Welcome to the NSGSO & NSGCB

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

The 2024 Course is now closed for applications other than for a couple of instruments;
you will find details on the Instruments Page.

Dates: Sunday 28th July – Sunday 4th August 2024 in Stourbridge, West Midlands.
Cost £580.

Applications for the 2025 Anniversary Course will open in September.
Please do not apply now as we are not accepting applications yet.

Course Dates: Saturday 2 August- Sunday 10 August 2025

Concerts- Albert Hall Nottingham and Symphony Hall Birmingham

The National Scout and Guide Symphony Orchestra and the National Scout and Guide Concert Band are hosted by Birmingham Scout County, with the 2024 residential course again taking place in Stourbridge at Old Swinford Hospital School.

We welcome applications from any members from Scouting and Girlguiding aged 12 – 25 and above grade 4 on their first Instrument.

The NSGSO is now in its 49th year and its membership is around 80 players. The NSGCB was reformed in 2016 in its current format and in its 9th year also totals around 80 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 Birmingham area. 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:

“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

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

“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

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

Jeremy Shoobridge – Woodwind Tutor

“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

“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