Press Release 17 June 2013 | ABO Awarded Youth Music Funding

For Immediate Use
17 June 2013
A project that aims to strengthen the UK’s youth ensembles through the collection of information, regional meetings and professional partnerships has been granted funding by music charity, Youth Music.
Professional Partnerships will be delivered by the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) which took on the representation of youth ensembles from the National Association of Youth Orchestras (NAYO) in 2010.
The ABO has five delivery partners who will host regional meetings and develop professional partnerships: The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé, Sage Gateshead, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Derby-based Sinfonia Viva. Other partners involved in the project are National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and National Children's Orchestra.

Mark Pemberton, Director of the ABO said: “The Association of British Orchestras' Network funding will enable us to carry out a much-needed mapping survey of all youth ensembles in England, as well as reaching out to the rest of the country. The data will give us a ‘state of the nation’ snapshot and give us better information about the needs of the youth ensemble sector, as well as support the creation of regional networking meetings and partnerships between youth ensembles and the professional orchestras.”

The first part of Professional Partnerships is a survey of all youth ensembles in England. From this survey the ABO hopes to identify the number and nature of youth ensembles across the UK, and in particular information about repertoire, touring, funding, and management of youth orchestras. The project will also aim to establish particular strengths of youth orchestras and ensembles, (e.g. commissioning, repertoire selection, diversity of membership). The online survey will run until mid August and can be found at:

Matt Griffiths, Executive Director, Youth Music said: “We are delighted to support the Professional Partnerships project led by the ABO.  From our experience of working nationally, we know how vital it is for networks to be in place to ensure that young people with talent and potential are able to progress their music making. A generosity of shared learning and signposting amongst the leaders of the youth ensembles will make sure this is possible. We look forward to seeing the positive outcomes from this important piece of work which will no doubt have a valuable impact.”
 The project will initially run until July 2014 and will establish a number of regular, regional networking opportunities and professional partnerships which will be followed up with development and sharing opportunities. Initially focussed on youth orchestras, if successful the model could be rolled out to other musical genres in the future.