Youth Orchestra Waikato

Welcome to YOW!  Meeting on Friday nights during term time, our senior orchestra comprises more than 60 young people playing at around Grade 6 or above.

Meet the Conductor, Josh Kirk

Meet the Associate Conductor, Catherine Polglase

Meet the Concert leader, Sarah Cathcart


Youth Orchestra membership subscription:

Joining fee $50 (includes branded merchandise)

Fee per term $50

Camp fee $100 (held in term one of each year)

About us:

  • We have a team of tutors, 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.
  • Rehearsals are at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on Friday nights. It’s a wonderful spot for practising and performing as the acoustics are fantastic and the building is beautiful.  There is lots of space and parking, as well as a social area (and, of course, all the chairs and instruments are stored right there so are easy to access).
  • The  2021 schedule of activity can be found here on the website and Facebook page –  it includes a camp, weekly rehearsals, and three concerts.  There are social activities, sectionals, and the youth orchestra members can attend other orchestra concerts as a group. If they want to, musicians can take part in in other OCT activity including the Sunset Symphony, Sensing Music and our children’s education concerts.
  • We are thrilled to be partnering with the WEL Energy Trust and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, to provide a music development programme for members.
  • Sign up for our newsletter.

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 police vetting request and consent form

Registration form, parent permission and code of conduct

Please return forms at rehearsals or email to

Learn more about joining our orchestras


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