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.

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


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

Academy@BYSO 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 Academy@BYSO 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.

Download more information about this year’s Academy@BYSO or e-mail

Academy on Sundays

Academy on Sundays (AoS) 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 AoS 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 AoS 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 AoS 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 AoS 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 Academy on Sundays through their record in REMA (Register of Exceptional Musical Ability). Students may also apply directly to join the AoS scheme if they show exceptional promise and ability in their music making.

Berkshire Youth Percussion Ensemble

Musical Director Andy Leask

Members of the County Percussion Ensemble are from each of the four area Music Centres in Windsor, Newbury, Bracknell and Reading.

The ensemble was formed in 1992 by their director Andy Leask, receiving 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.

Members of the County Percussion Ensemble study percussion with Berkshire Maestros percussion teachers.

To contact us for further information or to arrange an audition call: 0118 9012386 or email:


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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