National Scout and Guide Symphony Orchestra/Concert Band – applications now open

To all Birmingham Leaders,

We are really pleased to announce that applications for the 2019 NSGSO and NSGCB course are now open. We are taking applications for both the Orchestra and the Concert Band. The course and concerts are based in Stourbridge, West Midlands and runs from Sunday 28 July - Sunday 4 August 2019.

The NSGSO has been hosted by Birmingham Scout County since 2015 and it would be GREAT to get more Birmingham members on the course.

The closing date for applications is midnight on Saturday 15 December. Last year 142 young people attended - a record year again.

The NSGSO and NSGCB Ensembles

The Orchestra is now in its 44th year, and after the success of forming the Concert Band three years ago it will again run alongside the Orchestra. The NSGCB were re-branded last year with their own identity. However both groups are based together and although they have separate rehearsals and concerts they come together for a massed finale item and all accommodation and social activities. So there is a choice of 2 ensembles to apply for. There is slightly different criteria and instrument choices for each - please see below and also our website for specific information.

The NSGSO and NSGCB Course

The NSGSO and NSGCB meets every year for a fantastic week's course of music and social activities led by 2 conductors and 12 professional tutors, and hosted by 8 staff members. Members are housed in single and small dormitories with common areas and rehearsal venues for all; all food is provided. During the week the Concert Band will perform 2 concerts in the community and also their main Saturday lunch time concert on 3rd August. They will also have the opportunity to take part in two concerts with the Orchestra as guest artistes. For the Orchestra the week will culminate in two evening concerts in Birmingham on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd August with the Concert Band as guest artists. Both the Orchestra and the Concert Band will also play a joint piece together at the Friday and Saturday evening concerts.

The NSGSO had its 40th anniversary concert in 2015 but we are still not as widely known as we would like.

To apply for the 2019 NSGSO or NSGCB Course and to find out lots more detail go to
For the Orchestra all applicants must be:
- A Member of the The Scout Association or Girlguiding.
- Aged 13-25 by 31 August 2019
- Proficient player of a least one orchestral instrument (Grade 5 or above)
Please note: String players who are Grade 4 may be accepted under certain circumstances.
For the Concert Band all applicants must be:
- A Member of the The Scout Association or Girlguiding.
- Aged 12-25 by 31 August 2019
- Proficient player of a least one concert band instrument (Grade 4 or above)

Details of all instruments are on the website at

Please note: Applicants between the ages of 26-30 will be considered in the event that a section is under-subscribed.

Further Information

The cost of the course is £510, payable in four instalments. The course cost includes full board, accommodation, rehearsals and workshops with a professional conductor and sectional tutors, uniform for new members, transportation during the week and social activities. You just need to transport yourself to Stourbridge and after that everything else is paid for. We can pick you up from Stourbridge station or Birmingham airport.
For help with funding applicants should contact their group first, then district and then county. Applicants can of course do their own fundraising for this event. We can help you with contact details if you would like to email. A small amount of money is available in grants from NSGSO/NSGCB. Please email me if you would like more information.

For anyone wishing to use this course for their DofE, QSA or QGA residential then this year must be the first time that they have attended.

You will hear before the New Year if you have been successful.
Please do email me at with any queries that you have.
The closing date is midnight on Saturday 15th December
Thank you,

Jill Bowman

NSGSO Manager
The National Scout & Guide Symphony Orchestra

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