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Ensembles and groups

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.

A group of four male students playing in a band.

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. And, best of all, it's completely free for NTU students to join!

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

NTU Choir information
Who can join?
  • NTU students
  • NTU staff
  • community members
Is there an audition? No
What experience do I need? None
Led by Matthew Hopkins, Director of Music
Rehearsals (term time only) Tuesdays, 6.15 – 8.30 pm, University Hall, City Campus
Yearly cost
  • FREE for NTU students (new for 2022-23)
  • £40 NTU staff and alumni
  • £80 community members
Performances

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

  • April 2022:  A Night at the Movies with the BBC Concert Orchestra
  • 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!

NTU Gospel Choir information
Who can join?
  • NTU students
  • NTU staff
Is there an audition? No
What experience do I need? None
Led by Freddie 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 (free for NTU Bursary holders)
  • £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.

NTU Chamber Choir information
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 by Matthew Hopkins, Director of Music
Rehearsals (term time only) Wednesdays, 2.15 – 4.15 pm, University Hall, City Campus
Yearly cost There's no yearly cost but you'll need to purchase concert dress for performances 
Performances

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

  • March 2022: Paul Carr's Stabat Mater at Southwell Minster
  • March 2019: John Rutter's Requiem at Southwell Minster
  • October 2018: Sunrise Mass at Southwell Minster
  • March 2017: Mass in Blue at Southwell Minster
  • 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: 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.

NTU Big Band information
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 by Pete Wraight
Rehearsals (term time only) Mondays, 6.30 – 8 pm, Ensemble Room, NTU Music Centre, City Campus
Yearly cost
  • £20 NTU students (free for NTU Bursary holders)
  • £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.

NTU Brass Band information
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 by Dave Curtiss
Rehearsals (term time only) Wednesdays, 5.30 – 6.30 pm, Ensemble Room, NTU Music Centre, City Campus
Yearly cost
  • £20 NTU students (free for NTU Bursary holders)
  • £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 France, 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.

NTU Concert Band information
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 by Matthew 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 (free for NTU Bursary holders)
  • £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 France, 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 sessions – Tech Class and Performance.

NTU Drumline information
Who can join?
  • NTU students
  • NTU staff
  • community members
Is there an audition?
  • Tech Class – no
  • Performance  – yes
What experience do I need?

For Tech Class 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 by Steve Barwell
Rehearsals (term time only) Tech Class: Thursdays, 7.45 – 8.30 pm, NTU Music Centre, City Campus
Performance: Thursdays, 8.30 – 9.30 pm, NTU Music Centre, City Campus 
Yearly cost
  • £20 NTU students (free for NTU Bursary holders)
  • £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.

NTU String Sinfonia information
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 by Rob Rosa
Rehearsals (term time only) Wednesdays, 6.30 – 8 pm, Studio, NTU Music Centre, City Campus
Yearly cost
  • £20 NTU students (free for NTU Bursary holders)
  • £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 you're into pop, rock, hip-hop, metal, indie or any other genre of contemporary music, sign up to our Band Development Programme. With free rehearsal spaces, gig nights, jam sessions and more, you’ll have the chance to get involved in Nottingham’s vibrant live music scene. Sign up now.

Band Development Programme

How do I get involved?

Sign up to the Band Development Programme

It all begins with the Band Book – a directory of all NTU students signed up to the Band Development Programme. This includes information about what instruments people play, and what styles and acts they like. Find musicians in the Band Book that you think sound good, rehearse a few times, and we’ll set you up to perform live within weeks.

We hold weekly Band Nights between 6 – 10 pm on Wednesdays at our Music Centre on City Campus. These involve meeting and rehearsing with potential bandmates, technical and songwriting support, and help with getting gigs and recording. At the start of the academic year look out for jam sessions too.

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

What's on, when and where

Rehearsals start w/c Monday 26 September, with the exception of the Chamber Choir whose first rehearsal is w/c Monday 3 October 2022.

NTU Music rehearsal timetable
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursday
Big Band
6.30 – 8 pm
NTU Music Centre
Choir
6.15 – 8.30 pm
NTU Music Centre
Chamber Choir
2.15 – 4.15 pm
NTU Music Centre
Concert Band
6 – 7.30 pm
NTU Music Centre
Musical Theatre Dance*
(Beginners - Intermediate)
6 – 7 pm
NTU Music Centre
Brass Band
5.30 – 6.30 pm
NTU Music Centre 
Drumline (Tech Class)
7.45 – 8.30 pm
NTU Music Centre
Musical Theatre Dance*
(Intermediate - Advanced)
7 – 8 pm
NTU Music Centre
Gospel Choir
5.30 – 6.30 pm
NTU Music Centre
Drumline (Performance)
8.30 – 9.30 pm
NTU Music Centre 
String Sinfonia
6.30 – 8 pm
NTU Music Centre 
Band Programme
6 – 10 pm
NTU Music Centre

*takes places every other week, starting Tuesday 27 September 2022.

Register your interest

Interested in joining one of our ensembles or groups? Register your interest and we'll send you all the relevant information!

Still need help?

NTU Music
+44 (0)115 848 4570