Christchurch Youth Orchestra

The Christchurch Youth Orchestra (CYO) was founded in the 1970s and is the senior orchestra of the Christchurch School of Music.   The orchestra is a musically and technically advanced orchestra for the city's musical youth to widen and develop their musical and performing experience.

Each year the orchestra performs 3-4 concerts and can often be called on to perform at corporate and community events. Professional players from the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and occasionally the NZSO, will work with students at sectionals to coach them in the nuances of orchestral playing.

The Orchestra has been lucky to have wonderful conductors taking up the baton over the years and each conductor has brought their own strengths and passions to ensure the orchestra has always provided great opportunities for young musicians to develop musicianship and build their orchestral repertoire.

In 2015 the CSM signed a sponsorship agreement with the University of Canterbury for the youth orchestra which is an exciting development in the orchestra’s history. This sponsorship gave naming rights to the university and ensures the players can have access to interesting repertoire and essential equipment.

Entry into the Youth Orchestra is by audition. This not only ensures that talented students throughout Christchurch are given the opportunity to join the orchestra, but also that those students who might choose to pursue a musical career have the chance to experience the “live” audition process.