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The Westmorland Youth Orchestra is a friendly youth orchestra which welcomes players from all over Cumbria and northern Lancashire. The orchestra is conducted by Fredrik Holm.

Where and when do we rehearse? 

We meet between 7pm and 9.30pm at the Castle Street Centre in Kendal on Fridays during WYO term timeIf you would like to come and watch a rehearsal we sometimes arrange open rehearsals or you could come along another evening by arrangement.

Who can join? 

The orchestra is always interested to hear from school-age players of all instruments. We are also interested to hear from able musicians who could learn percussion or timpani – so you don’t have to be learning an orchestral instrument to apply.

Do I have to join an ensemble group before entering the main orchestra?

Some players join our ensemble groups first but this is by no means essential, particularly for older players. It is possible to be in the main orchestra and also a member of the string or wind groups. If you are paying WYO subs there is no charge to be in one of our ensemble groups.

Who will be there? 

You will probably know quite a few of the players from school. Most are aged between 12-18. You will also recognise some of the adults who teach instruments in local schools. Being part of the orchestra is an excellent way of making new friends, especially during the interval where we run a snack bar. 

What kind of music do the WYO play?

All sorts. We play new pieces that have been especially composed for the orchestra, music from classical composers, and also older music going back a few hundred years.

How often are the concerts?

Three times a year is usual – one at the end of November or beginning of December, one in late March or early April, and one in late June or early July. Concerts are usually held on Saturdays at various locations in the south and central Lake District.

How do I join and what instruments are needed?

If you are interested then please talk to your music teacher or Fredrik Holm (tel. 07780 623855) or contact the Administrator


Can I borrow an instrument? 

We have instruments you can borrow, and these are fully insured. Ask committee member Sarah Davies. We do not insure your own instruments while you are at WYO, so please ensure you make your own arrangements.


Can parents stay during rehearsals?

Yes – the Meeting Room at Castle Street is usually available if parents wish to sit and read or chat, and the ‘Brew Room’ can be used to make a drink. 


Will I be supervised for the whole evening?

We have an interval in the middle of the rehearsal when a snack bar is provided. During this break students are not directly supervised but the tutors and other responsible adults are present in the building if you have a problem or need to speak to someone.

Older players (16+) are allowed to leave the building in pairs with the permission of their parents.

Parents please note: if you give your child permission to leave the building during the break a register will be taken at the beginning of the second half of the rehearsal on their return, but we are unable to monitor who is leaving the building at the start of the break.

Will it cost anything?

The subscription is £180 for school year 2022-23. This can be paid in 10 instalments by standing order. There are discounts for more than one member in a family. Subs are a vital part of our income, but we also raise money by grants and other fundraising. Additional membership of either the wind band, string group or Jazz Fusion group is included in this fee.


If any students are unable to meet the cost of subs please be in touch with the Administrator to discuss how we can help. All enquiries will be dealt with in confidence.

What information do you hold on members? We keep a database for internal use only. This is most important for emergency contact details and collecting subs, but we also record the instruments you play, who teaches you and which school you attend. This helps us plan. We never let your information go outside WYO.

Wind players
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