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Information about Joining Furness Music Centre

Furness Music Centre welcomes people of all abilities who want to join together with others to make music.  We are based in the Muse at Dowdales School in Dalton-in-Furness (click here for a map).  If you would like to find out what we do, please visit one Saturday and either watch or join in.  We are very happy for parents to stay while their children play.  We currently run four sessions every Saturday in school terms – Training Orchestra, Chamber Groups, Community Orchestra and Community Choir.  

If you would like any other information, please contact our Membership Secretary, Elaine Hendrie, our Director of Music, Richard Bagnall or our Choir Director, Liz Wiejak.  Their contact details can be found here.

The sessions are:

Training Orchestra (9.00 – 10.15) This is an opportunity for people with basic instrumental skills (up to grade 3) in any orchestral instrument to gain experience in playing as a group of musicians.  There are usually at least two professional tutors taking this session, one with specific experience in teaching primary school age children.

Chamber Music (9.00 – 10.15)  This runs at the same time  as the Training Orchestra and is an opportunity for people with intermediate and more advanced skills to develop their ability to play in an ensemble, such as a string quartet or a flute choir.  These sessions are supported by our music tutors but tend to be led more by the players, who often find their own music and enjoy encouraging  each other and passing on tips.

Community Orchestra (10.30 – 12.15) The Community Orchestra welcomes players of all abilities to join together as an orchestra under our Director of Music, Richard Bagnall.  If we don’t have a part for your instrument we’ll write one for you, and if the music is too hard for you we’ll arrange an easier part for you to play.  Our concerts often cover a wide variety of music from classical pieces to pop songs and everything in between.

Community Choir (12.45 – 2.30) The Community Choir welcomes everyone who wants to sing with others.  Led by Liz Wiejak the choir tackles everything from simple songs and rounds, to arrangements of songs from the shows and classical pieces.  You don’t have to be able to read music, we can teach you this in short sessions after choir has finished.  The Community Choir and Orchestra often come together to perform, which makes for a few tough decisions for those of us who and play in both!


Furness Music Centre gives three main concerts per year, in Spring, Summer and at Christmas.  The Spring Concert often revolves around a theme, with previous examples including the Beatles, Abba and Favourite Musicals.  The Summer Concert is often less formal, giving opportunities for chamber groups to perform.  Our Christmas Carol Service and Concert held combines a traditional Carol Service in the first half with a less formal Christmas Concert in the second.

Workshops and Tours

Furness Music Centre provides weekend workshops with leading national and international musicians for both Chamber Groups and the Choir to develop their skills.  We also provide opportunities to travel and perform, sometimes as a choir and sometimes with both orchestra and choir, with past tours including London, Holland, Belgium, France, Austria, Scotland and Wales.

Our fees for each term (usually about 10 Saturdays, but this can vary) are:

Sessions Adult Child
Training Orchestra £25 £15
Chamber Groups £25 £15
Community Orchestra £30 £20
Community Choir £30 £20

Please make cheques payable to 'Furness Music Centre'

If you are an orchestral or choral musician, you may like to join one of our groups at our Saturday Music School, and enjoy ensemble music or singing in a choir. If you are a music lover who is looking to learn more about concerts in the region, there are many events throughout the year that you are welcome to attend, and we are certain that you will find something to suit your musical preference!

New members are always very welcome!!


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