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Ensembles

All pupils learning an instrument are invited to join a music ensemble, band or orchestra. Membership is free to pupils attending LBBD schools and having a CMS instrumental lesson (small charge for music centre pupils).

The groups rehearse at the music centre after school between 4pm to 8pm most evenings. We believe regular participation in both the instrumental lesson and the music group supports the musical learning.

It’s recommended that all pupils who learn an instrument should play in a school or music centre ensemble, band or orchestra. Performing and music making with others pupils is lots of fun and essential to a child’s music development.

All pupils from the age of 7 to 18 are also invited to attend the Young Singers or Senior Singers. These sessions are held weekly and are open to all pupils attending LBBD schools who enjoy singing. There are no auditions but pupils will be expected to attend each week.

Fill in the application form provided by the teacher and bring it along to your first session.

How to join an ensemble, band or orchestra

Entry for all groups (except Young Singers and Drum Heads) is on the recommendation by the individual’s instrumental teacher. When a pupil reaches the required standard the appropriate application form will be issued by the instrumental teacher.

The CMS organises music groups for all levels of experience from beginners to advanced level.

Beginners have their first taste of playing in a music group in the beginner workshops which will take place in the Spring Term. Parents are then invited to bring their children to one of the starter ensembles.

From this point on pupils are promoted to other groups as they progress. Pupils who join at a later stage are most welcome.

All ensembles take place at Sydney Russell School, Parsloes Avenue, Dagenham RM9 5QT

Brass and woodwind players Toggle accordion

This is for players of clarinet, fife, flute, saxophone, bassoon, oboe, cornet, baritone, euphonium, trombone, trumpet, tuba.

Foundation band

Tuesdays or Wednesdays 4pm to 4.45pm

  • all pupils in their second year of lessons, or teacher recommendation.
  • to be working towards an IPE examination on a brass or woodwind instrument
  • members of Foundation band have the opportunity to play in a large band with a variety of instrumental sounds playing music of differing styles; classical, pop, musicals etc

Intermediate band

Wednesdays 4pm to 5.30pm

  • all pupils in their third year of lessons and beyond, or teacher recommendation
  • to have passed ABRSM brass/woodwind grade 2-5 examination
  • members of Intermediate band have the opportunity to play in a large band with a variety of instrumental sounds playing music of differing styles; classical, pop, musicals etc

Symphonic wind band

Mondays 6.30pm to 8pm

  • teacher recommendation
  • to have passed ABRSM grades 5-8 woodwind, brass and percussion practical examinations
  • members of Symphonic wind band will have the opportunity to play a variety of music of differing genres and styles including popular, classical and contemporary film scores

Jazz Band

Wednesdays 4.45pm to 5.30pm

  • open to all pupils on teacher recommendation – brass and woodwind pupils
  • members of Jazz band have the opportunity to play jazz, pop and funk tunes and be introduced to improvisation

Woodwind ensemble Toggle accordion

Clarinet ensemble

Mondays 4.45pm to 5.30pm

  • teacher recommendation
  • to have passed ABRSM clarinet grade 3-8 examination
  • members of Clarinet ensemble have the opportunity to play music of differing styles. The aim is to develop technical, musical and improvisational skills

Senior wind ensemble

Mondays 5.30pm to 6.30pm

  • teacher recommendation
  • to have passed ABRSM grades 5-8 woodwind practical examination
  • members of Senior wind ensemble will have the opportunity to play a variety of different styles of music; classical, pop and musicals etc

String ensembles Toggle accordion

If you play bass, mini bass, cello, violin or viola

Foundation strings

Mondays 4pm to 4.45pm

  • teacher recommendation
  • ability to use the bow on all strings and play A, D & G major scale
  • members of Foundation strings have the opportunity to play music of different styles/genres, exploring sounds and sound effects and simple improvisation

Junior strings

Mondays 4.45pm to 5.30pm

  • teacher recommendation
  • to be working towards an IPE examination on a string instrument
  • members of Junior strings will have the opportunity to play music of different styles and genres and explore improvisation

Senior strings

Mondays 6pm to 7.30pm

  • teacher recommendation
  • to have passed ABRSM grades 3-8 string practical examination
  • members of Senior strings will have the opportunity to play more complicated parts and be encouraged to learn independently

Guitar ensembles Toggle accordion

If you play acoustic guitar

Foundation guitars

Wednesday 4pm to 4.30pm

  • teacher recommendation
  • guitar pupils working towards CMS IPE examination
  • members of Foundation guitars have the opportunity to play music of different styles/genres and also create their own music

Junior guitars

Wednesdays 4.30pm to 5pm

  • teacher recommendation
  • to have passed CMS IPE examination
  • members of Junior guitars will have the opportunity to play music of different styles and genres using more complicated rhythms and will regularly compose their own pieces

Drum Heads Toggle accordion

Wednesdays. 5pm to 5.30 pm

For pupils in school year 3 upwards

Drum Heads is an exciting group for pupils interested playing percussion, learning a variety of drumming techniques (African, Pop, Latin styles – no previous experience required).

Drum Heads is available for pupils in school year 3 and upwards, who live or attend a school within the London of Borough of Barking & Dagenham (LBBD).

The cost of this provision is an annual payment of £50. All you have to do is complete an application form to find out if you can start right away or if there is a waiting list.

Drum Heads application form

Young Singers Toggle accordion

The Young Singers offer a unique opportunity for girls and boys aged between 7 and 18 to sing together with pupils from other schools across the borough. We are passionate about children being introduced to choral music and having the chance to find their unique voice.

Rehearsals are full of fun and energy! Repertoire is carefully selected to suit the age and ability of the singers and ranges from contemporary to rock, traditional to pop. We regularly perform at different events throughout the year including charitable evenings, festivals such as Winter Harmony, the borough ensembles concerts and with the Dagenham Songwriters.

We want children who enjoy singing, making new friends, learning about the world of music and experiencing new ways of expressing themselves! Regularly attended sessions help to increase general confidence and self-belief which spreads into other areas of their lives.

Sessions run on Thursdays 4pm to 4.45pm for the Young Singers at the CMS; no auditions required and are free of charge!

For pupils who attend a school outside of LBBD and live within LBBD, the cost of this provision is £66 per term. New joiners are welcome at any time, but those joining after half term will not usually be invited to take part in concerts until the next term.

If you would like your child to join Young Singers, please complete the application form.

Young Singers application form

Rock and Percussion School (RaPS) Toggle accordion

The Rock and Percussion School (RaPS) is currently open to pupils at Sydney Russell school only.

The music activities include:

  • world percussion (rhythm) outreach classes
  • drum kit
  • guitar
  • bass
  • vocal tuition
  • support for bands

Details and application forms are available from Sydney Russell school music department.

Foundation band Toggle accordion

Here are the current pieces we are rehearsing:

Spotify Playlist

Make sure you take your music to your teachers if you need help with the notes.