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Join a choir or music ensemble

Rochdale Music Service runs a number of ensembles, bands and choirs at our music centre at Rochdale Town Hall. Your membership enables you to join ensembles.

You're welcome to join our choirs or ensembles even if you're not currently having lessons through us.

How to join a choir or ensemble

To join a choir or music ensemble you'll need to fit the age or grade level required by the group.

  1. If you wish to join a choir, find a group you wish to join. If you wish to join a music ensemble, find a group which includes the instrument you play or wish to play. You can view all music ensembles and choirs on this page.
  2. Complete the membership form - includes details of membership fees.
  3. Return the completed membership form along with your membership fee.
  4. We'll email you to confirm your membership within 5 working days.
  5. Turn up at the next session of your chosen choir or ensemble.

Choirs and ensembles at Rochdale Music Centre

Find ensembles for a wide range of instruments on this page:

Brass ensembles

Elementary Brass BandElementary Brass Band.

  • Fridays, 4.30pm-5pm
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Directed by Joe Murtagh

If you can play just 3 notes, you can join our Elementary Brass Band. Rehearsals are very relaxed - if you get lost, there's no need to worry. We always finish with a musical game.

Junior Brass BandJunior Brass Band.

  • Fridays, 4.15pm-5pm
  • Suitable for players up to grade 3 standard
  • Directed by Jeff Lewis

We're the stepping stone between the Elementary Brass Band and the Intermediate Brass Band. We perform at the annual Christmas Cracker, the Rochdale Music Service Festival of Performing Arts and Music For Youth. We currently include cornets, tenor horns, baritones, euphoniums, basses, trombones and percussionists in our band.

Intermediate Brass BandIntermediate brass brand.

  • Fridays, 5.15pm-6.15pm
  • Suitable for grades 3 and 4
  • Directed by Joe Murtagh

We're the link between Junior Brass Band and Youth Brass Band. Our yearly highlight is performing at the Rochdale Music Service& Festival Of Performing Arts. In 2017 the band won 2 trophies, one of which was chosen by the Mayor of Rochdale.

Youth Brass BandYouth Brass Band.

  • Wednesdays, 5.15pm-7pm
  • Suitable for grades 5 and above
  • Directed by Ben Dixon

We're a fun and hard-working ensemble. Our members have fantastic experiences and the opportunity to make friends. In 2017 we were in a number of high profile concerts and contests, receiving a number of prizes and performing in a number of the country's leading concert halls.

Fanfare TrumpetsFanfare team.

  • Tuesdays, 5pm-5.30pm
  • Invitation only
  • Directed by Cathie Brooks, FLCM

We're the only Fanfare team in the Greater Manchester Music Hub. Each of our 7-strong team plays a traditional military trumpet. Since forming in early 2017, we've performed at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and The Symphony Hall in Birmingham.

ChoirsMusical theatre group.

Musical Theatre Group

  • Mondays, 6pm-7pm
  • Suitable for all ages and abilities
  • Directed by Joanna Astley

Junior Choir. Do you love musical theatre? Join our friendly, energised group and have fun singing, acting and dancing. Learn to perform with confidence and style.

Youth Choir.

Youth Choir

  • Wednesdays, 4.45pm-5.45pm
  • Suitable for 11-21 year olds
  • Directed by Joanna Astley

We're an all-inclusive vocal group who sing a varied range of music, including world premieres. We arrange our own versions of pop songs and sing choral versions of contemporary music. If you love to sing and make new friends, you're welcome to join.

Adults Day Choir Adults day choir.

  • Thursdays, 1pm-2pm
  • Suitable for adults at any level
  • Directed by Jan Moon

We work towards a performance and a celebratory bite to eat at the end of each term. We aim to have fun and make friends. Everyone is welcome and no experience is necessary, just a wish to have an enjoyable sing in good company.

Pop ChoirPop Choir.

  • Mondays, 7pm-8pm
  • Suitable for adults of all levels
  • Directed by Joanna Astley

Pop Choir is a fun adult choir. We love to sing popular music and perform at events throughout the borough and at the Rochdale Music Service Festival of Performing Arts. You don't need to audition to join us.   

Guitar ensembles

Beginner Guitar Group

  • Thursdays, 4.30pm-5.15pm
  • Suitable for players up to grade 3
  • Directed by Allan Doherty

Beginner Guitar Group is open to anyone who plays guitar but is especially aimed at players that are below grade 4 standard. We play different genres of music, working on a variety of pieces from each style in each half term.

Guitar Gang Guitar gang.

  • Thursdays, 5.30pm-6.30pm
  • Suitable for grades 3 and up
  • Directed by Peter Bond

We play many styles of music, including rock, blues, jazz, folk and reggae. In our Guitar Gang, you'll get the chance to play different posts like lead, rhythm and bass, and have fun while doing it.

Guitar For Grown UpsGuitar for Grown Ups.

  • Thursdays, 4pm-5pm
  • Suitable for players of all abilities
  • Directed by Peter Bond

The lessons are structured but informal and take account of people's differing abilities. We start with basic chords, using simple folk, blues and popular songs. We also look at accompaniment techniques, such as picking, best bass notes, bass runs, fills and even elementary soloing. If you haven't got an acoustic guitar we may be able to lend you one. This is guitar for fun.

Mixed instrument ensembles

Dixie BandDixie Band.

  • Mondays, 5pm-6pm
  • Suitable for grades 4 and above
  • Directed by Conor Prescott

Dixie Band are a 6-piece group who play a variety of Dixieland Jazz. Each player has the opportunity to improvise if they wish. However, notation is available if improvisation is new to you.

Little FolkLittle Folk.

  • Thursdays, 6pm-6.30pm
  • Suitable for children up to 11 years old
  • Directed by Cliff Woodworth

We play a variety of styles of folk music from the UK and beyond. Our aim is to make music fun. We take part in Music for Youth every year and have been invited to play in Birmingham on numerous occasions.

That's All FolkThat's All Folk.

  • Thursdays, 6.30pm-7.30pm
  • Suitable for children aged 11 and above
  • Directed by Cliff Woodworth

We play a wide variety of folk tunes and songs from the UK and beyond. We take part in Music for Youth, other local festivals and also play alongside our other Rochdale Music Centre ensembles in Christmas and summer concerts. We've also won awards and played at Birmingham Symphony Hall. We're recognised as one of the highest standard youth folk groups in the Manchester area.

Rock SchoolRock School.

  • Saturdays, 10am-12pm
  • Suitable for all levels - you'll be matched with a group at your level
  • Directed by Chris Addington, Matthew Berry, and Robert Graham

Rock School started in 2015 to give members who play guitar, bass, drums or sing an opportunity to try out genres of music apart from classical. We have 4 bands full of talented musicians, all working to compete against each other for a chance to represent the Rochdale Music Service in the Greater Manchester Music Hub Battle of the Bands, held at Band on the Wall in Manchester. We work together in bands and work on Trinity Rock School exam pieces. This means any student who wants to take up an exam grade, either solo or as part of a band, has that option. We want to keep expanding and welcome new students.


  • Thursdays, 5pm-6pm
  • Invitation only
  • Directed by Cathie Brooks, FLCM and Hannah Carstensen

The Sinfonia is an exciting new orchestra. The orchestra provides a fun but disciplined learning environment to enhance your learning. Players come from a variety of schools across the borough, furthering opportunities to make new friends. If your child would like to join the orchestra, please contact us using details provided on this page.

Percussion ensembles

The Beatlets The Beatlets.

  • Saturdays, 8.45am-9.30am
  • Suitable for beginners to grade 3
  • Directed by Isaac Carstensen

We're a junior ensemble who help develop young percussionists. We've performed in a number of festivals and events such as the Rochdale Music Service Festival Of Performing Arts, Music For Youth and 'Our Big Day' at Oulder Hill High School in the summer of 2017.

Rhythm Patrol Rhythm Patrol.

  • Saturdays, 8am-8.45am
  • Suitable for grade 3 and above
  • Directed by Isaac Carstensen

Rhythm Patrol is a youth percussion ensemble that started in 1997. We've taken part in a number of festivals, including the Rochdale Music Service Festival of Performing Arts and Music For Youth. We also compose and develop our own pieces.

Piano ensembles

Piano For PleasurePiano For Pleasure.

  • Mondays, 1pm-3pm
  • Suitable for pianists of all abilities
  • Directed by Gemma James

We are a jolly group of aspiring pianists at different levels, who practice pieces and develop our skills on beautiful full sized pianos. We invite you to come along and see if we are right for you.


String ensembles

Rochdale Strings EnsembleRochdale Strings Ensemble.

  • Mondays, 4.45pm-5.30pm
  • Suitable for string players of all abilities
  • Directed by Isabel Williamson

We play a variety of music from pop to classical - as a member, you'll help decide what music we play. Some of our music is learnt by notation and some by ear. In 2017 we took part in the Music for Youth Regional Music Festival. We also took part in Rochdale Music Service Festival of Performing Arts, where we played all our music by memory and even added choreography.

Rochdale String QuartetRochdale String Quartet.

  • ​Mondays, 5.30pm-6pm
  • Suitable for advanced string players
  • Directed by Isabel Williamson

This is a relatively new ensemble for more advanced string players. As you progress on your string instrument, you may be invited to join the existing String Quartet will take part in Music for Youth this year and provide music for various functions and events as requested.

Wind ensembles

Training Wind BandTraining Wind Band.

  • Tuesdays, 4.30pm-5.30pm
  • Suitable for grades 1-4
  • Directed by Laura Clarke

We're a friendly bunch who always welcome new woodwind, brass and percussion players. We play a wide range of music from pop songs and film music to classical and rock. Our aim is to give young players the opportunity to play as an ensemble, make friends and improve their playing with a view to moving on to more senior groups.

Youth Wind Band Youth Wind Band.

  • Tuesdays, 5.30pm-7pm
  • Suitable for grades 4 and up
  • Directed by Cathie Brooks, FLCM

We're an award-winning band who play a high standard of music while having fun. We take part in festivals, including National Concert Band Festival and Music For Youth. We've played in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Peine and at the prestigious Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate. We partner with the 103 Royal Artillery Band and have the opportunity to work alongside professional musicians.

Community Wind BandCommunity Wind Band.

  • Tuesdays, 7.15pm-9.15pm
  • Suitable for adults at any level
  • Directed by Cathie Brooks, FLCM

We're an all-inclusive wind band, providing adult woodwind, brass and percussion players with the opportunity to come together in a lively and fun environment whether you're a beginner or more experienced.


01706 926750

Phone: you can ring us during the office hours listed below.

Rochdale Music Service
7-11 The Butts
Rochdale OL16 1XT

Office hours​ - term time only:

Monday: 8.30am-8pm
Tuesday: 8.30am-7pm
Wednesday: 8.30am-7pm
Thursday: 8.30am-7.30pm
Friday: 8.30am-6pm
Saturday: 8.30am-noon

We're closed during school holidays. View school term and holiday dates