Conductor – Ben Crick

The York Youth Orchestra creates the opportunity for young musicians from York and the surrounding area to explore mainstream repertoire alongside a broader introduction to contemporary music and new works by living composers.

Follow this link for an Audition Application

The orchestra maintains high, professional expectations and a varied repertoire by:

  • high quality musical direction and sectional tutors
  • performing with top international soloists
  • collaborating with other orchestras and ensembles
  • commissioning new works and exploring contemporary repertoire
  • collaborating with other art forms such as dance and film
  • performing in unusual venues

“Pushed me to play some harder music. Helped sight reading. Much more confidence.”

Players are expected to be at a standard of Grade 6 or above and are required to audition - a short piece or study (no accompaniment needed) and some sight-reading.

The requirements for percussionists are a little more flexible and pianists are also welcome to apply to play percussion (although should ideally be of a minimum Grade 6).

There is an application form below.

The age range is 11 – 21 although players younger than 11 may be given consideration on further consultation.

“It has introduced me to a new style of playing and given me new experiences.”

Demand on young people’s time is quite considerable, especially during summer exam periods.  For this reason, The York Youth Orchestra rehearses for 9 week blocks in the Autumn and Spring terms only, leading up to a concert at Christmas and Easter.  There is an intensive short-term project in early July 2020 (when most exams are over).


All rehearsals are at Millthorpe School – Wednesday evenings 7.00 – 9.15pm

Project 1 - Autumn term - A Night at the Opera:

September 18/25                October   2/9/16   (no rehearsal Oct 23/30)     

November  6/13/20/27   CONCERT Saturday 30th November 2019 at 7.00pm - York High School (rehearsal 2.30-5.30pm)

Project 2 - Spring term - Family Matinee:

January  8/15/22/29      February 5           (no rehearsal Feb 12/19)    

February  26        March  4/11/18    CONCERT Sunday 22nd March 2020 at 3.00pm - Bootham School (rehearsal 11.30-2pm)

Project 3 - Summer Term - At the Proms: 

There will be 3 intensive rehearsals (Millthorpe School 7.00-9.15) on Wednesday 1st , Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd July culminating in a showcase performance at the York Proms (Museum Gardens) Saturday 4th July at 5.30pm (35 minute performance).  We will be revisiting the best of our film music repertoire and will be involved in the premiere of the new ‘Song for York’.  There will be a small fee of £25 to participate in this project.  (No charge for existing Music Centre members or full time students).

Membership is £72 per term.  For those already attending York Music Centre, orchestra membership is included in the existing fee.  Membership is free to those in higher education (i.e. 19-21).  Full bursaries are also available.

“The range of music allowed everyone to be involved with solos spread around the orchestra. The tutors have been brilliant at challenging us to add subtle details to our playing style throughout.”

“Ben is a really good conductor and his rehearsal techniques were very helpful.”

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For more information about the conductor visit

Follow this link for an Audition Application

Supported by the Calmcott Trust

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