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Music making at county level enables young people to develop confidence in a range of musical skills whilst working in a supportive, yet stimulating environment. The activities, experiences, and coaching on offer are designed to support you in fulfilling your musical potential.

County level music making offers you the opportunity to continue your musical journey from regional and/or school ensembles, and helping to prepare you for future opportunities whether that be:

  • Further study
  • A life in the music profession
  • To keep enjoying music making as a hobby for years to come

The types of experiences, friendships, and memories made through county music making stay with people for a lifetime.

If this sounds like something you are interested in, then we would love to hear from you!

How to apply

All new and returning members must complete the online application form to participate in County-level music activities in 2024/25.

There are some short questions about your level of playing experience which you’ll need to complete – this is so we can get to know you as a musician!

If you have an existing Speed Admin account, please log in with your credentials when prompted, otherwise please create a new account as part of the sign-up process.

Our sign up deadline for on time applications is Friday 30 August 2024. After this, late applications are welcomed at any point during the year, although places are then subject to availability, and you may be placed on a waiting or reserve list. 

Signing up before the deadline of 30 August ensures you have access to a full year of opportunities, any relevant membership discount(s), and the opportunity to apply for principal positions in our auditioned ensembles.

If you have any questions at any point completing the application form, please don’t hesitate to contact the County Youth Music team by emailing

2023/24 opportunities

If you’re still interested in opportunities in the current academic year (2023-24), please get in touch by emailing

2024/25 Auditions 

The Hertfordshire Schools’ Symphony Orchestra and the Hertfordshire County Youth Orchestra are both auditioned ensembles. Preparing and submitting audition tapes is great experience for your musical life after your time in our county ensembles.

Audition videos are required if you are:

  • A new applicant to either of our County-level orchestras
  • A member of HSSO wishing to apply for HCYO
  • A returning member who cannot make the trial day session on Sunday 15 September 2024

Please note that although you can audition for both ensembles you will only be offered a place in one or the other, if successful.

We look for confident musicians with orchestral experience to join the orchestras. If you have worked on graded exams, grade 6/7+ for HSSO, and grade 8+ for HCYO is a good guide for the playing standard of each orchestra.

Once you’ve filled out the application form and indicated that you’d like to apply for HSSO and/or HCYO, you can begin preparing a short video submission. This comprises of:

  • A 3–5-minute piece of your choice (this can be accompanied or unaccompanied)
  • 2 x orchestral excerpts provided online, or 2 x approved Trinity excerpts (full details about this can be found on our auditions page)

2024/25 Membership Fees

Our termly fees are set to be able to cover all costs of running our county activities, such as hire of venues, conductors, tutors, and music hire. Our standard fees exclude food, drink, and transport unless otherwise stated.

Commitment to the ensemble is important. We expect all members to commit and be at all courses for the ensemble(s) they sign up for.  Our fees are designed to reward this commitment, and so if you attend terms 1 & 2 you will be eligible for the membership discount reflected in term 3.  

If you get a place in one of our auditioned orchestras (HCYO or HSSO) and want to also sign up for another ensemble such as County Choir, the Wind Sinfonia or Brass Band then the fee for this extra ensemble will be reduced to an ‘add on fee’, to make it more manageable to join more than one. Please see our table below for all fees.


Termly fee

Term 3 annual member fee*

Add on fee

(for those with HSSO or HCYO membership)

Hertfordshire County Youth Orchestra

£220 per term



Hertfordshire Schools’ Symphony Orchestra

£200 per term



Hertfordshire County Youth Choir

£130 per term


£63 per term

Hertfordshire County Youth Training Choir

£99 per term


£63 per term

Hertfordshire County Youth Brass Band

£110 per term


£33 per term

Hertfordshire County Youth Wind Sinfonia

£110 per term



 £33 per term

* Only members who have attended and paid for terms 1 and 2 are eligible for this term 3 discount and 2

Fees are invoiced at the beginning of each term. Please note that once your place has been confirmed for the year, you’ll be automatically invoiced each term unless provide advanced notice at the earliest opportunity for any courses you cannot attend. Providing this advanced notice allows us to offer places to other young musicians on our reserve lists.  

Financial assistance

There are opportunities for those who meet criteria for some financial assistance schemes. Please get in touch with us at if you would like further information on how to apply, and to find out if you are eligible.

County Experience Days

County Experience Days provide the opportunity for young musicians in Hertfordshire to gain confidence and experience with county level music-making. Each of our experience days has a unique musical focus, allowing young musicians across a range of experience levels to access an experience day relevant to them and their musical development.

Whether you are an existing county musician looking to broaden your knowledge or looking to take your first step into the world of county level music-making, we look forward to welcoming you to a County Experience Day!

County Experience Days take place across the academic year and will be advertised on this webpage.

Fees are dependent on the type of County Experience Day. These are always advertised on as part of the event description.