County-Wide Opportunities

Buckinghamshire County Ensembles 2018/19 Season

Buckinghamshire County Youth Orchestra (BCYO)


Musical Director: Tom Horn

We are delighted to announce the new 2018/19 season of the Buckinghamshire County Youth Orchestra. The orchestra has a strong reputation for high quality performance both at home and abroad, having enjoyed tours to Hungary, Norfolk and Iceland over the past three years. This year’s repertoire will include Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2, Ravel’s Piano Concerto and Stravinsky’s Firebird.

Buckinghamshire Youth Wind Ensemble (BYWE)


Musical Director: Ed Hodgson

The high levels of musicianship in this ensemble means that it produces performances of exceptional quality, playing repertoire designed to challenge each player and provide them with a unique chamber ensemble experience. Players work alongside professionals in rehearsal to develop both their technical knowledge as well as their musicianship skills

Voice Bucks County Youth Choir (VBCYC)


Musical Directors: Fiona Firth & Edwin Pitt Mansfield

VBCYC is an auditioned choir for experienced young singers who enjoy learning and performing a variety of music to a high standard and has evolved from VBYC ( for more info). It is a county-wide ensemble performing mixed, high standard, choral repertoire in a friendly and supportive environment. The 2018/19 season will feature an eclectic repertoire, ranging from Baroque to Contemporary, spanning different languages and offering singers a chance to work on solo repertoire.

NEW!!! Voice Bucks County Training Choir (VBCTC)


Musical Directors: Fiona Firth & Edwin Pitt Mansfield

VBCTC is a non-auditioned ensemble suitable for less experienced singers that serves as an introductory ensemble for high level choral singing. Promising candidates outside of this bracket will be considered. It will provide training in key areas of choral singing such as sight singing, vocal range extension and general ensemble musicianship, a bridge ensemble to the full VBCYC.

For more information about the choirs see additional leaflet.

Programme of events:

All three of the senior groups exist to provide access to high level repertoire working with the best young musicians in the county. We recognize that at this level, many young people are pursuing music seriously and so the schedules for these groups are designed such that you can participate in more than one group should you wish.

All three senior groups will go on a concert tour together to Prague (dates below) at the end of the season and will then perform a final concert in Bucks on their return. This cost is therefore included in the membership for the season and must be a firm commitment. We will allow membership of VBCYC without the tour but this only applies to this group and we would much prefer all VBCYC members to attend the tour.

Members should be aware that other performance opportunities for the senior groups may arise during the year and we will give as much notice as possible for these. The dates below are firm and must be fully committed to except in exceptional circumstances. As most players are in their upper school years, the summer term schedules ensure that they do not interfere with exam preparation.

All rehearsals for BCYO and BYWE will take place at Aylesbury Music Centre and are whole day rehearsals. Exact timings will be sent by reply to applications. VBCYC are whole day sessions and will use AyMC and other locations. VBCTC sessions are from 10.00 – 12.30 except on concert days.

Saturday 6th October* (Saturday 6th October)** (Saturday 6th October)**
Sunday 11th November Sunday 28th October Sunday 4th November
Thursday 20th December Sunday 25th November Sunday 2nd December
Friday 21st December Saturday 15th December + concert
Saturday 5th January Wednesday 2nd January Sunday 27th January
Sunday 6th January Monday 8th April Sunday 24th February
Thursday 11th April Tuesday 9th April Sunday 31st March + concert
Friday 12th April + concert Sunday 7th July Sunday 12th May
Sunday 9th June
BMT Summer Festival – Sunday 30th June – all groups
Saturday/Sunday 13th/14th July Tour preparation rehearsals***
Saturday 20th – Friday 26th July: Concert tour to Prague
Saturday 27th July: End of Season concert

* Nicola Benedetti Masterclass for Strings / Wind sectionals / Auditions
** Auditions for new members – venue/times to be notified in reply to application
*** Rehearsals organized to cater for young musicians in more than one group


All three senior groups are open to any young person up to the age of 22 of the required standard. For BCYO & BYWE you should be at Grade 6/7 level or above on your instrument.

VBCYC is open to any musician who has reached minimum standard of Grade 5 or higher in any instrument. All new singers will be expected to audition for a place in the ensemble. First study singing lessons is not essential, but some singing experience and an appropriate level of music reading and musicianship skills are important.

Voice Bucks County Youth Training Choir is non-auditioned and for ages 10 – 16 as a guide. Applicants should have some music experience and be comfortable with basic notation, although enthusiasm and a “love of singing” are far more important. (A recommended musical level of around Grade 3 would be advised.) The session on Sunday 4th November will serve as a trial session after which membership will be confirmed to ensure that members have the capability to cope with the repertoire.

To apply for any of these groups, please complete the online form below.


Existing members of ensemble member are not required to audition. New members will be invited to attend auditions at the beginning of each academic year.

Applicants will be required to sing/play a solo unaccompanied piece of their choice and undertake some unseen sight reading/singing.

Membership Fees:

Fees for the 2018/19 season are as follows:
BCYO / BYWE / VBCYC (including tour) 1 group £800
2 groups £850
3 groups £900
VBCYC without tour Only for this group £200
VBCTC Only for this group £160

This can be paid in full or in three instalments – details following application process.

Subsidies are available for students eligible for FSM (50%) and siblings (15%).

Access to all senior county groups is driven by ability and opportunity. We want all eligible and committed young musicians to be able to take part. If the membership/tour cost presents a challenge, then please contact the Director of Music for a confidential discussion.

County Groups Application Form 2018/19

Personal details

Select groups(s) by ticking each one that you wish to apply for.

Bucks County Youth OrchestraBucks Youth Wind EnsembleVoice Bucks County Youth Choir - with TourVoice Bucks County Youth Choir - without TourVoice Bucks County Training Choir

Joining any of the senior groups requires the commitment to attend all the declared rehearsals, concerts and the tour – please ensure you have noted all the dates. If you are opting for VBCYC without the tour, please select that in the box above.

Do not send any payment now – once registered you will be contacted to agree your payment plan.

Student Leadership Programme

BMT is keen to promote meaningful leadership opportunities for young people. This programme will provide excellent young musicians in the county the opportunity to achieve ArtsAward at Bronze, Silver or Gold level, which are comparable awards to GCSE and A-Level qualifications.  For more information, please visit

Arts Award Supporter

To apply for the Student Leadership programme, students will need to complete a formal application and be willing to make a significant contribution to music-making in the county. 

Community Projects

BMT is the core organisation of the Bucks Music Education Hub and as such supports and co-ordinates a number of community projects. Details of these can be found on the News feed and the events and Projects page of the BMEH site.