Kent County Youth Orchestra

Kent County Youth Orchestra was founded in 1963 to provide gifted young musicians in Kent the opportunity to develop their skills and gain performing experience. The orchestra meets regularly on courses and the young players work with professional tutors from leading national orchestras and conservatoires and leading professional conductors.

Audition to join the Kent County Youth Orchestra

To become a member of the Kent County Youth Orchestra you will be required to audition. Find more more information about the audition process here.

Please follow the button below labelled ‘Audition for this Group’ below, to let us know you’re interested in auditioning.


The orchestra meets three times a year for both residential courses and workshop days. Members are coached by professional tutors and highly acclaimed conductors from leading national and international orchestras and conservatoires.

Auditions 2023
16th September 2023
1st October 2023

Winter 2023
Residential course: 27th – 30th December 2023
Concert: 30th December 2023

Spring 2024
Rehearsal: Brass sectional – 2nd, 3rd April 2024
Rehearsal: Strings sectional – 8th, 9th April 2024
Rehearsal: Woodwind sectional – 10th April 2024
Rehearsal: Percussion sectional – 13th April 2024

Summer 2024
Residential course: 30th July – 4th August 2024
Concert: 4th August 2024

Correct at time of publication


Repertoire is chosen to give participants the experience of playing music from periods and styles across the orchestral repertoire. Members of the orchestra will play in section ensembles as well as a full orchestra.

Over the past few years, the orchestra has tackled a range of music composed by Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Liszt to Price and Kats-Chernin. Much like a professional Orchestra, KCYO players learn and work together to achieve performing excellence within a tight time frame.


Members of KCYO are expected to play at a minimum of Grade 7 standard in order to successfully tackle extensive and demanding repertoire. The players work with professional tutors from leading national orchestras and conservatoires to develop technical aspects of the repertoire to be performed. This includes working out fingerings/bowings as well as difficult rhythms and all aspects to do with the nurturing of strong general musicianship skills.

Many KCYO alumni have gone on to join professional orchestras in the UK and overseas and many others have gone on to successful careers in music education and arts management.


The Kent County Youth Orchestra is fortunate to regularly work with conductors and soloists of international standing including Michael Seal, Natalia Luis-Bassa, George Jackson, Caroline Hobbs-Smith, Jonathan Bloxham and Peter Harrison.

How much does it cost?

Non-residential courses/workshops
£15 per day

Winter residential course (4 day course)
£60 per day

Summer residential course (6 day course)
£65 per day

Prices are correct at time of publishing but are subject to change. To find out if you are eligible to apply for a bursary, please visit our Financial Assistance page.