YOUNG musicians are being encouraged to know their Bach from their Beethoven.

In the new year, school children across Oxfordshire will have the chance to try out life in an orchestra for a day.

The new free teaching course is being run by the National Schools and Symphony Orchestra (NSSO) on January 27 in Abingdon. The day-long tutoring is aimed at encouraging Oxfordshire’s school children playing their instruments.

The orchestra is based at Oakthorpe Road in Oxford and has been running since 1994.

During the event next month, musicians will teach the children on a one to one basis and as part a large orchestra of about 40 school children.

Ten-year-old Flora Woods, from Manor Prep School in Abingdon, has already signed up for the day.

She said: “I am really looking forward to it. It will be good to meet new people. I play the bassoon because I wanted to pick something different that not many people play.”

Abingdon’s Manor Prep School is hosting the event. All children aged eight to 13 who play an instrument grade three to eight standard are welcome to the Young NSSO Orchestral Day.

NSSO administrator Rebecca Woodward said: “It will give the kids a chance to see what it is like to be in a full orchestra. Not every school has the budget or instruments to be able to do that.

“Oxfordshire is a musical county and there are a lot of musical schools so this will be a great chance to expand that.”

Thirteen-year-old Will Rose, from Beaconsfield, will be leading the orchestra as a violinist.

He said: “I have been to their courses before, they are good fun. “A lot of people think you will just be playing music all the time but it is a great place to make new friends who like the same thinks as you do.”

NSSO course founder David Evans said: “The idea behind the Young NSSO Orchestral Day is to provide children from all ages and backgrounds with the opportunity to develop their interest in orchestral music through NSSO’s specialised coaching.

“There is a real passion from young people to learn music and develop their craft, but unfortunately there are limited outlets available to them. This is why the role of NSSO is so important in developing passion for music within young people, and tutoring the next generation of musicians.”

  • For more details on the Young NSSO Orchestral Day, and to apply to take part, visit