Our Groups and Ensembles
Derby Music Centre is a positive and happy place where music and friendships flourish and grow. The positive benefits of playing and singing with other young people enhances motivation, improves progress and accelerates achievements in their music making.
This is where it all starts! Learning to play your instruments together for the first time and having lots of fun along the way. Making friends and making music - what could be better. As soon as you have started note reading and can read and play about 5 notes, you are welcome to join us in Wind Club.
This group is the earliest point at which string players can join Derby Music Centre. From being able to place finger one down on the string, up to grade 1 standard, String Club gives young players a full and lively introduction to ensemble music. If you enjoy making music with a real “feel good factor” then String Club is the ideal group to begin your musical journey.
The Samba Group has become well established at Derby Music Centre since it was introduced a few years ago, growing in popularity every year. They explore the rhythms of Brazil and northern Africa, with members being invited to bring their own ideas to the group to create new rhythms and music. They sometimes include someone from the group playing a drum kit from time to time, and rehearsals are always buzzing and exciting.
St George's String Club
A Derby Music Centre satellite ensemble group for string players at St George's CVA, a school where all pupils learn to play a string instrument in whole class settings in each year of KS2. Rehearsing on Wednesdays, this after school club is open to all St George's string players to attend during term time, led by Vicky Keane who also conducts Senior Strings and Derby Music Centre's City of Derby Youth Orchestra on Saturday mornings. This group will be invited to perform in DMC concerts.
This is the group for players who have advanced as far as grade 1 standard. John arranges his own versions of well-known pieces and the groups aims to further develop musicianship and aspects of technique. Like String Club, members of this group also get to take part in the popular annual chamber concert where if they wish, they can prepare a solo to perform to an appreciative audience.
Junior Wind Band
This band is aimed at those players who feel comfortable playing their instrument up to or beyond Grade 3 level. As well as playing pieces, the band do a bit of simple improvising and playing along with backing tracks. This allows players to either listen and copy or lead that part of an aural "playback" time and learn about new techniques and training skills, which has been really successful building up confidence, enjoying playing and leading the ensemble. Various different styles of music are played including Latin music and rock grooves as well as more traditional band music. New players are always welcome who play woodwind, brass and percussion, so do come along and join in the band in their friendly and informal atmosphere.
Voices is a Junior Choir made up of boys and girls, who perform a wide variety of music styles from around the world. These songs are carefully selected to develop vocal technique and performance skills. They sing fun warm ups, tongue twisters, part songs, rounds, partner song and much more. Over the last few years, Voices have been very privileged to sing in large scale performances at Derby Music Centre and beyond, including Lest We Forget where they performed at Birmingham Arena with 3,000 children from across the country, and the Riverside where they sang in a joint music centre massed choir as part of the City & County Youth Wind Band Concert to high acclaim. Voices perform in around four Derby Music Centre concerts a year, one being the Gala which involves the whole of Derby Music Centre. There are many opportunities for our singers from singing a solo or duet to using their instruments to accompany the choir, e.g. a flute trio
Intermediate Wind Band
In Intermediate Wind Band the repertoire played is wide and varied, from original wind band works to arrangements of film and pop music, as well as themes from films and tv shows. The members of Intermediate Wind Band continue to develop their general musical and ensemble skills, in addition to getting to grips with a large range of musical styles.
Intermediate Strings is a group for string players between Grade 3 and 5/6. It is a truly friendly group where fabulous music is made, and great friendships are formed. In this group they play a wide variety of music from different genres and challenge their musicians to develop some orchestral discipline as well as well as improving their listening skills and learning how to work as a team. Everyone who plays a string instrument (violin, viola, cello and double bass) to the required standard is welcome to come along and have a go at any time.
Intermediate Brass Ensemble
IBE enjoys playing a wide range of music, including classical music, jazz, marches and pop and rock. Players of grade 3 standard and above are welcome to join, and can be assured of a warm welcome from the current members, who have lots of fun with their playing and enjoy opportunities including solo slots, choosing repertoire and leading individual lines in this chamber brass group.
Intermediate Flute and Clarinet Ensembles
Intermediate Flute and Clarinet Choirs bring together players of grade 4-5, playing a range of fun and exciting repertoire and learning to play together in a smaller ensemble setting. Players who have progressed to Intermediate Wind Band are welcome to join these groups.
City of Derby Youth Orchestra
Over the last 6 years the orchestra has doubled in size and developed a large string section with players ranging from Grades 4 to 8. The woodwind, brass and percussion sections similarly always boast players of a very high standard, a number of whom also play at County level, and some at National level!! The orchestra performs in a variety of Music centre concerts throughout the year, but are particularly proud of their achievement reaching the final in the National Festival (Music4Youth) performing at Symphony Hall Birmingham, and in June 2020 were hoping to take a tour to perform in the Lake District (sadly curtailed by Covid). The age range of the orchestra stretches from 10-18 years, which brings a broad range of musical interests and tastes, and the players take a large role in choosing the repertoire they learn and perform, either by their own suggestion, or by a democratic vote! Repertoire is very varied, drawing from film and musical theatre (e.g. Les Miserables, Pirates of the Caribbean) to well-known classical repertoire across all musical periods, from Handel to Mahler.
City of Derby Youth Band
The City of Derby Youth Band is a very well established ensemble that encourages players who enjoy playing music that is both challenging and interesting. They enjoy playing in a wide variety of concerts in and around Derby and in music festivals at many prestigious venues. Recent successes have included Gold awards at the National Concert Band Festival at Regional and National level. The band are currently rehearsing on line and are working towards lots of exciting projects. They will be joined this term by special guests from the banding world who are going to give the players an insight into the world of the professional musician. They enjoy socialising in their rehearsals and are planning many experiences and new musical challenges in the future.
Always massively popular with players and audiences, this toe tapping group has performed in a wide range of venues across the city, often requested for public events. they achieved Gold awards at the National Concert Band Festival and performed at the Royal Northern College of Music in the final stages of the competition to high acclaim. Currently led by Ben Henderson.
Senior Flute and Clarinet Ensembles
Senior Clarinet Ensemble is a vibrant and expressive group. They perform a wide range of contrasting repertoire from Mozart to Glen Miller and more. This is an opportunity for all clarinet players to explore the repertoire for their own instrument. Players in this ensemble get the chance to play the different size clarinets Eb and Bass as well as playing in small ensembles - a valuable experience for players to develop their skills playing individual lines.
Senior Flute Choir provides an opportunity for higher grade players to tackle more challenging repertoire and further develop ensemble skills. Being led by a flute specialist, technical progress and challenge is also a key aspect of this ensemble, a well as the variety of instruments on offer for players to try: Derby Music Centre has a piccolo, and alto flute available.
Senior String Ensemble
Comprised of the most senior strings players at Derby Music Centre, we play repertoire drawn from the finest works for strings including Serenades (Tchaikovsky, Elgar) and Suites (Holst’s Holberg Suite, Warlock’s Capriol Suite). We have highly focussed and enjoyable rehearsals, produce excellent ensemble music and always push to achieve our best.