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Dudley Music Education Hub Performance Groups

Learning to play a musical instrument or sing is a fantastic thing to do; but playing music with other musicians is when the fun really begins - it also improves your playing.

Dudley Performing Arts ensembles have performed both locally and nationally. We regularly play in the region and have performed at Symphony Hall and many other prestigious venues. Our groups have toured in this country and abroad including appearances at the Royal Albert Hall.

If you play an instrument or sing there is something for you in the Dudley Music Education Hub with groups, bands and ensembles for all instruments and all levels of ability.

To join a group we ask for a level of playing ability based on the Grades system although it’s not necessary to have passed the actual exam.

From April 19th groups will return to a weekly 'face to face rehearsal' at our base at Resonance on the waterfront at Brierley Hill. if you wish to join a group as a new member or a 'returner' following lock down please make sure you have enrolled and have conformation of a place before attending.

Arrival and Departure

On arrival parents and children will wait, socially distanced, outside Resonance. A member of DPA staff will collect the children and take them into Resonance to be registered. Unfortunately, parents will be not able to wait inside while restrictions are in place. All people entering the building will have their temperature taken and any child over 12 will be required to wear a face covering whilst moving between rooms. At the end of the rehearsal DPA staff will lead students back to the main doors for collection.

The Rehearsal

The rehearsal room will be set up so that every child can maintain 2m social distancing and they will have their own music stand and chair. Children will need to bring their own copies of music which will be emailed before the first rehearsal.

Displaying Covid Symptoms

Anyone with Covid symptoms must not attend rehearsals. In the even that a child develops symptoms during a session they will be taken to a designated isolation room and parents will be contacted to collect.

Our Groups

Our performance groups are open to children and young people who live in the Dudley Borough or attend one of our schools/colleges. There is no audition process, simply identify the group that is relevant to you and come along.

For more information about joining one of our groups please speak to your instrument or vocal teacher, someone at your school or contact Dudley Performing Arts.

For beginners and those at the start of their musical journey

We have Up Beat groups for woodwind, brass and string players, with some spaces for drummers. The sessions are fun and suitable for children as soon as they can get a note out of their instrument and players up to Grade 2 standard. The rehearsals are organised so that students who have been playing for a few years can still enjoy and learn in the sessions alongside beginners, until the point that they are ready to move up to the next level. There is a similar structure for guitarists and keyboard players.

For developing musicians

We have groups for brass, woodwind, keyboards, electric guitars, strings and developing percussionists.

There is a small charge to join the concert wind and string groups and the entry level is around grade 2. There is no need to have taken a music exam to join these groups - please get in touch if you would like to talk to someone about joining.

For the most advanced young musicians

Our Youth Bands and senior groups cater for our most advanced musicians. These groups have performed at prestigious venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Symphony Hall, BBC Maida Vale studios and there is a small membership fee to join. 

Group details

Groups for Bowed Strings

Wednesdays

Up Beat Strings  17:00 - 18:00, Beginners to Grade 2
Concert String Orchestra , 18:15 - 19:15, Grades 2 - 5
Youth String Orchestra, 19:30 - 20:30, Grades 5 - 8

Tuesdays

Pulse 18:00 - 19:00

Pulse is a new group specially for secondary school age students who are at the start of the musical journeys. Just turn up with your instrument and join the group if you are in year 7 or above.

Brass and Woodwind Groups

Mondays 

Up Beat Wind , 17:00 – 18:00, Beginner - Grade 2 Concert Wind Band, 18:15 - 19:15, Grades 2 – 5
Youth Wind Band, 19:30 - 20:30, Grades 5 - 8 

Tuesdays

Pulse 18:00 - 19:00

Pulse is a new group specially for secondary school age students who are at the start of the musical journeys. Just turn up with your instrument and join the group if you are in year 7 or above.

Guitar Groups

Tuesdays

Junior Electric Guitar Ensemble, 17:15 - 18:15, Beginner – Grade 2
Intermediate Electric Guitar Ensemble, 18:30- 19:30 Tuesday, Grades 3 - 4
Senior Electric Guitar Ensemble, 19:45 - 20:45, Grades 5 - 8

Keyboard Groups

Mondays

Junior Keyboard Ensemble 17:15– 18:15, Beginner – Grade 2
Intermediate Keyboards,  18:30 - 19:30, Monday, Grades 3 - 4
Senior Keyboard Ensemble, 19:45 - 20:45, Monday, Grades 5 - 8

Singers

Wednesday

VTime choir for school children of all ages, 17:15 - 18:15

Drums and Percussion

There are opportunities for percussionist to play in our guitar and wind groups. If you would like to take part please contact dpa.cs@dudley.gov.uk

Rehearsal Location

All groups rehearse at Resonance at the Waterfront in Brierley Hill, DY5 1LW.  Resonance is in the Cable Plaza building next to the Landmark buidling. There is plenty of parking and parents can wait in the cafe area during rehearsals.

Conditions of Performance Group Membership

Payment and enrolment

All students, regardless of age are required to enrol for DPA ensembles.

Membership fees are applicable for Senior, Concert and Youth Level groups. Fees are only applicable once per student, regardless of the number of groups joined. There is no charge for the third term in any single academic year if payment has been received for the previous two terms.

The fee covers basic membership and is not refundable.

NB - all fees are currently suspended

Supervision at rehearsals

  • DPA staff are responsible for group members in the same way that school teachers look after members of their class. Each group has a register that is completed at the start of each rehearsal - often a supporting teacher does this without disrupting the rehearsal.
  • DPA staff are responsible for students once they enter the supervised area. A member of staff will be on hand to ensure that this happens efficiently and safely. At the end of the session students will be dismissed and again a member of staff will supervise.
  • DPA staff will stay on site until all students have been collected/departed. Many parents choose to wait for students either outside the rehearsal room or near the main entrance to the building. Our direct supervision of students ends as they leave the rehearsal area but staff are on hand to deal with any situations that arise.
  • It is the parent’s duty to check collection points/times and to take responsibility for children’s transport arrangements.

Supervision at events

There are 3 aspects to events – arriving/departing, performing and waiting to perform.

  • DPA staff will arrive at the venue before the time specified for students. As students arrive they will be allocated a space/waiting area to leave instruments/coats etc. DPA staff supervise these areas for the duration of the concert. For the performance, groups will be escorted to the stage and returned to the waiting area for the duration of the event. At the end of the event students will be dismissed from the waiting areas and will meet up with parents. Space is a premium in back stage areas and for practical reasons it is not possible for parents to collect students from within these areas.
  • As with rehearsals, DPA staff do not supervise car parks/bus stops etc. although in certain venues stewards may be on site. Our staff will remain at the venue until all performers have departed. It is the parent’s duty to check collection points/times and to take responsibility for children’s transport arrangements.

Please contact your school for terms and conditions for instrumental tuition taking place in schools.