Welcome to the
National Schools Symphony Orchestra
2021 Applications are open
We look forward to welcoming you to Malvern in 2021, and an exciting return to live music-making. Our thanks and congratulations to all who took part in our hugely successful Digital Celebration in 2020, which was great fun, but no substitute for the amazing experience of being together with other like-minded young people and making music live in the superb facilities of Malvern College.
NSSO Academy and NSSO Sinfonia – Thursday 8th July to Sunday 11th July 2021
NSSO Big Band – Sunday 11th July – Sunday 18th July 2021
NSSO Conducting Course – Sunday 11th July – Sunday 18th July 2021
NSSO Philharmonic – Thursday 15 July to Sunday 18 July 2021
NSSO 2021 will look a little different to previous years – shorter courses, allowing for fewer people on site if necessary – but, along with our Covid procedures, we are confident we can ensure the safety of our members, staff and their families. Joyfully optimistic that we will all meet again in the summer, we are very much looking forward to welcoming new and returning musicians.
Please note, there are no places available for flutes, clarinets or trumpets in Philharmonic and Sinfonia, and no vacancies for horns or cellos in Sinfonia. There is only one place left on our unique Conducting Course.
In late March 2020, when lockdown overtook the country, many arts and educational organisations, in the UK and beyond, postponed or cancelled most, or indeed all, of their events and activities. At NSSO we resolutely embraced change rather than postponement or cancellation and launched Project Sunrise with our partners GoodMusic Publishing and PartPlay. Midway through the audition cycle and ensembles not yet complete, our members still submitted almost 200 media files to create a virtual performance of the opening of Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss.
Watch NSSO’s Digital Celebration
As lockdown continued it was clear that the 2020 course could no longer be the annual meeting of more than 200 young musicians for a week at Malvern College. So, following the huge success of Project Sunrise, we launched a three-month long Digital Celebration of our combined musical talent.
We provided members with the opportunity and materials to take part in more virtual performances (supported by our tutors), chamber music, multi-piano ensembles and singing projects, as well as a prize competition each month. There was also support and encouragement from Nicola Benedetti, Vasily Petrenko and Sir Mark Elder.
The resulting five short films can now be viewed over on the Digital Celebration page. They offer an insight into the warm, inclusive spirit of NSSO, and all that we value about our engagement with young people – ensuring that everybody can contribute effectively and happily to successful music-making at their own level of ability and experience.
Shortlisted for Best Classical Music Education Initiative 2020
This Music and Drama Education Excellence award, sponsored by Classic FM, honours an educational project which has used classical music in an innovative way, shown musical excellence and has had a positive impact on a significant number of participants.