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 2021.  

This group will maintain the same ethos and excitement, and we welcome new membershowever the frequency of rehearsals and course types may change.

If you are interested in finding out more about this group, please contact Valerie Cordina on

In the meantime, Kent Music is offering ensemble music activities for all ages and levels of experience in our Online Music Centre. The courses include orchestral groups, a band, a choir, an online Music Lab, and more favourites from our in-person music centres. Find out more and get involved today on the Online Music Centre page. 

We will update you on new information about this group as soon as we can. Sign up or follow us via these links to receive the latest updates: monthly newsletter, FacebookTwitter.

For answers to queries about refunds, as well as our organisational response to the COVID 19 pandemic, please visit our COVID 19 page.

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. Find more more information about the audition process here.

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


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.