YOUNG musicians can now apply to develop their skills and join a community of like-minded performers.

Musicians in the Borders and beyond now have the opportunity to apply to join the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (NYOS) 2024 programme.

Applications to the programme, which opened last week (September 5), give young performers the chance to join a 'refocused' pathway which includes the opportunity to learn from world-class orchestra musicians.

NYOS chief executive and artistic director Kirsteen Davidson Kelly, said: "NYOS is committed to diversifying its community, its musical content, and its geographic reach.

"NYOS Engage, launched this year, is a major new initiative to connect more young people from across Scotland with the social and personal benefits of ensemble music making, and with NYOS.

"By refocusing our classical music pathway, we aim to meet more of Scotland’s young people where they are and to nurture a diverse, creative and forward-thinking community of outstanding musicians."

NYOS Engage is a new initiative launched with the orchestra's partner East Lothian Council Instrumental Music Service.

The initiative offers a residency programme in East Lothian for young people in P6-S3 (Grade 1-5) where they can meet musicians from around Scotland and develop their musicianship alongside their peers.

Following a year-long review into how NYOS can nurture the next generation of Scottish musical talent, Ms Davidson Kelly and her team have outline the new classical music pathways on offer to students in 2024.

The new pathways include:

  • NYOS (formerly NYOS Symphony Orchestra) for musicians aged 14 to 22 playing at Grade 8+. Courses and concerts take place in Easter and Summer 2024.
  • NYOS LAB is a new creative improvisation programme for young people aged 14 to 18 years. A pilot course takes place in October 2023.
  • NYOS Development, for 11 to 18-year-olds playing at Grades 5-8, builds skills in orchestral playing for those already playing at a high standard. Courses and concerts take place in Easter and Summer 2024.
  • NYOS Academy (formerly Training Ensembles) is a short course in Glasgow for young people aged nine to 14 years to develop skills in ensemble music making. NYOS will also run satellite versions of the course in two other locations each year, starting with Aberdeen and Southeast Scotland in summer 2024.

A key part of NYOS's work is ensuring that no young person misses the opportunity to join its courses due to financial constraints – something which the organisation is passionate about.

The orchestra therefore encourages potential applicants to access financial assistance through its website.

According to NYOS, in 2023 31 per cent of members were granted free of reduced fee places, and additional support to cover transport costs.

Applications are treated in confidence.

For more information on financial help from NYOS, visit:

Applicants can find more information here.