What is a Regional Orchestra?
Our residential training is supported by optional membership of Regional Orchestras. These provide an opportunity for children to play with members across the full NCO age range inbetween the residential courses at a venue close to home.
Although optional, we highly recommend that NCO members join a Regional Orchestra. It is a chance for new members to meet other children that they will be going on the residential courses with, which can help alleviate any anxiety about not knowing anyone. It is also an opportunity for younger members to see what they can aspire to, and for older members to get a first taste of mentoring and supporting young musicians.
Am I eligible?
The Regional Orchestras 2013 are open to any child who is a member of an NCO 2013 age-banded orchestra.
We have recently introduced associate membership for children who narrowly miss out on a place in an age-banded orchestra to help build their confidence and music skills, and to encourage them to try again next time. Associate members will be invited on an individual basis following an audition, and will qualify for a full year of Regional Orchestra membership (January to December).
Where and when do they rehearse?
We have five Regional Orchestras, one in the East, one in London, one in the North, one in the South East and one in the South West. Each Orchestra meets up to seven times a year between January and November to rehearse and perform for family and friends at a concert in the November. New members who join the NCO in 2013 can join a Regional Orchestra from the January rehearsal. All dates and venues for rehearsals are listed in the What's On section of our website.
The nearest Regional Orchestra to me meets on a Saturday, but I'm only free on a Sunday. Can I attend a different one?
We have five Regional Orchestras based around the country to try to give as many members as possible the chance to join an orchestra close to home. Most people will choose the Orchestra that is nearest to their home, but if another venue works better for you for any reason then please feel free to choose that Orchestra instead.
Will I be playing the same music as on my residential course?
No. The Regional Orchestras are run separately to the age-banded orchestras, and the music is separate too. We choose music to suit the extended age range of the Regional Orchestras, so that all children can participate. We give younger players extra help and slightly amended music when some parts are particularly complex.
You will usually be able to take home practice copies of the music after the January rehearsals.
How much does it cost to join?
As they are an optional extra there is a small additional charge for attending Regional Orchestra rehearsals of £15 per half day rehearsal or £20 per full day rehearsal. If more than one child from a family attends the Regional Orchestra then the charge for each child is £10 per half day rehearsal and £13 per full day rehearsal.
If you receive a bursary for membership fees you will also receive a discount for Regional Orchestra fees as well, once the application has been assessed and the bursary confirmed. If you're awarded a full bursary you won't have to pay anything.
Do I have to go to all of the rehearsals once I register?
Attendance is optional so you are not obliged to go to all rehearsals. However, you must have attended a minimum of four rehearsals to qualify to take part in the Regional Orchestra Concert. We also ask you to let us know in advance if you won't be attending to help with planning.
Can I just turn up on the day of a rehearsal?
No. You must register in advance as spaces are limited and we need to make sure that there is enough music for everybody.