Audition for the National Youth Orchestra 2017


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Artsvark Presser

National Youth Orchestra Auditions 2017Hundreds of young musicians are expected to apply to audition for a place in the prestigious South African National Youth Orchestra.

Orchestras are formed each year at courses run in the holidays, and comprise of South Africa’s top young musical talent. Members include players from communities across the country and are chosen on merit through two auditions. The first is an anonymous recorded audition, after which a live audition is played behind-screen in front of an expert audition panel.

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The South African National Youth Orchestra has supported the training and development of South Africa’s young musicians nationally through its courses and development programmes for over half a century. Its legacy is far reaching with representation of alumni in top professional orchestras in South Africa and across the globe.

National Youth Orchestra and Patron Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in Cape Town in July 2016 - Photo by Diana Neille.
National Youth Orchestra and Patron Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in Cape Town in July 2016 – Photo by Diana Neille.

This year the National Youth Orchestra has a whole series of courses and programmes for young orchestral musicians between the ages of 13 and 25 who have attained a minimum Grade 7 music level. The courses help to equip young people with the skills to perform in a professional musical environment, and introduce them to a necessary network of fellow musicians.

As National Youth Orchestra patron Archbishop Tutu explains: “Music is important in the lives of young people, it is rare not to see a young person engrossed in music. The National Youth Orchestra is important because it opens up another world of music to the youth. It allows them to become makers of the music not just listeners. Youth in South Africa have so many opportunities available to them and my hope is that they are able to engage themselves fully in these opportunities.”

The National Youth Wind Orchestra will visit Port Elizabeth this year from 29 June – 9 July, and the National Youth Orchestra will perform Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony at their course from 7-17 December in Johannesburg. These courses are filled with challenges and fun for the young musicians and open up a world of musical and other opportunities for the participants.

To make the courses open to all who wish to attend, bursaries, scholarships and payment plans are available. Applications are now open, and can be completed online on their website at Applications close on 20 February 2017. Young musicians wishing to apply must play an orchestral instrument, be of at least Grade 7 music level and be resident in Southern Africa.

If you are able to sponsor a young musician or contribute to the bursary fund in any way, please e-mail Sophia on or call 083 272 2117.

“Thank you for such an amazing course. I had such a great time and you guys did so much for us all and really made it a once in a lifetime experience, and we have you to thank for the unique exposure that will truly NEVER be forgotten. It was so much fun and an even better way to send 2016 off with a bang!” – Giulio Beltramo (Violin), National Youth String Orchestra 2016.


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