Youth Orchestras

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 Senior Youth Orchestra for 2018.
  • There is 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 be at the Hinemoa Rehearsal Rooms from February on Friday nights. Its a wonderful spot 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 here on the website and Facebook page –  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 committed to work in more closely with the University and activity at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts as well as other musical groups in the region.
  • We are thrilled to be partnering with the WEL Energy Trust and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, to provide free passes to their Hamilton concerts for YOW members.

Learn more about joining the orchestra

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Youth Orchestra membership subscription:

Joining fee $50 (includes branded merch)

Fee per term $50

Camp fee $54 

To comply with Health and Safety Law, we are required to obtain Police and CYF vetting reports 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 YOW this means conductors, tutors, helpers at rehearsals and concerts, and any adults who are coming along to practices to support the activity of the Orchestra. We would encourage parents/guardians to start this process when enrolling their child.  

download the pvs-vetting-request-and-consent-form


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.

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 are indebted to Wintec design student Michelle Botting who has created our amazing branding and images. Thank you Michelle!

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

Our wonderful sponsors