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National Open Youth Orchestra in Cardiff

The National Open Youth Orchestra (NOYO) is the world’s first disabled-led national youth ensemble, promoting musical excellence and giving some of the UK’s most talented young disabled and non-disabled musicians a progression route.

About the orchestra

The National Open Youth Orchestra (NOYO) is a world-pioneering inclusive orchestra where brilliant 11-25 year-old disabled and non-disabled musicians rehearse and perform together.

They premiere original music written for them by cutting-edge composers and new arrangements of well-known pieces, reworked for the National Open Orchestra’s diverse group of musicians and instruments. Its sound innovatively blends acoustic, electronic and accessible instruments - some of which are not traditionally found in orchestras, such as the electric guitar or the accordion, and others unfamiliar, such as the LinnStrument, the Seaboard RISE or the ClarionTM, which some musicians play with eye or head movement.

Since its launch in 2018, the National Open Youth Orchestra and its partners have successfully established a programme for young disabled musicians to develop their skills at an advanced level, offering accessible ensemble practice and performance opportunities in five regions. Alongside young musicians, the orchestra has pushed the boundaries of contemporary classical music, inspiring composers with a new range of instrument sounds and showing it could help widen audiences for contemporary classical music through relaxed performances.

The National Open Youth Orchestra is a dynamic orchestra that evolves each year, with twenty-five musicians coming together this year to present a broad programme of contemporary classic music. All National Open Youth Orchestra musicians have come through the ranks of five regional NOYO Ensembles, which are delivered through major partnerships in London, Bournemouth, Bristol, Birmingham and Cardiff.

Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and BBC National Orchestra of Wales are very proud to be partners of the Cardiff NOYO Ensemble.

Come to our 2024 Open Rehearsal at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. These will take place on:

  • 10 February 1 - 4pm
  • 2 March 1 – 4pm

Applications to audition to start with NOYO Ensembles from September 2024 will open 23 February – 24 March 2024.

For further details about the open rehearsals and how to apply for an audition, visit the NOYO website.

Meet the Cardiff musicians Josh, Abraham, Ella, Bethan.

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