Berkshire Maestros Job Opportunities Berkshire Music Hub

Orchestral Academy

The Academy@Maestros provides gifted, talented and promising young musicians in Berkshire with personalised extension and enrichment activities designed to inspire and motivate students to realise their full creative potential. For full details of the academy scheme, and to read more about the Academy for choral, guitar and piano, please refer back to those areas pages by clicking here.

The Orchestral Academy operates in three tiers.

For percussion players of the standard of Advanced Orchestral Academy there is also the opportunity to join Berkshire Youth Percussion Ensemble.

Once a musician has progressed from the Advanced Orchestral Academy they have the opportunity to audition for entry to Berkshire Youth Symphony Orchestra (BYSO).

Advanced Orchestral Academy

The Advanced Orchestral Academy caters for gifted and talented young orchestral players who do not yet hold a seat in the Berkshire Youth Symphony Orchestra (BYSO).

Advanced Orchestral Academy activities run in parallel to BYSO courses and include specialist chamber music sessions, masterclass opportunities, county string and wind ensemble courses, side-by-side performance events with the youth orchestra and student tickets to BYSO concerts. All Advanced Orchestral Academy activities are designed to nurture the developing orchestral musician promoting independence and confidence as an instrumental musician and developing vital ensemble skills in a training ground for the main orchestra.

For more information about this year’s Advanced Orchestral Academy e-mail

Intermediate Orchestral Academy

Intermediate Orchestral Academy (IOA) brings together the most promising young orchestral musicians from across Berkshire for six Special Sunday workshops, tailor made to inspire, motivate and challenge gifted and talented young musicians. 

Each IOA session is tailor made to suit the abilities and aspirations of its members. The year starts with work in String, Wind and Brass Ensembles where members can fine tune their specific instrumental skills to improve their understanding of sound quality, balance and blend, detailed articulations and improve dynamic (volume) range and contrast. The IOA often commissions and works with leading composers and orchestras to develop new music specifically for our members and their ensembles – there is no better way.

Being able to create and perform your own music with and without a score is a powerful tool for a musician. The IOA will include sessions working with composers, conductors and animateurs to develop creative freedom in music making. Members can play and perform as a stage orchestra and explore the world of pop, rock, funk, soul and jazz. Orchestral players often feel that this is an area in which they do not feature. X-Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and pop artists like Bruno Mars and Pharrell Williams have shown us that this is not the case and playing these styles is a vital part of our music making!

Promising young students are invited to join the IOA once they have reached grade 3 on their first study instrument. In most cases, Berkshire Maestros will already know about gifted, talented and promising students who are approaching entry to the IOA through their record in REMA (Register of Exceptional Musical Ability). Students may also apply directly to join the IOA scheme if they show exceptional promise and ability in their music making.

Download more information about this year’s Intermediate Orchestral Academy or e-mail

Debut Orchestral Academy

For the most junior orchestral players who are members of the Academy@Maestros, the Debut Orchestral Academy (DOA) gives young musicians the chance to learn more about their instrument, take part in workshops and masterclasses, and participate in an end of year performance project alongside the Intermediate Orchestral Academy orchestra.

In addition to improving a players musical skills they will also make new friends with other like-minded musicians of a similar ability, and will build a stronger enthusiasm for their playing.

For more information about this year’s Debut Orchestral Academy please email:

Berkshire Youth Percussion Ensemble

Musical Director Emma Stoffer

Berkshire Youth Percussion Ensemble is Berkshire’s most advanced percussion ensemble, comprising of the county’s top percussion students.

Formed in 1992 by its founding director and former Head of Percussion, Andy Leask, they have received three outstanding awards, which resulted in performances at three Schools Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, one Junior Prom at the Royal Festival Hall and in 2012 the Diamond Jubilee Party.

Under the new direction of Emma Stoffer (Lead Teacher of Orchestral Percussion), BYPE is exploring new and exciting repertoire from around the world. Delving into diverse genres, testing contemporary techniques and undertaking as many performance opportunities as they possibly can, BYPE is an exciting ensemble that is fast developing.

Are you ready for a new percussion challenge? Have you got what it takes to be a member of a highly energetic, multi instrumental ensemble? If you are an aspiring player of grade 6+ who has experience of orchestral percussion then get in touch to arrange an audition using

Filming: Berkshire Maestros reserves the right to make a video recording of all Academy and County Group auditions. This is because we have different teams of assessors and we need to make sure that marking is consistent. Moderation is done by the Curricular Head and specialised instrument tutors; they are the only people who will see the videos which will be destroyed once the assessment has concluded.

To withdraw from Academy please click here



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Berkshire Youth Percussion Ensemble





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