The National Schools Symphony Orchestra (NSSO) is operated by Malvern College, registered charity no 527578. The annual course is run at Malvern College, College Road, Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 3DF.


All applications must be submitted by 29th March 2018.
Applications must be made on the official form and returned either by email or by post together with the deposit and audition fee.
Applications are to join the organisation (not a specific orchestra) and places are offered in the appropriate orchestra as a result of auditions.
NSSO and Malvern College reserve the right not to accept an individual onto the course, in which case any deposit paid will be refunded.


The course fee is £775 (orchestra) or £875 (conductors’ course) and this is inclusive of all tuition, full board, accommodation, local transport and the use of social and sporting facilities at the College, as available at the time of the course.
An Early Bird discount of £50 is available for those who apply and pay the deposit by 31st October 2017.
A number of non-residential places are available at a fee of £575. No early bird discount is available of this fee.
Payments are best made by bank transfer but cheques will be accepted.
A deposit of £150 is payable on application. This is non-refundable except where NSSO is not able to offer a place to an applicant, for whatever reason, or if the course is cancelled.
An audition fee of £30 is also payable on application. This is non-refundable.
The balance of the fee (less any bursary award) is due by 31 May 2018. If the balance remains unpaid after that date the deposit will be forfeited and the places offered to another player, unless agreement has been made to stage or defer payments.
No refunds will be available for any reason for cancellations received after 10 June 2018, including illness. You may like to take out personal insurance to cover this possibility.
Cancellations received before 10 June 2018 will be refunded less the initial deposit.
NSSO and Malvern College reserve the right to cancel the course in the event of unforeseen circumstances, in which case all money will be refunded.


A small number of means-tested bursaries are available covering up to a maximum of 50% of the course fee, on a sliding scale.
Further details of the bursary scheme are available on request.
Bursary applications must be completed by 28th March 2018.
Bursaries are awarded at the discretion of Malvern College.
Late applications will be considered if there are funds still available for awards.


NSSO and Malvern College reserve the right to vary the audition requirements, venue and the panel conducting the auditions if circumstances require. The scholarships are awarded at the discretion of the Artistic Director and the right is reserved not to make an award in the absence of a suitable candidate, or to divide the award in the event of co-leaders being appointed.


Whilst the programme details are published in good faith, NSSO reserves the right to make any necessary changes to repertoire and artists if circumstances require. Such changes shall not be deemed as sufficient reason for any player to withdraw from the course. Refunds of fees are only made if the course does not run.


The insurance of personal possessions, including musical instruments, is a parental responsibility. NSSO, Malvern College and members of staff cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage and parents are advised to ensure that their insurance cover is adequate.
All personal items should be clearly marked with the owner’s name.
Personal accident insurance is recommended as sporting activities, however well supervised, inevitably carry a small risk of accidental injury.
Use of the swimming pool is only available to competent swimmers, with parental consent.


Transport to Malvern in time for the start of the course is a parental responsibility, as is the collection of participants at the end of the concert on Sunday 15 July 2018.
Local travel in Malvern College minibuses driven by fully insured, authorised members of staff, is included in the course fee.
Seatbelts, where fitted in any vehicle, must be worn as a condition of travel.


There are first-aid trained staff on site and available at all times during the course. We have an arrangement with the local GP surgery where children can be seen if needed (a charge may apply) and there is also a community hospital in Malvern for minor injuries.
It is essential that NSSO is fully informed in advance of the course, on the Personal Details Form provided, of any medical requirements, medication etc and of any other issues in general which might affect the well-being of the child. Failure to do so, and which in the opinion of the pastoral staff is prejudicial to the welfare of the child or of other course members, may result in the child being asked to leave the course. In such cases no refund of fees will be made.
NSSO pastoral staff are able to look after and dispense medication if required and parents will also be asked in advance of the course for permission to dispense common household medication e.g. painkillers.


There will be a small number of house rules which must be observed. These are all matters of common sense in order to ensure the smooth running of the course and the well-being of all participants.
It is important that all players enjoy the course and are able to give of their best.
Possession or use of any form of alcohol, tobacco or illegal substances is not permitted and infringement will inevitably lead to exclusion from the course, without any refund of fees.
NSSO and Malvern College reserve the right to exclude any person whose behaviour is unacceptable or disruptive or who is unable to comply with instructions given by staff. In such circumstances no refund will be available and any associated costs, such as transport home, will be a parental responsibility.
Deliberate or reckless damage of college property will be charged to parents.


Contact telephone numbers for pastoral staff will be issued in the week before the course.
Mobile phones are permitted on the NSSO and Sinfonia courses but they must be switched off during rehearsals and between 11:00pm and 7:00am. Misuse will result in confiscation.
Mobile phones are permitted on the Young NSSO course but are collected and held safely by resident staff and issued at fixed times during the day. Full details are advised to parents in the week before the course.


Accommodation for NSSO and NSSO Sinfonia is in single sex boarding houses, generally in 2/3 bedded rooms. Wherever possible we try to meet requests for room sharing.
Accommodation for Young NSSO is in small, single sex, multi-bedded dormitories. Wherever possible we try to meet requests for room sharing
Pastoral staff live in the same house during the course and all have DBS clearance.
Music staff are resident in separate accommodation.
There will be a fire drill on the first day and at another unannounced time.
All meals are taken together and food is provided by the Malvern College catering team, who are well used to catering for special dietary requirements.


Photographs are taken and video/audio recordings made during the course.
These are used only for archive and publicity purposes. Individual players are never identified. However, we recognise that, for a variety of reasons, it may not be appropriate for some children to feature in such photos or recordings and there is an opportunity to opt out. Please contact us if you have any concerns.

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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

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NSSO Rehearsal July 11, 2018

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

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The FUTURE TALENT fund is open for 2018/19 applications for its Young Musicians Development Programme. The deadline for completed applications is at 12pm on Monday 11 June 2018! Future Talent’s Young Musicians Development Programme offers financial support and development opportunities to young musicians; instrumentalists and singers from ANY genre of music, based anywhere in the […]

Congratulations Will! June 6, 2018

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