Course Practicalities


Please arrive 10 – 15 minutes early every day before the start of your first session. This allows time for signing in, asking any questions, unpacking instruments, etc.


Bring plenty to drink and something to eat in the breaks.


A variety of music will be played during the course of the week, but not all of it will be performed in the final presentation. The tutors try to introduce contrasting styles of music, and hopefully cover most children’s needs.

Behaviour Policy

The Holiday Orchestra Behaviour Policy sets out the standards of behaviour that holiday orchestra organizers and tutors expect of the children to ensure successful and enjoyable courses.

The First Day

Sometimes children can feel overwhelmed sitting in a large group – maybe for the first time – sight reading music, and having to keep pace with everyone else. The second day is always easier. Music can be taken home to practise, and there are plenty of tutors around always willing to help. While some of the music will seem quite easy, other pieces will be more challenging. If the music is too difficult, please let a tutor know. They will be able to help. Alternatively you can speak to someone on the Committee Desk and they will be able to advise you.

Which Group?

If your child is borderline, and you are not sure which level is best for them, it might be better to put them in the easier group. They will have more fun and get more out of the course playing music they can understand.

How the Week Works – an example from a Summer Course

The first three days follow the same timetable. The last two days are different. The afternoon of the fourth day is when the first presentation takes place, at around 6.00pm. This is for the training, and intermediate sections, plus some choirs and other instrument groups such as recorders. The fifth day is for the upper sections only. They will rehearse in the morning, and give their presentation in the afternoon, usually at around 2.30pm.

Courses at Christmas and Easter are four days in length and follow a slightly different timetable depending on the dates of public holidays.


Tickets will be required for each presentation – more information will be available during the course. Tickets are free but there is a retiring collection!

Dress Code for the Presentations

Smart / casual.

Parent Helpers

A voluntary committee, which employs tutors to run the course, organises Holiday Orchestra. Parents of participants are asked to volunteer some help during the week: either manning the signing-in desk for half an hour, helping in one of the sessions as an extra pair of hands, stewarding for the presentations, etc. No musical expertise is required. Holiday Orchestra could not and would not run without parent helpers.

Please read Guidelines for Parent Helpers.