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County Music Groups 

County Music Groups 2021-22

During the pandemic, we have been creative with our county group rehearsals – with face to face, socially distanced rehearsals (when guidelines permit) in conjunction with remote sessions on Teams.

We are looking forward to a return to traditional rehearsals, and hope to be able to share performances throughout the year.

You can find our Coronavirus risk register on the Policies page.

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Big Bands

The CYBigB is the senior big band and rehearses on Monday evenings, 7.00-9.00pm, in the Edmund Rubbra Hall at Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre.

The director for the 2021 to 2022 season is Jamie Glew.

The rhythm section meets for a sectional an hour before the main rehearsal, 6.00pm to 7.00pm, under the direction of Adam Hollingshurst.  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 2 is our second big band and rehearses on Monday evenings, 6.30-8.30pm, in Room 5 at Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre.

The director for the 2021 to 2022 season is Nikki Hannent-Corbett.

The rhythm section meets for a sectional before the main rehearsal, 5.45-6.30pm, 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, 6.00-7.30pm, in Room 4 at Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre.

The director for 2021 to 2022 is Ewa Welters.

The rhythm section meets for a sectional before the main rehearsal, 5.00-5.45pm 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-12.30pm, in the John Clare Theatre Area at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The conductor for the 2021 to 2022 season is Brad Turnbull.

The band will split into sectionals for part of their rehearsal, with one group being coached by Gary Fountain.

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.

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, 6.15-7.45pm, in The Edmund Rubbra Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The conductors for the 2021 to 2022 season are Rob Fleming and Faye Laurie.

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

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Choirs

The County Youth Choir is our senior choir and rehearses on Wednesday evenings, 6.45-9.00pm, at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Northampton. The Musical Director for the 2021 to 2022 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 in 2020, from September 2021 the NMPAT Singers will be a regional choir with three strands.

All regional rehearsals will meet on Wednesdays and come together for termly performances.

NMPAT Singers Northampton will rehearse in the Richard Coles Hall, NMPAT, under the direction of Adrian Taylor on Wednesdays 6:00 – 7:30pm.  To join, please email for more information: office@nmpat.co.uk

NMPAT Singers Brackley will rehearse at Magdalen College School under the direction of Jessica Hunting. Wednesdays 5:30 – 7:00pm commencing Wednesday 22nd September.  To join, please complete the online registration form: https://bit.ly/NMPATSBr

NMPAT Singers Wellingborough will rehearse at Sir Christopher Hatton School under the direction of  Leah Govier. Wednesdays 5:30 – 7:00pm commencing Wednesday 22nd September. To join, please complete the online registration form: https://bit.ly/NMPATSWe

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, 7.30-8.30pm in the Richard Coles Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The musical director for the 2021 to 2022 year 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 Friday evening from 6.00-7.00pm in Room 14 at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The director for 2021 to 2022 is Beth Hodgson.

Guys and Dolls is a Musical Theatre chamber group exploring repertoire from a wide range of musical styles. 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

Guitarlactica rehearses on Tuesday evenings, 6.00-7.15pm, in Room 4 at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The director for the 2021 to 2022 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.

The Tarrega Guitar Ensemble is formed of senior guitar players and rehearses on Tuesday evenings, 6.00-7.15pm, in Room 5 at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The director for the 2021 to 2022 season is John Draper.

The annual programme of events includes a series of concerts around the county, including appearances in the Music for Youth Regional Festival.

How to join us

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

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String Orchestras

County Training Strings is one of our two string orchestras, rehearsing on Tuesday evenings from 6.00-8.00pm, in the Richard Coles Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre.​ The conductors for 2021 to 2022 are Kate Bickerdike and Richard Roper.

The orchestra provides an opportunity for intermediate string players who could one day 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.

County Junior Strings is our youngest string orchestra and rehearses on Monday evenings, 5.15-7.00pm, in the Richard Coles Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The conductors for 2021 to 2022 are Karen Bell and Janine Mold.

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

CYO is our senior orchestra and rehearses on Saturday mornings, 9.00am-12.45pm in the Edward Rubbra Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The conductors for 2021 to 2022 are Andy Kirkwood and Richard Roper.

The orchestra performs a regular series of concerts in Northampton, including the Orchestra Spectacular concert in the Derngate each 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 Music for Youth Prom at the Royal Albert Hall.

Every two years they usually undertake a European tour.

How to join us

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

CTO is our second orchestra and rehearses on Saturday mornings, 9.00am-12.30pm, in the Richard Coles Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The conductors for 2021 to 2022 are Tim Green and Chris Hiscock.

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.

CJO is our third orchestra and rehearses on Thursday evenings, 6.00-8.30pm, in the Edmund Rubbra Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The conductors for 2021 to 2022 are John Bickerdike and Sam Ebrahim.

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.

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Wind Bands

CYCB is our senior symphonic wind orchestra, with a national reputation for its high standards. It rehearses on Friday evenings, 6.15-9.00pm, in the Edmund Rubbra Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The conductors for 2021 to 2022 are Peter Smalley and Pam Carter.

The band have an enviable reputation in the contest field with more performance awards from the Music for Youth National Festival 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.

CTWO is our second wind orchestra and rehearses on Friday evenings, 6.15-8.45pm, in the Richard Coles Hall at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The conductors for 2021 to 2022 are Lauren Evans and Andy Johnson.

The annual programme also includes a residential course at the Frontier Centre, Irthlingborough, and participation in the Music for Youth Regional Festival series.

How to join us

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

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

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 Music for Youth Regional Festival series.

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, 7.00-8.00pm, in Room 26 at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre.​ The director for 2021 to 2022 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 Clarinet Choir is a new group for 2021 rehearses on Tuesday evenings, 5.30-6.30pm, in Room 26 at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre.​ The director for 2021 to 2022 is Naomi Muller.

The Training Clarinet Choir has a full range of instruments from Eb clarinet to Bb contra bass and gives students in train level groups an opportunity to develop their skills playing within a small ensemble.

How to join us

Members of the clarinet ensemble 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, 5.00-6.00pm, in Room 18 at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre. The director for 2021 to 2022 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 Music for Youth Regional Festival.

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.

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World Music Group

Zingaresque is our world music ensemble, performing a range of traditional music and arrangements by the group.

The group is directed by Richard Leigh and rehearses on Tuesday evenings, 7.15p,-9.15pm, in Room 5 at the Kettering Road Music and Arts Centre.

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

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

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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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