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encore connects musicians and supporters through regular newsletters and events. Sign up for our newsletter and you'll hear about what the ensembles are up to, concerts they are playing and how our work is supporting new players. If you become an encore member, you’ll also receive free invites to concerts throughout the year. 


We like to keep in touch with our past players and host annual reunions to meet up and play together.  We also love to hear what you get up to when you leave us (whether you continue as a musician or not!), so please do stay in touch, share your stories and photos, or write a blog for us.

We work with a wide range of professional musicians and composers to teach, inspire and perform with our young musicians.  We are delighted that some great musicians who have experienced what we do have become ambassadors for encore. We also work with a group of music-loving local ambassadors to advocate for the work we do across the city.


This is what some of them have to say about us: 


Philip Fowke with Brighton Youth Orchestra at Brighton College

“Brighton Youth Orchestra has been doing great work in the Brighton area for 65 years now. Generation after generation of young players have been enthused by their first experience of forming an orchestra and making great music together. Some members have gone on to become successful professional musicians, but for all these young people, the experience has been immensely invigorating and valuable. Valuable also for their families, communities, and for the whole City and its surrounding area of East Sussex. The benefits and joys of learning to play a musical instrument are many: from the personal expressiveness and creativity that is made possible, to the discipline and rigour necessary to master the technique involved; from the pleasure of making music with other players, to the deep joy of having intimate access to great music of the past and present. Music knows no boundaries of language or nation and is an immensely powerful and emotional medium that touches the heart directly. It is wholly beneficial to and expressive of the human experience.”

Sir John Tomlinson CBE

“I love playing with people my age - it's tons of fun and so inspiring! The fresh attitude and overflowing energy is very infectious. Working with Brighton Youth Orchestra and Andrew Sherwood is the perfect combination of laughter and hard work - that's how I like making music”

Laura van der Heijden

“Even after so many years have passed, and after spending all this time in the music business, my proudest boast is that I once led the cello section in the Brighton Youth Orchestra! Throughout the years my admiration, respect and affection for this collection of high achieving, young musicians have never ceased. David Gray was conductor when I was in BYO, and his effect on my musical and personal development was profound. David's supply of inspiration was seemingly endless and the trust that he showed us all, both musical and personal, was deeply affecting. When Andy Sherwood was appointed as David's successor some years ago, I was both delighted and relieved. I knew in my heart that this precious organisation was in safe, kind, imaginative and inspirational hands. As teachers and musicians throughout the UK abandon musical literacy in favour of more facile routes to creativity it is more important than ever to support high quality teaching and structured, individual instrumental and vocal study. The simple nuts and bolts of reading and writing music married with a good technical foundation on an instrument are where the imagination can be truly set free.”

Richard Durrant

“Once my children had reached a reasonable standard on their instruments I dragged them to their first Brighton Youth Orchestra rehearsal promising them that they could give up after a term if they really hated it.  They were pretty sure they would…  By the time they had played in their final concert many years later, they had performed some of the finest pieces in the symphonic repertoire, had been inspired by extraordinary soloists, developed a deep love of classical music and made a number of friends for life.  They look back on their time in BYO as one of the most stimulating and rewarding parts of growing up in Sussex.  As a parent, I count myself incredibly lucky to have had this amazing resource on the doorstep.  An orchestra where young people can not only discover the glories of orchestral music but also meet other like-minded musicians.  Crucially, BYO is also a place to have fun - surely the whole point of making music with others.   That combination of real hard work and pure enjoyment is something to treasure and long may it continue.

David Pickard

“I am really proud on mine and John’s behalf to be an ambassador for encore.  John would not have written for Brighton Youth Orchestra unless he was sure that it could be performed with real commitment, enthusiasm and ability – and Brighton Youth Orchestra delivered!”

Lady Maryanna Tavener

“In 1962, Brighton Youth Orchestra was my route to a wonderfully mixed society of musical friends from all over Brighton & Hove.  Music became my life, and eventually my profession. I became Chair of the BYO Trust, programmed the orchestra into the Brighton Festival in my time as Director, and both my sons have been BYO members. It is an association that I cherish”

Professor Gavin Henderson CBE