National Schools Symphony Orchestra set to open this summer at Malvern College - The Malvern Observer

National Schools Symphony Orchestra set to open this summer at Malvern College

Malvern Editorial 7th Feb, 2021   0

THE NATIONAL Schools Symphony Orchestra is set to open its doors this summer at Malvern College to welcome young musicians.

The beautiful 250-acre campus, dating back to 1865, in the heart of the countryside and so beloved of Elgar, is welcoming students between July 8 and 18.

The event will include three orchestras (Philharmonic, Sinfonia and Academy), the unique Conducting Course and the newly launched Big Band.

Artistic Director John Madden said: “With the extensive facilities at Malvern College and our team’s undisputed dedication, we have been able to devise courses which will operate safely within the college’s highly effective Covid-19 regime, without compromising on staffing, programming or musical ambition.”




Malvern College has continued to open its doors to pupils of the co-educational boarding and day school, when permitted to do so, throughout 2020 and 2021.

Staff, parents, and pupils have all been extremely satisfied with the measures taken to protect against Covid-19.


An NHS inspection report from the end of November stated Malvern College had implemented Covid-19 procedures exceptionally and cleverly throughout the school in every aspect of protocol and procedures.

Events manager Sally-Ann Young said plans were well advanced to host the 2021 NSSO courses.

“These will be much shorter than usual with different dates, enabling us to safely manage fewer people on-site and ensure socially distanced rehearsals and performances.”

During the pandemic, the ISM reported 68 per cent of primary school and 39 per cent of secondary school teachers stated that music provision had been reduced. Extra-curricular activities had also ceased in 72 per cent of primary schools and 66 per cent of secondary schools during the academic year.

John Madden, with over 40 years’ experience in music education, expressed his disappointment that the sector had taken such a hit due to the pandemic.

“It is imperative that NSSO continues to provide high-quality tuition and ensemble playing opportunities for talented young musicians, not least to support the future of the UK music industry.

“With the 2021 courses, we intend to do just that, whilst celebrating the centenaries of Saint-Saens and Malcolm Arnold.

“We are also developing more regular non-residential events to support schools in the immediate areas of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.”

Aspiring participants should note the selection process remains largely the same as previous years, though rolling auditions are conducted online.

Applications are now open with some auditions already complete. With continued high interest and limited availability of places, it is advisable to submit entries early to avoid disappointment.

Bursaries, worth up to 50 per cent of the course fee are available.

For more information about the NSSO 2021 courses, please visit www.nsso.org. All enquiries should be directed to [email protected].

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