2018 auditions are now open for both WYO and WYS. Apply now, using the online Audition Application Form.
Simon Brew has been appointed Music Director of WYS in 2018, replacing our beloved founding Music Director, Michael Vinten.
About Wellington Youth Orchestra
Wellington Youth Orchestra was established by Peter Zwartz and others in 1959 to provide a symphonic orchestral experience for young people in the Wellington region. By 1993, a second orchestra was needed, and Wellington Youth Sinfonietta was formed. After more than fifty years, our former players can be found throughout New Zealand and around the world, playing in professional orchestras, conducting, teaching, and composing.
Wellington Youth Orchestra caters for players under 25 years of age in the greater Wellington region who have reached Grade VIII. Many WYO players are concurrently students of music performance at New Zealand School of Music, while others are studying at secondary school, and some are university graduates.
WYO announces guest conductors for 2018
Two of New Zealand’s most exciting musicians have been named as WYO’s guest conductors for 2018. NZSO cellist Andrew Joyce and NZSO trumpeter Mark Carter have been named as WYO guest conductors for 2018. Andrew Joyce will conduct Project 1, and Mark Carter Project 2.
Entry is by annual audition. Joint auditions for both WYO and Wellington Youth Sinfonietta, will be held on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 January. There will be an extra audition on Sunday afternoon 11th March 2018 for out-of-town university students and late applicants.
You can apply by completing our online Audition Application Form.
WYO rehearses on Monday evenings during term time (7-9.30 pm) in the Adam Concert Room at the New Zealand School of Music on the Victoria University campus. Our use of the ACR is made possible by the generous support of the New Zealand School of Music. WYO gives three public concerts each year.
For many of our players, such as Gemma New, Ben Morrison, Blythe Press, Malavika Gopal, Greg Pharo, Alice Gott, and Nicholas Hancox, WYO has been the stepping stone to further instrumental study overseas and a successful professional career in music. Several WYO alumni are currently playing with the NZSO, including Steve Taylor, Anna van der Zee, and Malavika Gopal.
The winner of the annual concerto competition performs as a soloist with the orchestra for the third concert of the year. We also encourage student composers, whose work may be premièred by one of the orchestras.
As well as percussion instruments and a double bass, the orchestra owns some wind and brass instruments (an oboe, cor anglais, bass clarinet, several bassoons, and a French horn), which are available for players to use during their time with the orchestra. If you are interested in using one of our instruments, please contact the Orchestra Manager.
In addition to rehearsals, we have several sectional rehearsals with NZSO players during the course of the year, made possible through the NZSO’s Education programme.
Players pay an annual subscription of $450 (discounted to $400 if paid by the 31st March). University students can apply for a discount of $200.
$200 is paid as an audition deposit, and is fully refundable if the auditioner is not offered a place in the orchestra. The audition deposit must be paid before we confirm your audition time.
Every year we endeavour to source grant funding so we can offer full fees scholarships in cases of genuine hardship. Applications for scholarships are assessed following a successful audition. For more information, contact the Orchestra Manager.
About Wellington Youth Sinfonietta
Wellington Youth Sinfonietta was established in 1993 as a training orchestra for Wellington Youth Orchestra. It provides orchestral training for players from Grade VI level upwards working with a professional conductor. WYS provides a valuable foundation in orchestral playing for young musicians in the greater Wellington area, offering opportunities for solo performance for its senior players, and performance opportunities for student composers. We also have a long tradition of training young conductors.
Our Music Director for 2018 is Simon Brew, formerly Director of Music for the RNZAF.
Entry is by annual audition. No specific audition extracts are required. Instead, prepare a short piece (2-3 minutes) that you like. The audition dates for 2018 are Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 January. Players are also welcome to audition at any time during the year.
You can apply by completing our online Audition Application Form.
Rehearsals are held each Saturday morning during term time in the Adam Concert Room at NZ School of Music, Victoria University, from 9.30 am – 12 noon.
WYS works closely with WYO, as well as the NZSM Young Musicians Programme. The first concert of the year is usually a joint one with Kapiti Youth Orchestra.
As well as percussion instruments and a double bass, the orchestra owns some wind and brass instruments (an oboe, cor anglais, bass clarinet, several bassoons, and a French horn), which are available for players to use during their time with the orchestra. If you are interested, please contact the relevant Orchestra Manager.
Sectional tutorials by NZSO players are given during the year as part of concert preparation. WYS gives several short concerts a year, and also plays at Artsplash in the Michael Fowler Centre.
We are proud of our alumni. Senior players usually move on from WYS to Wellington Youth Orchestra and to university study in music performance. Many of our players have gone on to further instrumental study overseas and a successful professional career in music. One of our foundation players, Steve Taylor (double bass) plays in the NZSO. Other former players, such as Blythe Press, Greg Pharo, Alice Gott, and Alexis French have studied (or are studying) in Europe, North America, and Australia. Several of our student composers (including Natalie Hunt, Karlo Margetic, Isaac Stone, and Tabea Squire) have won national awards for composition. Gemma New is making a name for herself in North America as conductor of the Hamilton Symphony Orchestra in Canada, whilst Nicholas Hancox is now a professional conductor in Germany.
Each year WYS joins with Kapiti Youth Orchestra for a weekend of rehearsals, tutorials, and fun, culminating in a joint concert. See the Gallery section for images from previous Joint Orchestra Weekends.
Players pay an annual subscription ($450 per annum, discounted to $400 if the balance is paid by 31st March). $200 of this is paid as an audition deposit, and the balance is due at the start of Term 1. Every year we endeavour to source grant funding so we can offer partial and full discounts in cases of genuine hardship. Applications for discounts are assessed following a successful audition. For more information, contact the Orchestra Manager.