The WYO is one of the largest independent youth orchestras on the South Coast. Now in its 50th birthday year, the orchestra has a strong following of concert-goers and continues to delight with a wide variety of repertoire from the stage, screen and concert hall. The “Wessex” performs regularly in the Dorset area as well as in London and on international concert tours to great acclaim. Accustomed to performing in large concert venues, the WYO often appears at Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts. It has also performed in Bournemouth’s Winter Gardens, BIC and Pavilion as well as Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, London’s Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall. The WYO has toured extensively, giving concerts in numerous European cities such as Vienna, Cologne, Koblenz and Baden Baden. The orchestra also benefits from strong links with both the Bournemouth Symphony and the London Philharmonic Orchestras, leading to opportunities to meet, work and be coached by the BSO and LPO musicians. Achieving the National Festival of Music for Youth’s “Federation of Music Services” award for “best orchestral sound” in 2011, the “Performance Practice” award in the summer of 2014 – given “in recognition of special achievement in musicianship”, and most recently the Music for Youth's National Partnership Award 2016 - currently the highest accolade available to UK youth orchestras, the WYO has been praised for its “wide variety of orchestral tonal colours”, its “glorious sound” along with “rich strings, stunning brass, subtle percussion and gorgeous poise from the woodwind” and following its most recent performance at the National Festival - in July 2016, the orchestra was told "go play to the world - it needs to hear you!". The Wessex Youth Orchestra continues to prove itself as one of the most exciting and successful regional youth orchestras of today.
What the Press says: “…the Wessex Youth Orchestra, which, if you shut your eyes, would seem to be entirely peopled by adult professionals.” – The Music Teacher Magazine “…the expert accompaniment of the Wessex Youth Orchestra.” – The Guardian “Magnificence was the watchword for the whole ensemble.” “Superbly evocative playing”, “…delivered with sparkling dash and verve”, “…many instances of professional quality playing from the WYO’s principals” – Bournemouth Echo