County Ensembles

Playing a musical instrument, and performing with others, is a rewarding, enjoyable and valuable skill. Find out more about the ensembles we offer and how to apply.

Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions all ensembles have been suspended until further notice.

We will be in contact with all attendees to advise when sessions will start again. Apologies for the inconvenience and as always, thank you for your ongoing support. 

If you think your child would benefit from joining one of our ensembles, click on the 'ensemble application' form below to apply for academic year 2020-21. 

Once your application has been received, further information will be issued.  Some details including costs are waiting to be finalised and you will not be asked to confirm your child's place or pay until all relevant information has been provided. Please click here for full details.


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.
  • Entry: Fiddle - grade 3 or equivalent.  Flute - grade 5 or equivalent. (for all other instruments please email below)
  • Rehearsals: 6 - 8:30pm at Morpeth Methodist Church (8 per year)
  • Cost: £195 per year (including residential weekend)
  • Contact:

New members may be asked to come for a short audition. 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.

Click here to watch The Northumbrian Ranters and Alistair Anderson performing in Berwick Upon Tweed
"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!"

Do you play strings, brass, woodwind, or percussion?  Would you like to meet other young musicians and learn to play new and exciting music? Would you like to improve your playing and perform in concerts?  

  • Entry: Grade 3 or equivalent 
  • Rehearsals: 6 - 8pm at Morpeth Methodist Church (8 per year)
  • Cost: £165 per year (including residential weekend)
  • Contact:
New members may be asked to come for a short, informal audition. Students are accepted into this ensemble at any point throughout the year.
Northumberland Youth Ensemble - Practice 
Northumberland Youth Ensemble - Practice 2

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

Click here to find out more about joining us!
  • Rehearsals: Bedlington Community Centre, Tuesday evenings (term time only)
  • Made up of 2 sessions: Trainer Band 6-6.45pm,  Full Band 6.45-8.30pm
  • Cost: FREE!  a small donation at each rehearsal is requested
  • Contact:

This ensemble is a community based project and accepts applications from both students and adults to join together to rehearse and perform. They actively recruit students who are or have been involved in a school based brass band project or mini band.


Bedlington Brass Band members performing at the
annual Miners Picnic event held at Woodhorn Museum.

The aim of this group is to encourage young Northumbrian pipers to share their enthusiasm and skills with others from across the county. They meet for a workshop session once every half term on a Saturday morning and the group is open to any student in full time education. Workshops are built around what the students want to achieve, rehearsing for performance, or even just to socialise.  This initiative is possible through partnership working of MPN and The Northumbrian Pipers Society.

The Hoolies are an exciting new group of enthusiastic vocal students whose aim is to build on the positive work of school choirs and vocal projects.

The group 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 singers the opportunity to develop their own vocal leadership skills and play a part in shaping the direction of the group. 

The Hoolies accept students of all abilities between the age of 7-18 and will meet 6 times per year.
Northumberland Youth Voices group practising singing

Are you a flute or clarinet player looking to join an exciting new group? We want talanted young musicians to join our two woodwind ensembles!

This is an opportunity to extend your instrumental skills and meet others from across the county.

Both groups will feature the full range of the woodwind instruments, and develop your ensemble playing with performance opportunities. Have you always wanted to have a go on the alto or bass flute, or A clarinet?

Applicants may be asked to come for a short, informal audition.
Magic Flutes practising
This FREE ceilidh band for beginner young musicians is made possible through funding from the North East Endowment for Music Traditions Fund. It will be delivered in partnership with Music Partnership North and the Coquetdale Music Trust.
Once your application has been received, further information will be issued. Due to the current COVID-19 situation some details are waiting to be finalised and you will not be asked to confirm your child's place or pay until all relevant information and costs have been provided.

Full details for each ensemble can also be found here

Families who are applying for two or more places in any ensembles are entitled to a 10% discount. All students are required to apply each year to join, including current members.

Financial support may be available in certain cases, applications must be made in writing, in confidence to