About us

CYO is an independent not-for-profit organization with the aims of stimulating children’s interest in orchestral music and providing them with opportunities to enjoy playing a wide range of musical repertoire and to perform in public.

Welcome from our Musical Director


“Hi, I’m Alison Golby, Musical Director of the Crediton Youth Orchestra. Our first two terms have been really exciting and I couldn't have hoped ford a more positive start! There are so many young musicians in and around the area and my vision of bringing them all together, in the form of an orchestra has proven to be very promising. I believe that playing in an ensemble from an early age provides a valuable musical experience, providing context for individual practice and making music making fun. It’s also great for developing confidence and giving young people the opportunity to meet new people and socialise. This is invaluable for children in the more remote communities as well as those nearer to town. This orchestra is open to anyone who plays an orchestral instrument and who can read music. If you enjoy playing and want to join I will make sure you have a part that is suitable for your ability, allowing less experienced players to join in confidently and more experienced/advanced players to be stretched and to shine with more demanding roles or solo parts. So far we have been playing jazz, rock and roll, contemporary pop, film music and classical music, and will continue to be varied with the repertoire to give the young performers a wide musical experience as possible. Our doors are open!”


About your MD


Where did you train as a musician?

I studied Music at Manchester University, where I was lucky to study composition with James MacMillan. I love his work ! (He wasn't so well-known back then!) I studied clarinet with Paul Dintinger from the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra at the RNCM while I was there as well. Then I went to Cambridge to do a PGCE in Music (with some English and Drama).


What did you do after leaving university?

I have been a teacher of Music for my whole professional life. I have been a Director of Music and Head of Creative and Performing Arts in secondary schools and have spent a lot of my time working on arts outreach projects too. For 8 years I have been a Lecturer in Music, Music Technology and Performing Arts in a sixth form college. I have also directed lots of ensembles and choirs and conducted a large community choir. All of this was in Berkshire and Oxfordshire.


What about since you moved to Devon?

I have been really lucky to meet so many amazing musicians since moving to Devon. I have been working with them to promote playing orchestral instruments among primary school children and have held ‘Big Play Days’ to give pupils the opportunity to try as many instruments as they like with expert supervision from tutors. I've also set up an Elastic Band in Cheriton Fitzpaine Primary School, which is a jazz/rock/pop band with over 25 primary school musicians in it. A bit like CYO we have clarinets, saxophones, trumpet, trombone, flutes, pianos, guitars, bass guitar, a drummer, violins, cello. I also perform in a jazz band and in chamber ensembles and teach clarinet, saxophone, piano and theory.


What are your plans for CYO?

Now that we have a lovely group of musicians rehearsing regularly every week, making a good, musical sound, I really would like to continue to work with them to further develop their musical skills (listening to each other, responding to direction, sight reading etc.). We will put on termly concerts or showcases from now on (we've already been asked to play at several events!) It would also be great to develop our group of QE mentors. We have some fabulous QE musicians who come along every week and help the musicians to learn parts, watch the conductor and also demonstrate by playing in the orchestra themselves. The younger players benefit hugely from this. Of course we would also like to recruit as many players from our local community as possible and try to provide support for those who may not usually think of joining a group like this. It really is very rewarding and a lot of fun!

We have a great team, including Lucy Welsman from QE, to help to make this happen and I am very grateful to QE for their support and for facilitating this project.

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