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) 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. WYS morning teas are legendary.

Wellington Youth Orchestra

Wellington Youth Orchestra is the only full-size symphonic orchestra for young players (Grade VIII and above) in the Wellington region.

MD Mark Carter says: “WYO brings young musicians together from across Wellington to form a full size symphony orchestra. The 2023 season consists of three projects, and the concerto competition offers the opportunity to a member of WYO to perform as soloist in Project 3. I highly recommend being a part of this full size orchestra. The music for 2023 will be challenging and rewarding for all sections of the orchestra and many friendships are made for life. A few highlights from our 2023 season will be: Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5, a collaboration with a 50 piece choir with guest conductor Michael Stewart,
and the final concert featuring Respighi’s The Pines of Rome.”

Here’s what the Middle C critics thought of our Showcase concert, October 2021: An Orchestral Feast Showcasing a Rising Star – Peter Gjelsten (violin) with the Wellington Youth Orchestra

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 sometimes 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.


WYO Concerto competition

The winner of the WYO annual concerto competition performs as a soloist with the orchestra for the third concert of the year.

Here is a link to our Showcase concert for 2021, featuring Peter Gjelsten playing the Tchaikovsky violin concerto with WYO: Latitude LIVE | Wellington Youth Orchestra: Showcase 2021.

Instruments available

As well as our own timpani, we own some wind and brass instruments (an oboe, a cor anglais, a 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, both orchestras have sectional rehearsals with NZSO players, thanks to the NZSO’s Education programme.

Subscriptions — WYO and WYS

Wellington Youth Orchestras is a volunteer organisation. We work hard to minimise costs but providing excellent training in orchestral playing for young musicians does inevitably involve significant costs, including professional coaching, rehearsal venue hire, music, storage, and the costs associated with presenting concerts and undertaking tours.

The player subscription is a contribution towards covering those costs. We rely on concert proceeds, donations and grants to cover the difference, and also ask that all tertiary students and the parents of school-age players help with the practical running of the orchestras.

Please go to WYOS Subscriptions for full details of WYO and WYS subscription pricing.

WYO: Please note that, for full-time students in tertiary education there is special pricing.

There is also support for subscription relief in cases of financial hardship. Details are at WYOS Subscriptions. Every year we work hard to get grant funding so we can reduce the fees for players in financial hardship. Players can also apply to Music Futures for financial help with their music costs: see Music Futures web site.

WYS Concerts

Each year, WYS gives several short public concerts and also plays at Artsplash in the Michael Fowler Centre, accompanying the massed choirs, and performing a couple of pieces on their own.

WYS 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


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