The Hackney Borough Youth Orchestra is a KS3+ ensemble for players of a Grade 5+ minimum standard.  The orchestra brings together the most advanced players from across the borough and provides them with an opportunity to learn challenging and exciting repertoire from a diverse range of genres / composer from all around the world, supported by an exceptional team of HMS tutors.   The orchestra performs regularly, and there are many opportunities to work alongside other HMS Ensembles and Partner Organisations.  Recent projects include A World Music Odyssey with the Grand Union Orchestra and Everyone’s Climbing Tree, and the Take Note project with the London Symphony Orchestra.  HBYO players are also frequently nominated for special projects e.g. with NYO Inspire, with the LSO’s East London Academy as well as opportunities to take part in special events such as the LSO’s annual open air concert in Trafalgar Square.

  • Hackney Borough Youth Orchestra is open to players in Year 7 and above
  • Applicants must be of Grade 5 standard or higher. Applicants need not necessarily have taken a Grade 5 exam but should be able to play and sight-read to the level expected for Grade 5 players
  • Exceptions to the minimum age / standard rule are occasionally made if we have a shortage of a particular orchestral force or due to other exceptional circumstances
  • HBYO applicants are invited to attend a friendly audition / trial session before being offered a place in the orchestra
  • Applicants must either live in the borough of Hackney or attend a Hackney school
  • HBYO may also accept ‘associate members’ from neighbouring boroughs in certain circumstances, please get in touch for more information


When: Tuesdays 6pm – 7.30pm

Where: Bridge Academy, Laburnum Street, London, E2 8BA

HBYO Team: Conductor / Brass – Lawrence Tatnall, Strings – Ginny Strawson, Woodwind – Vahan Salorian, Percussion – Paddy Baird, plus a rota of other guest tutors including Uchenna Ngwe and Omar Puente.

Membership: Membership to HBYO costs £35 for young people attending a Hackney school, £45 for those living in Hackney but going to an out of borough school.  Costs for Pupil Premium families are £15 per term.

To apply to join the Hackney Borough Youth Orchestra, please complete this application form

For further information, please email