Since its foundation over thirty years ago the SCYO has been offering high quality orchestral playing to young musicians from all over Somerset. A large number of the students who have played in this group have been inspired by their musical experiences to pursue the subject to a very high level. Countless numbers of our members have studied, or are studying music at university or music college. Many have become professional musicians working as performers or teachers. Some even work for the County Music Service, Somerset Music who support the orchestra!
The orchestra is a full sized symphony orchestra and recent performances have included Mahler Symphony No 5, Bartok Concerto For Orchestra and Shostakovich Symphony No 5, 8 & 10.
SCYO Tour 2017: Concert venue
SCYO Tour 2016: concert rehearsals
What we do
The orchestra meets at the end of each academic term for an intensive course (usually 4 days). The orchestra is conducted by Andrew Sherwood, Violin Professor from Trinity College London. Each section of the orchestra will have a specialist tutor who will guide the young performers through rehearsals. Each day of the course has a mix of full and sectional rehearsals culminating in a concert at the end of the course which is open to all members of the public.
The final course in the academic year is usually held overseas. We are truly international artists and these courses have included performances in Paris, Florence, Prague, Salzburg Dublin and most recently Holland. Somerset County Youth Orchestra was also the first Orchestra to perform in the European Parliament in Brussels.
The 2017 tour was to Germany and in 2016 the Orchestra visited Holland. In July 2018 we will be travelling to Arnhem, Holland.
How to join the Somerset County Youth Orchestra
Auditions are held annually*, usually at the beginning of October for musicians who are of grade 5+ (strings), and grade 6 (wind & brass) standard or above.
Application forms will be posted on this website at the start of the academic year and copies are also sent to music departments in both maintained and independent schools across the county.
Somerset County Youth Orchestra is a self funded group and therefore annual subscription fees will apply. Full details will be given during the application process.
*See What's On page for further details.