Welcome to the NSGSO & NSGCB

An Orchestral and Concert Band Course
for Scouts and Guides aged 12-25

Course Dates: 1st – 8th August 2021
Applications are now open
Closing date is midnight on Saturday 12th December 2020

The National Scout and Guide Symphony Orchestra and the National Scout and Guide Concert Band are hosted by Birmingham Scout County, with the 2021 residential course taking place for the 5th year in Stourbridge at Old Swinford Hospital Boarding School.

The focus of the 2021 course is for both ensembles to play in Coventry Cathedral as part of the UK City of Culture as well as concerts in the Birmingham area.

The NSGSO is now in its 46th year and its membership is around 80 players. The NSGCB was reformed in 2016 in its current format and now totals around 60 members. Both courses offer an intense week of rehearsals and workshops with a professional conductor and sectional tutors, culminating in concerts at prestigious venues in the West Midlands. Members are integrated for all social, accommodation and pastoral events.

Applicants between the ages of 26-30 may be considered in the event that a section is undersubscribed.

What our members and supporters say:

“NSGSO provides a fabulous opportunity for Scouting and Guiding members to come together and share their love of music, whilst making new friends, challenging themselves and having heaps of fun in a safe environment. The staff team all work so hard to provide a fun week, culminating in outstanding performances to showcase the talents of the orchestra and ensembles.”

Sarah – Parent

“NSGCB is one of the best ways to combine both music and Guiding or Scouting. The music you play is always fun, even if it may seem difficult to start with. The tutors are incredible and the music  sounds amazing at the end. The friendships you form are ones that will last for a very long time. The staff are the loveliest and most supportive people, helping with the smallest tasks to organise the whole course. It is definitely one of the best weeks I have been on.”

Lauren – Member, Percussion

“I was totally enthralled by the music played during the concert. The talent of all the members involved was amazing and it was totally obvious that I was witnessing something quite unique. The commitment of everyone comes across in the performance, but also from the brief conversations I had everyone loves being part of the orchestra and the band. I know that many members have been taking the opportunity to take part for a number of years and whilst it is hard work they make many friends.”

Julie Bell-Deputy - Chief Guide

Super individuals who really want to improve their orchestral playing. A high spot in my tutoring year!

Jeremy Shoobridge – Woodwind Tutor

NSGSO is the highlight of my summer every year! The sectionals and rehearsals challenge me to play to the best of my ability, as well as developing many musical skills. Whilst the week is intense, there’s still lots of opportunities to relax, whether that’s at the ceilidh, rock climbing, getting crafty or just chilling playing cards. It is a perfect mixture of music, activities and amazing friends. If you love music and you love guiding or scouting you’re guaranteed to have a fab week.

Claire – Member, Flute/Bassoon

“I am impressed by the development of  NSGSO and NSGCB, with the gradual increase in the numbers of young people benefiting from involvement and the increase in standards of performance over the years. The scheme also gives the youngsters involved a fantastic week of personal development, fun and friendship.”

Iain Waddell – GSL and Supporter