Applications 2017 are now open!

Nationals-are-you-goingEstablished in 1964, we are South Africa’s oldest youth orchestra, and the leading orchestra in the youth orchestral movement. Our National Youth Orchestra members are the national team that represent an incredible youth orchestra movement that stretches from the Western Cape to Limpopo and everything in between. Alumni from our courses have gone on to play for internationally renowned orchestras, and their achievements bare testament to the ability of South African musicians to be exceptional and true ambassadors for our country.

As a participant, you will be part of the Nationals community and benefit from a range of programmes associated with our courses including opportunities for international music exchange, instrument repair courses, musician mentorship, arts administration internships and composition and conducting workshops. With a rich mix of South African participants, and a faculty made up of renowned local and international music professionals, the National Youth Orchestra Foundation offers diversity that is worthy of celebration. The orchestra course experience is for young people interested in music, from grade 7 level to those just starting their professional careers.

After you apply we will confirm receipt via email and/or SMS within the week. Do not hesitate to contact us should you need further information. (Where applicants are unable to apply online they should contact us to do them telephonically on 083 272 2117.)

We are proud of the orchestra course participants, each of whom contributes to the vitality of the National Youth Orchestra. We look forward to receiving your application and hope to welcome you to our 2017 courses.


In order to complete this application online you will need a working email address and your South African identity number, or, if you are an international applicant, your passport number. This year we have limited seats for candidates from Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

You need to
1. Play an orchestral instrument
2. Be at at least Grade 7 level (Unisa, ABRSM, Trinity)
3. Be 25 years old or younger in 2017


In February and March live recorded auditions will be held in
Bloemfontein: 13 March 2017
Cape Town: 1 and 2 March 2017
Durban: 4 March 2017
Johannesburg: 24 February and 10 March 2017
Port Elizabeth: 6 and 7 March 2017
Potchefstroom: 14 March 2017
Pretoria: 27 February and 11 March 2017
Stellenbosch: 2 March 2017


Application Fee: A non-refundable fee of R50 is charged to each applicant to cover administration and processing costs. Only one application fee is required, regardless of how many programs you wish to apply for or how many instruments you apply on.

Please note: NO late applications or auditions will be accepted.

Candidates should prepare a solo piece and a study of their choice to demonstrate their standard and fluency on their instrument. Your programme (that means both study AND piece together) should not exceed 5 minutes in length and you may make any required cuts to fit within the time limit. NB: Accompanists are not allowed.


Travel: You are expected to get yourself to course. Auditions start on the first day of each course (be there before 12:00 please) and the course ends with our final concert in the evening on the last day of each course (most out-of-towners therefore leave on the morning of the day after the last day of course.)

National Youth Orchestra Course fee: R2300. This fee includes accommodation, meals and tuition. Proof of payment is to be received by our offices a month before each course. Please use your name/surname as the reference. If you are unable to afford the course fee, there are various financial assistance options available, including a payment plan and bursary options. Please contact us on if you require more information, and indicate that you require financial assistance in the application form.

APPLICATIONS:  OPEN for 2017 and the application FORM is now available.