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Summer course

 The next summer Yorchestra course will run from 28-31 August 2018


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Click on the following links to go straight to information on:



 28th  29th  30th  31st
Y1 / Y2
Y3  ✓  ✓
YoYoStrings  ✓

Not sure which Yorchestra is right for you?  More about the orchestras ▶︎

Applications will open on 14 May 2018.  Apply to join Yorchestra! ▶︎


Course fees and bursaries

Yorchestra fees are £50 per day, or £45 per day if applications are received by the ‘Early Bird’ discount deadline.

We believe this represents fantastic value for money, given the high quality of the course, but we also appreciate that some families face difficult financial circumstances. We are keen to ensure that as many young musicians as possible should be able to access what Yorchestra has to offer, and some assistance with course fees is available in the form of bursary funding for eligible applicants.

For more information regarding bursaries, please see our applications page.  Applications for bursary funding should be submitted at the same time as the course application.


New for summer 2018: “Bring a friend” discount!

We think that the best people to let the world know about the great experience offered by Yorchestra are players who have already been on one of our courses.

So, if you’ve been to Yorchestra before, and you bring along a friend who hasn’t, we’re offering a 25% discount to both of you, as a little thank you – to you, for spreading the word about Yorchestra, and to your friend for coming to join us!

Full details of qualifying conditions and how to claim the discount are on our applications page.

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“After hours” workshops – new for Y1 / Y2 in summer 2018!

As part of Yorchestra’s new partnership with the University of York Music Department, players in Y1 and Y2 will have the opportunity to take part in two special “after hours” workshops provided by the University especially for Yorchestra.

The workshops will take place between 4.15 and 5.15 pm on the middle two days of the course (2930 August) and will be on conducting and gamelan (the distinctive traditional ensemble music of Indonesia – to see what it’s all about, take a look at the University’s gamelan ensemble performing at the South Bank Centre here).

If you’d like to take part in either of these special opportunities, please make sure you tick the appropriate box on the application form to register your interest.  Places for the workshops are limited (15-20 spaces only), and if over-subscribed will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis – so we encourage you to get your applications in early!

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Venues for summer 2018 courses

Y1 and Y2 will be held at the University of York

The courses will run from 10.00am to 4.00pm each day, with a concert at 7.30pm in the Sir Jack Lyons Hall on the final day.


Y3, Y4 and YoYoStrings will be held at Heslington Church

For Y3, the course will run from 10.00am to 3.45pm each day, with a concert at 3.15pm on the final day.

For Y4, the course will run from 10.00am to 3.45pm, with a concert at 3.15pm at the end of the day.

For YoYoStrings, the course will run from 10.00am to 12.30pm each day, with an informal concert to family and friends at 12.15pm on the second day.


For more information on course venues, including location maps and information about parking, click here: Venues ▶︎

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Conductors and repertoire

Conductor for Y1:  Robert Hodge

Robert is a conductor known for his considerable skill, clarity of technique and good rapport with musicians. He devises exciting programmes that are enjoyable and challenging for players and audiences.

In the 2017/18 season Robert will make his professional debut with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, conducting concerts at St Agatha’s Auditorium in May. He will also work for the first time with Oxford University Orchestra at the Sheldonian Theatre. Engagements with the Malta Youth Orchestra, the U12’s National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain and with Yorchestra all contribute to his busy schedule as guest conductor.

In pursuit of his passion for educating the next generation of musicians, Robert is currently Musical Director of Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra in London and Director of Music for the London Junior region of the National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain. He also works at the Royal College of Music Junior Department (RCMJD) where he conducts the Sinfonia.

​​Born in Pembrokeshire, Robert studied at Royal Holloway, University of London before winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Music. At the RCM he prepared the orchestras and acted as assistant to conductors including Lorin Maazel, Bernard Haitink and Vladimir Ashkenazy. In 2011 Robert was a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra, playing orchestral piano and celeste for their European tour.

For three years Robert was Musical Director of Nonesuch Orchestra, conducting an extensive series of outreach concerts and appearing at London festivals.  He has been the Musical Director of the City of Cambridge Symphony Orchestra since 2012, in which time he has delivered forty concerts that have explored both popular classics and lesser known treasures.  In past seasons, he has conducted King’s College London Symphony Orchestra, Suffolk Sinfonia, Havant Symphony Orchestra, Kingston Philharmonia, Farnborough Symphony Orchestra, Yorchestra holiday courses, the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Tallis Chamber Orchestra.


Repertoire for Y1: 

(Click on the links to hear recordings of these works by other orchestras)

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Conductor for Y2:  Dan Shilladay

(photo: Nigel Luckhurst)

Dan read music at the University of Birmingham before completing a master’s degree in contemporary music studies at the University of York. Following a further year of study at the Royal College of Music, he is now a London-based freelance musician and has worked with, among others, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the English Chamber Orchestra and the English Baroque Soloists, with whom he has performed at the BBC Proms.

As a member of the 2008 Southbank Sinfonia, he participated in critically acclaimed productions of Tom Adès’ Powder Her Face at the Royal Opera House and Tom Stoppard and André Previn’s Every Good Boy Deserves Favour at the National Theatre. Alongside period instrument performance, he is especially interested in contemporary music, and has played in the York and Cheltenham festivals.

A keen chamber musician, Dan is a founder member of the Berkeley Ensemble, a flexible group of winds and strings specialising in twentieth- and twenty-first-century British music.  Dan is also in demand as a conductor and educator and directs Imperial College String Ensemble, Stoneleigh Youth Training Orchestra and Merton String Sinfonia. He regularly coaches chamber ensembles at the University of York and is a tutor and conductor on Yorchestra’s holiday music courses.


Repertoire for Y2:  

(Click on the links to hear recordings of these works by other orchestras)

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Conductors for Y3 and Y4:  Annabel Revell and Tim Bayley

Annabel RevellAnnabel is an experienced upper strings teacher and conductor of children’s holiday orchestras, having worked on courses throughout England for over 25 years. Trained in London and Manchester, Annabel has also attended a number of string teaching courses, working under Sheila Nelson and Penny Stirling, and has a PGCE with Specialist Strings. She now works as a peripatetic strings teacher, specialising in violin, in a number of different settings in the North West including Music Services and at the Junior RNCM. She maintains her own playing experience with orchestras in the Manchester area.


Tim Bayley




Tim has played and taught clarinet and saxophone in the York area for many years, working with students from beginner to diploma level in a variety of schools and colleges. He is an experienced conductor and arranger, and tutors a selection of ensembles each week, in addition to individual lessons. Tim is a founder member of the early music group, The York Waits, with whom he has toured extensively and produced over ten albums.

Tim has been associated with Yorchestra since soon after its inception.


Conductors for Y4:  Tim Bayley and Jenny Bembridge

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Conductor for YoYoStrings:  Jenny Bembridge


(photo: Brian Slater)

Jenny studied at York University for her BA and MA in music, specialising in baroque performance. She then took her PGCE in ‘Musicians in Education’ at Greenwich University and Trinity Laban College.

Following this Jenny spent a busy time at Barnsley Music Service, and was subsequently appointed as Classroom Music Teacher and Violin Teacher at a HMC school in Hertfordshire.

She is now settled in back in York and enjoying a substantial portfolio of private pupils along with teaching violin at the Mount School, where she also conducts the school orchestras and string groups. Jenny has worked with Yorchestra since 2008 and loves working with the younger groups, especially Y4 and YoYo strings.

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