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Dorset Youth Symphony Orchestra

The Dorset Youth Symphony Orchestra (DYSO) is the flagship orchestral ensemble for young orchestral musicians in the county of Dorset.

DYSO (formerly DYO) was formed over 50 years ago, with the intention of giving top class orchestral coaching and performance opportunities to young musicians in the Dorset area. It was revamped in 2015 as a joint partnership between Dorset Music Service and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. The values of the orchestra still hold true today, as DYSO evolves and goes from strength to strength, working with world renowned conductors and talented orchestral musicians, whilst performing in concert halls across the county.

Reasons to join DYSO

Playing with DYSO gives players the chance to:

  • receive coaching from working orchestral musicians
  • perform new/exciting orchestral music
  • rehearse in a realistic professional environment
  • meet and play with other talented young musicians

Musical Director & Conductor - John Randall

John studied music at the Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In this time he received awards from the Laura Ashley foundation and the Cripplegate foundation.

As an orchestral player John has worked with many of Britain/Europe's finest orchestras, including; The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of the Zurich Opera, and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. At the same time working with some of the world's most renowned conductors, including; Pierre Boulez, Claudio Abbado, George Benjamin, and Daniel Harding.

As a coach John has worked at local and national level, coaching youth orchestras and wind/brass sections in this country and abroad.

Playing standard/audition requirements

Entry into DYSO is by audition. The audition will allow us to meet you, hear you play a piece you've prepared in advance, give you some sight reading to try, and decide whereabouts in the orchestra to seat you. The main auditions will take place at the end of the summer term, with extra auditions taking place termly (giving students the chance to join the orchestra mid-season).

The minimum standard for applicants is Grade 3 ABRSM/Trinity. (If students haven't done the exam but believe they are at/beyond this level, we can ask their teacher to confirm this. If this is the case please supply contact details for the teacher).

How to apply

If you are interested in applying to join DYSO please complete our online form.

Join Dorset Symphony Orchestra

You will then be informed by email where and when your nearest audition is, as well as being sent some audition information and some music to prepare.

Dates and costs for 2019 to 2020 season

Membership costs £40 per term

Inclusive membership for young people

Membership applications are open to all young people in full time education under the age of 21.

Help with Dorset Music Service fees

We can offer financial help of up to 50% for:

  • our instrument tuition
  • our instrument hire
  • county ensemble membership fees

You could get help if your child:

  • is eligible for free school meals
  • attends a Dorset school or academy
  • is having instrument tuition in a group or a pair
  • is learning one instrument

Find out about help with music fees from Dorset Music Service and how to apply.


Sunday 29 September 2019 10am to 1pm rehearsal The Blandford School
Sunday 20 October 2019 10am to 1pm rehearsal The Blandford School
Sunday 24 November 2019 10am to 1pm rehearsal The Blandford School
Sunday 15 December 2019 rehearsal: 10am
concert: 1.30pm
rehearsal and winter concert The Blandford School
Sunday 19 January 2020 10am to 1pm rehearsal The Blandford School
Sunday 9 February 2020 10am to 1pm rehearsal The Blandford School
Sunday 1 March 2020 10am to 1pm  rehearsal The Blandford School
Sunday 29 March 2020 rehearsal: 10am
recital: 2pm
rehearsal and spring recital Herrison Hall,
Charlton Down
Sunday 26 April 2020 10am to 1pm rehearsal The Blandford School
Sunday 17 May 2020 10am to 1pm  rehearsal  The Blandford School
Sunday 14 June 2020 10am to 1pm rehearsal The Blandford School
Sunday 12 July 2020 rehearsal: 1pm
concert: 5.30pm
rehearsal and summer showcase Lytchett Minster School

Working in partnership

Dorset Music Service is committed to working in partnership with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestraand SoundStorm to provide high end musical experiences for the County's young musicians.

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