NCO's annual programme brings together remarkable young musicians aged 8-14 into:

  • Three National Symphony Orchestras for two week-long residentials in the spring and summer school holidays, culminating in astounding concerts in public concert venues, and
  • Four regional Projects Orchestras that meet for two jampacked non-residential orchestral weekends and celebratory family sharing concerts.

More than 650 musicians aged 8-14 are taking part in NCO's 2023 orchestral programmes this year, performing a varied repertoire, exploring their creativity, championing their wellbeing and above all, having fun!

NCO's orchestral programmes are centred around the children who take part and the joy and progression they experience making music together as a large orchestra! Children's wellbeing and happiness are paramount and activities are designed to enable children to explore their creativity, expand their skills, celebrate their voices and identities and to have fun!

Outside the brilliant in-person activity they take part in with world class tutors, conductors and soloists, NCO's programme is strengthened by its complementary online programme. Included are online sessions and resources to help children prepare for their in-person activities, hundreds of resources for musical learning and inspiring webinars with guest artists. This year the webinar series includes BBC Young Musician of the Year Winner Jordan Ashman and finalists Sofia, Daniel and Aki, all of whom were previously in NCO.

"We constantly had to keep reminding ourselves that these incredible musicians were all 14 years old or younger. The orchestra really are a joy to listen to; the standard is almost beyond belief."
National Orchestra Audience Member, 2022

"It was great making friends and hearing other instruments. I loved playing the music and the
sectional tutor was really nice. The final day was one of the best days of my life!"

NCO Projects Member 2022, aged 12

Explore more about each programme on the National and Projects membership pages in the menu.