Music Groups/Ensembles & Workshops

Find out more about the ensembles we offer and how to apply for next year.

We are delighted that our music groups/ensembles and workshops are now open for new members to join!

What is an ensemble? 

The word 'ensemble' is the French word meaning 'together'. Our ensembles are where our pupils from all over the County come together to play & sing wonderful music with their peers in one of our fantastic groups detailed below.
 

Unity Through Music 2 Online Ensemble Concert - Watch here

"My child loved being able to play with other musicians despite covid restrictions!" and "It really helped my daughter feel less isolated. Music is her only extra-curricular activity and these groups were wonderful for her mentally!"
 
Richard Johnstone with students Tilly and Sophie standing next to the High SheriffRichard Johnstone next to students Tilly and Sophie in front of Cheesburn Sculpture
Richard Johnstone from Music Partnership North, supported by students Tilly and Sophie from the Young Pipers Group, welcomed guests to the High Sheriff of Northumberland's summer festival at Cheeseburn Sculpture

TRADITIONAL MUSIC ENSEMBLE -  Do you play fiddle, flute, Northumbrian pipes, cello, harp, accordion, percussion, concertina, guitar, or keyboard?

The Northumbrian Ranters are made up of talented young musicians from Northumberland and Newcastle. Their aim is to promote and raise the profile of traditional music both in the county and further afield. 
This ensemble requires a level of commitment and dedication, as the group are involved in high profile performances throughout the year. Students are required to sing together, and will also have the opportunity to participate in traditional experiences such as clog dancing. 
They meet for eight evening rehearsals throughout the year. There will also be two whole day weekend rehearsals. New members may be asked to come for a short informal audition. 
  • Entry: Fiddle - grade 3 or equivalent.  Flute - grade 5 or equivalent. (for all other instruments please email contact below)
  • Rehearsal Schedule: 8 rehearsals throughout the year at Morpeth First School, 6.15 - 8.15pm, plus 2 whole day weekend rehearsals. There will also be several performances/concerts! 
  • Cost: £195 per year
  • Contact: ensembles@northumberland.gov.uk

Click here to watch The Northumbrian Ranters and Alistair Anderson performing in Berwick Upon Tweed
 
"I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the Ranters performance tonight...I am blown away by the talent of these youngsters. What really struck me is how much they appeared to be enjoying the performance which was evident from their smiles and energy...”
 
"My daughter has had lots of fun making new friends. The experience has been very important to her musical development. Lots of opportunities -concerts, residential weekends and tours to Scotland – amazing!"

"As a parent, so many opportunities to watch and feel so very proud! Thanks to all the staff –  it would not have been possible without you!"

"I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the Ranters performance tonight... . I am blown away by the talent of these youngsters. What really struck me is how much they appeared to be enjoying the performance which was evident from their smiles and energy" 
The Northumbrian Ranters made up of talented young musicians from Northumberland and Newcastle met up and performed at the stunning location of Chillingham Castle on Saturday 24 June 2023.
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Do you play strings, brass, woodwind, drums or percussion? Would you like to: Meet other young musicians and learn to play new and exciting music? Improve your ensemble playing in a fun and friendly environment and perform in concerts? If so this ensemble is for you!

This group provides the opportunity for students to come together to develop ensemble skills with young musicians from across Northumberland. 

(If you are interested but not sure of your child's standard please contact us, requirements are more around experience than grade.) 

Please follow this link to register your child

Open to any instrument.


New members are invited to come and meet the ensemble staff prior to the first rehearsal.
  • Entry: Grade 3 or equivalent  (We do not like to turn anyone away so please contact us, requirements are more around experience than grade!)
  • Rehearsal Schedule: 8 rehearsals throughout the year at Morpeth First School, 6.15 - 8.15pm. Plus 2 whole day weekend rehearsals. 
  • Cost: £185 per year
  • Contact: ensembles@northumberland.gov.uk

Students are accepted into this ensemble at any point throughout the academic year.

"Just wanted to say thank you to the team for all the work you do with NYE. It was a pleasure to see so many new faces last night and a wider range of instruments. It is giving the ensemble a much richer sound." 
Northumberland Youth Ensemble - Practice 2

Northumberland Youth Endemble playing at a concert

Open to all instruments

This well established and very popular ensemble provides students with the experience and support while they take the first steps into ensemble playing. Stepping Stones is open to any instrument, all we ask is that students:

  • have been playing for a minimum of one year
  • ​are enthusiastic about meeting other like minded musicians
  • are eager to learn new tunes and improve their playing
  • Please note: good note reading skills are not essential


Stepping Stones does exactly what is says - it provides the knowledge and experience to bridge the gap between school-based tuition and Northumberland Youth Ensemble, Northumbrian Ranters or Bedlington Brass Band.

  • Rehearsal Schedule: 8 rehearsals throughout the year at Morpeth 1st school. 6.15pm - 7.45pm
  • Entry Requirements: Students should have had tuition for 1 school year.
  • Cost: £100
  • We do not like to turn anyone away, so please contact us if you are not sure at ensembles@northumberland.gov.uk

Hoolies is the dynamic MPN youth choir and our aim is to build on the positive work done by school choirs and vocal projects.

This ensemble brings together vocalists of all abilities from across the county to sing a wide variety of music from all over the world. Over time, this will also give more advanced/experienced singers the opportunity to develop their own vocal leadership skills and play a part in shaping the direction of this project.
 
  • Rehearsal Schedule: 8 rehearsals throughout the year at Morpeth First School, 6:15-7:45pm.
  • Entry Requirements: Students of all abilities between the age of 7-18 years
  • Cost: £100 per year
  • Contact: ensembles@northumberland.gov.uk
“It really helped my daughter feel less isolated. Music is her only extra curricular activity and these groups were wonderful for her mentally!"

"Music makes me feel calm"

Northumberland Youth Voices group practising singing

Northumbrian Small Pipes Performance Group

The aim of this group is to encourage players, no matter what level of ability, to share enthusiasm and skills with other young pipers. This ensemble is only possible by the kind support and sponsorship of the Northumbrian Pipers Society and Mindrum Estates. Working together we continue to encourage students to learn this traditional instrument.

Playing the Northumbrian pipes is not just technique, it encompases the rich heritage of our county and the strong traditions of our music and instruments.

Northumbrian Pipes can be hired from both Music Partnership North and the Northumbrian Pipers' Society. Peer to peer support is a key focus of the sessions.
  • Rehearsal Schedule: 8 rehearsals throughout the year at Morpeth First School, 6:15-7:45pm
  • Entry Requirements: An interest to learn through to open standard. All are welcome!
  • Cost: Free 
  • Contact: ensembles@northumberland.gov.uk

Please note: This group is sponsored by the Northumbrian Pipers Society and so is completely Free.

thumbnail_Northumbrian-Pipers-Logo.jpgYoung Pipers Group logo
"Thank you so much for your magnificent contribution to the Open Weekend. Your pipers were really wonderful, and gave a great deal of pleasure to our visitors. You were all so beautifully turned out, and a great credit.”
Joanna Riddell, High Sheriff of Northumberland

Brass banding for all ages and abilities

Do you play the cornet, flugelhorn, tenor horn, baritone, euphonium, trombone, or tuba?

This ensemble is a community based band, delivered in partnership with MPN and Bedlington Community Trust Brass Band. They actively recruit both children and adults to come together to rehearse and perform. All are welcome regardless of ability. Bedlington Community & Youth Brass Band is both a trainer and performance band rolled into one. Supportive learning through peer to peer support takes place in a fun interactive environment. This band is perfect for adults wanting to get back into banding without the pressure of competitions and for students wanting to learn alongside adults. They regularly perform at local events in North East Northumberland. 
 

  • Rehearsal Schedule: Usually every Tuesday in term time at Bedlington Community Centre, 7pm - 8.30pm - please contact Bedlington Brass Band directly for confirmation.

  • Entry Requirements: All are welcome regardless of ability.

  • Cost: For more information on costs contact Bedlington Brass Band directly.

  • Contact:  bedlingtonbrass@yahoo.co.uk or find them on Facebook @BedlingtonBrass

Instruments can be provided on a loan scheme for new members. 


Click here to view the virtual Miners Picnic performance 2020!

The Bedlington Community Brass band playing at a concert.

Has your child been learning how to play the guitar for 1 year and would love the chance to perform together with other amazing guitarists from MPN? Now is the perfect opportunity to grow those skills and join our brand new guitar group - The Frets.
  • Entry: Learning the guitar for 1 year, open to all children.
  • Rehearsal Schedule: 8 rehearsals throughout the year at Morpeth First School, 6.15 - 8.15pm (starting on  25  April for 3 sessions in total for the summer term). 
  • Cost: £100 per year
  • Contact: ensembles@northumberland.gov.uk

Please follow this link to register your child


 

MUSICAL THEATRE WORKSHOPS

We are excited to announce we have a brand new Musical Theatre Workshop! Open to pupils from Year 4 to Year 13! During the sessions students will work on performing songs from a range of musicals from different eras and individual songs in a musical theatre style (such as cabaret or songs from films and TV). 
  • Dates: 25 April, 23 May & 27 June, 2024
  • Venue: Morpeth First School, 6:15-7.45pm
  • Entry Requirements: A love to sing and perform - Open to pupils from Year 4 to Year 13
  • Cost: £38 for all 3 sessions
  • Contact: ensembles@northumberland.gov.uk

Click here to register your interest to be involved in any of the below workshops. You will be contacted with further information.



MUSICAL THEATRE SUMMER SCHOOLS

We are pleased to announce we will be running two Musical Theatre summer schools in August at Morpeth First School. A creative way to keep the kids entertained throughout the holidays! Please click here for further information and sign up details.

The Little Mermaid: For children aged 5 to 8 years old
  • Dates: 6, 7 & 8 August, 2024
  • Time: 9am-12pm each day
  • Cost: £55 per student


The Greatest Showman: For pupils aged 8 to 13 years old

  • Dates: 27th, 28th & 29th August, 2024
  • Time: 9:45am-3pm each day
  • Cost: £90 per student



YOUNG PIPERS GROUP

YPG is now a well established group of young Northumbrian pipers from our region. The aim of the group is to encourage players, no matter what level of playing, to share enthusiasm and skills with other young pipers. It is expected that students have been playing Northumbrian pipes for at least one year. 
This initiative is possible through partnership working of MPN and The Northumbrian Pipers Society.
Young Pipers Group logo
 
Once your combine application and parental consent form have been received, we will contact you with further information.


Ensemble Policies

Find us on social media at the following links: 

Facebook: @MPN.Northumberland
Instagram: @MPN.Northumberland
Twitter: @MPN_Nland

 


The management of respiratory viruses continues to be managed at all rehearsals.  Please do not let your child attend a rehearsal if they are clearly unwell or showing symptoms of a cough, cold, flu or covid.  This is to help protect both staff and students who are at the rehearsal​.

Students may be photographed, recorded and shown on social media so please take this into account when making your decision to be involved in the ensembles. If you would like to discuss any of these policies in more detail, email Fiona.Johnstone@northumberland.gov.uk