Furness Music Centre is a charity that provides opportunities for all people across the Furness area to play together in Orchestras and Chamber Groups and sing together in a Choir. We are a community group who welcome everyone, whatever their age (our members range from 8 to 80+), whatever their ability (from complete beginners to people who have performed professionally) and whatever their ability to pay (we keep our fees as low as possible and can also offer free places if needed)
We play and sing a wide variety of music, from 'classical' pieces to arrangements of 'pop songs', by way of film music, folk tunes and songs and songs from the shows. We perform in at least three concerts every year across the area, and we also organise a summer tour where we travel to a different part of the UK (and occasionally venture abroad) for five days of fun-filled informal and performances and concerts.. You can listen to some recordings from previous concerts by clicking here
We meet every Saturday in term-time in The Muse, Dowdales School, Nelson Street, Dalton-in-Furness. You can find us on Google Maps by clicking here
We offer a number of sessions each Saturday:
Chamber Music Group (9.00am - 10:15am):
The Chamber Music Group play original music, generally by Baroque and Classical composers chosen by the members themselves. The standard of the music is generally Grade 5+ but if we find we can't play a piece, there's plenty of repertoire that we can!
The Chamber Music Group is an excellent way of improving your playing. You will generally either be playing a part on your own or with just one other person. There's no conductor, so you have to listen to everyone else (and count your bars rest!). Like all of our ensembles, the Chamber Music Group is an all-age ensemble and the adults in the group will happily give way and admire the skills of a young person if they wish to take the lead on a part
Subscription fees for participation in the Chamber Music Group are £25 per term for adults and £20 per term for those in full time education or training
Training Orchestra (9.00am - 10:15am):
The Training Orchestra is conducted by our Director of Music, Richard Bagnall, and tackles shorter and easier pieces, often arranged specifically for them by Richard. If you have started to learn an instrument and have mastered the basics, this is the session for you! It's also great for children (just learning) and parents (who have found their old instrument at the back of the cupboard) to play together.
You will learn the essential skills for playing with other people - watching the conductor and listening to the other instruments. You will find yourself alongside a number of other people at the same stage of developing their playing skills, and if you find a part is too hard, we can make a simpler one for you. No matter what your age or ability you will be able to join in with the Training Orchestra - and it will be over an hour's practice each week which will help you improve quickly
The Training Orchestra often starts our concerts playing together with our young people from FMCjuniors. Our audience loves to see players progressing from one concert to the next and then often 'emerging' into the Community Orchestra as they improve.
Subscription fees for participation in the Training Orchestra are £25 per term for adults and £20 per term for those in full time education or training
Community Orchestra (10.30am - 12,15pm)
The Community Orchestra is conducted by our Director of Music, Richard Bagnall, and tackles a varied range of larger pieces from movements of symphonies, movements from concertos with a soloist. classical pieces (in the Classic FM mould), film music and pop songs. The standard of each part if Grade 3/4+, but we can always generate an easier part for you to play if needed
You will experience a 'real' orchestral experience, often with 50 people playing in the Community Orchestra. If you have played before but no longer have an instrument, we can lease instruments at reasonable rates for our members. We are also not worried if you play an instrument that traditionally isn't in most orchestras - we have a strong saxophone section and also welcome brass band instruments such as tenor horn
The Community Orchestra, together with the choir provide the core of the performances at our concerts. You will learn and polish up to ten new pieces each term (your sight reading will improve!)
Subscription fees for participation in the Community Orchestra are £30 per term for adults and £25 per term for those in full time education or training
Music Theory (12.00noon - 12.30pm)
In and among all of the other things that Liz does on a Saturday is to help a small group of people learning Music Theory. This could be a choir member simply wanting to read music more fluently and know what all those squiggles mean, or it could be someone building up to their Grade 5 music theory which is a requirement to take grades in instruments at grade 6 and above. You will learn at your own pace with Liz being on hand to explain new subjects and answer questions
So long as you are attending one of the other sessions at Furness Music Centre, there is no charge for attending Music Theory
Community Choir (12.45pm - 2.30pm)
The Community Choir is conducted by our Choral Director, Liz Wiejak, and tackles a varied range of pieces covering sacred music, 'classical' pieces, songs from the shows, popular songs and new compositions. We generally sing in four parts (Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass), singing in one or two parts with the orchestra (we will be heard!), and singing in four, five or more parts for unaccompanied pieces.
We welcome all abilities into the choir from people who simply enjoying singing in the shower, to those who have sung in cathedral choirs. If you can't read music, that's not an issue either - about one third of our members were unable to read music when they joined, and some will claim that this is still the case!). If you don't know what part you should sing, we can take you through some simple exercises in a private room to advise you.
The Community Choir, together with the orchestra provide the core of the performances at our concerts. You will learn and polish up to ten new pieces each term, and we always close our concerts with a piece for both choir and orchestra - 90+ performers giving it their all!
Subscription fees for participation in the Community Choir are £30 per term for adults and £25 per term for those in full time education or training