From the Middle C review of our Leonore concert, Saturday 31 July 2021

‘Conductor Andrew Joyce drew real exuberance from his players…

‘Nowhere in this work is Dvořák more “Bohemian” than with the Scherzo, whose main body is a Furiant, an exciting, quick-moving dance-form seeming to move between two-four and three-four rhythm. Joyce kept his players on their toes throughout, varying the dynamics in an ear-catching way, and delineating the trajectories firmly…’

Read the whole review here:

Wellington Youth Sinfonietta

Wellington Youth Sinfonietta is the training orchestra for the Wellington Youth Orchestra.  It provides orchestral training for players from about Grade V level upwards.

We offer opportunities for solo performance for senior players, and performance opportunities for student composers. We also have a long tradition of training young conductors. Player reps have a seat on the WYOs Board.

WYS rehearses on Saturday mornings (9.30-12.00) during school terms in the Adam Concert Room at the New Zealand School of Music. WYS morning teas are legendary.

Wellington Youth Orchestra

WYO is the only full-size symphonic orchestra for young players in the Wellington region.

MD Mark Carter says: ‘The 2022 season will be challenging and rewarding for all sections of the orchestra. I highly recommend being part of it. There is no other orchestra in Wellington like it!’

WYO rehearses on Monday evenings during term time (7-9.30 pm) in the Adam Concert Room at the New Zealand School of Music. Our use of the ACR is made possible by the generous support of the New Zealand School of Music.

We are also supported by Wellington City Council Arts and Culture Fund, and by the Nikau Foundation.

Support us

Interested in supporting WYO or WYS? University students these days can struggle to pay their WYO sub. Can you help?

Several tiers of sponsorship are currently available, from Platinum to Bronze. Perhaps you’d like to put your company name on one of the principals’ chairs – e.g. Concertmaster, Principal Clarinet, Principal Horn… What instrument or chair do you most want to support? Tell us your ideas.

We are a registered charity. All donations are tax deductible. You can make a donation by internet banking.

read more here

Concerto competition

The winner of the WYO 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.

Instruments available

As well as our own timpani, we own some wind and brass instruments (two oboes, a 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.

NZSO tutorials

In addition to regular rehearsals, we also have sectional rehearsals with NZSO players, thanks to the NZSO’s Education programme.


Players pay an annual subscription of $450 + GST (discounted to $400 + GST if paid by 31 March). Full-time university students get a 50% discount.

$200 + GST is paid as an audition deposit. You will get it back in full if we can’t offer you a place in either orchestra. The audition deposit must be paid before we confirm your audition time or review your audition recording.

Having trouble paying the fee?

We can offer a full or partial scholarship in cases of hardship. Just email us at

You can apply for the 2021 season by completing our online Audition Application Form. No specific audition extracts are required. Instead, prepare a short piece (3–4 minutes) that you like and send us the MP3 file (more information available on the Auditions page).

WYS 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. They start on Saturday 13th February.

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 Kāpiti Youth Orchestra.

NZSO tutorials

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.

Our partnerships

Each year WYS joins with Kāpiti 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 + GST per annum, discounted to $400 + GST if the balance is paid by 31st March). $200 + GST of this is paid as an audition deposit, and the balance is due at the start of Term 1.

Every year we work hard to get grant funding so we can reduce the fees for players in financial hardship. If you wish to apply for financial assistance, then please contact us or email us at

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