About Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra

Founded in 1944, Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra (SYO) is probably the longest-established youth orchestra in Surrey and London. We aim to provide an orchestral environment which is challenging, fun, friendly and supportive, in which young musicians of all backgrounds can develop their skills and nurture a lifelong love of music.

Our name comes from our original home in the leafy suburb of Stoneleigh, near Epsom in Surrey. We moved to our current home in Wimbledon in 2003. We now have over 170 members, from the ages of 9 to 18, drawn from about 80 schools all over Surrey and London. We rehearse on Sunday afternoons during term time, perform three concerts a year in some of the best concert halls in and around London, and work with leading professional musicians. Recent venues include the Royal College of Music, Cadogan Hall and St John’s Smith Square. We also undertake a summer tour in Europe on a regular basis.

We have two orchestras: the Main Orchestra, which is aimed at musicians with the equivalent of Grade 7 or above, and the Training Orchestra, designed for less experienced musicians who are at least Grade 4 standard. Auditions for potential new players are held in January, April and September.

Our Musical Director is Robert Hodge, who conducts the Main Orchestra. Our Assistant Conductor is Dan Shilladay who is responsible for the Training Orchestra and leads string sectionals for the Main Orchestra.

SYO is wholly independent and a registered charity (charity no. 280297). Financial assistance towards the cost of membership is available and no person who is musically eligible will be denied access to membership for financial reasons. Further information about the orchestra is available here.

Our website was designed by Harriet Bishop.

Photographs on this page were taken by Belinda Lawley at Belindalawley.com unless otherwise credited.