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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 2017/18 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. A 50% reduction in membership fees along with limited fully funded membership is available for students attending a Dorset local authority maintained school or academy if the parent/guardian is in receipt of certain benefits. Enquiries can be made to the Dorset Music Service.


Sunday 4 March 201810am to 1pmrehearsalThe Blandford School, Milldown Road, Blandford Forum, Dorset  DT11 7SQ
Sunday 25 March 201810am to 3pmrehearsal/performanceHerrison Hall, Dorchester
Sunday 29 April 201810am to 1pmrehearsalThe Blandford School
Sunday 20 May 201810am to 1pmrehearsalThe Blandford School
Sunday 24 June 20181pm to 7pmrehearsal/performanceto be confirmed

Working in partnership

Dorset Music Service is committed to working in partnership with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (opens in a new window) and  SoundStorm (opens in a new window) to provide high end musical experiences for the County's young musicians.

Past events

The Orchestra has enjoyed participating at the following past events:

  • Dorset Symphony Orchestra - Schools Orchestra Extravaganza - Lighthouse, Poole, 6 July 2017
  • Dorset Symphony Orchestra - End of Season Concert - Herrison Hall, Sunday 20 March 2016
  • Dorset Youth Orchestra - Lest We Forget - Bournemouth International Centre
  • Dorset Youth Orchestra & Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra - Shakespeare Festival 2014
  • Dorset Youth Orchestra as part of the Dorset Music Service at the Royal Albert Hall in 2013

Please watch the making of the chalk legends event (opens in a new window) that we were part of in 2012.

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