About Us

“Ability & talent are important – but experience and contacts are essential!”

Since 1994 from our home in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, to tours across the UK and Europe, VaCO has ran residential courses delivering the highest quality professional training to aspiring young musicians.

Founded by Xenophon Kelsey MBE, Vacation Chamber Orchestras offers professional training in a relaxed but tutored environment to aspiring young musicians. Our courses always culminate in an excellent concert series that broaden the accessibility of classical music and build audiences for the future. As of 2018, VaCO have promoted 80 residential courses and more than 1,000 young musicians have benefitted from the experience, professional coaching and performing opportunities provided. The orchestra has given 451 concerts, in 220 venues, in 147 different towns and villages – and our repertoire has included 242 works by 103 different composers.

What drives us? Our Participants

As well as home grown talent, VaCO has enjoyed having players from nearly 40 other countries with VaCO alumni now found in professional orchestras all over the world. Our many distinguished professional tutors are drawn from leading orchestras and ensembles.


our team

Musical Director

Xenophon Kelsey MBE

Chair of Trustees

Andrew Palmer

Orchestral Manager

Jane Lomax

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