The National Youth Concert Band

The National Youth Concert Band takes players from ages 15 – 18 who are approximately Grade 7 standard or above. The NYCB repertoire is diverse and challenging, aiming to stretch players across the whole band during the Easter residential week. These pieces are revisited during the summer three-day residential, with the Band working towards a second performance in a new venue.

Entrance to NYCB is determined by an online audition process (see below for further information), where prospective Band members submit a video recording of the set excerpts and two contrasting pieces. Position of players in each section within the band is decided by our Musical Director once all auditions have been received.

NYCB is conducted by Musical Director Jonathan Parkes, who works alongside our outstanding team of Course Tutors to develop the skills and musicality of NYCB members. Our players spend the majority of the first few days of the Easter residential in sectional rehearsals, working with specialist instrumental Tutors to refine their technique and work on specific aspects of each piece. Larger Wind, Brass and Percussion section rehearsals allow participants greater understanding of how their parts fit with others in their section, while full rehearsals bring the Band together. Our members are always surprised how much progress they make in such a short space of time when working with our Tutors.

Although many NYCB members have already made the decision to pursue further music study, including at the UK’s top Conservatoires, others use NYCB to stretch their skills beyond school or area-level ensemble playing.

The Audition 

Audition Requirements

You will be asked to submit a video of you playing:

a) Two contrasting pieces lasting no more than 5 minutes.

You may choose an extract or single movement from a piece to stay within the time limit. Accompaniment is not necessary, but you may use an accompanist or backing track if you wish.

b) The set excerpts for your instrument.

We recommend that you listen to the pieces from which the excerpts have been taken and look over them with your teacher before recording your audition. The entire audition should be done in one continuous take – video editing is not permitted; however, you may of course record your audition multiple times and choose your best one to submit to us.

Helpful tips for recording your audition


• You can use your phone, tablet, computer, or a hand-held camera. Please record with the highest quality settings available on your chosen device.

• Your phone or tablet should be set horizontally – put it in Airplane mode or Do Not Disturb mode to avoid interruptions – and tap the screen to focus.

• Use a tripod or stand. This cannot be a “selfie” even with a stick.

• Be sure the device is at the right distance from you to frame the shot. Do not use the zoom function as this makes the image grainy or fuzzy.

• If you are using a backing track, please have somebody else start and stop the tracks. 


• Dance studio, church, classroom, living room.

• Stay away from a lot of clutter, use a simple background.

• Be sure the light is good. Try to minimize shadows on your face.

• Be sure the room is quiet. No background noise (television noise, other people practicing, dancing, cooking, etc.)


• Look into the camera and introduce yourself, your instrument and the pieces you are going to play.

• Introduce each excerpt simply with the excerpt number.

• Have someone else start and stop the recording.

• Instrumentalists, you do NOT need to look at the camera as you play, only as you introduce yourself and your selections.

• Be sure you are in the centre of the frame.

• When using music, be sure the music stand does not block your face and/or instrument.


• Before submitting, make sure there is video AND audio.

• Make sure it is the right way up.

• Watch and listen all the

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National Youth Concert Band CIC | Registered in England number 11665172

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