Animate Orchestra offers young musicians in school years 5 to 13 opportunities to play together and create their own music in a ‘Young Person’s Orchestra for the 21st Century’.

Our members experience the musical teamwork of playing in an orchestra, while bringing their own ideas to how orchestras of the future might look and sound. With specialist tutors and world-class musicians as mentors and guides, our courses are fun, sociable and musically adventurous. Members are from a wide range of cultural backgrounds and our music reflects their skills, knowledge and interests.

What is Animate Orchestra?

Find out more

What's on?

Information about our upcoming courses in 2018/19 will be listed below along with information on how to book, so watch this space! Information will also be released via our mailing list and social media accounts which are detailed below. To learn more about the types of courses, see the boxes below. 

There are fees to attend an Animate course but bursaries are available; we never want cost to be a barrier to participation.

Contact us:

For more information, please see below:

General enquiries:  | 020 8305 4390

Mailing List: Email with your name, the name and date of birth of your child and the instrument(s) that they play.

Or follow us on Twitter to see out latest announcements: @AnimateOrch

Animate Local

Taking place during school holidays, Animate Orchestra local courses are usually of 1 or 2 days duration and are open to all, regardless of ability or musical experience. They introduce a range of creative skills (such as composition and improvisation) and musical skills (such as listening to and playing with others). At the end of each course the ensemble shares the music made in an informal performance to friends and family. 

Local courses are open to young people in school years 5 – 8 and play an instrument (of any type, including laptops and technology to any standard). Animate Orchestra was originally conceived for young people who live or attend school in the boroughs of Greenwich, Lewisham, Lambeth or Southwark but we are open to applications from young people from further afield.

Places are offered on a first come first served basis, taking into account the need to create a balance between instrumental sections. This means that we may be able to offer places to players of some instruments later than those playing others. A music technology group uses computers and sound equipment to record, sample and manipulate sounds as part of the ensemble.


16/17 April - Animate Local Lewisham

28/29 May - Animate Local Lambeth


Animate Artists

We’re thrilled to invite you to apply for Animate Artists 2019. This year, Animate Artists will be joining forces with dancers from Trinity Laban’s Youth Dance Company to create a spectacular joint performance of new music and dance. The performance will be the feature headline act at Live at Trinity Laban on Tuesday 26 March 2019.


To take part, you should be:

  • a creative musician who plays any instrument (instruments include all aspects of music technology)
    • playing at roughly grade 3 standard or higher (although it is not a pre-requisite to have taken any grade exams)
    • in school years 9-13
  • able to use your creativity, knowledge and skills to push artistic boundaries
  • interested in musical collaborations with other art forms


  • Work closely with a team of dancers and approximately 20 other Animate Artist musicians to create a brand new piece of performance art
  • Be supported by an artistic team of top musicians and dancers, including renowned multi-instrumentalist Sarah Freestone
  • Take part in several sessions leading up to the performance to shape your ideas and get more comfortable playing together with the other musicians and performing alongside the dancers


Applications for Animate Artists 2019 are now closed.

History of Animate Orchestra

Animate Orchestra began in 2011 and since then has grown and developed. To read more about Animate, please click below:

Animate - Past, Present and Future