NSSO 2023 April 1st-8th

Please see below for some of the most frequently asked questions. If you still have further questions after reading this page, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the team who will be happy to assist you.

General & Financial

How do I apply?

We want to make the application process as easy as possible for everyone.

If you have been a member of NSSO before then you do not need to re-audition. We do however ask that you secure your place with a deposit of £150 and send us a recent, short recording of you playing by December 1st so that we are able to place you in a suitable ensemble for your current standard.

If you are new to NSSO, all we require from you are 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 

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.

I’m having trouble accessing my online account, what should I do?

Please email 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.

What is the timeline for applications?  

  • Applications are open now and the deadline for applications is 1st December 2023. 
  • You will hear by December 15th if you have won a place on a NSSO course and will have two weeks to accept the place and pay your deposit. If you do not accept your place by December 31st then your place will be awarded to a student on the waiting list.

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.

When is the final payment due?

All payments are due in full by 1st March 2023.

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.

What if I can’t afford the full course fee?

  • If you require financial assistance you must fill out a bursary application by January 1st. 
  • We can only accept bursary applications from families with a joint income of less than £40,000. Please do not apply if you earn more than this as we have limited funds available to help those in need.
  • Bursaries cover up to 50% of the fee on a sliding scale.
  • Bursary applicants will be informed by mid January whether their application has been successful and must accept or refuse their place by January 30th, after which date, the bursary may be offered to another student.
  • To apply for a bursary please contact

When will I hear about my audition date?

All auditions are to be videoed and submitted as per our auditions page

Do I need to re audition if I’ve already been on an NSSO course?

No but you will need to submit a short recording of yourself playing recently by December 1st so that the faculty can decide which ensemble will suit you best.

What do I need to prepare for my audition?

Two contrasting pieces lasting no longer than 8 minutes. Don’t worry if your recording is a little longer than this but the panel will only be able to listen to the first 8 mins.

When will I find out if I have been successful?

We aim to let everybody know by December 15th 2022. 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.

Is my deposit refundable if I don’t pass the audition?

Yes, your deposit is refundable if you don’t win a place on a NSSO course or if you are not placed in the ensemble you wish.

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.

What instruments can apply?

All orchestral instruments can apply for the orchestras except piano and harp this year.  We are only able to accept euphonium player applications for the Academy and Sinfonia, not for the Philharmonic.

How much are the course fees?

Philharmonic / Sinfonia / Academy  Residential Only…………………£895.00

Philharmonic / Sinfonia / Academy  Non-Residential Only…………………£645.00


Where are we?

Malvern College has been the permanent home for NSSO since 2016 and is one of England’s great independent schools, 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.


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 Philharmonic will be conducted by Eton College’s Head of Strings, Leandro Silvera, the Sinfonia will be led by Dave McCallum of the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Academy by Andrew McDade, Tuba professor at Cardiff University and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

When are the courses?

 NSSO 2023 will take place 1st-8th April 2023. All courses will run simultaneously with end of course concerts for family and friends on the afternoon of the 8th April.

Students will arrive at lunchtime on Saturday 1st with an afternoon of fun and games (parents are welcome to stay for a cup of tea and to settle their children in).

The course ends with final concerts for all ensembles on the Saturday 8th for the parents to enjoy before they take their children home.

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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


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