National Scout and Guide Symphony Orchestra 2016 & 2017

Mars, Bringer of War… Jupiter, Bringer of Jollity … this may sound like a visit to the local observatory but, in fact, it was far more interesting. On the 24th July 2016, over a hundred Scouts and Guides from all around the country gathered in Stourbridge for the 41st year of the National Scout and Guide Symphony Orchestra (NSGSO).

With a brilliant selection of music made up of Holst’s Planets, as well as some Copeland, Butterworth and a complete rendition of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” we were more than happy to have our first rehearsal just minutes after flag break. We embarked on a busy week of eight to nine hours of practice a day; interspersed, of course, with Scouting classics, such a canoeing, land sledging and zip-wire, together with other exciting activities.

Conducted by the charismatic Leon Gee, formerly of the London Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the course then culminated in a set of wonderful concerts (at the Ruddock Performing Arts Centre in Birmingham) which, I am assured, all who attended enjoyed very much.

The whole experience was a great tribute to the organisational, logistical and motivational skills of Jill Bowman and her team. Our NSGSO week had seen a record for the number of people attending, and I hope that next year can surpass this year. Because, as it goes (also) in music - the more, the merrier!


William Eckley and with National Scout & Guide Symphony Orchestra Manager Jill Bowman. William was the first Scout to represent South Marches District Scouts (and the 1st Hereford!) on this fabulous occasion - a full week  of practise and preparation. Will played a fantastic part in the 'Concert Band', which performed in the CBSO Centre in Birmingham





Click on the image to right or above to get the full  2017 joining instructions
Applications close 10th December 2016

We are really pleased to announce that applications for the 2017 NSGSO course are now open for  young people aged 12-25. The course and concerts are based in Stourbridge, West Midlands and run from Sunday 30 July - Sunday 6 August 2017. The course is hosted by Birmingham Scout County in conjunction with Girlguiding Birmingham.

All information to apply and lots of detail can be found at< >

NSGSO Orchestra and  NSGSO Concert Band

The Orchestra is now in its 42nd year, and after the success of forming the Concert Band last year it will again be run alongside the Orchestra. So there is a choice of 2 ensembles to apply for. There is slightly different criteria for each - please see below and also our website for specific information.

The NSGSO Course

The NSGSO meets every year for a fantastic week's course of music and social activities led by professional tutors and conductors and hosted by 6 staff members. The course will be held in Stourbridge from Sunday 30 July to Sunday 6 August 2017. During the week the Concert Band will perform 2 concerts in the community and also their main Saturday lunch time concert. They will also have the opportunity to take part in the two concerts with the Orchestra as guest artistes. For the Orchestra the week will culminate in two evening concerts in Birmingham on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th August with the Concert Band as guest artists. Both the Orchestra and the Concert Band will also play a joint piece together at the Friday and Saturday evening concerts. Alex Peace Gadsby, England Commissioner is already booked to attend the concert on Saturday evening 5th August.

To see for yourself what the NSGSO course involves watch our short promotional film NSGSO Promotional Video< 

Our aim is to make sure that this email and flier reaches as many young people as possible.

The NSGSO had its 40th anniversary concert in 2015 but we are still not as widely known as we would like. Please could you circulate via email/Facebook groups/county websites/tweet etc. We would be most grateful.

To apply for the 2016 NSGSO Course and to find out lots more detail go to< >