The United Youth Orchestra (UYO) was formed on 14th February, 2003, and currently comprises of around 30 members with ages from 12-20.
Since its formation, the orchestra has become the premier youth orchestra of the Waikato region, performing three or four concerts each year. These include the annual Spring and Winter concerts, performed in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, in mid-June and mid-October.
UYO enjoys a relationship with other youth orchestras around the country. Since 2005 UYO have performed joint concerts with the Taranaki Youth Orchestra, and we have also travelled to different parts of the Waikato and Bay of Plenty, including Te Puke in 2006, 2010 and in 2012, and Te Awamutu for the first time this year.
Most players are Grade 5-6 or above and undergo trial rehearsals or short auditions. Rehearsals take place on Fridays 7.00 – 9.00 pm (during school terms) at the bandroom of Hamilton Brass, Clyde St, Hillcrest, Hamilton (next to the Police Station – near The Warehouse). We also run several Sunday afternoon workshops each term with professional tutors.
Many players from UYO have gone on to university studies in Auckland, Hamilton, and Wellington, Christchurch or overseas. Several have been selected as members of the National Youth Orchestra or the National Secondary Schools Orchestra. Some have become members of the Opus Chamber Orchestra (based in Hamilton) and the Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra. Since 2008 selected members have been sponsored with UYO Summer Scholarships to take part in the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra annual summer school held in January in Auckland.
• united in our enjoyment and appreciation of classical and other orchestral and chamber music;
•united in our aim of helping young musicians of the Waikato to achieve their highest potential in music (as orchestral players, ensemble players, or as soloists);
• united in bringing together young people of many different nationalities and cultures (we have more than ten countries represented); and
•united in our desire to enjoy our music making and social time together.
To comply with Health and Safety Law, we are required to obtain Police and CYF for all adults who are in contact with, or hold responsibility for young people under 18. This law is for people who are supervising and/or interacting with children. For UYO this means conductors, tutors, helpers at rehearsals and concerts, and any adults who are coming along to practices and taking part in the Orchestra.