This page includes information on the orchestral excerpts which are part of auditioning for NCO if you play certain instruments and are applying for the NCO National programme. Auditions are now open for the 2025 programme.

If you play violin or cello and are applying for the NCO National programme, you will need to prepare orchestral excerpts in addition to your pieces.

Orchestral excerpts are short passages from standard NCO repertoire designed to test certain qualities of your playing. They will help the audition adjudicators establish how different players approach the same repertoire and make our audition process as fair as possible for instruments where we receive a larger quantity of applications. 

It is important to practice them as much as your pieces as they are equally important. 

There are metronome markings/tempo indications on each excerpt - these are there simply as a guide - please play the excerpts at a speed that is comfortable for you and where you can get the greatest accuracy. 

We have also included a video to support your practise, with top tips from our NCO tutors and links to recordings of these excerpts on YouTube. Please watch and listen to both to help you in your preparation. These videos can be found on a link at the top of each excerpt. 

Excerpts must be recorded and submitted as a separate video. Please do not record excerpts in the same video as your audition pieces. There will be a separate field on the audition application form to submit your excerpts video link.

Please see excerpts below for each age group and instrument.  

Under 12 Orchestra (aged 11 as of 31st August 2024) 

Under 13 Orchestra (aged 12 as of 31st August 2024) 

Main Orchestra (aged 13 as of 31st August 2024)