do I make payments to NSSO?
  • All payments must be paid via your online account and we will notify you when your payment is due.
  1. When should I apply for a bursary?
  • Our bursary application form is available online and you can either complete this and submit with your application or wait until nearer the deadline. If you indicate that you will need to apply for a bursary when you apply, we can remind you to  complete and return this to us before the deadline – please refer to: https://www.nsso.org/take-part/bursaries/
  • Our bursary application deadline is the 29th March 2019.

INSTRUMENTALISTS

  1. When will I hear about my audition date?
  • If you are coming to Malvern College for your audition then you will be contacted in December to confirm a time on the date allocated. If you have requested an audition at your child’s school then our Artistic Director will be in contact in January to make the necessary arrangements.  Most auditions at applicants’ schools take place in February.
  1. What do I need to prepare for my audition?
  • TWO contrasting pieces, of your own choice, lasting a maximum of 8 minutes. You may bring your own accompanist or use ours. Unaccompanied pieces are acceptable, but pieces which have an accompaniment must be played with accompaniment, as the composer intended.
  • There will also be sight reading, at an appropriate level, and a short viva voce about musical interests and experiences.
  • The audition will last about 20 minutes.
  1. When will I find out if I have been successful?
  • We aim to let everybody know by the 1st At that point you will be offered a place in the orchestra where we think you will contribute most effectively and happily to the success of the course and the final performances.
  1. Is my deposit refundable if I don’t pass the audition?
  • Yes your deposit is refundable, however any audition fee paid is not refundable.
  1. If I pass my audition but decide not to attend do I get my deposit money back?
  • No, if we have offered you a place but you decide not to take this up then your deposit is not refundable.
  1. I was a member of NSSO in the past but did not attend the last course, does that mean I will need to re-audition.
  • Yes, we require you to re-audition

SINGERS

  1. Do I need to audition to join the NSSO Chorus?
  • No, we accept applications on the basis of recommendations from music teachers.
  1. Do I need to be having singing lessons to apply?
  • No, we are looking for young singers who enjoy choral singing.
  • Our experienced team of tutors will provide all coaching needed to meet the challenges of the repertoire.
  1. Is there a minimum age or standard to join the chorus?
  • Applications are welcomed from secondary school aged children, age 11-19
  • There is no minimum standard, but an enthusiasm for choral singing is vital.
  1. How does my music teacher submit a recommendation for me to attend the course?
  • Our Artistic Director will contact music teachers (Heads/Directors of Music and singing teachers, if you have one) directly, upon receipt of the application. Please ensure all their contact details are correct when applying, in particular their email address.

CONDUCTING COURSE

  1. Are there any special requirements to apply for a place on the course?
  • No, not with regard to conducting as such. You need an interest and enthusiasm to explore the role of the conductor and to acquire or develop conducting technique.
  • Previous conducting experience is useful but not essential.
  • You will be asked to audition in the same way that instrumentalists do, and the viva voce will be about conducting experiences and aspiration.
  1. Do I have to play an orchestral instrument?
  • No, we welcome applications from keyboard players and singers too.
  1. Do singers have to audition for this course?
  • Yes, as this gives us an understanding of your musical and technical skills so that the course is shaped in the most appropriate way for you.
  1. Will I get to conduct the NSSO ensembles?
  • Yes, but not in public, though you will play or sing in the final concert performances.
  • The course is delivered through opportunities to conduct piano and chamber ensembles along with one of the orchestras (as their schedule allows) and the NSSO Chorus.

 

LEADER OF THE ORCHESTRA

  1. Are there any special requirements to apply for the leader’s position?
  • Applicants don’t need to be a member of the orchestra already.
  • Please indicate on your online application that you wish to apply for the leader’s position.
  • Auditions are held on a fixed date in February, either in London or Malvern.
  1. I am currently a member of NSSO and wish to apply to be Leader of the Orchestra. Do I need to pay the audition fee?
  • Yes, the standard £40 fee applies to the Leader of the Orchestra audition.
  • You do not need to re-audition merely to continue your membership of NSSO (but you will if you did not attend last year’s course)
  1. What do I need to prepare for the audition?
  • TWO contrasting pieces, of your own choice, lasting a maximum of 8 minutes. You may bring your own accompanist or use ours. Unaccompanied pieces are acceptable, but pieces which have an accompaniment must be played with accompaniment, as the composer intended.
  • SELECTED EXTRACTS (from the music to be played on the course) will be provided as a PDF, four weeks before the audition.
  • An accompanied QUICK STUDY piece for which 20 minutes’ preparation will be allowed.
  • A viva voce about musical experiences and the role of the leader in an orchestra.
  • The audition (including preparation time) will last about 50 minutes.
  1. When will I find out if I have been successful?
  • We aim to let everybody know within a week of the audition.
  • Unsuccessful applicants will be offered a place in one of the NSSO orchestras.
  1. Is my deposit refundable if I do not pass the audition?
  • Yes, the deposit is refunded less the audition fee of £40.
  1. If I pass my audition but decide not to attend, do I get my deposit back?
  • No, if we have offered you a place but you decide not to take this up, your deposit is not refundable.

NSSO Course Fees 2019 Explained

Main Orchestra / Sinfonia / YNSSO   Residential……………….. £825.00

Main Orchestra / Sinfonia / YNSSO   Non-Residential…..…… £625.00

Chorus                                                    Residential.………….……. £595.00

Chorus                                                    Non-Residential…………. £425.00

Conducting Course                               Residential Only … ……..£925.00

Audition Fee (instrumentalists/Leader)                                         £40.00

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT

£100.00 off the above Orchestra fees   £75.00 off the above Chorus fees

Only available on applications and deposits received by 31st December 2018.

FREE AUDITION

No fee is payable for an audition at Malvern College on Sunday 27th January 2019.

All applications must be submitted online along with the deposit payment of £150.00.

Final balance for the course is due by 31st May 2019.

Applications received after 31st May 2019 – full course payment is due.

Audition fee – for new members requiring an audition we offer a ‘Free’ audition date at Malvern College.  If you are unable to attend on this date and require an audition elsewhere then there will be a fee of £40.00 which will be added to your final invoice total.

All payments must be paid online via your account online and we will notify you when payment is due.

Sign up to our Newsletter

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

Concert tickets on sale! May 9, 2019

Tickets for our 25th Anniversary Concert at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham are now on sale! All three of our orchestras and the NSSO Chorus will perform at one of the world’s best concert halls on Sunday 21st July 2019. For timings and ticket sales please click here.

NSSO harpists invited to join the Claire Jones Concert Ensemble March 26, 2019

NSSO harpists, Bethan Cole and Katie Williams have been personally invited to join the Claire Jones Concert Ensemble. The internationally renowned and former Royal Harpist, Claire Jones along with her husband Chris started the Claire Jones Harp School in Cardigan, and more recently formed the Claire Jones Concert Ensemble. Bethan and Katie joined a group […]

NSSO Sinfonia will join with exciting singer-songwriter Emi McDade February 7, 2019

On 21st July 2019 at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, NSSO Sinfonia will join with the exciting young singer-songwriter Emi McDade to perform Never Forget, written by NSSO Patron Patrick Doyle, who wrote scores for Harry Potter, Thor and Disney’s Brave. The song provides the haunting closing moments of Kenneth Branaugh’s film of Murder on the Orient Express and was originally […]