Players in CLYO

Members of the City of Leeds Youth Orchestra are all under 19 years of age. Several have become members of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and some have continued their studies at conservatoires and universities.

A Violinist’s View

I joined CLYO September 2007.  I came up from CLYTO (the training Orchestra). After hearing CLYO through the door at break-times I was a bit in awe of it, but it turns out that although the music is difficult (and you do have to practise it!), it’s not impossible. It’s exciting to be playing ‘proper’ classical music – symphonies, concertos (with fantastic soloists), the lot. My mum and dad said that they just forget it’s not an adult orchestra they’re listening to when they come to our performances.

It’s not a usual way for teenagers to spend their Friday nights, but it’s well worth the sacrifice. The conductor, Dougie, is fantastic – funny, makes us work hard and sound great, and he is always calm, even the week before a concert when a bit still isn’t going right! Also (and this is going to sound cheesy), it’s a very friendly community. You’ll find a group to chat to at break and we’ll all play you Happy Birthday if you’re lucky enough for it to be on a Friday. A huge advantage is that we all have music in common. Most of my friends at school don’t have a clue about Classical music so it was a relief to find people my own age who you can complain about practice to, or stress about upcoming music grades with. Honestly, come and join – the audition isn’t that bad and it’s loads of fun!