Kent Youth Wind Orchestra

The Kent Youth Wind Orchestra was formed in 1976 with the aim of providing talented wind, brass and percussion players the opportunity to extend their performance skills at County level. KYWO has provided a concert platform for thousands of players over the years and has performed at numerous major concert venues in the United Kingdom and abroad. A high proportion of the members, after years of enjoyment and experience in KYWO, decide to continue their musical education at University and College using the experience gained in KYWO to aid them. Former players can be seen amongst professional orchestras in the UK and abroad as well as in broadcasting, teaching, lecturing, concert promotion and other music related professions.

Players are chosen from schools within Kent and range in age from thirteen to eighteen and are tutored by professional players/teachers. The ensemble averages 50 players and meets for three courses each academic year culminating in public concerts. As well as its own three concerts each season KYWO is regularly engaged to perform for other organisations including the National Trust, Transco, Sounds New, Round Table and Rotary Club. KYWO has had a number of concerts broadcast in this country by both radio and television including performances at the Royal Albert Hall on several occasions as part of the National Festival of Music for Youth. 


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  • The standard of everybody’s musicianship was amazing; on a whole other level to any other Kent Music activity I had taken part in before.
    Nicola Adams
  • Thank you so much to everyone who made this course so great, and to all my friends; I won’t be forgetting this course any time soon!
    George Harrington


KYWO performs music especially written for the modern wind band as well as arrangements and compositions from a bygone age. The modern band includes whole families of wind instruments as well as some of the more obscure and expensive percussion instruments. The marimba, vibraphone and xylophone are used by composers to add a variety of colour to the repertoire. This repertoire is growing and is designed to be both educationally beneficial and challenging. KYWO is capable of performing the most demanding of these works. KYWO currently holds one of the largest wind ensemble library’s in the South Of England including a vast array of commissioned repertoire specifically written for the group.


Members of the Kent Youth Wind Orchestra should be grade 6 standard and above. We are looking for versatility and responsiveness to musical suggestion and not necessarily good soloists during our audition process.

Conductors & Soloists

The Wind Orchestra has been very fortunate over the last thirty eight years in receiving financial support from sources as varied as Network South-East, Whitbread plc, National Association of Youth Orchestras, South East Arts, Kent County Council and Medway Council to list just a few. These generous financial awards have allowed the ensemble to work and engage the services of both National and International conductors, soloists and composers. These have included Martin Ellerby, Nigel OsborneMalcolm Binney, Mervyn Cooke, Evelyn Glennie, Thea King, John Fletcher, John Wilbraham, Don Lusher, Patrick Harrild (featured on one of KYWO’s CD’s)

For more about our conductors and artists, click here.


KYWO meets three times a year for courses to allow concentrated tuition with specialist tutors and to work with conductors of National standing. All courses culminate in a public concert. The 2016-17 Season includes the following:

Summer 2017: 13-17 July 2017 at Benenden School; concert on 17th July at Benenden School Hall at 7.45pm


To become a member of the Kent Youth Wind Orchestra you will be required to audition.

More information on the audition process.

Ready to apply for your audition? Apply here.

How much does it cost?

£25 per day for non-residential courses
£50 per day for residential courses

Contact us

For further information regarding membership, vacancies or enquiries to book the Kent Youth Wind Orchestra please contact the Orchestra Manager, Phill Hyde or the County Groups Administrator, Valerie Cordina, at Kent Music on 01622 358402 or