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Application National Youth Orchestra Programmes 2018
Dear Applicant

Thank you for your interest in attending the National Youth Orchestra Courses in 2018. At Nationals we strive for absolute quality music and we hope that, like many alumni from our programmes, it will be a life-changing experience for you that will last you through your musical career, and be beneficial to other aspects of your life, too!


Established in 1964, we are South Africa's oldest youth orchestra, and our National Youth Orchestra members are the national team that represent an incredible youth orchestra movement that stretches from the Western Cape to Limpopo and everything in between. Alumni from our courses have gone on to play for internationally renowned orchestras, and their achievements bare testament to the ability of South African musicians to be exceptional and true ambassadors for our country.

As a participant, you will be part of the Nationals community and benefit from a range of programmes associated with our courses including opportunities for international music exchange, instrument repair courses, musician mentorship, arts administration internships and composition and conducting workshops.

With a rich mix of South African participants, and a faculty made up of renowned local and international music professionals, the National Youth Orchestra Foundation offers diversity that is worthy of celebration. The orchestra course experience is for young people interested in music, from grade 7 level to those just starting their professional careers.

After you apply we will confirm receipt via email and/or SMS within the week. Do not hesitate to contact us should you need further information. (Where applicants are unable to apply online they should contact us to do them telephonically on 0832722117.)
We are proud of the orchestra course participants, each of whom contributes to the vitality of the National Youth Orchestra. We look forward to receiving your application and hope to welcome you to our 2018 courses.


In order to do this application online you will need a working email address and your South African identity number, or, if you are an international applicant, your passport number. This year we have limited seats for candidates from Namibia, Malawi, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

You need to
1. Play an orchestral instrument
2. Be at at least Grade 7 level (Unisa, ABRSM, Trinity)
3. Be 25 years or younger in 2018.


Travel: You are expected to get yourself to course. Auditions start on the first day of each course and the course ends with our final concert in the evening on the last day of each course (most out-of-towners therefore leave on the morning of the day after the last day of course.)


This application is for ALL of the National Youth Orchestra courses; the June/July Winter Course, the What It Takes intense courses and the December Summer Course.

In order to qualify for a National Youth Orchestra Course, participants need to:
Meet the eligibility criteria as specified for each programme;
Make themselves available for the full period listed for each course; and

Be Southern African citizen or permanent South African resident
We will confirm dates and availability after your successful audition.

Nationals 2018 is so exciting and we can't wait to meet you at the auditions!
The audition process (which is almost exactly the same as last year):

In February and March live recorded auditions will be held in Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Grahamstown, Johannesburg, Potchefstroom, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Stellenbosch. You will be advised on dates as soon as possible.

Application Fee
A non-refundable fee of R50 is charged to each applicant to cover administration and processing costs. Only one application fee is required, regardless of how many programs you wish to apply for or how many instruments you apply on.

Please note: NO late applications or auditions will be accepted.

Candidates should prepare a solo piece and a study of their choice to demonstrate their standard and fluency on their instrument. Your programme (that means both study AND piece together) should not exceed 4 minutes in length and you may make any required cuts to fit within the time limit.

NB: Accompanists are not allowed.

Candidates who are not available for these auditions may submit their own recordings on condition that they follow the recorded audition procedure. Please note: own auditions are not encouraged, and National Youth Orchestra does not pay for the recording. You need to get permission from the National Youth Orchestra Artistic Committee to send in an "own audition". Email:

You may audition on the following instruments: flute, piccolo, oboe, cor anglais, clarinet, E flat clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, contrabassoon, saxophone (soprano, alto, tenor and baritone), French horn, trumpet, tenor trombone, bass trombone, tuba, euphonium, percussion*, timpani, harp*, violin, viola, cello, and double bass.

Wind instrument candidates are encouraged to also audition on their respective doubling instruments – piccolo, cor anglais, E flat clarinet, bass clarinet and contrabassoon.

You will be notified if you have been accepted for the National Youth Orchestra courses and related programmes by email, SMS or post. Please do not call the office for audition results, if you have not yet received notice, please email

If you have unanswered audition questions, please visit our FAQ page on our website:

Course Fees
FULL payment of the fee/s is required upon confirmation of acceptance of each course following a successful audition 
and course offer. Withdrawal from any course after your acceptance, for any reason other than certified medical grounds, will result in the forfeit of fees at the rate of R500 per calendar month, from 15 May 2018 for withdrawal from the National Youth Orchestra Course in June or the Summer Course in December.
If withdrawal occurs less than 4 weeks prior to a program commencing then the full fee may be forfeited.

Course fee: R 2 400.00. This fee includes accommodation, meals and tuition. Proof of payment is to be received by our offices a month before each course you have been accepted to. Please use your name as the reference.

Banking details:

South African National Youth Orchestra Foundation

Bank: Standard Bank
Account type: Cheque
Branch: Sandton 019205
Account number: 421 057 289

Swift code: SBZAZAJJ

Proof of payment can be emailed to
Bursaries (based on financial need), scholarships (based on merit) and payment plans are available to make the course open to all who wish to attend. If you indicated that you required financial assistance, we will contact you to get the relevant information we need for the process

Payment Plan/ Bursary/ Scholarship
The National Youth Orchestra is able to assist you with paying your fees by setting up a payment plan.
There are also a limited number of bursaries and scholarships for each course. Full details will be sent out with course offers following a successful audition.

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