UC Christchurch Youth Orchestra - UC CYO

The UC CYO is the flagship ensemble of the Christchurch School of Music, made up of top young musicians aged 25 and under.

UC CYO Experience 

Young people inspired through shared musical performance.

Meet the Orchestra

The Orchestra - Our Players
Conductor - Helen Renaud
Manager - Jo Vergeer


Concert #4 on the 30 November“UC CYO Chamber groups in concert”

UC Christchurch Youth Orchestra Presents Halloween

The CSM UC Christchurch Youth Orchestra – “Halloween”

CGHS Auditorium – Saturday 27 October 2018

Reviewed by Tony Ryan

I can’t quite put my finger on why familiar classical hits often, as here, come to life in performances by talented young people more than they sometimes do in the hands of seasoned professionals. Could it be a certain sense of discovery that communicates more tangibly to the listener; or maybe that the challenges presented by the technical and musical aspects of the repertoire require a greater degree of commitment and effort than the almost nonchalant, and consequently less engaging, ease that more experienced players sometimes demonstrate? Whatever the case, the Christchurch Youth Orchestra’s Halloween concert proved to be an exceptionally involving experience for the whole audience.

Watch the incredible Christchurch Youth Orchestra, led by Helen Renaud, open the day with 'Te Papa' composed by Gareth Farr. Christchurch bassoonist, saxophonist and conductor, Helen Renaud is currently the HOD of Music at Burnside High School. She studied bassoon at the Wellington Conservatorium of Music, and Music History at the University of Victoria, before receiving her teaching qualification. In 2009 she graduated with a Masters in Music from the University of Melbourne, where she focused on conducting. It was here that she was taught by the late Professor John Hopkins OBE, and Richard Gill OAM. She is currently studying part time for her Doctorate in Musical Arts, looking at rehearsal techniques for high school and youth ensembles. Helen was appointed to the rolls of Conductor of the University of Canterbury, Christchurch Youth Orchestra, and Musical Director of the New Zealand Youth Symphonic Winds in 2016.

From  Our Music, Our Voice concert on the 2nd Dec 2017. Played by the UC Christchurch Youth Orchestra.

Symphony No. 7 Mvt. 2 - Ludwig van Beethoven ~ Conducted by Henry Nicholson

Four Norwegian Dances Mvt. I - Edvard Grieg ~ Conducted by Thomas Bedggood 

Suite for Strings - Leo's Janácek ~ Conducted by Marijke Cooper 

English Dances - Malcom Arnold ~ Conducted by Claire Elliot

Piece for Strings and Piano - Composed by Gabriel Baird

Te Ara Wairua (The Spirit's Pathway) - Composed by Rosa Elliot

Analogy - Composed by Connor Matthews

Te Tihi o Kahuhura - Composed by Callum J. McKie