Cornwall Youth Orchestra

Cornwall Youth Orchestra (CYO) – Director Tim Boulton

For over 40 years CYO has been providing opportunities for young instrumentalists from across Cornwall and beyond to experience the challenges and rewards of playing in a full symphony orchestra. The orchestra has offered invaluable experience to a succession of CYO members, some of whom have gone on to play with the South West Youth Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and European Union Youth Orchestra, to study at Music Conservatoires and in some cases, to distinguished careers in music.

The CYO experience is all about developing musical teamwork and enjoying being part of the buzz of orchestral life. The music is at the core of the experience, whether big symphonies, film scores, music by contemporary composers or other great works from across the last two centuries.

Players are supported on the courses by coaches, but in every season over the last 8 years CYO has also enjoyed the support of top professional musicians including from the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, New York’s ground-breaking chamber ensemble Decoda and from the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Castalian String Quartet. 

CYO players have had some wonderful experiences outside the county in recent years, including working side by side with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, three invitations to perform at the Music For Youth National Festival at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, and the excitement of performing at a capacity Royal Albert Hall in London as guests of the Federation of Cornish Male Voice Choirs in November 2013. But without doubt the biggest highlight took place in the 2015 season, when CYO performed Prince Zal and the Simorgh (David Bruce and Sally Pomme Clayton) at the Schools Proms in November 2015.  CYO has once again been invited to the Schools Proms in November 2017 when their performance will include Mussorgsky’s Night on a Bare Mountain.

CYO is directed by Tim Boulton who shares the fruits of his extensive professional experience with the players.  In recent years, the orchestra has also benefited from what was possibly a unique situation amongst British youth orchestras with the principal conductor, Angus Webster, being the same age as many of the players.  Angus has now moved on to study at Guildhall School of Music & Drama, but CYO are now committed to supporting young conductors and have initiated a programme of conductor training this season.

Here’s what Music For Youth mentor Douglas Mitchell had to say about the performance of extracts from Bizet’s Carmen given by CYO and singers from Cornwall at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall in July 2016:

“What a great start to our afternoon!  A pretty much complete Carmen all in twenty minutes!  But it was much more than that; what you gave us had all the passion and heart of the best opera house performances, as well as the colour and emotion contained within the score.  From the opening bars of the Prelude it was clear that everybody was inside the character of this music, and this was borne out as we gradually met more of the character in the story.  All of the vocal performers, from soloists to the youngest street urchin had bags of personality as did all of the orchestral solos.  A truly large scale, ambitious performance which really came off.  Bravo.”

Joining CYO

Do you live or attend school/college in Cornwall?

Are you aged 11-19?

Are you a grade 5 musician or higher?

Would you like to be a part of an Orchestra?

We are now accepting audition applications for 2018-19!

Audition Date: Saturday 15th September 2018

VenueTruro High School, Falmouth Rd, Truro, TR1 2HU

Application Form 

If you have any questions or queries about joining CYO please don't hesitate to contact us.

Previous performances


March - BBC Ten Pieces Primary Proms - perform to nearly 2000 cornish school children at the Hall for Cornwall 


November - perform 'Night on a bare mountain' at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the MFY Schools Proms

July - perform at Birmingham Symphony Hall as part of MFY National Festival

April - perform alongside the Cornwall County Youth Choir in Truro Cathedral


April - perform alongside Cornwall County Youth Choir in Truro Cathedral 


November - CYO perform David Bruce's Prince Zaal and the Simorgh at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Music for Youth School Proms.

Prince Zaal video on YouTube 

MFY Proms Finale video on YouTube



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