- Far North Youth Orchestra - helping you to enjoy making music

The Far North Youth Orchestra  has been created to give an inclusive opportunity to young musicians, aged 8 to 18 who live anywhere in the Highlands, to have fun playing together.

There are no auditions - anyone aged 8-18 who wants to join in, who's learning to read music and who plays a suitable instrument is welcome to become a member of the orchestra. You can join the orchestra at any time of year, and FNYO provides an ideal "taster" opportunity for any young musician who's not yet had the opportunity to try playing in an orchestra.

If you'd like to join the orchestra as a new participant at our next event in 2017 then please ask your grown-up to fill out this membership form and return it to us by email or post. We're looking forward to meeting you! 

If you have any questions at all about the orchestra, please get in touch - you can ring us on 01847 893517 or contact us by email

This is how the orchestra sounded by 3.30pm on our second day together, in June 2014:

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Far North Youth Orchestra March from William Tell 28 06 2014
We are an inclusive orchestra for musicians aged 8-13 who live in the far north and west of the Highlands of Scotland. The Far North Youth Orchestra is conducted by Susie Dingle. If you'd like to jo...

It's hard to believe, when you hear the wonderful sound of the whole orchestra, but there are lots parts for complete beginners - many of our string players were playing just open strings (no left hand fingers) and there are easy wind and keyboard parts, too.  All you need to join our orchestra is enthusiasm and a desire to learn how to play with others.

You'll find lots of other videos of our orchestra by searching on youtube for "Far North Youth Orchestra".

Including everyone - that means you!

We want the orchestra to be as inclusive as possible, so we are willing to include lots of instruments you wouldn't usually see in a symphony orchestra. We want EVERYONE to be able to join in.  

If you live more than 50 miles from Thurso, we may be able to help with providing low-cost accommodation, so let us know if you might need help with that.
And if your grown ups tell you they can't afford to let you join the orchestra, ask them just to tick the box on the application form asking for a financially supported place in the orchestra - this is completely free of charge.  We won't ask difficult questions or make them fill in more forms. Our only check will be with your head teacher or music teacher to make sure that you really are genuinely interested in music-making and that you really do want to join the orchestra. That's all we need from you.

Funding and the future...

Thanks to the support of the Lyth Arts Centre and the Robertson Trust, we enjoyed two financially supported youth orchestra days in 2014 and this has got the orchestra off to a great start.  

The orchestra continues to operate, meeting three times a year, on a self-funding basis.  We are grateful for the support we receive from friends and families of orchestra members.  You can support the future of the Far North Youth Orchestra in a variety of ways:

  • by encouraging LOTS of young musicians to join in - the more the merrier!
  • by attending our concerts and donating generously at the door
  • by becoming a volunteer helper at our events
  • by encouraging your employer to sponsor the orchestra's activities
  • by making a one-off or regular donation to the orchestra

If you'd like to make a special donation to help the Far North Youth Orchestra to continue to meet, you can donate in two ways:
  1.  make a cheque out to "" and send it to us at 26 Grove Lane, Thurso, Caithness, Scotland, KW14 8AE. Remember to write "FNYO donation" on the back of the cheque or in your covering letter.
  2. make a regular or one off transfer direct to our account: Sort Code 09-01-28; Account number 55771006. Please ensure that you put "FNYO donation" as a reference to your transfer, and send us an email to [email protected] unless you wish your donation to be anonymous.  We would love to be able to say thanks to you!

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