When primary school learners reach the required level they are invited to come along to join one of our elementary groups at the Lyceum. These groups are graded by ability and we offer an extensive choice of choirs, orchestras, brass bands, wind bands, jazz and swing bands and guitar groups. There is a clear pathway for progression as each child develops and grows.
Eventually, usually aged around 14, our young people are accepted into one of the senior groups at the top of the pyramid. Many of our students spend 4 or 5 years in a senior group such as the Youth Wind Band, Youth Orchestra, Youth Choir or Youth Brass Band. Some of our players are members of two, three or even more
orchestras, bands and choirs. Every group from the most basic learners right through to the accomplished senior ensembles takes part in regular concerts, many of which are given in the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
The senior groups also take part in prestigious festivals such as the National Festival of Music for Youth, the National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain and the National Concert Band Festival. These superb events give our young people the opportunity of playing in some world class concert venues.
The Youth Brass Band experiences the unique atmosphere of the annual Whit Friday Brass Band contests in Saddleworth.
Every year our senior groups represent Oldham on both the national and international stage. In 2016 our exceptional Youth Wind Band not only qualified for the finals of the National Concert Band Festival, but at that event in April at the RNCM was awarded the highest accolade of a Platinum Award for their performance.
The Youth Brass Band was equally successful in 2016/17, receiving a record number of prizes at the Whit Friday contests and competing successfully in the National Championships as well as performing for numerous Civic occasions, such as the borough’s Remembrance Sunday event and other, equally high profile activities.
The Youth Orchestra was also successful once again in its collaboration with the Bury Youth Orchestra. The joint orchestra’s performance at the regional festival earned it a place at the National Festival of Music for Youth and an invitation to perform at Symphony Hall in Birmingham in summer 2016.
The Music Centre's year in 2016/17 was completed by the three senior instrumental groups undertaking a tour to the Lake Garda region of Italy. There they gave three superb concerts in exceptional locations that were warmly received by locals and holidaymakers alike.