JOIN UC CYO 


We are always pleased to hear from talented young musicians who are keen to develop orchestral playing skills.

UC-Christchurch Youth Orchestra

The UC 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 often perform at corporate and community events. Professional players from the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the NZSO 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.

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.

The orchestra caters for young people in the 15-25 age range, although exceptions will be made in certain circumstances.

A typical year runs from February to - 1st December.  Four concert programmes are usually performed within Christchurch each year.

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.

Auditions for the 2020 UC-CYO will be held on December 2. Please see the website for details


If you are interested in auditioning for the orchestra please contact the      CSM office 


Commitment to UC CYO involves:

  • being well prepared with your part before rehearsals
  • rehearsals on Tuesday evening and occasional concert rehearsals
  • availability for compulsory annual weekend camp
  • availability for scheduled tour 
  • paying an annual enrolment fee of $360, (payments must be made in full or arrangements made for regular payments before the first rehearsal)
For audition requirements please email Jo Vergeer (UC CYO manager) - cyomgr@gmail.com 

Benefits of Membership:

As well as being excellent experience to include on your CV, the opportunities below are available only to players in CYO :
  • applying for Scholarships
  • UC CYO has a piccolo, a cor anglais and A clarinets available for wind players as required.