The Young Graduate Scheme

Concertmaster (Leader) Shulah Oliver was an awesome solo violinist in Bach’s Fourth Brandenburg Concerto…

– Christopher Morley

When TSS was originally founded it was always assumed that (due to the founder’s experience in the seeking out and training of exceptionally talented young musicians) there would be within the structure of the orchestra a few reserved places for gifted young graduates.

The principle is that, once a YG (on a Performance 1st Degree or a Masters) has been recommended to us, following an audition (which can be waived depending upon the circumstances) they are offered a seat next to an experienced professional who has the ability to diplomatically assist and encourage the YG into the world of orchestral playing.


Following their first few rehearsals and concerts, the YG’s playing partner, the Section Principal and the Artistic Director will together be in a position to assess musically and socially the YG’s prospects. An invitation may then be made to the YG to join the professional ranks of the orchestra, not as a “stand in” if and when required, but with their own seat, should the Young Graduate wish to remain with this orchestra.

We are grateful to Birmingham University and to Julian Lloyd Webber, Principal of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire – Birmingham City University, for their assistance in helping us to set up and establish this scheme. Currently we are delighted to report that all of our YG’s over the last two years, with the exception of two (one, sadly due to illness), have either remained with us or gone to other professional orchestras in other parts of the country. It should be pointed out that the TSS YG scheme is aimed at assisting young performers within our catchment area – the West Midlands.

YG’s are able to apply for consideration via the usual contact methods. However, we suggest that this is best done with the recommendation of your University Tutor if your graduation is not yet complete or, if you have recently graduated, with a recommendation from your ex-Tutor. The programme is here to help you into your career.