Robin Hood Youth Orchestra


Nottingham Music Service believes that music makes a difference.  As a registered charity and lead partner for the Nottingham Music Education Hub, we are committed to making music more accessible and inclusive.  We run/support instrumental tuition in nearly 80% of primary schools in Nottingham City.  We also support young people from across the city to develop their musical skills by participating in our diverse ensembles and performances, contributing to the cultural life of our great city.


Nottingham Music Service has a close friendship with Jugendorchester Stadt Karlsruhe (JOK), which is a youth orchestra based in Karlsruhe, Germany and has the same mission as us: making music make a difference.

The partnership between Nottingham Music Service (NMS) & JOK aims to create a network of young people’s musical ensembles across Europe, using the Nottingham-Karlsruhe twin town connection. The organisations work together to provide rehearsing and performance opportunities for their youth orchestras JOK and the Robin Hood Youth Orchestra (RHYO).  The relationship revolves around sharing repertoire, building bridges, developing cultural understanding and forming lasting musical friendships.

This year, RHYO will be going to Karlsruhe, Germany to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Nottingham – Karlsruhe friendship.   

This residential follows memorable trips to Karlsruhe and Halle in 2008, 2011 and 2015. 

In 2017, NMS had the pleasure of returning the favour and they hosted the German youth orchestra for 5 days. The trip started with a two-night residential in Castleton, Peak District. The residential involved music rehearsals mixed with some fun and games.  RHYO & JOK performed a flash mob at the Town Hall and later wowed festival goers at the Buxton Fringe.

The relationship between Nottingham Music Service and the Jugendorchester Stadt Karlsruhe starts with music but goes beyond rehearsals and concerts.  It gives young people from both countries a chance to learn about the other’s culture, customs and build friendships that last for years.

The young musicians from Karlsruhe wrote a letter on their way back to Germany in 2017 saying: “thank you for your incredibly wonderful hospitality and friendship …” and among their most memorable experiences were: the flash mobs, hiking, conversations with RHYO, the moving speeches by NMS CEO Ian and JOK’s chief Thomas, the concert in the cave and “the funny dance moves” at the farewell party.

These comments show more than anything the beauty of this relationship between the two cities, and countries, and the importance of continuing to develop the partnership.  Keeping in mind the value of this partnership and its profoundly positive impact on young people in both Nottingham and Karlsruhe, we are delighted to be taking part in the celebrations in Nottingham City for our 50 year anniversary of this friendship!


The RHYO residential trip will take place from the evening of Friday 19th July to Friday 26th July. It is a fantastic and unique opportunity for the young people to visit a beautiful city in Germany and perform in some exciting venues. 

We’ll be undertaking a range of performances, workshops and cultural visits both with the German Orchestra and on our own.