Hallé Youth Orchestra


Established in 2002, the Hallé Youth Orchestra offers outstanding young instrumentalists aged 13-19 years, who love orchestral music and the buzz of contributing to a large orchestra, the chance to experience playing in a full symphony orchestra supported by professional musicians.

The Hallé Youth Orchestra meets regularly on Sunday afternoons during autumn and spring terms. Each summer, members enjoy a residential course and tour, alternating between UK and Europe, with visits in recent years to Italy, Dublin, Prague, Germany and Scotland. The latest tour took the Youth Orchestra and Youth Choir to the Costa Brava in Spain. Their busy schedule allowed them to enjoy the sights of this beautiful part of Spain (including trips to Parc Guell and Montserrat Monastery) as well as performing 3 concerts in Barcelona, Manresa and the Basilica de Castello d Empuries.

In her first season as Music Director of the Hallé Youth Orchestra, Ellie Slorach looks forward to performing some challenging repertoire. The concert in December will feature Sibelius’s Symphony No. 5, Finlandia as well as Andrzej Panufnik’s Sinfonia Sacra. An exciting opportunity arises in January as the stage and podium are shared by musicians of all ages. Members of the Youth Orchestra and the Hallé will sit side-by-side for a performance of music conducted by Ellie and Guest Conductor, Jamie Phillips, who was the Youth Orchestra’s Music Director from 2012-16. In August 2020, the Youth Orchestra will embark on a residential course to Suffolk, performing at Saffron Hall.

Since its creation the Youth Orchestra has participated in many exciting projects, including a three-year ‘Stage Players’ project and performance at the Royal Opera House in London, performing in the Manchester International Festival for Victoria Wood’s comedy musical, That Day We Sang in 2011 at the Manchester Opera House, and joining the Hallé’s collaboration with the Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra and Choir in September 2014.

As well as familiar repertoire, the Hallé Youth Orchestra also enjoys tackling more challenging works. Highlights have included Copland’s Billy the Kid, Brahms’s Second Symphony, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Respighi’s Fountains of Rome, Shostakovich’s Sixth Symphony and Dvorák’s Water Goblin.

The Hallé Youth Orchestra is very grateful to the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Radcliffe Trust, The Zochonis Charitable Trust, the Oglesby Charitable Trust, Pilkington General Charity and many individual benefactors for their continued support of the Youth Orchestra.


Join us

Hallé Youth Orchestra membership is for outstanding young musicians aged 13 to 19 years and of Associated Board grade 8 standard or equivalent, who love orchestral music and the buzz of contributing to a large orchestra. Preference is given to those not benefiting from full-time music education. Members take part in rehearsals and concerts during term-time and in other training activities including residential courses and tours. Members are expected to commit to rehearsals on Sunday afternoons in Manchester during the autumn and spring terms from September 2019. There are no activities during the study leave period of May and June. Youth Orchestra members are also expected to attend a residential course and/or tour during the summer holidays of 2020.

Membership is free, however all members will be requested to make a voluntary donation to the Hallé as a contribution towards the core costs of maintaining the orchestra. Members are also expected to contribute towards the cost of residential courses and tours where appropriate.

Limited bursaries are available through an application process to help cover the costs of residential courses, tours and travel to rehearsals and concerts. The Hallé is grateful to the Oglesby Charitable Trust for the bursary fund.


Contact us

For all Hallé Youth Orchestra enquiries, please contact Youth Orchestra Manager, Isabelle Orford at on isabelle.orford@halle.co.uk or call 0161 907 9056.


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