6pm Sat 27 March 2021

Find out about our 2021 concert series, upcoming collaborations and community and music education initiatives at our official launch.

make music in 2021

Learn a skill for life

The Shoalhaven Youth Orchestra offers a series of programs and ensembles for South Coast music students. Join us in 2021 to develop on your musical skills and build lasting friendships and memories.

the syo in 2021

ensembles return tues 2nd february 2021

Join our mailing list to keep up to date with what we have in store for 2021

Contact us here for more information 

“I have continued to meet people and gain new experiences through playing with the SYO and opened up many pathways for my future.”

Elouera Marshall, Concert Master SYO, Nowra

About the Shoalhaven Youth Orchestra

The Shoalhaven Youth Orchestra, proudly sponsored by the Shoalhaven Arts Board, promotes music education in the Shoalhaven. All our classes and activities are fun and engaging, as well as having an educational element. SYO offers music education for toddlers via our Tuning In! programs developing basic music (and social) skills, right up to teenagers and young adults in our main orchestra holding regular rehearsals and performances. SYO aims to enrich young musicians of the Shoalhaven and be an outlet of self expression and cultural development. SYO creates a point of access for art music culture in the Shoalhaven to those who might not otherwise have access to orchestral music.

Join the SYO

Tuning In Music Program

Tuning In!

Tuning In! is the music education program of SYO. Trained music educators conduct various classes for children aged between 2 and 12 in Nowra and Berry. The program develops basic musical skills as well as allowing children to try out, and begin to learn, all the instruments of the orchestra.



The Shoalhaven Youth Orchestra is the premier youth orchestral music group in the Shoalhaven. Rehearsing on Tuesday afternoons at the Nowra School of Arts students develop upon their ensemble skills, sight reading abilities and understanding of orchestral repertoire.

Shoalhaven Junior Strings

Junior Strings

The Shoalhaven Junior Strings is a training ensemble for junior orchestral string players, preparing them for rehearsal and performance with the senior orchestra. Rehearsals are help on Tuesday afternoons at the Nowra School of Arts.

Shoalhaven Quartet


The Shoalhaven Youth Orchestra Quartet is made of our principal violinists, violist and cellist. This ensemble may perform regularly and is available for private functions.



The Shoalhaven Youth Orchestra hosts a series of combined orchestral workshops throughout the year. This allows students the chance to perform in a full sized orchestra and work with professional tutors.



The Shoalhaven Youth Orchestra hosts an annual camp in which youth orchestral musicians of the Shoalhaven come together for an overnight camp to workshop challenging repertoire and work with professional tutors.


School Visits

The Shoalhaven Youth Orchestra visits Shoalhaven schools to showcase both instruments and instrumentalists to the wider Shoalhaven Community.


Instrument Hire

The Shoalhaven Youth Orchestra maintains a full inventory of orchestral instruments available for hire.

“My daughter began Tuning in at 2 years of age and loved it from the beginning. The classes are presented in an age-appropriate manner to capture attention and hold interest for the entire duration; using music, movement, colours, props and instruments. The teachers are passionate about music and education and engage with both kids and parents ensuring that all present are involved and having fun! I would highly recommend Tuning In for all children; it’s lots of fun, social and wonderful for a child’s self-expression and confidence.”

Stephanie Debeck, Tuning In! parent, Nowra

“I was part of the SYO for six years (2006-2012). I started off in the Preparatory Strings (now Junior Strings) and it was both a fantastic and supportive place to be as a beginner musician. Orchestra was something I looked forward to every week. I would recommend it to any young local musician as a great place to socialise and learn ensemble and instrumental skills. To this day I play alongside musicians I met in the SYO, it has opened me up to experiences past my SYO days.”

Eryn Deys, SYO alumni, music education graduate, school teacher, Nowra

“Our six year old has loved the fun of Tuning In! classes since she was two. The playful and creative approach of the teachers makes learning how to read, play and compose music easy and exciting for kids. Experiencing so many different instruments and performing as a group on stage each year has inspired our child and created a passion for all things musical.”

Micha James, Tuning In! parent, Nowra

“It’s really great for kids to find what their favourite instrument is, by trying them out. I learnt that I much prefer the clarinet rather than the violin, which I had been learning. It was funny seeing the other kids get really excited over instruments that I didn’t much care for. We were so different!”

Lizzy Stiles, former JUMP student, 9 years old

“Over the past 5 yrs our family has enjoyed Tuning In!, Stringlets, JuMP and Choir. Our daughter has transitioned to private music lessons now, with a firm foundation in music reading, rhythm and playing in an ensemble. It’s great to see the teachers create a welcoming, nurturing, joyful atmosphere for children of differing abilities.”

Jannelle & Martin Stiles, Tuning In!, JUMP, Stringlets, TI! Choir parents

“I’ve been part of the SYO for 10 years, beginning in the Shoalhaven Junior Strings in 2008. It was a fantastic opportunity for me to develop as a young musician gaining practical experience in playing with and performing in an ensemble. I made many friends who shared my interests in music and we were able to grow together through the SYO program. The Shoalhaven Youth Orchestra is an excellent opportunity for young musicians who wish to develop their knowledge and love for playing an instrument. I have continued to meet people and gain new experiences through playing with the SYO and opened up many pathways for my future.”

Elouera Marshall, Concert Master, Shoalhaven Youth Orchestra, Nowra

“When I play the cello it helps me express my feelings. Learning the cello was not easy at first, but I soon came to enjoy it and think of no other instrument! SJS and my teachers guided me to play with others to make music.”

Albert Marr, Shoalhaven Junior Strings Cellist, Nowra

“The violin is an extraordinary instrument, it does take time to learn and when you learn how to play the Violin it sounds amazing. I enjoy practicing with everyone. I am not that fond of going to concerts, I get afraid although by the end I feel amazing. The teachers are very good, and can be funny! I love it.”

Hazel Marr, Violin, Shoalhaven Junior Strings

“I had been learning piano for 6 years when I started learning viola as a second instrument in 2017, encouraged by my teacher at the time. The scholarship has enabled me to continue taking lessons to improve my playing and to also join SYO. Membership of the SYO has been excellent for my development as a musician. I have gained experience in playing in an ensemble, which is not easy to get as a pianist. I’ve also had a lot of fun rehearsing, performing and also learning from experienced musicians including our conductor and the Haydn Ensemble.”

Luke Bowen, SYO Second Instrument Scholarship recipient, Principal Viola

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