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.

Due to the COVID 19 pandemic and the continuation of social distancing measures, we are currently reviewing how our County Groups will be taking place in 2020-21.  

This group will maintain the same ethos and excitement, and take new members of the same type and skill level, however the frequency of rehearsals may change.

We are still offering auditions, virtual and in-person, for this group. If you wish to find out more about auditioning, or are interested in finding out more about this group, please contact Valerie Cordina on vcordina@kent-music.com .

We will update you on new information and activities as soon as we can through our website, monthly newsletterFacebook and Twitter accounts.

For answers to queries about refunds, as well as our organisational response to the COVID 19 pandemic, please visit our COVID 19 page here: https://www.kent-music.com/news/kent-music-and-covid-19-coronavirus/ 

 Please keep making music and we look forward to welcoming you to our activities in the future. 

Audition to join the Kent County Youth Orchestra

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


The orchestra meets three times a year on four or five-day residential courses. Members are coached by professional tutors and highly acclaimed conductors from leading national and international orchestras and conservatoires.


Repertoire is chosen to give the musicians experience of playing music from all periods of the orchestral repertoire. Recently the players have tackled music composed by Handel, Sibelius, Vaughan Williams, Rachmaninoff and Barber, to name but a few. Much like a professional orchestra, players learn to 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 Natalia Luis-Bassa, Gonzalo Acosta, Kenneth Wood, Nils Schweckendiek, Dame Evelyn Glennie, John Forster and Michael Seal.

How much does it cost?

£53 per day for residential courses. To find out if you are eligible to apply for a bursary, please visit our Financial Assistance page.