How to apply

SLYO welcomes new members but is also keen to encourage existing pupils to return as this has obvious musical and social benefits. Bookings are taken for one course at a time, so after the Easter courses we will be accepting applications for our Summer course. The application process for each course is organised in three stages firstly accepting current pupils, then past members and finally new pupils.

If you are looking at SLYO for the first time this application process may sound complicated but please do not be deterred! We have a really good balance of returning and new pupils on every SLYO course and new members are very welcome. The application process for Easter 2019 will work as follows:

Members who attended our January 2019 course have priority booking until Monday 14 January 2019.
Past members can book a place from Tuesday 15 January 2019.
New pupils can book a place from Tuesday 22 January 2019. (Application forms will be available below from this date).

To check availability of places or to register interest in our courses please contact us at If there is a space at the point of your enquiry simply complete the relevant application form (including teacher recommendation) and return it us asap. In some cases there is Grade overlap between the orchestras, so do ask for clarification on which orchestra to apply for. Grades are simply a guide and once your child is settled with us we will be able to ensure they are in the right orchestra.

Each orchestra has its own entrance criteria and SLYO members are promoted when ready to move up without the need for audition:

Fourth Orchestra: SLYO 4 is for violin, viola and cello Grade 2-4 level, age 7+
Please email us on to confirm availability of places before applying. The application form will be uploaded here from 22 January 2019.

Third Orchestra: SLYO 3 is for string players age 7+:
Violin and Cello: Grade 4-6 level
Viola and Double Bass: Grade 3-5 level
Please email us on to confirm availability of places before applying. The application form will be uploaded here from 22 January 2019.

Second Orchestra: SLYO 2 is a symphony orchestra:
Strings, Wind and Brass:  Grade 6-8 level
Percussionists:  a confident Grade 4 level or pianists Grade 6+ who are keen to get orchestral experience.
Please email us on to find out more or to confirm availability of places before applying. The application from will be uploaded here from 22 January 2019.

First Orchestra : SLYO 1 is a symphony orchestra and will meet next in August 2019 – an all American repertoire to be announced soon!
Strings: Grade 8+.  We offer all string players age 14+ a place without audition if they have Grade 8 or a teacher recommendation of Grade 8 level. Contact the SLYO administrator on if you are not sure whether to apply for SLY O 1 or 2. Here is a string application form for Grade 8+ pupils.
Wind and Brass: Grade 8+ and Diploma level.
Percussion: Grade 6 + (or Grade 8 pianists who are looking for orchestral experience).

If you are a wind, brass or percussion player and would like to join SLYO 1  you may need to audition to join. Our next auditions are with conductor Leigh O’Hara in the Spring term at James Allen’s Girls’ School in Dulwich and are both friendly and short; we ask you to play an unaccompanied piece (4-5 minutes) plus some prepared sight-reading. This helps us to ensure that every young musician is placed correctly from the onset of our courses.  To book an audition please contact us on 020 8613 6439 or . If you are reading this just before the start date of our next course please do contact us to see if there are places available still.



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