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Whether you’re an absolute beginner or an expert musician, looking to master an instrument, start a band or join a choir or ensemble, NTU is the perfect place to spark your passion for music.

Take a look at just some of the ways you could get involved.

Love to sing?

Take your pick from our Choir, award-winning Chamber Choir, and Gospel Choir. You’ll have the opportunity to sing everything from choral music to rock and pop, and to perform at incredible venues across the city.

  • Choir

    The NTU Choir welcomes singers of all abilities and is our largest ensemble with around 150 members. There’s no audition to join and you don't need to be able to read music, so it’s ideal if you’re new to group singing.

    We learn and perform everything from Christmas carols to tunes from musical and films, epic choral works and contemporary pop songs.

    Who can join?
    • NTU students
    • NTU staff
    • community members
    Is there an audition?No
    What experience do I need?None
    Led byMatthew Hopkins, Director of Music
    Rehearsals (term time only)Tuesdays, 6.15 – 8.30 pm, University Hall, City Campus
    Yearly cost
    • £20 NTU students
    • £40 NTU staff and alumni
    • £80 community members
    Performances

    You’ll perform in a variety of public events throughout the year – previous concerts include:

    • March 2020: The Magical Music of Harry Potter with the Hallé Orchestra
    • April 2019: Symphonic Queen and The Beatles with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    • October 2018: The Star Wars Saga with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
    • April 2018: Verdi Requiem with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Dame Sarah Connolly, Elizabeth Llewellyn, Gwyn Hughes Jones and Wojtek Gierlach.
    • April 2017: A Night on Broadway with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and Kerry Ellis

  • Gospel Choir

    From traditional and contemporary gospel, our friendly and relaxed Gospel Choir loves to sing and perform new music together. You don't need to be able to read music or have previous singing experience to get involved and have fun, and there's no audition!

    Who can join?
    • NTU students
    • NTU staff
    Is there an audition?No
    What experience do I need?None
    Led byFreddie Kofi – MOBO Award nominee and British Academy of Songwriters Award winner
    Rehearsals (term time only)Wednesdays, 5.30 – 6.30 pm, Dance Studio, Music Centre, City Campus
    Yearly cost
    • £20 NTU students
    • £40 NTU staff and alumni
    Performances

    You’ll perform in a variety of events throughout the year.

  • Chamber Choir (auditioned)

    Our award-winning Chamber Choir will help you take your singing skills to the next level. As an experienced singer, you'll learn to perform a wide variety of music – from baroque to contemporary – in a close-knit ensemble that feels like family.

    In 2018 our Chamber Choir won a silver medal at the World Choir Games in Tshwane, South Africa.

    Who can join?
    • NTU students
    • NTU staff
    Is there an audition?Yes  –  these take place during Welcome Week and at the start of Term One
    What experience do I need?You need to be able sing to Grade 6 level and sight-read to Grade 5 level. Don't worry if you haven't taken any exams, and if you're not sure what level you're at – we'll assess your suitability during your audition.
    Led byMatthew Hopkins, Director of Music
    Rehearsals (term time only)Wednesdays, 2.15 – 4.15 pm, University Hall, City Campus
    Yearly costThere's no yearly cost but you will need to purchase a shirt for performances 
    Performances

    You’ll perform in a variety of public events throughout the year – previous concerts include:

    • March 2019: John Rutter's Requiem at Southwell Minster
    • October 2018: Sunrise Mass at Southwell Minster
    • March 2017: Mass in Blue at Southwell Minster
    • December 2017: Christmas Lunchtime Concert at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
    • November 2016: North Wales Choral Festival at Venue Cymru, Llandudno.
    • April 2016: with Russell Watson, during his tour, at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
    • April 2016: Dream of Gerontius with the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
    • April 2016: The Sagrada Familia, Monserrat Abbey, Barcelona Cathedral

Play an instrument

Join one of our relaxed and friendly instrumental ensembles, open to musicians of all abilities. You’ll perform in competitions and concerts across the UK and beyond.

  • Big Band

    If you're looking to play swing and jazz as part of a large and friendly ensemble, our Big Band is the ideal fit! Led by East Midlands-based musician Pete Wraight, you'll meet weekly to learn new pieces and practise those already in the band's repertoire.

    Who can join?
    • NTU students
    • NTU staff
    • community members
    Is there an audition?No
    What experience do I need?You should be able to play your instrument to around Grade 6 standard, but you don't need to have taken exams
    Led byPete Wraight
    Rehearsals (term time only)Mondays, 6.30 – 8 pm, Ensemble Room, NTU Music Centre, City Campus
    Yearly cost
    • £20 NTU students
    • £40 NTU staff and alumni
    • £80 community members
    Performances

    The Big Band performs biannually at our NTU Big Band Live events and is also a regular at local jazz club Peggy's Skylight. In addition, the band are booked for a number of private parties and functions.

  • Brass Band

    The NTU Brass Band started small. It began in 2013 as a quintet, but has bloomed into a thriving ensemble that's played around the UK; including winning awards at the world's only university brass band competition – Unibrass. Our brass band is led by NTU's brass tutor and renowned trombonist Peter Lacy.

    Who can join?
    • NTU students
    • NTU staff
    • community members
    Is there an audition?No
    What experience do I need?You should be able to play your instrument to around Grade 3 standard, but you don't need to have taken exams
    Led byPeter Lacey
    Rehearsals (term time only)Wednesdays, 5.30 – 6.30 pm, Ensemble Room, NTU Music Centre, City Campus
    Yearly cost
    • £20 NTU students
    • £40 NTU staff and alumni
    • £80 community members
    Performances

    Our Brass Band regularly competes, and wins accolades, at Unibrass – the University Brass Band Championship of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The band also performs at seasonal NTU events, including our Christmas Spectacular and Summer Celebration, and joins the Chamber Choir for a popular public Christmas concert at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall.

    Members have had the opportunity to travel and perform abroad, touring recently to Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany.

  • Concert Band

    Led by Director of Music, Matthew Hopkins, the Concert Band is a fun, friendly and relaxed ensemble who meet weekly to play movie scores, musical numbers and lots more.

    Who can join?
    • NTU students
    • NTU staff
    • community members
    Is there an audition?No
    What experience do I need?You should be able to play your instrument to around Grade 6 standard, but you don't need to have taken exams
    Led byMatthew Hopkins, Director of Music
    Rehearsals (term time only)Thursdays, 6 – 7.30 pm, Ensemble Room, NTU Music Centre, City Campus
    Yearly cost
    • £20 NTU students
    • £40 NTU staff and alumni
    • £80 community members
    Performances

    Our Concert Band has won several awards at the National Concert Band Festival, and performs regularly in NTU Music's concert season.

    Members have had the opportunity to travel and perform abroad, touring recently to Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany.

  • Concert Orchestra

    Every now and then, we bring our ensembles together for something special. The NTU Concert Orchestra combines the talents of the NTU Concert Band and the NTU String Sinfonia.

    We play at NTU concerts throughout the season, particularly at Christmas and the final performance of the year – our Summer Celebration.

    If you're a member of either of these ensembles, you'll have the chance to be a part of the orchestra. There are no additional membership fees, or regular rehearsal times.

  • Drumline

    Led by percussionist Steve Barwell, our Drumline plays pieces for marching snare drums and bass drums. We draw from the playing styles of some of the world's best drumlines, including the Top Secret Drum Corps. You'll hone your technical skills, and be part of performances that will turn heads.

    Drumline is split into two groups – beginners and performance.

    Who can join?
    • NTU students
    • NTU staff
    • community members
    Is there an audition?No
    What experience do I need?

    For beginner drumline you don't need to have any previous experience, and you don't need to be able to read music

    For performance drumline you should be able to play to Grade 5 standard or above, but you don't need to have taken the exams

    Led bySteve Barwell
    Rehearsals (term time only)Beginners: Fridays, 6 – 7.30 pm, Ensemble Room, NTU Music Centre, City Campus
    Performance: Fridays, 7.30 - 8.15 pm, Studio, NTU Music Centre, City Campus 
    Yearly cost
    • £20 NTU students
    • £40 NTU staff and alumni
    • £80 community member

  • String Sinfonia

    If you want to perform in a string ensemble, our String Sinfonia, led by musician and violin tutor Rob Rosa, is a great chance to play in a group of enthusiastic musicians.

    Who can join?
    • NTU students
    • NTU staff
    • community members
    Is there an audition?No
    What experience do I need?You should be able to play your instrument to around Grade 6 standard, but you don't need to have taken exams
    Led byRob Rosa
    Rehearsals (term time only)Wednesdays, 6.30 – 8 pm, Studio, NTU Music Centre, City Campus
    Yearly cost
    • £20 NTU students
    • £40 NTU staff and alumni
    • £80 community members
    Performances

    The String Sinfonia plays regularly at our free lunchtime concerts, as well as other NTU events. It also combines with the Concert Band to perform as the NTU Concert Orchestra, for special events.

Join a Band

If contemporary music is your cup of tea, sign up to our Band Development Programme to meet like-minded musicians. With jam sessions and gig nights, you’ll have the chance to get involved with Nottingham’s grassroots music scene.

  • Band Development Programme

    How do I start?

    It all begins with the Band Book. It's a directory of all NTU students signed up to the programme, including their preferred instrument, their favourite musical genre and how to get in touch.

    And then...get gigging

    Get a few practices in, and there's a space for you on stage at one of our gigs across the city.

    We hold weekly jam nights between 6 – 10 pm on Wednesdays at our Music Centre on the City Campus. And if you need help with song writing or lyrics, we've got that covered too.

    We run an annual Battle of the Bands in collaboration with Confetti that take place at Metronome. Perform in front of a packed crowd and an industry panel for a chance to win recording time at Confetti's studios, A&R sessions with Denizen Music, and even sets at local music festivals.

Rehearsal timetable

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdaySunday
Big Band
6.30 - 8 pm
Ensemble Room, NTU Music Centre
Choir
6.15 - 8.30 pm
University Hall
Chamber Choir
2.15 - 4.15 pm
University Hall
Concert Band
6 - 7.30 pm
Ensemble Room, NTU Music Centre
Music Theatre Dance (Beginners - Intermediate)
2 - 3.30 pm
Studio, NTU Music Centre 
Brass Band
5.30 - 6.30 pm
Ensemble Room, NTU Music Centre 
Drumline (Beginners)
7.30 - 8.15 pm
Studio, NTU Music Centre
Music Theatre Dance (Intermediate - Advanced)
2 - 3.30 pm
Studio, NTU Music Centre
Gospel Choir
5.30 - 6.30 pm
Studio, NTU Music Centre
Drumline (Performance)
8.15 - 9.15 pm
Ensemble Room, NTU Music Centre 
String Sinfonia
6.30 - 8 pm
Studio, NTU Music Centre 
Band Programme
6 - 10 pm
NTU Music Centre

Rehearsals will begin week commencing Monday 27 September, except Chamber Choir which will start the following week.