I play a 'non-standard' instrument that isn't normally in an orchestra. Can I apply?


Yes! Please do submit an application: this application process is designed so we can get to know you and shape projects that work for as many people who apply as possible. All of our projects will have music at the centre, but not all of these will require you to play an 'orchestral' instrument, particularly while we are meeting in smaller ensemble groups.



How old do I need to be?


NYO Inspire is open to teenagers, but if you don't quite fit that age bracket, we would still encourage you to apply; we are likely to get in touch with you directly if you would benefit from the experience but are just outside the age parameters.



You say Grade 8 musicians need to submit a video: I've not taken Grade 8 yet, should I say I'm Grade 7?


We know this year, more than most, there has been a disruption to the exams you might have taken. You don't need to have taken your Grade 8 exam to be playing at a Grade 8 level; sometimes we ask your music teacher to confirm the standard you are playing at if you haven't yet taken the graded exam. We would encourage you to speak to your music teacher if you feel you are between two grades at the moment, or email us on inspire@nyo.org.uk.



How much time commitment will there be? I have exams and I'm worried.


We know this year in particular that your January exams might have taken on more importance due to the uncertainty and disruption caused by coronavirus. This is why we always do our best to ensure every activity we run has enough time and space for you to keep your school work going alongside it, and this year is no exception. Our digital activity is likely to take up half days, rather than full days, with plenty of breaks. Our in person residential activity, when it is allowed, always ensures there is time for you to revise or take time out should you need to.



Are there any spaces available in the orchestra if not all of last year's musicians are joining for 2021?


This year, we are encouraging you to apply for NYO Inspire: this is the route in to all of our activity. As we shape our plans for the coming weeks and months, the distinctions between NYO and NYO Inspire musicians will be more and more blurred: NYO musicians will play a leading role in our activities and will continue to act as role models for other musicians taking part, and there may be some activity that is only for NYO musicians, but there will also be some activity where all of you take part, as well as some activity solely for NYO Inspire musicians. This year's activity will be much bigger, and much more fluid, than in previous years, so please don't feel you have missed out by not being 'in NYO': we are spending this year building a community of musicians who can take part in a range of inspiring projects and performances, in different and exciting combinations. We may invite a very small number of musicians who have submitted an application to NYO Inspire to take a leading role in some projects alongside NYO musicians, once we have watched and given feedback on all the videos submitted as part of the application process.



For the different events that are being planned, will you need to apply for each event separately or will you automatically get invited to the ones that are applicable to you?


We will be in touch with you to invite you to any applicable projects; you only need to apply once.



Could you please advise whether applications are only accepted from state educated teenagers of black, Asian or ethnically diverse backgrounds?


NYO Inspire is our programme for musicians who are underrepresented in the orchestral sector, that is, musicians who are state educated, home schooled, Black, Asian or ethnically diverse. This means if you fit these criteria, and you play at Grade 6 or above, you are welcome to apply: you do not need to be Black, Asian or ethnically diverse AND attend a state school. This year we are also expanding the criteria to include all Grade 8 musicians in the country, regardless of where they attend school or whether they are Black, Asian or ethnically diverse.



What is involved in the workshops for orchestral keyboard, harp, tuba and percussion players when applying for the Grade 8+ audition? 


Each workshop will be led by an NYO tutor and includes a sharing session to explore the role of each of these instruments in the orchestral world, as well as help you prepare for your video submission. It is also a great opportunity for you to ask questions and get to know your peers. To find your instrument-specific information sheet with more details, please visit this page.




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