We believe that every participant at Summer School benefits from being placed in an ensemble with peers who share similar musical interests and abilities (primarily) and are of a similar age (secondarily).

Accepting applications into program streams, rather than into individual ensembles, helps our team create more cohesive groups and tailor the selection of ensemble activities and repertoire music to the participants in each ensemble. This leads to a better experience for everybody.

Each stream comprises a number of ensembles:

String Orchestras are large ensembles comprising violin, viola, cello, and double bass. We anticipate there will be five string orchestras at the 2020 Summer School. The very youngest players will be assigned a smaller group with more dedicated staff on hand to ensure they have a positive experience.

Symphonic Wind Bands, also known as Symphonic Bands or Concert Bands, comprise flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, french horn, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, percussion, and sometimes piano and occasionally double bass. Imagine a symphony orchestra with no strings. We anticipate there will be four symphonic wind bands at the 2020 Summer School catering to all levels of players from beginner to advanced levels.

Symphony Orchestras comprise flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, french horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion, timpani, harp, keyboard, violin, viola, cello and double bass. We will have two, imaginatively named “Symphony Orchestra” and “Philharmonic Orchestra”.  Although there are stylistic differences in some parts of the world, there is no real difference between a symphony orchestra and a philharmonic orchestra. At MYO Summer School, the Symphony Orchestra is the more advanced of the two offered.

Jazz Orchestra, also known as a Big Band or sometimes Stage Band, comprises saxophone, trumpet, trombone, bass trombone, piano, electric guitar, electric or upright bass, drum kit, percussion. Music is tightly arranged and notated with opportunities for individual improvised solos.

Jazz Improvisation is largely focussed on improvising both collectively and individually in a large group of unspecified instrumentation as well as in smaller jazz combinations. Very little notated music is drawn upon throughout the week.

Jazz Orchestra and Jazz Improvisation are still treated separately in the application process, however there will be interaction between the two groups at Summer School.

The conductors for each stream are indicated on the stream page.