Concert webcast now online….

Oppose the financial cuts on the Perth and Kinross Music Service

Perth and Kinross Council have made plans for cuts to be made to the music service. The equivalent of 3.5 full-time salaries will be cut, this could mean that a third of the instrumental staff employed by the council will be losing their jobs. If these cuts go ahead, Central Groups will not have sufficient staffing to keep running. 

PYO member – Eva Seba has started this petition to oppose the cuts being actioned against the Perth and Kinross Music Service – our Chief Patron Su-A Lee has added her voice to the campaign – please join her and all who care passionately about learning and performing. SIGN HERE –

Central Groups is an organisation run by music service staff who give up their evenings to support ensembles and orchestras from beginner to advanced levels. This organisation encourages the creative growth, confidence, co-operation and confidence of young people and enables unique performance opportunities to all ages and abilities. It has given students the opportunity to perform and compete at regional, national and international levels.  

Students are also offered the chance to partake in our annual music camp, a four-day residential camp where students work towards the end of week concert at Perth Concert Hall. At music camp our senior ensembles immerse themselves in rehearsals all day with lots of opportunities for downtime as well as evening entertainment. Music Camp is the highlight of the year for many, where lasting friendships are created, and musical capability is developed extensively.   

Taking part in Central Groups is free of charge, offering equal opportunities to all. Without adequate funding, this organisation will become inaccessible to many, with a fee having to be paid to take part in central groups and costs for our annual music camp potentially doubling.  

It is not just jobs that will be lost, we will potentially be losing an organisation that provides unrivalled culture to Perth and Kinross. It has supported hundreds of students to pursue significant careers in the arts. It has inspired potential, growth, leadership, responsibility and self-esteem in every young person involved.  

We urge that the Council does not allow the cuts to go forward and realises the detrimental impact that they could inflict on the culture, welfare and education of the young people and communities of Perth and Kinross. Please sign this petition to make a change. 

Annual Concert 2022

Perth Youth Orchestra is in its 62nd year. Founded in 1962, by two Perth musicians, Louis Barnett and John Davie, with the support of a small number of parents, it gave its first concert on 25th June 1964. The orchestra is a registered charity in Scotland. PYO is sustained both by the young players desire to excel and by their determination to succeed.

The orchestra rehearses each Monday evening in the Music Centre at St John’s Academy, Perth, from October to April, and it is well supported by Perth and Kinross Council. Perth Youth Orchestra is a registered charitable organisation and the funds it raises help to support the purchase of instruments and musical scores, as well as the services of its conductor and instrumental tutors at rehearsals and concerts- at the Perth Festival of the Arts, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in Glasgow at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and in a variety of concerts throughout the year at home and abroad.

In July 2013 the orchestra celebrated its 50th anniversary with a concert tour to Tuscany performing at the Florence Festival of Youth Orchestras. In July 2016 the orchestra performed several concerts in Prague – full details can be found in the Tour Blog.

Parents of young musicians in Perth and Kinross are always impressed by the provision of the many Central Music Groups. But Perth Youth Orchestra is much more than just another Central Group. With the support of the Friends of PYO it has provided the opportunity for generations of the best young orchestral musicians in the area to play challenging and exciting music from the concert repertoire, performing not only in Perth but elsewhere in Scotland, and also on tour, most recently to Germany and Italy, and before that in Poland and Estonia.

Admission to the orchestra is by audition, usually in September. All members can take pride in their own ability, and learn and develop their skill while expanding their knowledge of different composers and musical styles. Many former members have gone on to make illustrious careers as performers – more details are on the website.

Putting on concerts, hiring music, purchasing, insuring, and maintaining instruments, and of course organising tours, costs money, and the orchestra has an annual turn-over of around, in non-tour years, of over £8000. It is a charitable trust run by a committee made up of the Friends of Perth Youth Orchestra including the conductor, Mr Allan Young, parents of current and former members, instrumental tutors, and orchestra representatives. We are grateful to several generous sponsors from the local area, and fund-raising by the orchestra is an important and necessary source of income, especially as we start to look forward to the next concert tour, in the summer of 2019.

On joining the orchestra, families were asked to pay a fee to Perth and Kinross central groups. Membership of the Friends of Perth Youth Orchestra is an additional cost (£30) but the benefits it brings are very worthwhile

“Their achievement was astonishing – cutting edge – the real thing

Michael Tumelty – The Herald


Honorary President
Susannah Rae*

Honorary Vice-President
Eric Scott

Honorary Secretary
Ann Marie Neave

Honorary Treasurer
Esther Stickland

PYO Friends Coordinator
Andrew Mitchell*

Tour Coordinator
Iona Crosby

Katharine Douglas
07801 678318

Committee posts
Fiona Drimmie,
Paul Gebara

Tutor Representative

Player Representatives

Allan Young MBE*

* trustee

Members raising funds for the PYO Tour – how can you help?