National Festival

3rd - 6th


Symphony Hall, Town Hall, CBSO Centre & Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Weds 3rd - Sat 6th July 2019

Time (Daily)
09:30 - 19:30


Day and week audience passes will be available

Day passes give you access to all National Festival venues on that day, including CBSO Centre and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

National Festival

Everyone's invited to National Festival 2019

A feast of live music! Hear performances from the very best jazz, brass, classical, folk, choral and contemporary young musicians.

Open to the public, every July around 10,000 of the UK’s brightest young musicians perform at world class venues and city-centre locations across Birmingham as part of the annual Music for Youth National Festival. Every young person performing at our 2019 Regional Festivals or Local Event Network events is invited!

Go to our Programme tab above to discover 2019 National Festival Venue Performances and Festival Fringe opportunities including our many Fringe Stages and exciting Workshops & Participation sessions with leading professionals!

Our National Festival Supporters

National Festival 2019

Programme Overview


Workshops & Participation and Fringe Stages are open to everyone who took part in the Music For Youth Regional Festival Series and Local Event Network 2019

Want to perform on a Fringe Stage or do a Workshop?
Head to our main Festival Fringe page


Wednesday 3 July

Choirs, Session 1

10.15 - 13.00

Canons Choir
Cor Aelwyd Coed y Cwm
East Herrington Primary Academy
Horbury St Peters and Clifton Primary School Choir
Lindley Junior School Training Choir
Maybury Primary School Choir
NEDMC Junior Choir
Theale C ofE Primary School Choir
Unicorn Singers


Choirs, Session 2 

15.00 - 17.15

Gospel Choir
Rubik's Cube
Shakespeare Primary School Choir
St Peter's RC Primary School Choir
Tees Valley Youth Choir
The Minchkins from LEH
West Sussex Youth Choir


Choirs, Session 3

17.45 - 20.00

BIshop Rawstorne Choir
Cardiff High School Senior Choir
Fresh Harmonies
Hemel Hempstead School Chamber Choir
Rastrick High School Choir
Valley Park School
Warwickshire Choristers

World, Folk & Roots, Session 1

10.30 - 13.10

Hampshire Taiko
Little Folk
Meanwood Drummers
QES Salsa band
St Ann’s CE Primary School Steel Band
Swn Celtaidd
TMA Taiko Drummers
Wriggle Jigglers


World, Folk & Roots, Session 2

14.15 - 16.50

CCC Steelband
Coleridge Taiko Warriors
London Youth Folk Ensemble and Kinetika Bloco
Oxford Youth Gamelan
Panatical Steel Band
Summerhill School Steel Band
Walthamstow School For Girls Y11 Steel Band


Percussion Ensembles

17.15 - 19.15

Brighton & Hove Youth Percussion Ensemble
Ealing Percussion Seniors
East Riding Senior Percussion Ensemble
ESAM Percussion Ensemble
Hull Junior Percussion Ensemble
Minsthorpe Percussion Ensemble

Venue Performances

Symphony Hall Choirs (10.15 - 20.00)

CBSO Centre World, Folk & Roots (10.30 - 16.50) Percussion Ensembles (17.15 - 19.15)

Fringe Takeover Town Hall with Massed Ensemble performances, workshops and Fringe Stage performances (10.45 - 18.00) 


Workshops & Participation

Fringe Takeover Workshop 

Totally Vocal led by Jennifer John

Find Your Voice! with National Youth Choirs of Great Britain


Fringe Stages

Brindleyplace Bandstand | Caffe Nero Brindleyplace | Centenary Square | Festival Tent, City Centre Gardens | Fringe Takeover, Town Hall | Level 3 Foyer, Symphony Hall 


Opening Day Sponsor:

Unity Trust Bank

Thursday 4 July

Brass & Wind

13.00 - 16.00


Downend Concert Band

Mk Youth Brass
North East Hampshire Area Schools Band
Springwood High School Concert Band
St Helens Youth Brass Band
Stafford Grammar School Concert Band
SYM Wind Band
Western Winds



16.45 - 19.30

Downend Senior Choir
Gloucestershire Youth Choir
Leighfield Primary Combined Choir
LGGS Chamber Choir
Llanwern High Senior Vocal Ensemble
Rochdale Youth Choir
St Aidan's Chamber Choir
St Cecilia Singers

Infants & Juniors

10.15 - 13.30

Blackbird Leys String Band
Brass Attack
Kingswood Parks Fifetastic
Maria and Sila - Duncombe Primary
Nethergreen Guitar Band
St James C of E Primary School Band
St Swithun's Prep School Pre-Prep Musicians
Towcester Rock School Junior Emsemble
West Twyford Primary School


String & Chamber

14.30 - 17.00

Altrincham Girls' Grammar School String Orchestra
Brighton Youth Orchestra String Ensemble
Bromley Youth Chamber Orchestra (BYCO)
Dame Alice Owen's School - Senior Strings
MK String Orchestra
Truro School Chamber Orchestra



17.30 - 19.30

Bournemouth School Barbershop Quartet
The Beatlets
We Wu Squad

Venue Performances

Symphony Hall Schools Concert (11.00 - 12.00) | Brass & Wind (13.00 - 16.00) | Choirs (16.45 - 19.30)

Town Hall Infants & Juniors (10.15 - 13.30) | String & Chamber (14.30 - 17.00) | Ensembles (17.30 - 19.30)


Workshops & Participation

Brass & Wind Workshop 

Find Your Voice! with National Youth Choirs of Great Britain


Fringe Stages

Brindleyplace Bandstand | Caffe Nero Brindleyplace | Centenary Square |  Festival Tent, City Centre Gardens | Level 3 Foyer, Symphony Hall

Friday 5 July

Brass & Wind, Session 1

10.15 - 13.15

BANES Symphonic Wind Band
Bassaleg School Wind Band
Gwent Youth Brass Band
LSF Symphonic Wind Band
Redbridge Music School Symphonic Band
St. John Fisher Catholic High School Concert Band
Wardle Academy Wind Band


Brass & Wind, Session 2

15.30 - 17.45

Hangleton Youth Band
Music a Deux
Northamptonshire County Youth Concert Band
Sponne Brass Band
Wardle Junior Band
West Sussex Youth Choir


Brass & Wind, Session 3

18.15 - 20.15

Birmingham Schools' Wind Orchestra
Gwent Combined Wind Orchestra
Houghton Area Youth Band
Junior Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Wind Orchestra
Tapton School Brass Band


10.15 - 12.15

Bridgend County Symphonic Brass Ensemble
Merchant Taylors Saxophone Ensemble
RWBA Saxophone Ensemble
Sponne Chamber Strings
West Hertfordshire Suzuki violin group


Jazz, Session 1

13.00 - 16.00

Lancashire Schools Jazz Orchestra
Luton Youth Jazz Orchestra
MAA Big Band
Norfolk Students Jazz Orchestra
NSG Big Band
RWBA Swing Band
St Olave's Mini-Jazz Band
The ESAM Big Band


Jazz, Session 2

17.00 - 19.00

East Riding Youth Jazz Orchestra
GSAL Big Band
HWMC Senior Big Band
National Youth Jazz Orchestra Academy Big Band
South Gloucestershire Youth Jazz Orchestra - SOGYJO
The Robert Smyth Academy Jazz Band


Jazz Evening

19.30 - 21.30

Greater Gwent Youth Jazz Orchestra
Hull Youth Jazz Orchestra
Northamptonshire County Youth Big Band
NPTC Group Jazz Ensemble
SYM Jazz Orchestra
The Blue Coat Jazz Orchestra
The Wandering Winds

Venue Performances

Symphony Hall Brass & Wind (10.15 - 20.15)

Town Hall Ensembles (10.15 - 12.15) | Jazz (13.00 - 19.00) | Jazz Evening (19.30 - 21.30)


Workshops & Participation

Totally Brass & Wind led by Patrick Bailey

Breaking Down Jazz with National Youth Jazz Orchestra

Side by Side Workshop with Royal Marines Band Service 


Fringe Stages

Brindleyplace Bandstand | Caffe Nero Brindleyplace | Centenary Square | Colmore Food Festival | Festival Tent, City Centre Gardens | Level 3 Foyer, Symphony Hall 



Day Sponsor:


Royal Marines Band Service

Saturday 6 July


10.30 - 18.00

All Saints Junior School Orchestra
Bridgend County Senior Orchestra
Bristol Youth Chamber Orchestra
Carmarthenshire Senior Orchestra
Chordis Caerllion
Gwent Youth Orchestra
In Harmony Telford Nucleo Orchestra
MK Youth Orchestra
Musica Youth Strings
NEL Music Hub
Northamptonshire County Youth Orchestra
Oldham Music Centre Youth Orchestra
Ousedale Concert Orchestra
Oxfordshire County Youth Orchestra
Showcase Young Players Orchestra
Warwick Foundation Symphony Orchestra
West Sussex Youth Wind Orchestra
Wigan Youth Symphony Orchestra


10.30 - 13.00

Acer Minor
Birmingham Schools' Guitar Ensemble
Gwent Youth Guitar Ensemble
KDC Don't Fret
NPTC Group Vocal Ensemble
Oxfordshire Youth Flute Choir
SEDMC Flute Choir
The Amaria Consort


Rock, Pop, Funk & Soul, Session 1

15.45 - 17.45

Boston Youth Pop Choir
Casino Royale
Harmony Army
Lizzie Hill Band
Rainbow Syrup


Rock, Pop, Funk & Soul, Session 2

18.15 - 19.45

Musica Soul Band
Soul Patrol

Chamber, Session 1

10.15 - 12.30

Atomic Strings
NCYO Clarinet Duo
Otono Guitar Quartet
Oxfordshire Youth Clarinet Choir
Senzatori String Quartet


Chamber, Session 2

13.45 - 16.15

Cello Ensemble
Gibson Baroque Trio
Hampshire County Youth String Quartet
LEH String Quartet
St Swithun's Junior Trio
The Blackwood Quartet
The Needle Quartet
The Wilkes Lee Duo (Warwick School)


Chamber, Session 3

16.45 - 18.30

Croft Recorder Quartet
Hatherley Brass
Musica Colne Valley String Trio
The Original Quintet 1


Frequencies Showcase

17.30 - 19.00

Leon Tilbrook and the Wilhelm Scream
Owain Felstead and Friends
The Walker Project
Young Musicians Project


Venue Performances

Symphony Hall Orchestras (10.30 - 18.00)

Town Hall Ensembles (10.15 - 13.00) | Rock, Pop, Funk & Soul (15.45 - 19.45)

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Frequencies Takeover (11.30 - 19.00) | Chamber (10.15 - 18.30)


Workshops & Participation

Frequencies Takeover at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Performance Workshop with RNCM Session Orchestra 


Fringe Stages

Brindleyplace Bandstand  | Centenary Square | Colmore Food Festival | Level 3 Foyer, Symphony Hall | Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Foyer


Day Sponsor:

Musicians' Union

Festival HUB 3 - 6 July

New to this year’s National Festival, the MFY Festival Hub, located in Symphony Hall, will gather teachers, young musicians, their friends and families. As well as an exhibition space, the hub will be bustling with performances, Q&A sessions, digital sound games & more!


National Festival and Festival Fringe FAQs

Here are a few FAQs about the registration process for the National Festival and Festival Fringe, more detailed information about the day will be sent out with your confirmations once you sign up!


Who can sign up to the Festival Fringe Activity? Any group who took part in our 2019 Regional Festival Series or our Local Event Network series during the 2018/19 season. Not sure? Feel free to get in touch with the Music for Youth office and we’ll be more than happy to help. 

Can I bring additional students who didn’t perform as part of the Regional Festival Series/Local Event Network? Yes! So long as they join the original group it is fine for your group numbers to increase., but please let MFY know about changes to numbers, so we can still accommodate your group.

How do I know what will be suitable for my group to get involved in? On each Fringe page there is more detailed information about activity and who it’s suitable for, if you’re still not sure feel free to call the office and we can help you find the right activity for your group. 

How much does it cost to take part? It's free to take part! Travel subsidies are also available for those groups to whom this might be a barrier, to help with transport costs. 

When will my Fringe activity be confirmed? During May.

How are allocations made? Festival Fringe allocations will be made on a first come first served basis for the first 75% of entries. Music for Youth then reserve the right to allocate the remaining 25% of places at our discretion.  

How long are the Fringe Stage performance slots? Most will be about 10 minutes, but some stages we are able to offer longer slots dependant on location, availability and popularity.  

What is the deadline for signing up? Bookings will remain open whilst we have availability, but we would recommend you sign up early to avoid disappointment as performance slots and workshops fill up quickly.