National Open Youth Orchestra announces partnership with ABRSM

The National Open Youth Orchestra (NOYO) has announced a partnership with ABRSM to help develop some of the UK’s most talented young disabled musicians as part of an inclusive ensemble.

Auditions for the world’s first disabled-led national youth orchestra are currently taking place and will close on 8 April 2018. NOYO will launch in Autumn 2018 with ABRSM providing sponsorship for recruitment and training during its first year. The orchestra will build gradually with NOYO Training Centres running in 2018/19 in London, Bristol and Bournemouth in partnership with the Barbican and Guildhall School, Bristol Music Trust and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. NOYO’s performances will begin in 2020.

The National Open Youth Orchestra has been created  following the success of a regional pilot project, the South-West Open Youth Orchestra, which itself won the ABRSM-sponsored 2017 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards.

Barry Farrimond, CEO of the National Open Youth Orchestra, said:

‘NOYO is about nurturing musical excellence and ABRSM’s endorsement is invaluable in helping us communicate that. Through NOYO, disabled and non-disabled young musicians are empowered to create new musical contexts in which diversity can act as a catalyst for exciting new music, marrying the sounds of accessible, digital musical instruments with traditional acoustic ones.’

ABRSM’s Chief Executive, Michael Elliott, said:

‘NOYO celebrates innovative, inclusive music-making and that’s something that ABRSM is delighted to endorse and support. We welcome a partnership that will provide progression for both disabled and non-disabled musicians, on a high-profile platform that will both showcase talent nationally and inspire and encourage the next generation of musicians throughout the UK.’

Disabled and non-disabled people aged 11-25 with musical potential are invited to apply for NOYO at

Header photo: NOYO © Paul Blakemore

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