BBC Orchestras and Young Sounds UK launch national mentoring programme

The BBC’s five orchestras – the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra – together with Young Sounds UK, are launching a national mentoring programme for 15 to 17 year-olds across the UK. Beginning in September this year, the project will connect with the young people at pivotal points in their lives, preparing for music college or university or making decisions about career options.  

Twenty four 15 to 17 year-olds, all of whom have won an Award with Young Sounds UK, will be matched with a BBC musician for six mentoring sessions. They will gain access to music experiences across the BBC with their mentors acting as a role model, guide and advocate. Representatives from each of the BBC Orchestras will be taking part, ensuring young people across the UK have access to the programme.  

Simon Webb, Head of Orchestras and Choirs, BBC said: “I am delighted to be extending our partnership with Young Sounds UK. With all five BBC orchestras now involved, we are able to expand our geographical reach and support young people facing financial and social obstacles to progress – either towards a musical career or in fostering a lifelong love of classical music.”  

Hester Cockcroft, Chief Executive, Young Sounds UK said: “We’re really excited to expand our long-term collaboration with the BBC to bring together top-level professional musicians with the hugely talented young musicians whom we’re here to help. As the programme name, Exchange, suggests, this is a unique opportunity for learning for both mentors and mentees. Our young people can’t wait to get started!” 

This partnership builds on the success of the 2022 BBC and Young Sounds UK Exchange programme pilot, which brought young people together with musicians from the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Now the partnership includes all the BBC orchestras and there will be opportunities to learn alongside the teams at Radio 3, BBC Audio and BBC Proms, highlighting careers and opportunities beyond the stage. 

This project will kick off over the summer with a special insight day at the Royal Albert Hall. We’ll be providing updates throughout the programme so make sure you’re following us on social media or subscribe to our mailing list.

The Exchange project builds on the success of Young Sounds young person-led Talent to Talent mentoring programme (funded by Arts Council England), in which young musicians at different stages in their musical development took on the role of mentor and mentee to discover more about their musical selves through sharing ideas and experiences. You can find out more and access our resources by clicking the button below.

If you are, or if you know, a young musician, aged 5-17, with bags of musical potential who could benefit from financial support and musical opportunities like this, Young Sounds UK could help!  Visit to find out more.   

Share this post