County ensembles

County ensembles offer advanced (Grade 6+) players, singers and performers the opportunity to develop their existing talents to a higher level and learn from experienced conductors and tutors.

Membership of county ensembles requires dedication and hard work, while offering you the chance represent the county and tackle exciting and challenging repertoires with other talented musicians. As a member of a county ensemble you will also be able to perform and tour iconic venues throughout Surrey and the UK, such as The Barbican, Royal Albert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Royal Festival Hall.

Many of our members go on to study music at college or university, become professional musicians and audition successfully for national orchestras.

The majority of membership to ensembles is open to children and young people up to the age of 19.

Our ensembles start in September each year and run term time only, although you can become a member anytime during the school year. They rehearse once a week and perform a number of times each year in schools and professional venues.

Before applying please read our ensemble membership information. If you require more information, please contact Surrey Arts.

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Surrey County Youth Orchestra

Surrey County Youth Orchestra (SCYO), is a full symphony orchestra comprising around 85 instrumentalists from all parts of Surrey. It performs a varied repertoire from the eighteenth to twenty first century.

The orchestra aims to give at least one concert each term, performing regularly at: The Harlequin in Redhill, Dorking Halls, Farnham Maltings and HG Wells in Woking, as well as the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and The Barbican.

For the latest concert information go to the events page. (link to music hub)

The orchestra rehearses each Friday evening during term time at Westfield School, Woking, from 6.45pm to 9pm. It is tutored by a team of professional musicians. During lockdown rehearsals will be delivered via Zoom on Fridays 7pm to 8.30pm

How to apply to become a member

You can apply online to become a member:

Apply for membership online

The cost of membership is £90 per term (2021 to 2022).

The above cost also entitles members to take part in other county and area ensembles at no extra cost.

  • Membership is open to string, woodwind, brass and percussion players up to the age of 21.
  • Players should be of approximately Grade 7 standard or above, but there is no need to have taken an exam.
  • Admission to the orchestra is by audition.

Surrey County Youth Wind Orchestra

Surrey County Youth Wind Orchestra is a full symphonic wind orchestra with over 50 talented young woodwind, brass and percussion players from all parts of Surrey. The orchestra performs a wide variety of music, ranging from original wind orchestra works, including commissions from composers such as Stephen Dodgson, Michael Ball and Nigel Hess, to lighter film and seasonal music.

The orchestra gives one or two concerts each term and has performed at concert venues throughout Surrey including: G Live, Epsom Playhouse, Farnham Maltings, and Dorking Halls and at major London venues such as: The Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican. Tickets are available by contacting Surrey Arts or on the door.

The orchestra rehearses each Friday evening during term time at George Abbot School, Burpham near Guildford, from 6.45pm to 9pm. During lockdown rehearsals will be delivered via Zoom on Fridays from 6.45pm until 7.45pm.

How to apply to become a member

You can apply online to become a member:

Apply for membership online

The cost of membership is £90 per term (2021 to 2022).

The above cost also entitles members to take part in other county and area ensembles at no extra cost.

Surrey County Youth Jazz Orchestra

Surrey County Youth Jazz Orchestra was formed over twenty five years ago and along with the Surrey County Youth and Wind Orchestras, it is one of the flagship orchestral ensembles organised by Surrey's award winning arts service. The orchestra plays music from the 'Swing Era' through to modern jazz/rock pieces.

It has performed in venues all over the county in schools, theatres, jazz clubs and concert halls. It has also appeared at the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican and on the South Bank.

The orchestra rehearses each Wednesday evening during term time, at Westfield School, Woking, from 7pm to 9.15pm. During lockdown rehearsals will be delivered via Zoom on Wednesdays from 7pm to 8.30pm

How to apply to become a member

You can apply online to become a member:

Apply for membership online

The cost of membership is £90 per term (2021 to 2022).

The above cost also entitles members to take part in other county and area ensembles at no extra cost.

  • Membership is open to players aged between 13 and 21, who play alto, tenor and baritone saxophone; trumpet; tenor and bass trombone; piano; electric guitar; double bass/bass guitar; drum kit and percussion
  • You will need to read music fluently. If you are a pianist, guitarist or bassist, some knowledge of chord symbols will be required.
  • All members will be encouraged to learn to improvise and 'speak the language of jazz'.
  • If you have already studied how to play jazz solos you will be at an advantage; however, players who have no experience of improvisation will be welcomed.
  • If you are studying the new Guildhall and Associated Board Jazz grade exams, the Band will offer an ideal opportunity for you to develop your playing with others who are also enthusiastic about jazz music.
  • You will then be invited for an audition when you will be expected to play two contrasting pieces, a few scales and some sight reading. Auditions take place throughout the year.

Surrey Youth Choir

Surrey Youth Choir (SYC) is one of the leading youth choirs in the country. It is a full SATB (soprano, alto, tenor and bass) choir comprising of singers between the ages of 12 and 21 from all parts of Surrey. The SYC perform an eclectic repertoire, both sacred and secular, ranging from early to contemporary, from baroque to romantic, including the major 'standard' choral works of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert etc. They also commission pieces for specific performances.

The Choir usually gives one or two concerts each term; they have performed in major concert halls in both Surrey and London, and have also toured extensively throughout Europe and the USA. Workshops and biannual overseas tours form an important integral part of their activities.

The choir rehearses each Wednesday evening during term time at The Marist School, West Byfleet, from 6.45pm to 9pm. During lockdown rehearsals will be delivered via Zoom on Wednesdays from 7.30pm to 8.30pm

SYC is open to all, no audition is required and the first term free to new members.

How to apply to become a member

You can apply online to become a member:

Apply for membership online

The cost of membership is £90 per term (2021 to 2022).

The above cost also entitles members to take part in other county and area ensembles at no extra cost.

Supporter Choirs

The Surrey Youth Choir Supporter Choir scheme is a new way for adult choral societies in Surrey to affiliate themselves with the Surrey Youth Choir and Training Choirs in order to keep the culture of SATB choral singing alive and well in Surrey for years to come.

Surrey County Youth Percussion Ensemble

Surrey County Percussion Ensemble (SCPE) repertoire is varied ranging from jazz to samba, to TV and film themes, performing on a wide range of instruments from congas to marimbas, djembes to xylophones.

SCPE has performed in music festivals such as the Farnham Festival and Guildhall Percussion Ensemble Day, and have performed at concert halls and even outdoor centres.

The ensemble rehearses each Saturday during term time at Westfield School, Woking, from 9am to 11am. During lockdown rehearsals will be delivered via Zoom on Saturdays from 1.15pm to 2pm

How to apply to become a member

You can apply online to become a member:

Apply for membership online

The cost of membership is £90 per term (2021 to 2022).

The above cost also entitles members to take part in other county and area ensembles at no extra cost.

Surrey Advanced Brass Ensemble

The Surrey Advanced Brass Ensemble (SABE) is a symphonic brass ensemble comprising musicians from all over the Surrey area. The ensemble gives those players the chance to not only explore the music written for different types of brass groups, but also to get to use some of the related brass instruments that are not called for in orchestras, wind orchestras or jazz bands, such as cornets, flugel horns and even the sousaphone.

They play a wide variety of music from renaissance brass music, through to contemporary music styles and traditional brass band repertoire. Unlike many ensembles, the repertoire performed is often suggested by the members who may have played it elsewhere, heard another group perform it, or even found it on YouTube.

SABE perform all over Surrey and beyond, including Guildford Cathedral, G-Live and the Royal Albert Hall.

The ensemble rehearses every other Sunday during term time at Westfield School, Woking, from 2pm until 5pm. During lockdown rehearsals will be delivered via Zoom on Sundays (fortnightly) 2pm until 3pm

How to apply to become a member

You can apply online to become a member:

Apply for membership online

The cost of membership is £40 per term (2021 to 2022).

The above cost also entitles members to take part in other county and area ensembles at no extra cost.

Membership is open to all brass players of approximately Grade 6 standard, preferably with a love of sight-reading. There is no need to have taken an examination.

UP! Orchestra

UP! Orchestra is an award winning ensemble designed to be accessible for young people aged 13 and above of all backgrounds and abilities including those with special educational needs. We are particularly interested in welcoming young people who have been unable to access music education because of their life circumstances and lack of suitable opportunities on offer locally.
Whilst there are no specific entry requirements and no audition process we feel that the ensemble is not currently suitable for profound and multiple learning disabilities or severe learning disability young people. Please do contact us to discuss this if you are unsure.

  • Making new music in a supportive, safe and creative environment
  • Learning to play a new instrument, sing or build on existing skills
  • Making new friends
  • Having lots of fun
  • Performing at high profile events

Please contact Surrey Arts for further information.

Sessions

UP! Orchestra is led by an awesome team of professional musicians whose aim is to ensure each participant has a meaningful musical experience regardless of ability, musical interest, vocal style or instrument. The team is experienced in supporting young people in mainstream settings as well as those who have mental health, disability, behavioural, ESL (English as a second language) needs and young people from diverse cultural backgrounds.

UP! meet at The Bridge, Leatherhead, KT22 7RB on Saturdays from 10.30am until 12pm on the following dates:

  • Saturday 9 October
  • Saturday 23 October

Half term break

  • Saturday 6 November
  • Saturday 20 November
  • Saturday 4 December

Festive concert date to be confirmed

This term UP! Orchestra will be exploring music and instruments from India and the Indian diaspora. Please join us and some incredible guest artists for another beautiful journey of music, dance, art and culture. We are aiming to end the term with a performance/sharing event for friends and families.

How to apply to become a member

You can apply online to become a member:

Apply for membership online

The cost for this inclusive orchestra for experienced musicians, complete beginners and anyone in between is free.

Together at Home

Together at Home is an ensemble for young people aged 8 to 17 (split into two x groups) whose first language is Arabic. This brand-new online music project is back. Whilst there are no specific entry requirements and no audition process, participants will need to be comfortable and be supported with music making with peers and interacting with Arabic and non-Arabic speaking tutors via zoom.

Sessions

Together at Home is led by a small, yet awesome team of music teachers who are experienced in supporting young people with a wide range of learning needs. Participants will be able to sing, vocalise and play percussion. If you have access to a drum that's fantastic but not crucial as we will be teaching body percussion and using objects from around the home (don't worry, not
breakable ones!).

  • Weekly online sessions held live online via Zoom:
    Thursday 23 September
  • Thursday 30 September
  • Thursday 7 October
  • Thursday 14 October
  • Live session on Saturday 23 October at The Bridge, Leatherhead, KT22 7RB from 3pm until 4.30pm (all age groups).

Half term break

  • Thursday 4 November
  • Thursday 11 November
  • Thursday 18 November
  • Thursday 25 November
  • Live session on Saturday 4 December at The Bridge, Leatherhead, KT22 7RB from 3pm until 4.30pm (all age groups).

During the music sessions, the young people will be taking part in a range of fun and fulfilling music activities working towards a live face to face performance/sharing event for friends and families.

How to apply to become a member

You can apply online to become a member:

Apply for membership online

The cost for this inclusive orchestra for experienced musicians, complete beginners and anyone in between is free.