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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.

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

Up Beat Strings (Stourbridge) - Gigmill Primary School, 17:00 - 18:00, Tuesday Beginner - Grade 2
Up Beat Strings (Halesowen) - The Earls High School, 17:00 - 18:00, Wednesday Beginner - Grade 2
Up Beat Strings (Sedgley) - Beacon Hill Academy, 17:00 - 18:00, Wednesday Beginner - Grade 2
Dudley Concert String Orchestra - Netherton Arts Centre, 18:00 - 19:15, Wednesday Grades 2 - 5
Dudley Youth String Orchestra - Netherton Arts Centre, 19:15 - 21:00, Wednesday Grades 5 - 8

Brass and Woodwind Groups

Up Beat Wind (Stourbridge) - Redhill School, 16:50 – 17:50,Tuesday, Beginner - Grade 2
Up Beat Wind (Halesowen) - The Earls High School, 17:00 - 18:00, Wednesday, Beginner - Grade 2
Up Beat Wind (Sedgley) - Beacon Hill Achedemy, 17:00 - 18:00, Wednesday, Beginner - Grade 2
Dudley Concert Wind Band - Netherton Arts Centre, 17:50 - 18:50, Monday, Grades 2 – 5
Dudley Youth Wind Band - Netherton Arts Centre, 19:00 - 20:00 Monday, Grades 5 - 8
Dudley Youth Brass Band - Netherton Arts Centre, 20:05 - 21:00 Monday, Grades 5 - 8
Dudley Youth Woodwind Ensemble - Netherton Arts Centre, 20:05 - 21:00, Monday, Grades 5 - 8
Dudley Youth Big Band (fortnightly) - Netherton Arts Centre, 19:00 - 21:00, Tuesday, Grades 5 - 8

Guitar Groups

Junior Electric Guitar Ensemble, Netherton Arts Centre, 17:00 - 17.45 Tuesday, Beginner – Grade 2
Acoustic Guitar Ensemble, Netherton Arts Centre, 18:00 – 18.45 Tuesday, Beginner - Grade 8
Intermediate Electric Guitar Ensemble, Netherton Arts Centre, 19:00 - 19:45 Tuesday, Grades 3 - 4
Senior Electric Guitar Ensemble, Netherton Arts Centre, 20:00 - 20:45 Tuesday, Grades 5 - 8

Keyboard Groups

Junior Keyboard Ensemble, Netherton Arts Centre, 16:45 – 17:45, Monday, Beginner – Grade 2
Intermediate Keyboards, Netherton Arts Centre, 18:00 - 19:00, Monday, Grades 3 - 4
Senior Keyboard Ensemble, Netherton Arts Centre, 19:15 - 20:45, Monday, Grades 5 - 8

Singers

Each year a series of rehearsals take place for specific projects. The rehearsals take place on Wednesdays evenings at Netherton Arts Centre.

Autumn term - 'Sing at the Mayor's Schools Christmas Concert' - Rehearsals for primary school children (years 3 to 6) 17:00 to 18:30. The concert will take place at Dudley Town Hall on the evening of 17th December 2018

Spring term - 'Sing at the Festival of Song' - Rehearsals for primary school children (years 3 to 6) 17:00 to 18:30. 

Summer Term - Inspire Chorus  - rehearsals for secondary school children for performance at our summer gala concert with Youth Orchestra.

Drums and Percussion

There are opportunities for percussionist to play in most of our groups. In addition you can join our percussion ensemble that meets at Netherton Arts Centre on Saturdays 10:15 to 11:15

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.

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.

Terms of agreement for DPA individual tuition

Any agreement for individual tuition with DPA comes into effect once payment has been received. This payment is returnable only in the event that DPA is unable to provide tuition and will not be refunded if tuition is cancelled by the applicant.

Students will receive 34 lessons during an academic year  and by entering into this agreement parents are committing to a full year of tuition.

The schedule of tuition will follow the DPA teaching calendar as published on this website which contains contingency sessions to allow for missed lessons. A refund will be provided at the end of the summer term for any shortfall of lessons that have been missed by DPA staff. Refunds will not be provided for lessons missed by students.

Where available, DPA instruments will be provided at no charge. However, parents have full responsibility for the maintenance of the instrument to include minor repairs or the cost of a full replacement in the event of theft/loss.  All instruments are to be returned to Netherton Arts Centre no later than one week after the final lesson.

Tuition will take place at Netherton Arts Centre or another location within the Borough of Dudley if appropriate.