County Music Groups 

County Music Groups September 2020

We are looking forward to welcoming members of the new County Groups to their first meetings in September and look forward to resuming regular rehearsals as listed below.

Details of our first meetings will be shared with members. These may include on-line sessions or shorter rehearsals with reduced numbers until social distancing advice allows us to resume our regular pattern.

Details of concerts and planned events will also be shared as soon as we have confirmation that they can recommence.

Coronavirus risk register

Big Bands

The CYBigB is the senior big band and rehearses on Monday evenings, 7pm to 9pm, in the Edmund Rubbra Hall at Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre.

The director for the 2020 to 2021 season is Jamie Glew.

The Rhythm section meets for a sectional an hour before the main rehearsal, 6pm to 7pm. This invaluable opportunity allows the section to learn to play together as an effective unit.

Hear us play in some highlights from the 2015 Big Band night with Willie Murillo.

How to join us

Auditions are held annually in July. See the auditions page for more information.

Jazz 2 is our second big band and rehearses on Monday evenings, 6.30pm to 8.30pm, in Room 5 at Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre.

The director for the 2020 to 2021 season is Jon Lloyd.

The rhythm section meets for a sectional an hour before the main rehearsal, 5:45pm to 6:30pm, under the direction of Ben Bateman. This invaluable opportunity allows the section to learn to play together as an effective unit.

How to join us

Auditions are held annually in July. See the auditions page for more information.

Jazz 3 is our third big band and rehearses on Monday evenings, 6pm to 7.30pm, in Room 4 at Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre.

The director for 2020 to 2021 is Ewa Welters.

The rhythm section meets for a sectional an hour before the main rehearsal, 5pm to 5:45pm under the direction of Ben Bateman. This invaluable opportunity allows the section to learn to play together as an effective unit. 

How to join us

Auditions are held annually in July. See the auditions page for more information.

Brass Bands

The CYBB is our senior brass band and rehearses on Saturday mornings, 9:15am to 12.30pm, in the John Clare Theatre Area at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The conductor for the 2020 to 2021 season is Brad Turnbull.

Touring has always been a regular feature of band life with tours alongside the CYCB every other year. Recent tours have taken them all over Europe. In 2019 they travelled to Southern and Eastern Poland giving concerts in Zakopane, Dobcycze, Krakow, Mielec and Przemysl.

Hear us play massed with the Leyland Band from Lancashire

How to join us

Auditions are held annually. See the auditions page for more information.

The CJBB is our junior brass group and rehearses on Tuesday evenings, 6.15pm to 7.45pm, in The Edmund Rubbra Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The conductors for the 2020 to 2021 season are Rob Fleming and Andy Macfarlane.

Although it functions like a brass band, the instrumental line up often includes trumpets and french horns as well as cornets and tenor horns.

During the year, the ensemble appears in several county music concerts, including the annual Brass Band Spectacular and the New Generation Concert at the Derngate. The annual programme also includes participation in the regional festival of the National Festival of Music for Youth.

How to join us

Auditions are held annually in July. See the auditions page for more information

Choirs

The County Youth Choir is our senior choir and rehearses on Wednesday evenings, 6.45pm to 9pm, in the Richard Coles Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The Musical Director for the 2020 to 2021 season is Beth Hodgson.

They have travelled on tour to Sweden, Italy, Switzerland and Belgium and have appeared at the finals of the National Festival of Music for Youth and Sainsbury’s Choir of the Year. 

How to join us

Auditions are held annually in July. Please see the auditions page for more information.

A new choir for 2020 is the NMPAT singers. The Choir rehearses in the Edmund Rubbra Hall from 5:30 – 7:00. The musical director for 2020 to 2021 is Leah Govier.

The choir specialises in developing the vocal skills of featuring young singers who will be future members of the County Youth Choir.

How to join us

Auditions are held annually in July. See the auditions page for more information.

The Senior Chamber Choir rehearses on a Wednesday evenings, 7:15-7:45 in Rm 7 at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The conductor for the 2020 to 2021 season is Adrian Taylor.

Members of the Senior Chamber Choir are invited from the NMPAT Singers to enable the more advanced vocalists to explore more challenging repertoire.

How to join us

Auditions are held annually in July. See the auditions page for more information.

Guys and Dolls rehearses on a Tuesday evening from 7pm to 8pm in Room 26 at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The director for 2020 to 2021 is Beth Hodgson.

Guys and Dolls is a Musical Theatre chamber group exploring repertoire from a wide range of musical styles. 12 members are invited from the existing County choir membership with a focus on advanced vocal health and acting through song.

How to join us

Auditions are held annually in July. See the auditions page for more information.

Guitar Ensemble

The County Guitar Ensemble is known as Guitarlactica and rehearses on Tuesday evenings, 6pm to 7.30pm, in Room 4 at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The director for the 2020 to 2021 season is Lorna Parker.

The annual programme of events includes a series of concerts around the county, including the Second Generation Concert and appearances in the Music for Youth Regional Festival, part of the National Festival of Music for Youth.

How to join us

Auditions are held annually in July. See the auditions page for more information.

String Orchestras

The Sinfonia is our senior string orchestra and rehearses on Monday evenings, 7.15pm to 8.45pm, in the Richard Coles Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The conductor for 2020 to 2021 is Richard Roper.

The Sinfonia is formed of members of the County Youth Orchestra and County Training Orchestra. Their repertoire includes the very best of music written for string orchestra. They have appeared at the finals of the National Festival of Music for Youth in Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Last year they performed the world premiere of Martin Ellerby’s ‘Eleanor Crosses’ at the Guildhall, Northampton

How to join us

Membership is by invitation to members of the County Youth Orchestra and County Training Orchestra. Auditions are held annually in July. See the auditions page for more information.

The CTS is one of our three string orchestras and rehearses on Tuesday evenings, 6pm to 8pm, in the Richard Coles Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre.​ The conductors for 2020 to 2021 are Sarah Turnock and Sam Ebrahim.

The orchestra provides an opportunity for intermediate string players who could be in the County Youth Orchestra, but has also become a strong performing group in its own right. It concentrates on developing sound string technique and section playing.

The annual programme also includes a residential course at the Frontier Centre, Irthlingborough.

How to join us

Auditions are held annually in July. See the auditions page for more information.

The CJS is our youngest string orchestra and rehearses on Monday evenings, 5.15pm to 7pm, in the Richard Coles Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The conductors for 2020 to 2021 are Kate Bickerdike and Karen Bell.

The orchestra provides a first experience of string orchestra playing for young musicians who might one day be in the County Junior Orchestra, County Training Orchestra or County Youth Orchestra. It plays music specifically designed for young string players.

The annual programme also includes a Residential Course at the Frontier Centre, Irthlingborough.

How to join us

Auditions are held annually in July. See the auditions page for more information.

Symphony Orchestras

The CYO is our senior orchestra and rehearses on Saturday mornings, 9am to 12.45pm in the Edward Rubbra Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The conductors for 2020 to 2021 are Andy Kirkwood and Chris Hiscock.

The orchestra performs a regular series of concerts in Northampton, including a gala concert in the Derngate every spring. They are regular participants in the National Festival of Music for Youth performing at the Royal Festival Hall and Symphony Hall Birmingham. They have frequently been invited to the Schools’ Prom at the Royal Albert Hall.

Every two years they usually undertake a European tour, with the most recent being in 2018 to the Czech Republic.

How to join us

Auditions are held annually in July. Please see our auditions page for more information.

The CTO is our second orchestra and rehearses on Saturday mornings, 9am to 12.30pm, in the Richard Coles Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The conductors for 2020 to 2021 are Tim Green and Sonia Kelly.

The orchestra was created to be a training opportunity for students hoping to be in the County Youth Orchestra, but has become a strong performing group in its own right. It performs music from the standard orchestral repertoire as well as more modern repertoire, such as music for stage and screen.

How to join us

Auditions are held annually in July. Please see our auditions page for more information.

The CJO is our third orchestra and rehearses on Thursday evenings, 6pm to 8.30pm, in the Edmund Rubbra Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The conductors for 2020 to 2021 are Alan Bell and Meghan McCrimmon.

The orchestra provides a first experience of orchestral playing for young musicians who might one day be in the County Training Orchestra or County Youth Orchestra. It has a full instrumental
line-up and plays music specifically designed for young orchestras.

How to join us

Auditions are held annually in July. Please see our auditions page for more information.

Wind Bands

The CYCB is our senior symphonic wind orchestra, with a national reputation for its high standards. It rehearses on Friday evenings, 6.15pm to 9pm, in the Edmund Rubbra Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The conductors for 2020 to 2021 are Peter Smalley and Pam Carter.

The band have an enviable reputation in the contest field with more performance awards from the National Festival of Music for Youth and National Concert Band Festival than any other group in the country. They have a host of Gold, and now Platinum, Awards from the NCBF and are the holders of six special awards for Consistent Outstanding Achievement. 

In 2019 they travelled with the CYBB to Southern and Eastern Poland giving concerts in Zakopane, Dobcycze, Krakow, Mielec and Przemysl.

How to join us

Auditions are held annually in July. See the auditions page for more information.

The CTWO is our second wind orchestra and rehearses on Friday evenings, 6.15pm to 8.45pm, in the Richard Coles Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The conductors for 2020 to 2021 are Jo Coventry and Lauren Evans.

The annual programme also includes a residential course at the Frontier Centre, Irthlingborough, and participation in the regional round of the National Festival of Music for Youth.

How to join us

Auditions are held annually in July. See the auditions page for more information.

The CJWO is our third wind orchestra and rehearses on Thursday evenings, 6.15pm to 8.45pm, in the Richard Coles Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The conductors for the 2020 to 2021 season are Andy Johnson and John Bickerdike.

The band provides a first experience of wind orchestra playing for young musicians who could be in the County Training Wind Orchestra or County Youth Concert Band. It has a full instrumental line-up and plays the best of British and American repertoire specifically designed for young wind orchestras.

The annual programme includes a residential course at the Frontier Centre, Irthlingborough and participation in the regional round of the National Festival of Music for Youth.

How to join us

Auditions are held annually in July. See the auditions page for more information.

Wind Ensembles

The Clarinet Choir is one of our four woodwind chamber groups and rehearses on Tuesday evenings, 7.30pm to 8.30pm, in Room 27 at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre.​ The director for 2020 to 2021 is Andy Kirkwood.

The Clarinet Choir has a full range of instruments from Eb clarinet to Bb contra bass and programme the very best of repertoire for the ensemble.

Their annual programme includes a series of concerts around the county and regular appearances at the Music for Youth Regional Festival.

How to join us

Members of the clarinet choir are drawn by invitation from the clarinetists in our senior county groups. Auditions are held annually in July. See the auditions page for more information.

The County Flute Choir is one of our woodwind chamber groups and rehearses on Thursday evenings, 5pm to 6pm, in Room 18 at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The director for 2020 to 2021 is Debra Retford.

The repertoire available for the group often includes extended performance techniques including: flutter tonguing, rattling the keys, turning the flutes into percussion instruments and even whistling and humming down their instruments.

Their annual programme includes a series of concerts around the county and regular appearances at the regional round of the National Festival of Music for Youth.

How to join us

Members of the Flute Choir are drawn by invitation from players in our county groups. Auditions are held annually in July. See the auditions page for more information.

The County Wind Dectet is one of our woodwind chamber groups and rehearses on Friday evenings, 5pm to 6pm, in Room 18 at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The director for 2020 to 2021 is Iona Walker.

The Wind Dectet is a 10 piece orchestral wind group.

The standard instrumental line up is 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 french horns and 2 bassoons, although some of the repertoire includes use of piccolo, bass clarinet, cor anglais and contra bassoon. Their annual programme includes a series of concerts around the county and regular appearances at the Music for Youth Regional Festival and National Festival.

How to join us

Members of the Dectet are drawn by invitation from the wind and horn players in our county groups. Auditions are held annually in July. See the auditions page for more information.

The County Junior Woodwind Ensemble is our junior woodwind chamber groups and rehearses on Tuesday evenings, 5:30pm to 7pm, in Room 26 at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre.

During the year, the ensemble performs in various concerts, including the New Generation Concert at the Derngate. The annual programme also includes a residential course at the Frontier Centre, Irthlingborough, and participation in the regional festival of the National Festival of Music for Youth.

The directors for 2019 to 2021 are Dawn Loane and Candice Gregory-Thomas.

How to join us

Auditions are held annually in July. See the auditions page for more information.20

Terms and Conditions of County Group Membership

County Group membership incurs a termly subscription. Please see the Payments Page for current subscription amounts, payment methods and when payments are due.

County groups rehearse weekly during term time and groups meeting on Saturday mornings usually rehearse the first Saturday of a half term break.

Regular attendance is essential and members should be ready at least 5 minutes before the rehearsal begins.

All absences must be notified to the conductor and members who share music folders must be prepared to bring the folder in for their desk partner to use at the rehearsal.

All seating is provisional and students should not consider their place to be fixed for the year. In the interests of balance, changes may be made as the year progresses.

All members of bands and orchestras are expected to maintain regular instrumental tuition in order to continue personal improvement. Members of all ensembles would normally be expected to continue to support their school music departments. In the event of a clash of commitment between a school ensemble performance and a county rehearsal, the school ensemble should take precedence.

Members will be expected to attend all scheduled concerts and, as far as possible, any holiday courses.

Please be aware that concert dress may be required, details will be provided by your conductor at the start of the year.

Admission to most concerts is by ticket which helps to cover the cost of hiring the venue, transporting equipment and buying the music.

NMPAT and its Saturday Music & Arts Centres have an excellent reputation for positive behaviour and a strong work ethic which the Trust wishes to preserve and develop:

  • It is an expectation that all members and visitors will respect the environment, resources and personnel when involved in Trust activities.
  • Any wilful damage to property or equipment is likely to constitute a breach of health and safety regulations as well as this code of conduct.
  • Offensive or illegal items and substances must never be taken to Trust activities. No member should access offensive or illegal content from any electronic device whilst engaged in Trust activities.
  • It should be understood that failure to comply with these regulations is likely to result in exclusion from all Trust activities.
  • The staff and parent helper teams at all NMPAT meetings and events will do all they can to ensure that we continue to provide a safe and environment for everyone. Please support us in this by ensuring you are in the right place at the right time. We cannot guarantee safety if we don’t know where you are.

"All children should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument"

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