The Course

Date and Cost

The NSGSO/NSGCB course 2023 will be held in Stourbridge from Sunday 30th July – Sunday 6th August 2023. The cost for the 2023 course is £580, inclusive of all food and accommodation, tuition, music, social activities and transport during the course, plus support and enquiries prior to the course.

Music Rehearsals

Now in its 48th year the NSGSO and NSGCB course is made up of of intense rehearsals, workshops, master-classes and sectional tutoring alongside Scouting and Girlguiding activities. Over the week you’ll be working with our team of Scout and Guide leaders, professional tutors and our 2 orchestral conductors to ensure you develop your creative talents and have fun along the way. The course concludes with concerts showcasing the talents of Scouting & Girlguiding in a prestigious concert venue in the Birmingham and local area. Each ensemble will have the opportunity to watch the others in their concerts.

A behind the scenes look at the course and what you will be involved in during the week.

Integration of Courses

Both courses are integrated together for accommodation, food and social activities. Accommodation is at Old Swinford Hospital School; a boarding school in Stourbridge. Members stay in boarding houses with both small dormitory and single rooms and are divided by both sex and age (over and under 18). All meals are provided and we can take into account all dietary requirements. During the week there is also time for social activities most afternoons and evenings. There is also time for rest and relaxation- although not much!


You will need to make your own travel arrangements; however for participants arriving by public transport we will provide local pick-ups from Birmingham Airport or Stourbridge Junction Station.


Members need full formal uniform; concerts are played in uniform or polo tops, not in black as per many school and university ensembles. Please see the FAQ for details of uniform. We provide all new members or those moving ensembles with an NSGSO or NSGCB polo top and necker (blue and white for NSGSO and grape and white for NSGCB).

Prior to the Course

Although the course is a week long we aim to help all members experience it fully by providing you with lots of details prior to the course. The staff team is made up of 13 Scout and Guide leaders who organise and manage the course during the year. We are available to answer any questions that you may have about the application process or the course. We will then be in touch with you by 31st December to let you know if you have been successful. If you haven’t we will let you know what you need to do to be successful a further year.


Once you have been accepted we ask for a non returnable deposit by 31st January 2023. The rest of the course fees are staggered for ease of payment. If you’d prefer different payment options to the ones that we suggest then we are always happy to chat about this. See our FAQ page for information about grants. We then provide you with lots of pre-course detail, the opportunity for members and parents to join our closed Facebook page and detailed information before the course about health, dietary, concerts, social activities, uniform, transport and pastoral care.