South-West Open Youth Orchestra


SWOYO_REHEARSALS_Paul_Blakemore-32lrThere's a groundbreaking musical initiative in the area for disabled and non-disabled people aged 11-25. The South-West Open Youth Orchestra (SWOYO for short!) is the UK's only disabled-led regional youth orchestra, who have already made national headlines with performances at the Palace of Westminster, Bristol Cathedral, and for the 2016 BBC Music Day at Bristol Colston Hall!

This year #SWOYO are looking to find new members from across the South-West and Wiltshire Music Centre have partnered with OpenUp Music (the organisation behind SWOYO) to promote this wonderful orchestra to as many young disabled and non-disabled as possible.

Before we tell you a bit more, please take 3 minutes to watch this very short film and let one of the young people currently taking part in SWOYO tell you why this is such a great opportunity!

Some facts about SWOYO:

●      SWOYO is the UK's only disabled-led regional youth orchestra

●      It was launched in September 2015

Who #WOYO are looking for:

●      Disabled / non-disabled musicians aged 11-25 who live / study in the South-West

●      Musicians don't need grade exams or to have played in an orchestra before - they just need "Potential, Passion and Perseverance"!

What it will involve:

●      #SWOYO will support new members to find an instrument they can play - #SWOYO can even build bespoke instruments that can be played with any part of the body, including the eyes (as you saw in the video!)

●      #SWOYO will lend new members an instrument to take home to practice on if they don't have one already

●      They will provide a peripatetic teacher to support their musical development locally

●      They will organise a range of rehearsals across the South-West, including an Easter residential rehearsal at National Star College in Cheltenham

●      High profile performances are already planned including 2017's BBC Music Day!

●      And this year, all of this is absolutely free!

Please get in contact with us at to find out how you can open up this incredible opportunity to the young people you know!

More information is available at