Project information

National Children's Orchestras: Future Maestros

The NCO has become the foremost provider of orchestral training for children across the UK aged 7-14. Future Maestros will enable over 600 musically talented children from across Great Britain to benefit from first class orchestral tuition in 2017.

January 2016 - December 2016

Charity information: National Children's Orchestras of Great Britain

National Children's Orchestras of Great Britain logo
  • Need


    The NCO offers talented young musicians from all over the UK unbeatable orchestral training and performance opportunities. We want to ensure that every talented child has the chance to experience the thrill of playing in a full symphony orchestra, regardless of their background, financial circumstances and where they live.


    NCO runs six national age-banded orchestras and six regional orchestras, open to all talented musicians who successfully audition. We deliver residential courses in spring and summer for Main, Under 13 and Under 12 Orchestra, plus a residential summer course for the Under 11, Under 10 and Training Orchestras. Full bursaries are available.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Provide accessible, world-class orchestral opportunities for exceptional young players.


    » Work with specialist tutors, internationally renowned conductors and soloists to deliver outstanding orchestral courses and performance opportunities.
    » Develop partnerships with local and national organisations to strengthen the resources available to young people and increase outreach activities.
    » Provide bursaries to children from low income families and ensure that fees are subsidised to be affordable for as many families as possible.

    What success will look like

    The NCO implements a detailed evaluation strategy, including surveys with players, tutors, parents and delivery partners to monitor its output and ensure it achieves its aims.

    Aim 2

    To support the continued development of young musicians through our regional activities.


    » Explore the potential for regional orchestras in areas of the UK where we do not have a regional presence.
    » Increase opportunities for talented young musicians regionally by working in partnership with local organisations.

    What success will look like

    NCO will continue to develop its regional associate membership scheme, opening up opportunities for more children to benefit and older children to develop mentoring skills.

  • Impact


    In 2017, the NCO anticipates achieving the following outcomes:
    • further development of bursary support to ensure lack of means does not inhibit any musically talented child from joining our orchestras
    • Increase high-profile performance opportunities
    • establishing the gold standard for musical training and social development for musically talented children by continued excellence in courses and music tuition we provide
    • commissioning new works and providing masterclass opportunities


    The main risk to this project is that we are not able to provide sufficient subsidy or bursaries to enable all children who are eligible to take up their place.

    The orchestra will continue to engage with appropriate funding sources to ensure the funds are raised, such as trusts and foundations and individual philanthropists.


    We provide regular reports to donors as well as invitations to see the NCO in action at our public concerts.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £476,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £350,000 Training courses & concerts We have 10 residential courses and concerts per year
      £126,000 Financial support & bursaries Approx 22% of members receive financial support ensuring that the NCO remains accessible to all.

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Bursary Pledges £90,000 Guaranteed
    Charitable Trust Pledges £150,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The NCO consists of six national age-banded orchestras. These are; Main Orchestra; Under 13; Under 12; Under 11; Under 10 and Training Orchestra.

    There are also six Regional Orchestras located in; Cambridge; London; Weston-Super-Mare; Crowthorne and Leeds.

    We hold auditions in 36 locations and our 10 residential courses take place countrywide. We have performed in a wide variety of concert venues, from the Royal Albert Hall in London to the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing.


    The NCO aims to enable young players to fulfil their potential and look to a musical career. We bring together over 600 exceptionally gifted young players aged 7-14 years old from across the United Kingdom.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The NCO has a proven track record in delivering outstanding orchestral courses, personal development, and musicianship and performance opportunities for young talented musicians from across the UK. NCO alumni include winners of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition Guy Johnston and Nicola Benedetti, as well as Principal Conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Robin Ticciati, and internationally-acclaimed conductor Daniel Harding.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Roger Clarkson

    Artistic Director and Principal Conductor

    Peter Stark

    Chairman, Interim Board of Governors, NCO

    Nicola Benedetti MBE


    Carrie Sage

    Acting Executive Director

"Genuinely moving"

The Guardian