Why join?

If you join the  Children’s or Youth Band you will have an amazing time! You will meet new friends, play music you love with you peers, and really develop as a musician. You will have first-class experiences, being tutored by instrumental specialists, playing brand new music and performing in some of the best concert halls.  It is free to audition, so please do have a go!

Children's BandYouth Band

Audition information

Taking part in an audition is a really exciting and positive opportunity. You will be asked to play for one of our tutors and will receive individualised feedback. We don’t make a charge for auditions and work hard to make it an enjoyable experience for you.

Audition for the Children's Band

Applicants should:

  • Be aged from 8 to 13 years on the 1st April following the audition.
  • Play a brass band instrument (including percussion) to a standard of around Grade 5
  • Enjoy playing in a band with other like-minded young people

The audition will consist of:

  • The candidate playing two short and contrasting pieces (one fast and technical, the other slow and lyrical)
  • Own-choice scales 
  • Sight reading

Auditions will normally be in person 

You will be sent a time to arrive at the venue which gives you plenty of time to warm up for your audition. You will be met by a member of the NYBBGB team and shown where to go to get ready for the audition.

You will be auditioned by two people (one male, one female) - a specialist brass (or percussion) examiner and a co-assessor. At the allotted time you will be asked to play for those carrying out the audition. The assessors will likely be one of the many section tutors that we use for our courses, and they will be able to assess if you are ready to be a member of the band. When you have played both your pieces, you will be asked to play some scales of your choice and then asked to play a short piece of music that you will have not seen before. This is called sight-reading and will be of a relevant standard and not too difficult.

After playing you will have a chance to ask the assessors questions about the Children’s Band. They will not be able to tell you if you have been successful or not but may give you some tips about your playing.

After your audition is finished you can also chat with a member of the NYBBGB team who met you at the start to ask for more details about the Children's Band.

As part of the audition, you will be asked to stay for a workshop that will be led by one of the tutors carrying out the auditions. This workshop will be a chance for you to play your instrument again with the other young people who have auditioned that day and will give you more valuable tips about your playing.

After the audition you will receive an email that will let you know how you did. This email will tell you whether you passed, passed with merit or passed with distinction and include feedback on how you performed together with helpful tips on your playing. You will be informed if you have met the overall standard required to be in the band. If you meet the standard, then hopefully you will automatically be offered a place in the band, sometimes however there are no vacancies for your particular instrument and you may be put on the ‘waiting-list’, but we do try and offer everyone a place if we can. Sometimes, (especially if you are quite young) we will ask you to re-audition the following year to try and improve your position on the ‘waiting-list’.

Online auditions

In certain circumstances, for example if you live a long way from our audition centres or if you have mobility issues, we can offer an online audition. You will be asked to provide, in advance, video recordings of your two pieces, so that they can be assessed as if you were in the room. You will then be asked to sign up for an online meeting which will consist of you the scales and the sight-reading element of the audition.

Audition FAQs

Audition Criteria and Appeals

Last updated: 30 June 2022

We've put together a concise information pack telling you exactly what you'll need to do in your audition and what to do if you are unhappy with the audtion process.

Download info pack

Audition for the Youth Band

Applicants should: 

  • Be aged from 12 to 18 years on the 1st April following the audition.
  • Play a brass band instrument (including percussion) to a standard of around Grade 8
  • Enjoy playing in a band with other like-minded young people

The audition will consist of:

  • The candidate playing two short and contrasting pieces (one fast and technical, the other slow and lyrical)
  • Own-choice scales 
  • Sight reading

Auditions will normally be in person 

You will be sent a time to arrive at the venue which gives you plenty of time to warm up for your audition. You will be met by a member of the NYBBGB team and shown where to go to get ready for the audition.

You will be auditioned by two people (one male, one female) - a specialist brass (or percussion) examiner and a co-assessor. At the allotted time you will be asked to play for those carrying out the audition. The assessors will likely be one of the many section tutors that we use for our courses, and they will be able to assess if you are ready to be a member of the band. When you have played both your pieces, you will be asked to play some scales of your choice and then asked to play a short piece of music that you will have not seen before. This is called sight-reading and will be of a relevant standard and not too difficult.

After playing you will have a chance to ask the assessors questions about the Children’s Band. They will not be able to tell you if you have been successful or not but may give you some tips about your playing.

After your audition is finished you can also chat with a member of the NYBBGB team who met you at the start to ask for more details about the Children's Band.

As part of the audition, you will be asked to stay for a workshop that will be led by one of the tutors carrying out the auditions. This workshop will be a chance for you to play your instrument again with the other young people who have auditioned that day and will give you more valuable tips about your playing.

After the audition you will receive an email that will let you know how you did. This email will tell you whether you passed, passed with merit or passed with distinction and include feedback on how you performed together with helpful tips on your playing. You will be informed if you have met the overall standard required to be in the band. If you meet the standard, then hopefully you will automatically be offered a place in the band, sometimes however there are no vacancies for your particular instrument and you may be put on the ‘waiting-list’, but we do try and offer everyone a place if we can. Sometimes, (especially if you are quite young) we will ask you to re-audition the following year to try and improve your position on the ‘waiting-list’.

Online auditions

In certain circumstances, for example if you live a long way from our audition centres or if you have mobility issues, we can offer an online audition. You will be asked to provide, in advance, video recordings of your two pieces, so that they can be assessed as if you were in the room. You will then be asked to sign up for an online meeting which will consist of you the scales and the sight-reading element of the audition.

Audition FAQs

Audition info pack

Last updated: 9 Jan 2021

We've put together a concise information pack telling you exactly what you'll need to do in your audition. From scale lists and sight-reading to solo guides and studies

Download info pack

Great news! We are accepting audition applications until 31st July.

Auditions are free and you may submit an application anytime between 1st May and 31st July. Auditions are held at several centres across the UK during the Autumn term. We will agree the exact time, date and location of your audition with you by the end of August. We prefer auditions to be face to face, however we can offer an online audition to anyone who finds getting to an audition centre difficult because of distance or mobility issues  (please contact us to discuss this further). If you are a member of the Children's Band looking to audition for the Youth Band we may be able to audition you on the summer course so please apply in good time.

Apply FOR AUDITION

Audition information pack

Last updated: 9 Jan 2021

We've put together a concise information pack telling you exactly what you'll need to do in your audition and what to do in the unlikely event that you think the process was unfair..

Download info pack

Audition FAQs

We've pulled together a list of common audition questions about the audition process

Tips for online auditions

When you are recording your pieces try and go for them in one take. If you make a mistake carry on until the end and then decide if you would like to record the whole piece again. Please do not edit together small sections to make it look like you have played the piece perfectly as this does not give a full reflection of your playing and we can spot the join! For the audio it is better not to stand too close to the device you are using to video and do not point your bell directly at the microphone as this can cause some distortion.

What if I don’t get in?

If you are not successful in getting a place in the band please do not be disheartened. The feedback you receive from the tutors on the day and in the email will give you some idea of what you need to work on. You will always be able to audition again as long as you are still in the age range for the band. If you are unhappy with the audition process  you may appeal, you can find out how to do this in the information pack.

What should I wear?

You are not expected to be in full concert dress for the audition but a smart look always give a good impression. Above all make sure you are comfortable.

What pieces should I play?

There is no set list of pieces but we ask that you choose contrasting music that can show off your skills both technically and musically. If you are working on grade exams  some of the music for these may be a good place to start. Always ask your teacher for some advice too.

You can apply for an audition between 1st May and 31st July

APPLY FOR AUDITION