The Symphony Orchestra

Now in its 46th year, the National Scout and Guide Symphony Orchestra is usually made up of around 70 members of Scouting and Girlguiding aged between 12 and 25 who are proficient in at least one orchestral instrument. The Orchestra meets once a year for an intense week of music making alongside Scouting and Guiding activities, culminating in two concerts at prestigious venues in the Birmingham area.

During the week, the NSGSO usually undertake a symphony or extended orchestral work, most recently Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8 in 2019 and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 in D minor in 2018. This is complemented by a selection of other works, from Strauss waltzes to Holst’s planets and even the Star Wars suite. The NSGSO also join with the NSGCB for a grand finale to their concerts, performing Finlandia by Sibelius in 2019 and Peter Lawson’s Tunes from the Trenches in 2018, commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War.

However we also have space during the day for rest and chat. You can find out more under Social Activities.

You can find out more information about the 46 years of the NSGSO under History and information about upcoming performances under Concerts.

Leon Gee, NSGSO Conductor

Following formative musical training as a violinist, Leon studied conducting at the Birmingham Conservatoire under Jonathan Del Mar, with further studies in the Czech Republic, at Dartington and with the British Youth Opera. Since then, he has worked with many different ensembles including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.

He has become one of the UK’s foremost trainers of younger orchestras, being founder Music Director for the London Philharmonic Youth Orchestra with guest work including orchestras at the Birmingham Conservatoire, the Guildhall and Royal Welsh College Junior Departments, Oxford University Orchestra, Pro Corda and the Scottish Schools Orchestra Trust. Leon began his conductorship of NSGSO in 2006 and currently also holds conductorship of Ealing Youth Orchestra and Chiltern Youth Chamber Orchestra. In addition, he has recently worked with the London College of Music LCM Sinfonia and the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Wales.