Ensembles

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Whether you are a beginner who can only play five notes, or a Grade 8 virtuoso, there is an ensemble for you. From rock bands and wind bands to swing bands and string groups, there is something to suit everyone. Playing in a group develops skills such as communication, coordination, perseverance and teamwork, and is highly recommended by music teachers to enhance learning. As the only music educator in Berkshire to offer ensembles, our membership to these unique groups is open to everyone.


  • Berkshire Youth Symphony Orchestra

    Our flagship orchestra is Berkshire Youth Symphony Orchestra. Led by Musical Director Jonathan Burnett, coordinated by Jessica Wilkins and coached by Robert Croft and Catherine Millar, BYSO is the culmination of a student’s orchestral learning, providing members with outstanding orchestral training together with musical, cultural and social experiences that are truly exceptional. BYSO meets three times per year, creating a structure similar to that of a professional orchestra, and performs at prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall. It has benefitted from partnerships with organisations such as the BBC Concert Orchestra, RPO and BBC Symphony Orchestra, and regularly undertakes international tours to countries such as Poland, Hungary, Italy and China. Access to BYSO is by annual audition only.

ENSEMBLES

Finding the right ensemble for you

Ensemble type
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Brass
Choir
Guitar
Mini Maestros
Mixed
Percussion
Strings
Wind Brass & Percussion
Woodwind
Im Interested in…
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Age 1 to 5 with SEND
County
Entry
Senior
Initial
Initial & Intermediate
Chamber
Adult
Contemporary
Advanced
Beginner
Intermediate
18 months to 3 years
Age 3 to 4
Reception
Year 1
Year 2
0 to 18 months
Intermediate/advanced
Venue/Location
All locations
All locations
Berkshire
Newbury
Windsor
Bracknell
Reading
Wokingham
Caversham
Newbury and West Berkshire
Windsor and Maidenhead
  • Group
  • Ability / Age
  • Location
  • Day & Time
  • Group

    Windsor Senior Percussion Ensemble

    Ability / Age

    Senior

    Location

    Windsor

    Day & Time

    Wednesday 5.00pm-6.00pm

  • Group

    Reading Intermediate Brass Band

    Ability / Age

    Intermediate

    Location

    Reading

    Day & Time

    Saturday 9.00am-10.00am

  • Group

    Reading Contemporary Choir

    Ability / Age

    Intermediate

    Location

    Reading

    Day & Time

    Saturday 11.05am-11.50am

  • Group

    Reading Clarinet Ensemble

    Ability / Age

    Chamber

    Location

    Reading

    Day & Time

    Friday 6.00pm-6.45pm

  • Group

    Newbury Initial Guitar Ensemble

    Ability / Age

    Initial

    Location

    Newbury

    Day & Time

    Friday 6.00pm-6.45pm

  • Group

    Reading Soundstage Bracknell Music Centre

    Ability / Age

    Contemporary

    Location

    Reading

    Day & Time

    Saturday 1.00pm-2.00pm

  • Group

    Bracknell Soundstage Bracknell Music Centre

    Ability / Age

    Contemporary

    Location

    Bracknell

    Day & Time

    Tuesday 6.00pm-7.00pm

  • Group

    Bracknell Initial Guitar Ensemble

    Ability / Age

    Initial

    Location

    Bracknell

    Day & Time

    Friday 5.00pm-6.00pm

  • Group

    Berkshire Youth String Ensemble

    Ability / Age

    County

    Location

    Berkshire

    Day & Time

    Monday 8.05pm-9.55pm

  • Group

    Berkshire Youth Percussion Ensemble

    Ability / Age

    County

    Location

    Berkshire

    Day & Time

    Monday 5.00pm-7.00pm

Frequently asked questions

Where are ensemble rehearsals held?

Rehearsals are held at our music centres across Berkshire, and sometimes in larger venues where this is necessary

What instruments can play in ensembles?

The vast majority of instruments are welcomed into our ensembles – inevitably some are more in demand than others though!

What level do I need to play at?

We offer ensembles for all levels – if you can play five notes or more, there should be an option for you!

How much do ensembles cost?

Our ensemble fees are kept low to enable access for the maximum number of students – our fees can be found here. If the fees are unaffordable, there may be options for financial support

Do I need to be a Berkshire Maestros student to join an ensemble?

Not at all! Our ensembles are open to everyone – if you have lessons elsewhere, or even if you don’t have music lessons, you are welcome to join us

Do I have to audition?

Berkshire Youth Symphony Orchestra is our top level auditioned ensemble. Some of our other ensembles will require certain grade requirements to ensure a good fit, and auditions take place when moving up to our senior ensembles. No auditions or solo playing is required for our junior ensembles.

How often are ensemble rehearsals held?

Music Centre ensemble rehearsals are held weekly during term time. BYSO rehearsals tend to be longer and held at half terms, during holidays and on specific weekends

What music do the ensembles play?

A whole range! For our beginner ensembles, you will enjoy movie themes, pop/rock, classical, jazz, swing and lots more! We also offer more specialist ensembles for higher levels including rock bands, chamber orchestras, swing bands and more!

Can I try an ensemble out before committing?

Of course – we offer free taster sessions for all of our ensembles

Can I join more than one ensemble?

Yes absolutely – you are welcome to join as many as you wish (or have time for!)

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