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City & County Youth Orchestra (CCYO)

The Derbyshire City & County Youth Orchestra is one of the flagship large ensembles for Derby and Derbyshire, bringing together many of the most talented young musicians from schools and music centres across the city and county

DDMP logoThe orchestra usually meets twice a year for residential courses in February and July. The orchestra prepares high-standard music in rehearsals with accomplished instrumentalists tutoring for the duration of the courses. There is also time for recreation and socialising with like-minded musicians from across the city and county.

Each course culminates in a high-profile performance at venues across Derbyshire. Many of the players in CCYO continue with the orchestra up to leaving school, and sometimes returning whilst at University or further study.

The orchestra is regularly conducted by Peter StarkJon Malaxetxebarria and Natalia Luis-Bassa with recent performances including Schubert's Unfinished Symphony no.8 (2022) and music from Falla's The Three Cornered Hat Suites (2022), Dvorak's Symphony no.8 (2023) and Marquez's Danzon no.2 (2023). See the full CCYO concerts and events archive for more.

When is CCYO meeting next?

February Residential Course and Concert
Sunday 18 – Tuesday 20 February 2024
Residential course at The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick
Concert at Reach Derby, Pride Park, Derby – find out more

Summer Residential Course and Concert
Monday 15 – Friday 19 July 2024
Residential course at The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick
Concert at the Octagon, Buxton Pavilion Gardens

Join the City & County Youth Orchestra


We accept applications all year round from new players wanting to join the orchestra. These are reviewed and if accepted, an invitation to audition for a place in the orchestra is extended. Successful players are then able to start at the next course or event.

  • Ability − Applicants are expected to be of at least grade 6 standard. Where there is higher competition for places, an ability of up to grade 8 may be needed.
  • Availability − Applicants are expected to have good availability for the commitments of CCYO.These are listed above.
  • Other ensembles − Woodwind, brass and percussion players will be asked in the application if you will be asked if you want to also be considered for the City & County Youth Wind Band (CCYWB). This is not obligatory.
  • Reference − We need you to provide us with the contact details of your instrumental teacher so if necessary we may seek confirmation of your readiness to audition.
  • Confirmation − If you are under 18, you will need a parent/guardian to confirm your application before it can be submitted.
  • Audition – An audition will include a short performance of one piece/study, a selection of scales and arpeggios, and the sight-reading of an extract of music. See the full requirements.

Apply for an audition now!

Next round of auditions for string players will take place in May 2024.

String players: Apply now

Next round of auditions for wind, brass and percussion players will take place in the Spring Term.

Woodwind, brass and percussion: Apply now CCYO Join (2022)

Friends and Sponsorship of the City & County Ensembles

Support our ensembles by becoming a Friend or sponsoring a concert Your generosity will go a long way in supporting the orchestras by enabling us to provide bursaries for those facing financial hardship and help us maintain our rarer and more expensive instruments.