County Youth Orchestra - how much does yours cost?

(20 Posts)
spaghettihoopsagain Tue 24-May-16 21:22:39

We have 3 children who would like to join the most junior of our County Youth Orchestras (grades 3-5). We have just found out that the annual fees are £525 per child. This would be for 2 Saturday rehearsals each term, 2 full days of rehearsals in each half term and a summer residential of 5 days. We would not be able to attend the residential but the cost is still included in the annual fees. We just can't afford £1575 for the year on top of music lessons, it seems so expensive for a County Music Service orchestra. Is this normal for most counties and is it possible to get help with funding?

Greaterthanthesumoftheparts Tue 24-May-16 21:24:57

Wow that's a lot, I went as a child and it was obviously way cheaper (it was a very very long time ago) however, I would say that they were some absolutely great times and I learnt so much, it really improved my playing and I made some great friends. Do they have any bursary type funds available or do you have a supportive grandparent?

spaghettihoopsagain Tue 24-May-16 21:34:22

I have asked about bursaries but they just pointed me to a local charity that don't mention anything about individual funding on their website - so doesn't look too promising. There are bigger funding bodies that I have found but most are for very low income families. We are not very low income but certainly can't afford this with all those music lessons too!

Lancelottie Tue 24-May-16 21:39:27

Could you just send the eldest for this year - spread the woes out a little?

Ours is £200 for the year, but no residential involved.

spaghettihoopsagain Tue 24-May-16 22:07:40

We could send the oldest 2 - we have twins!

spaghettihoopsagain Tue 24-May-16 22:09:43

Even 2 is not really do-able without us eating lentils every night...

OddBoots Tue 24-May-16 22:13:45

Ours are about £135 per child per term with that covering 3h each Saturday morning and one evening a week (term time only) - no residential. I think there is a tiny sibling discount and it is free if you have school meals.

Bolograph Tue 24-May-16 22:20:54

Free: I've had children in music service ensembles for about ten years, culminating in each of them doing the big symphony orchestra. We pay for occasional overseas tours and more prosaic residentials, but there's an effective charity funded by parental contributions (£10 a year if you''ve got it, donations of more welcome) sat beside the music service which funds the tours and other stuff for kids that can't afford it. The benefits of living in a big city with a city-wide music service.

spaghettihoopsagain Tue 24-May-16 22:46:45

Bolograph, we do live in a big city - perhaps there is something like that here (Oxford), I just don't know about it.

NewLife4Me Tue 24-May-16 22:55:55

weekly rehearsals, obviously holidays off.
Parents have to pay for tours obviously and there's an annual one of about £700, but funding available for those on benefit.

£25 per term, or £62 per year discount for one or more siblings.
Discounts and instrument for benefit receipt.
The most it would cost here is £75 per year. our music service is brilliant, turns out fantastic award winning musicians, but struggle to find interest. sad

RapidlyOscillating Tue 24-May-16 22:56:52

Just seems odd that the residential is a compulsory part - it's good value with that but just a lot of money, we wouldn't be able to afford it either.

NewLife4Me Tue 24-May-16 23:01:10

sorry, they do concerts, workshops, and extra rehearsals for no extra cost.

Those fees are terrible, but if they have several orchestras parents must be prepared to pay it. it is such a shame that provision varies across the country.
Ours are free to encourage participation but it never really increases just chugs along, with a few leaving every year and a few joining.
Only one orchestra and a couple of junior groups for sections .

Bolograph Tue 24-May-16 23:15:13

Bolograph, we do live in a big city - perhaps there is something like that here (Oxford),

This city has more than seven times the population of Oxford.

Icouldbeknitting Wed 25-May-16 19:10:23

We have three county level ensembles, free to play, they rehearse a couple of times a term. I think that the two orchestras have a week residential in the summer, the wind band has a three day residential and a one night residential both in half terms which we have to pay for separately (but they are not compulsory). The residentials are subsidised and run at about £30 a night.

In the past there have been tours to Japan but we just missed out on the last one. Oh dear, never mind.

Saturday morning music school is £39 a term - most, if not all, of the county set will be also attending their local centres.

teacherwith2kids Wed 25-May-16 21:23:51

Just looked up (bnot a member):

£162 per year BUT you can belong to as many music groups as you like for that - youth orchestra, wind / string groups x lots, Saturday morning music centre, Jazz centre.

if you're not in the youth orchestra, you can go to as many of the music groups as you like for £138 per year. DS does 4.5 hours a week at 2 different centres for that; several of his friends do 6 hours plus.

A country with rural areas and a few bigger towns, none I think as big as oxford.

raspberryrippleicecream Tue 31-May-16 08:57:55

Very big rural county here. County Orchestra is £10.00 a year. That's one Sunday a month culminating in a concert, with an outside conductor brought in.

We also have local Music Service. I pay £100 for the year for all 3 with sibling discount. I think it is £45 for one. This is for as many groups as you want, Junior/Senior Concert Band and Junior/ Orchestra. Weekly termtime. Two music service concerts per year. The Senior Concert Band also does other concerts.

schilke Tue 31-May-16 15:03:22

£60 per term. 1 evening rehearsal per week.

schilke Tue 31-May-16 15:04:11

Oh yes meant to add you can belong to as many music service run groups as you like for that £60 fee.

1805 Wed 01-Jun-16 16:59:03

it is only the youngest county orchestra in Oxford where there is no 'non-touring' option I think. The older two orchestras have the foreign tour as optional.
The Music Service is one of the cut backs from the council, so they are having to run everything at cost I guess.

spaghettihoopsagain Wed 01-Jun-16 22:01:56

Yes 1805 - that's right. It seems odd that everyone has to pay £525 - I think they should do a cheaper option for those not wanting the residential. The news is right... Oxford is definitely the least affordable city to live in!

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