The UK’s only national youth orchestra for young musicians of all skill levels from disadvantaged backgrounds has announced that it is now accepting nominations for aspiring young players to take part in its 2019-2020 season. The nine-month season includes residential course in Leeds, London and Birmingham and high-profile performances at cultural venues around the country.
The National Orchestra for All (NOFA), which is run by youth music charity Orchestras for All, provides an opportunity for disadvantaged young people (aged 11-18) to join a full- scale symphony orchestra and perform in some of the UK’s most prestigious venues. Instead of auditioning players, potential members of the orchestra are nominated and selected on the basis of commitment and dedication to music in the face of challenging circumstances. The young musicians of the orchestra get the opportunity to take part in three residential courses in major venues across the UK, rehearsing and performing with support from a team of professional orchestral tutors and highly trained pastoral staff.
100 young people are selected to join NOFA each year from across the UK. Many live with chronic health conditions or disabilities, have family caring responsibilities, are newly arrived young refugees or come from areas where they simply wouldn’t be able to afford to participate in music without NOFA. Prospective new members can be nominated by a teacher, community or youth group leader or social worker. Once accepted, participation in the orchestra is completely free, including the costs of residential courses and travel.
Since its inaugural season in 2011, NOFA has performed across the country in venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and the First Direct Arena, Leeds and established itself as one of the leading youth orchestras in the UK.
Steven Smith, NOFA Programme Manager, commented: “We are really excited about welcoming dedicated young musicians from all across the UK to experience the thrill of being part of this unique youth orchestra, making new friends, playing great music and learning skills that will hopefully help them in their future lives.”