We provide instrumental and vocal tuition to pupils across North Yorkshire through our county music service.

It operates Saturday morning music centres in Harrogate, Northallerton, Scarborough, Selby, Skipton, and Whitby, offering young people the chance to experience ensemble work at a range of levels. The service also runs a variety of ensembles for which young people can audition.

County music service teachers also work in schools, where children can begin instrumental lessons from about year three. There is evidence that learning to play an instrument and read music benefits children in other areas of school life. Progress reports keep you up to date with how your child is doing. Lessons are usually taken in groups and last between 20 and 30 minutes, with up to 30 lessons offered in each academic year. In most secondary schools, music lessons are operated on a rotating timetable in order to ensure that your child does not miss the same subject lesson each week.

If you buy an instrument, you may find the assisted purchase scheme useful - it offers the chance to buy an instrument without paying VAT. If your child borrows a music centre instrument, or hires a county music service instrument, you will need to take out insurance.

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If you have already ordered an instrument you can make payment of £15 here. Please disregard the delivery address option as delivery will be to your child's school.

More information

Contacting the music service

County music service administrative office

Children and Young People's Service Business Support
County Hall
North Yorkshire

Email: countyhall.music@northyorks.gov.uk
Telephone: 01609 532783
Fax: 01609 797141

Contact information

68a High Street
Telephone: 01609 533321
Music centre manager: Will Osborn

Welcome to Harrogate Music Centre - the place for developing musicians of all ages. We know that you will derive pleasure and enjoyment from music making to a high standard with others who have similar musical attainments and interests to yourself.

The centre provides a wide range of ensemble experience from the junior groups through to our senior and adult ensembles and seeks to expand further. In addition to our main concerts, the music centre has a policy of inviting musicians from the music profession to work with and perform alongside students in organised workshops.

Harrogate Music Centre has a strong and established reputation for music making of high quality that we strive to continue.

I thank all of the specialist music centre staff for their continuing hard work, initiative and inspiration and I look forward to another successful year working with them. We are indebted to our excellent Friends of Harrogate Music Centre group for the work that they do in much-needed fund raising activities and the support that they give to the benefit of all those who attend the centre.

Ensemble music making is benefiting socially and cerebrally too.

Learning an instrument enables you to exercise both sides of the brain, leading to more effective thinking that has a positive effect on academic subjects, as well as often having a significant effect on a person’s social life and confidence.

Finally, I would like to thank those of you who attend music centre for giving us the opportunity to work with you and make music together. We look forward to sharing many more successful and fulfilling years together.

Will Osborn
Music centre manager


Regular attendance at rehearsals and concerts is absolutely vital to maintaining the high standard of performance which we strive to maintain.

Junior String Orchestra

Director/Conductor: Emily Jones 11am to 12.30pm

The Junior Strings consists of around 30 young players. For many new members it will be their first experience of large ensemble work, so we aim to introduce them to new orchestral skills whilst reinforcing playing techniques.

Entry to the orchestra is by teacher recommendation, but players would normally be of a pre grade 1 standard and this level is recommended to all string players at this level.

Blast Off

Director/Conductor: Archie Batty 9.30am to 11am Maths Corridor

Blast Off is suitable for all woodwind and brass players who have either just started learning or have had lessons for about a year.

The band plays music tailored to the abilities of the children who turn up and serves as an introduction to playing in an ensemble as well as addressing some of the basic skills of playing a wind instrument.

Beginner Ukuleles

Director: Michael Waterhouse. 9:30am to 10.45am Room Hi1

Come along and learn the ukulele in a fun and relaxing group setting. This group is mainly aimed at primary school aged children.

Ukulele Band

Director: Michael Waterhouse 11am to 12.30pm Room Hi1

The Ukulele Band welcomes ukulele players of all ages and abilities. The band performs a wide range of music.

Parental Guidance

Director: Archie Batty 11.10am to 12.30pm

Parental Guidance is for adults who either play or used to play a wind instrument. If you have a clarinet in your loft, feeling unloved, get it out and come along. The standard covers from more or less beginner to an intermediate standard and they will always welcome new members.

Accidentals (Choir)

Director: Jocelyn Orrell 9.45am to 10.45am

The Accidentals is a choir of mainly, but not exclusively, adults who either already enjoy singing or would like to try. Rehearsals are conducted to a fun relaxed manner.

Youth Choir

Director: Jocelyn Orrell 11.15am to 12.30pm

A new group to Harrogate Music Centre, the Youth Choir is a friendly place to come along and experience singing with other young people. The repertoire mainly focuses on pop/rock styles with the odd bit of musical theatre thrown in. No experience is needed for this group.

Harrogate Music Centre Concert Band

Director/Conductor: Stephanie Yaple 9.30am to 12.30pm

Wind Band is suitable for students who are approximately grade 3 and above and whose music reading and technical skills are developed enough to enable them to play arrangements of standard wind band repertoire including popular hits and film music.

Senior Strings

Director/Conductor: Euan Crombie 9.30am to 12.30pm Chapel Block

Harrogate Youth Strings is the senior string group at the centre. Members experience a wide variety of music covering a range of styles to suit the membership.

Harrogate Youth Wind Orchestra

Director/Conductors: tbc 9:30am to 12.30pm Main Hall.

Harrogate Youth Wind Orchestra is a full symphonic wind band playing from the large range of music written for such an ensemble. They are regularly invited to perform in the local community as well as taking part in national festivals. Entry to Harrogate Youth Wind Orchestra is by audition.

Harrogate Youth Jazz Orchestra

Director/Conductor.: Will Osborn/Toby Brazier 9.30am to 12.30pm Room Mu4/5

Harrogate Youth Jazz Orchestra is the senior ensemble in the music centre offering opportunities to those students who wish to explore jazz technique and repertoire. The band plays from a large library of music ranging from traditional big band numbers to more contemporary music. Harrogate Youth Jazz Orchestra regularly perform concerts throughout the year.

The ensemble consists of about 20 members.

Entry to Harrogate Youth Jazz Orchestra is by audition.

Music lessons at Harrogate Music Centre

We are now offering group and individual music lessons at Harrogate Music Centre covering the following disciplines: woodwind (saxophone, clarinet and flute), brass (trumpet, trombone, tenor horn etcetera) and strings (violin, viola, cello). Lessons are free for the first term, including instrument hire, places are limited. If you are interested please email William.osborn@northyorks.gov.uk for further information.

The Friends of Harrogate Music Centre

This group of volunteers is essential to the operation of the centre. They provide refreshments weekly and manage the selling of tickets at concerts. They also organise fundraising activities and always welcome new members.

Please check out the Harrogate Music Centre website or contact the Music Centre Office on 01609 533321 if you require any further information. Please also make use of the Harrogate Music Centre Facebook page for up to date information.

Notification of non-attendance

We enjoy full commitment from most of students at concerts and rehearsals over the year which is essential for the success of the centre. It is clearly important that ensemble members make every effort to be present each Saturday, especially members of the senior ensembles.

It is, however, understood that there will be occasions when health issues, for example, make this impossible. If you and or your child is unable to be present for a rehearsal they should let their ensemble director know so that this can be marked in the register.

Alternatively please let us know in advance via email william.osborn@northyorks.gov.uk or phone the office on 01609 533321 between 8.30am and 4pm Monday to Friday. 

The music centre mobile number 07791 755941 is switched on from 8.30am every Saturday morning to allow notification of ‘last minute’ absence or emergencies.

If you and or your child no longer want to attend, please let us know immediately. Some information you could provide about the reasons why will help to improve our service for the future.


We all have a stake in the music centre and we are constantly on the lookout for new members. Anything students and parents can do to help us in this would be very much appreciated. We especially welcome bass instrumentalists and local music teachers are welcome by appointment.

Procedure for bad weather

In the event of severe weather conditions or other unavoidable factors, Harrogate Music Centre may have to be closed.

Obviously, we will endeavour to inform you of such a closure in advance but if this is not possible an announcement will be posted on social media by 8am. You can also check your emails to see if your ensemble director has notified you.

Alternatively, you can contact music centre manager Will Osborn on the music centre mobile 07791 755941.


Any enquiries about centre's activities should be made to:

68a High Street

You can also telephone 01609 534979.

Music centre manager, William Osborn, is generally available on Tuesdays during term time.

You can also email William.osborn@northyorks.gov.uk.

Further information

For further information visit the Harrogate Music Centre website.

Contact information

The Music Centre is located at Northallerton School and Sixth Form College, College Site, Grammar School Lane, Northallerton, DL6 1DD.

Rehearsals are on Saturdays from 9.30am to 12.30pm during term time. You can phone 0781 617 4090 or email Garrie.harvey@northyorks.gov.uk

Office hours are Tuesday, 9am to 12pm and Wednesday, 9am to 11am in term time only. The office address is Northallerton Music Centre, CYPS Music Service, County Hall, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL7 8AE. You can phone the office on 01609 532783.


Music Centre Manager: Garrie Harvey

Strings: Kathleen Butcher G.Mus., LTCL, PGCE; Lisa Corbett LTCL; Sarah Skilbeck B.Mus., PGCE

Woodwind: Alan Owens LLCM; Tim Waters CT, ABRSM

Brass/Guitar: Ian Cobb LLCM

Vocal: Trevor Wilson GRSM, ARMCM Cert.Ed

Junior Band

Conductor: Tim Waters

Size: Approximately 30 players

Standard: Grades 1 to 3

Time: 9.30am to 10.45am

The Junior Band consists of approximately 40 players, from beginners to those taking Gr3. The age range of the students is from eight to 13. Mr Waters usually chooses the music for the Band to accommodate the students’ needs and is open to suggestions for new pieces. Recent concerts have included pieces such as “Looney Tunes” and “The Great Escape”.

You are welcome to come and join us and benefit from everything that playing in an ensemble has to offer. The Band rehearse from 9.30am to 10.45am and then join together with Junior Strings to form a Junior Choir and Junior Orchestra from 11.15am to 12.30pm.

Junior String Orchestra

Conductor: Kathleen Butcher

Assistant: Lisa Corbett

Size: Approximately 25 players

Standard: Pre-Grade 1 to Grade 3 Time: 9.30am to 10.45am

The Junior String Orchestra is made up of string players between the ages of seven and 13 who enjoy spending their Saturday mornings playing music together. New players need to be able to read notes with reasonable ease.

Recent performances have included works such as “Summer Stomp” by Straub and "Jurassic Park” by Williams.

The strings rehearse from 9.30am to 10.45am and then join together with Junior Band to form a Junior Choir and Junior Orchestra from 11.15am to 12.30pm.

Junior Choir: Chorus

Choir Director: Kathleen Butcher

Accompanist: Lisa Corbett

Size: Approximately 40 singers

Time: 11.15am to 11.45am

This Ensemble has been established for more than seven years. It is made up of the members of Junior Band and Strings who rehearse each Saturday for 30 minutes after break and perform in a concert each term.

Music consists of pop songs and songs from popular musicals, including “Streets of London” and “Viva la Vida”.

Junior Orchestra

Conductor: Kathleen Butcher

Assistant: Lisa Corbett

Size: Approximately 40 players

Standard: Grade 1 to Grade 3

Time: 11.50am to 12.30pm

This ensemble is aimed at all Junior Ensemble players from the first session. Music suitable for string, woodwind, brass and percussion players of this standard will be rehearsed to from Junior Orchestra. Parts will be written and adapted if required.

Recent music includes “The New World” arrangement and “Thriller”.

Junior Wind Group: The Little Band

Director: Tim Waters

Size: Approximately ten players

Standard: Pre Grade 1

Time: 11.15am to 12.30pm

This group is for woodwind and brass students to gain experience in an ensemble before joining Junior Band. Students need to know the first eight notes on their instrument.


Director: Ian Cobb

Size: Approximately ten players

Standard: Any

Time: 9.30am to 10.45am

This group is aimed at encouraging guitar students to start participating or continue their guitar ensemble skills. Music will be arranged as necessary and will look at popular, jazz, Latin and classical styles. Students need to be able to read either TAB or notation. Basic reading of either chords or melody lines is required. You will need to bring either a classical or acoustic instrument.

‘The Banned’ Beginner Ensemble

Director: Sarah Skilbeck

Size: Approximately ten players

Standard: Pre Grade 1

Time: 9.30am to 10.45am

This group is aimed at students who are in the very early stages of learning an instrument. They will use their own instruments as well as other percussion instruments and music is based on their individual levels and abilities.

Northallerton Area Schools’ Big Band: ‘Mood Swings’

Conductor: Alan Owens

Size: Approximately 25 players

Standard: Grade 4+

Time: 9.30am to 10.45am

This ensemble has quickly developed into an exciting group, performing at The North Yorkshire County Show and at a Swing-a-thon in June. It contains the majority of the wind band players, with the exception of those orchestral instruments and students who will be playing in the Symphony Orchestra. It develops jazz playing techniques and performs popular, jazz and swing music such as “Birdland” and “Moonlight Serenade”.

Northallerton Area Schools Wind Band: ‘Galeforce’

Conductor: Alan Owens

Size: Approximately 40 players

Standard: Grade 4+

Time: 11.15am to 12.30pm

The Northallerton Area Schools’ Wind Band is made up of wind, brass and percussion players who enter the ensemble at around Grade 4 standard. The majority of musicians have come through the Junior Band - although this is not obligatory. The music will range from arrangements of famous classics to music from films, shows, TV programmes and pop songs, including music from “Hairspray” and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever”. We are always looking for new players, particularly trombone, tuba, oboe and bassoon.

Northallerton Area Schools’ Symphony Orchestra

Conductor: Trevor Wilson.

Size: Approximately 50 players

Standard: Grades 4 to 8

Time: 9.30am to 10.45am

This Orchestra provides the opportunity for enthusiastic young musicians to meet regularly and rehearse music taken from the orchestral repertoire including “Dance of the Tumblers” and Selections from “Indiana Jones”. The ensemble was restructured last year and went on to perform at Leeds Town Hall at our Music Service Concert. It consists of string players from intermediate and chamber groups and woodwind, brass and percussion players who either request to join or are invited.

Senior Strings

Director: Sarah Skilbeck

Size: Approximately two

Standard Grade 4+

Time: 11.15am to 12.30pm

The String Group builds on techniques, including communication and stylistic playing. They perform a varied repertoire of music including “Capriol Suite” and popular music, including “The Best of Abba”. The Gilda String Quartet worked with the group to help them develop their communication skills. Students studying composition may wish to use this group to rehearse their composition.

Senior Choir (SAB) Choir

Director: Trevor Wilson

Size: Approximately 12 singers

Time: 11.15am to 12.30pm

This Ensemble was formed for those who enjoy singing in harmony. Music consists mostly of pop songs and songs from popular musicals, including “West Side Story” and songs by the Beatles and some classical vocal music.

Theory/Exam Preparation

Teacher: Su Evans

Students requiring theory lessons, at any level, have an individual time to work through ABRSM theory. Students requiring practice for aural tests or accompaniment rehearsal have an individual time to practice.

Music Centre Concerts

All the ensembles present a concert each term. The dates and times for these are made available to the parents and children during the first term of the school year. Usually, the last Saturday of the term.

Concert dress

Junior and Intermediate Ensembles:

Girls: White blouses, dark skirts/trousers, black shoes.

Boys: White shirts, dark trousers, black shoes. No trainers or jeans

Senior Ensembles:

Girls: White blouses, black skirt (of an appropriate length) or trousers, black shoes

Boys: White shirts, dark trousers, black shoes.(Bow Ties for Orchestra / String Ensemble)


Parents should be aware that no member of the Music Centre should leave the school site at any time during a session, unless accompanied by a member of staff. If a member of any ensemble needs to leave the Music Centre before the end of the morning then they must ensure that their Ensemble Director is informed so that their absence is noted in the register.

In addition, all Music Centre members must always use the footbridge connecting the West and East sides of the Allertonshire School, and not attempt to cross the main road directly. Neither ourselves nor Northallerton Music Centre can be held responsible for any injury caused by a member of the Centre breaking these rules.

Bad Weather Arrangements

If it's necessary to cancel the Music Centre due to bad weather, such as snow, then local radio will be contacted and asked to broadcast the cancellation. If you suspect the Music Centre may have been closed then tune in to one of the following and listen to the regular bulletins: Radio Cleveland FM 95.00, TFM Radio FM 96.6, Radio York FM 104.3 You can also check the Northallerton Music Centre website – a decision will have been made by 7.30am on whether the centre will be closed and will be posted on the site. Music Centre Mobile number: 0781 617 4090.


The Northallerton Music Centre website has information about the music centre, latest news, concert details both past and present, dates, fees etc. Please take time to have a look at what we offer and listen to our ensembles.


We only insure against injury caused to children as a result of the negligence of the Authority, its servants or agents and does not insure to pay compensation following any injury suffered by a pupil or student. It is the responsibility of the parent to arrange and pay premiums for personal accident insurance they require in respect of any injury caused or suffered by their child.

We do not insure instruments and when children borrow our instrument parents are advised to insure it against loss or damage.

Parents' Association

The Parents’ Association aims to advance the education of young people by furthering the objectives of the Music Centre. Practical and financial help is provided by parents in addition to the assistance given to the Music Centre by ourselves.

Money is raised by holding raffles at each concert and by parents running the Saturday morning tuck shop. The tuck shop is staffed by a group of volunteer parents and provides an opportunity for the students to socialise. As ever, we are always seeking new volunteers to assist with tuck shop, so, if you would like to help (one morning per term) please contact any member of the Committee for further information.

The money raised is used to purchase music and equipment, such as sound equipment and conductors' podiums. The Parents’ Association also contribute towards the costs of off-site concerts and competitions, including providing transport.

Finally, we would remind you that all parents and guardians of students attending the Music Centre automatically become members of the Parents’ Association.

The Parents’ Committee usually meets once each term to discuss and plan for future Music Centre events. If you would be interested in serving on the Committee please contact the Music Centre Office and we will inform the Secretary.

The Association is looking forward to another successful year for the Music Centre and new members are always welcome.

Contact information

Music Centre Manager: Ralph Alder

Website: Scarborough Area Music Centre website.

Address: Scarborough Area Music Centre, c/o The Street, 12 Lower Clark Street, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO12 7PW

Telephone: 01609 533249

Email: ralph.alder@northyorks.gov.uk


Scarborough Area Youth Strings Orchestra 

Musical Director: Bryce Chatto

Our senior string orchestra consists of upper and lower string players from grade 3, 4 and above. They tackle a varied variety of string music from Baroque to modern in a chamber group setting.

Junior String Orchestra

Musical Director: Louise McKay

The Junior Strings Orchestra are essentially a training orchestra with players from pre grade 1 standard to grade 2/3 plus when they move up to a more advanced orchestra. The players learn the skills necessary for orchestral playing – following the beat, remembering to bring a pencil and eventually some leadership skills.

This gives them the opportunity to experience and enjoy different styles of music – from classics to folk – and from all around the world. We are able to offer specialist sectionals as part of the detailed rehearsals and preparations prior to concerts.

Ebony Woodwind Group

Musical Director: Amanda Bond

Ebony originally formed to offer a different ensemble experience to young woodwind players and to encourage members to assist or join the larger ensembles which require a strong woodwind section. Since its inception, the young players in Ebony have explored a wide variety of music and learned a great deal about woodwind playing.

Rehearsals are on a Tuesday evening at 7pm to 8.30pm at the Sixth Form College, during term time. New players are most welcome and need to be approximately Grade Two playing standard or above.

E.A.S.Y. Band

Musical Director: Clive Wass

The E.A.S.Y. Band is the senior Symphonic Wind Band at the Scarborough Area Music Centre, comprising of approx. 40 musicians who come from across the Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale areas. The band’s repertoire is very diverse and includes popular classics, arrangements from films and musicals, jazz standards and original compositions for Wind Band.

The band undertakes various engagements throughout the year both in Scarborough and the surrounding area. The band is always on the look-out for new members and welcomes woodwind, brass and percussion players of grade 3 standard and above.

Junior Concert Band

Musical Director: Julie Alder

The Junior Concert Band provides students of wind, brass and percussion with their first steps on the Music Centre ladder. Students come along to Junior Concert Band once they have acquired a basic technique on their instrument, probably after about six months from starting lessons. During their time in the Junior Concert Band students learn the disciplines involved in ensemble playing and receive valuable coaching on musical techniques through a variety of different styles of music.

The Junior Concert Band provides students of wind, brass and percussion with their first steps on the Music Centre ladder. Students come along to Junior Concert Band once they have acquired a basic technique on their instrument, usually around Grade One standard. The ensemble plays a variety of musical styles with pieces progressing in difficulty throughout the year.

B.I.G Beginner Instrumental Group

Musical Director: Amanda Bond

Formed in 2010, this group as it’s title suggests is for young players with a little experience, perhaps the ability to play five or six notes. Mr. Wass arranges popular tunes specifically for these players, and its membership is open to any instrument. It meets from 11am to 12.30 pm on Saturday mornings.

Jazz Train 

Musical Director: Ralph Alder

Jazz Train was formed in September 1999, and rehearses on Tuesday evenings, 7pm to 8.30pm during term time. Its aim is to provide younger musicians the opportunity to experience Jazz music in a Big Band set up at a more elementary level. The players are made up of Junior Concert Band and E.A.S.Y. Concert Band members, as well as players from outside Saturday morning Music Centre.

The chosen repertoire of music includes Swing, Rock, Ballads, as well as current “Popular” music, and gives members the chance to experiment with improvised solos.

Guitar Ensemble

Musical Director: Adam Carpenter

As the guitar is rarely considered as an orchestral instrument, the guitar ensemble provides a valuable opportunity for our young players to explore the possibilities of what a larger group can do. They perform in concerts, typically at the end of each term and tackle music from a wide range of styles and genres. There is also the opportunity for the more advanced players to get together and tackle some challenging material. The Guitar Ensemble rehearses on Tuesday evenings from 7pm to 8:30pm.

Viva Violins!

Musical Director: Sarah Bancroft

A new ensemble at Scarborough Area Music Centre for September 2022. Viva Violins! follows on from the success of our free violin lessons offered at Music Centre throughout the year. The group is designed for beginner violinists, pre grade 1, to experience ensemble playing and benefit from all that playing in a group provides. Viva Violins! students will then join our Junior Strings ensemble when we feel that they have made sufficient progress and reached the required standard.

Bad weather arrangements

If the music centre is cancelled, Radio York and Yorkshire Coast Radio will report this on their breakfast time bulletins.

Also please check the Scarborough Area Music Centre website for updates. The music centre manager will send out an email to all as soon as this decision is made.

More details

If you would like more information on any of the above ensembles please contact Ralph Alder (Centre Manager) on 01609 533249 or email: Ralph.Alder@northyorks.gov.uk.

Contact Information

Website: Music Service website

Address: Selby Music Centre, Selby High School, Leeds Road, Selby, YO8 4HT

Telephone: 01609 532783

Music Centre Manager: To be confirmed

Temporary contact email: ian.bangay@northyorks.gov.uk

Selby Music Centre meets on a Saturday morning at Selby High School. It is operated by our Music Service and staffed by our instrumental teachers.

The Music Centre is open to both children and adults and it provides a wide range of ensemble experiences for musicians of all ages. Our ensembles perform throughout the year in and around Selby.

We take part in festivals such as Music for Youth, Eskdale and Harrogate, and we perform each year in joint Centre concerts.

Music Centre Staff and Ensembles

To be confirmed: Music Centre Manager

Helen Moulds: Senior Strings and Fiddlesticks

Andy Novell: Senior Concert Band

To be confirmed: Trouble Clefs and Singing and Samba

Elaine Wallace: Folk Group and Singing and Samba

First Session Ensembles: (9:30am to 10:45am)

The Fiddlesticks: Violin, Viola and Cello - Beginner to Grade 2 standard.

Trouble Clefs: All instruments from beginner to Grade 1 standard.

Folk Group: Guitars, Violins, Flutes, Keyboards - Mixed ability.

Senior Concert Band: Brass, Woodwind and Percussion - Grade 2/3 standard and above.

Second Session Ensembles (11:05am to 12:20pm)

Senior Strings: Violin, Viola and Cello - Grade 2 standard and above.

Senior Concert Band: Brass, Woodwind and Percussion - Grade 2/3 standard and above.

Singing and Samba: Mixed ability Ensemble. Open to anyone who enjoys Singing and Percussion work.

Contact Details

Address: c/o 68a High Street, Starbeck, Harrogate, HG2 7LW

Telephone: 01609 533321 / 07791 755941

Email: William.osborn@northyorks.gov.uk

Music centre manager: Will Osborn

Skipton Music Centre meets on a Saturday morning at Ermysted’s Grammar School, Skipton BD23 1PL

It is open to all. Children and adults who wish to play in an ensemble are welcome to join.

For detailed information visit the Skipton Music Centre website.

Skipton Music Centre - Ensemble Descriptions

Concert Band: Kevin Maltby

All brass, all wind, all saxophones, percussion.

Concert Band is made up of players who are of approximately Grade 3 and above. The band aims to cover a wide repertoire while continuing to train students in ensemble discipline and encouraging musical progress. The band has approximately 40 members and as well as performing at Music Centre concerts, regularly appears at local events.

Grade 3 and above.

Big Band: Kevin Maltby

All Brass, flutes, clarinets, all saxophones, percussion.

Big Band is made up of saxophone, brass and percussion sections, many of whom also play in our Concert Band. The ensemble plays a wide variety of jazz, Blues, Big Band and Rock and Roll favourites and can often be heard in local events in and around Skipton.

Grade 3 and above

String Ensemble: Brian Heaton

Violin, viola, cello, double bass.

String Ensemble aims to give string players (violin, viola, cello and double bass) their first experience of ensemble playing. Members of this group stretch their technique and develop skills in ensemble playing through a wide range of repertoire. Many members of this group progress on to or also play in Orchestra.

Pre-Grade 1 upwards (must be confident with opens strings and note reading).

Orchestra: Brian Heaton

All strings, all wind, percussion, trumpet, trombone, tuba, french horn.

Orchestra provides students of approximately Grade 3 standard and above experience in traditional orchestral playing. Focus is mainly on classical repertoire, with a wide variety of styles and composers covered. Orchestra is the perfect addition to those also attending our Concert Band and String Ensemble groups.

Grade 3 and above.

Fret Band: Matthew Annable

All guitars (electric and acoustic), ukulele.

Fret Band gives pupils at all stages of their learning the opportunity to play a range of popular music tunes and develop their technique and musical theory. Music for each piece is available for a wide rage of abilities and is available in both TAB and traditional notation form. All those playing acoustic, classical, electric and bass guitars, ukulele and any other fretted instrument are welcome to join. Students should have had at least one term of lessons.

All standards (must have had a minimum of one term of lessons).

Percussion Ensemble: Matthew Annable

All percussion instruments (all instruments provided).

Percussion Ensemble focusses developing instrumental technique, ensemble playing and basic music theory. They play pieces that have been specifically written for percussion ensembles and also improvised ensembles.

All standards (must have basic note reading skills).

Launch Pad: Janet Gregory

All instruments.

Launch Pad provides students at the very beginning of their musical journeys the opportunity to play their instrument with others, play musical games, learn music theory and music history, compose, improvise and listen to a wide range of musical styles and genres. All instruments and all players are welcome from absolute beginners up to grade 3. Advice on musical instrument lessons can be obtained from the Music Centre.

Absolute beginners up to Grade 3.

Encore!: Sarah Evans

All instruments.

Encore! offers adult students who may not have played their instrument in years, or who have taken up an instrument as an adult, the opportunity ot play in an ensemble with likeminded people. The group offers a relaxed, but focussed approach to a wide variety of repertoire and welcomes players of all instruments. Approx grade 1 upwards.

Must have basic note reading and instrumental skills.

Instrument Hire

Skipton Music Centre has a few instruments available to hire to its members. Please enquire for more details. If we do not have an instrument in stock, you can hire an instrument from our Music Service.

Contact Details

Music Centre Manager: Bob Butterfield
Office Address: c/o County Music Service, County Hall, Northallerton, DL7 8AE
Telephone: c/o Music Service Business Support Team 01609 532783
Email: bob.butterfield@northyorks.gov.uk


Esk Valley Concert Band: 9.30am to 10.45am

Mistral (Wind Group): 11am to 12.15pm

Esk Valley Big Band 11am to 12.15pm

Whitby Area Concert Band: 11am to 12.15pm

Whitby Area Youth Strings: 11am to 12.15pm

Wider Opportunities Whitby: 9.30am to 10.45am

Choir (WAVE): 9.30am to 10.45am

Esk Valley Concert Band (EVCB)

This ensemble welcomes the full range of Woodwind, Brass and percussion instruments and is commonly fifty strong. The entry level to the Band is around grade four. Its flexible format allows it to tackle almost any style of music including Jazz, Rock, Pop, Film, Classical and Folk. We give several concerts each year mostly in and around Whitby and sometimes further afield.

Esk Valley Big Band (EVBB)

The Big Band have a full complement of trumpets, trombones and Saxophones with a strong rhythm section. Any players at grade four and above who plays any of these instruments is welcome They play contemporary Big Band repertoire as well as well material from as far back as the forties. The band was formed quite recently but has already attracted attention in the area and has a number of future bookings.

Whitby Area Concert Band (WACB)

The Junior Band accepts Woodwind and Brass players at around grade one level. It provides valuable experience in ensemble playing using the same range of styles as the Senior Concert Band. Valuable skills are learned in this ensemble which every member can carry forward in their future music making. On average the Band performs twice each term at various local venues.

Whitby Area Youth Strings (WAYS)

This group offers String players of beginner status to advanced the chance to play together. We do include tuition in orchestral skills and general string playing techniques in our rehearsals. As well as orchestral works the group explores a wide range of styles and performs regularly throughout the year.

Wider Opportunities Whitby (WOW)

In order to accommodate the growing numbers of children learning through the “Wider Opportunities” programme this group (known as “WOW”) cater for participants in this scheme. The scheme gives its members a basic knowledge and the foundation practical skills connected with their chosen instrument. Appropriate music is chosen. Membership of this group offers the players the chance to play with and meet children from other schools and experience performance opportunities they would not otherwise get.

Whitby Area Vocal Ensemble (WAVE)

We are very proud of our choral tradition at Whitby Music Centre. As well as specialist singers everyone at the music Centre is given the opportunity to sing in the Choir. This is because it rehearses immediately before the other ensembles start. Instrumental members can thus start the day with a sing and then move straight on to their respective instrumental groups. As well as producing enjoyable music this is an excellent way to train the musical mind.

Woodwind group (Mistral)

The Woodwind group accepts orchestral woodwind at grade 4 and above and although the name of the group suggests that no brass can play in this group it does include French Horns. Pieces in every style can be performed by this type of ensemble and to press we have played music in genres such as Jazz, Folk, Classical and Baroque.