Youth Orchestra

Earlier this year we announced Rupert D’Cruze was appointed Artistic Director, Community Music.  This gives Rupert overall responsibility for the artistic/music direction of not only Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra (where he is also Principal Conductor), but also our youth orchestra and Rusty Players (conducted by Oliver Barratt).   This appointment is part of Orchestras Central commitment to growing the ecosystem of orchestral music in our region, and our vision for ‘orchestrating’  transformative connections in our community through music.

After extensive research, evaluation, and consultation with our musicians, funders, and other stakeholders in the Orchestral music community of the Waikato, we are thrilled to announce the programme for youth music for 2018 and beyond.

  • Tim Carpenter is our principal conductor for the youth orchestra for 2018.
  • There will also be a team of tutors assisting through the year, with at least one of these at every rehearsal.  This group comprises current teachers who are also excited about growing the talent in our region.
  • We are developing an agreement with HCCM to work in more closely with the Youth Sinfonia for younger musicians.
  • We have wonderful support from our sponsors and funders who are enthusiastic about this next stage of growth for youth orchestral music and are committed to supporting OCT as the hub for this activity.
  • Rehearsals will move to  the Hinemoa Rehearsal Rooms from February.  It will not be able to continue on Friday nights as this is subject to the availability of the rooms, however it’s going to be a wonderful for our rehearsals as there is lots of space, and parking, as well as social area (and of course all the chairs and instruments are stored right there and easy to access).
  • The  full schedule of activity is also now in place, and you can find this on our website – it includes three weekends of whole of orchestra activity, weekly rehearsals, and three concerts.  There’s fundraising and social activity’s, sectional workshops, and we also plan for the youth orchestra members to attend Opus concerts (three in Hamilton next year) and, if they want to,  take part in in other OCT activity – Sunset Symphony, Sensing Music, Children’s Education concerts.
  • We’re also committed to work in more closely with the University and activity at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts.

There is no question that the dedication and commitment shown by Yoshi over the past decade and more has kept youth orchestra music alive in the Waikato (and of course the support from others within UYO have also made a considerable contribution).  The programme being developed by our Artistic Director  will ensure that our youth orchestra continues to grow, and that it will be part of the continuum of orchestral music playing for our young people as they develop as musicians,  and of course, offering ways for engaging and exciting our audiences.Orchestras Central is now firmly established as the home of our orchestras and we are really seeing evidence of others wanting to work with us.  In the next few weeks we will be talking more with  key musicians/section leaders, the itinerant and private music teachers, and many others who we hope will be part of this exciting new direction. We will also start letting everyone know about the details of membership, for example fees/subs, and police vetting of families (this will be a requirement of all parent helps from 2018).

We look forward to sharing this fantastic journey with you!!

Youth Orchestra membership subscription:
Joining fee $50 (includes branded merch)
Fee per term $50
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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. 


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.

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