All photos © Gerald Place 2006/7

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The TYO Experience


"Ever since I joined TYO, I've loved every minute of it. It's amazing to be given the opportunity to perform in a large-scale symphony orchestra playing exciting and challenging music. We work together week by week to put together pieces, building strong friendships along the way, and the help and support given by section coaches and conductor always pushes you to make every effort and to create the best sound possible.

TYO has not only introduced me to a wide variety of Romantic and contemporary music, but it has also created exciting new opportunities, including performing with talented soloists as well as playing in central London and abroad. Playing in such a high-calibre ensemble as TYO has taught me teamwork, discipline and communication, but most of all, it's a lot of fun."

Natalie Rukuts

What does TYO offer its members?

Thames Youth Orchestra offers its members the experience of playing an exciting, challenging and rewarding repertoire of great music in a full-scale symphony orchestra.

Typically TYO gives between four and six performances a year, mostly at St. Matthias Church in Richmond, but also at prestigious central London venues, such as Cadogan Hall, the Barbican Centre and LSO St. Luke's. There are also frequently additional events and opportunities which in the last few years have included participating in a BBC TV programme, playing at the Primary Schools' Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, undertaking educational events and collaborating with professional ensembles, including the London Mozart Players.

TYO also tours abroad annually, in recent years to Italy, the Czech republic, Spain and Hungary.

The orchestra has a permanent staff of ten highly experienced professional musicians whose job it is to supervise all aspects of musical preparation. This invaluable resource plays a fundamental role at the heart of the organisation.

The orchestra is also part of a wider family of Thames Youth ensembles. The training orchestra, the Thames Youth Sinfonia, is for Grades 4-6 and offers an excellent route into the main orchestra for younger pupils. Meanwhile, the Thames Youth Jazz Orchestra is a first-rate big band, performing at the likes of The Bulls Head in Barnes.

What does the orchestra ask in return?

Enthusiasm, commitment and positivity. Like any team, an orchestra runs on discipline and a uniformity of application throughout. Players must be willing to make attendance at rehearsal a priority, and to be well enough prepared that their contribution matches their ability.

Although TYO undertakes an ongoing fundraising programme and receives a substantial part of its core funding from Tiffin School and Tiffin Girls' School, it is still necessary to charge a small termly subscription (details available upon application).