Kent County Youth Orchestra was founded in 1963 to provide gifted young musicians in Kent the opportunity to develop their skills and gain performing experience. The orchestra meets regularly on courses and the young players work with professional tutors from leading national orchestras and conservatoires and leading professional conductors.
Audition to join the Kent County Youth Orchestra
To become a member of the Kent County Youth Orchestra you will be required to audition. Find more more information about the audition process here.
The orchestra meets three times a year for both residential courses and workshop days. Members are coached by professional tutors and highly acclaimed conductors from leading national and international orchestras and conservatoires.
Repertoire is chosen to give participants the experience of playing music from periods and styles across the orchestral repertoire. Members of the orchestra will play in section ensembles as well as a full orchestra.
Over the past few years, the orchestra has tackled a range of music composed by Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Liszt to Price and Kats-Chernin. Much like a professional Orchestra, KCYO players learn and work together to achieve performing excellence within a tight time frame.
Members of KCYO are expected to play at a minimum of Grade 7 standard in order to successfully tackle extensive and demanding repertoire. The players work with professional tutors from leading national orchestras and conservatoires to develop technical aspects of the repertoire to be performed. This includes working out fingerings/bowings as well as difficult rhythms and all aspects to do with the nurturing of strong general musicianship skills.
Many KCYO alumni have gone on to join professional orchestras in the UK and overseas and many others have gone on to successful careers in music education and arts management.
The Kent County Youth Orchestra is fortunate to regularly work with conductors and soloists of international standing including Michael Seal, Natalia Luis-Bassa, George Jackson, Caroline Hobbs-Smith, Jonathan Bloxham and Peter Harrison.