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Photograph of Alex Elliott, Maria Crocker and Ross Millard holding instruments and laughing
Photographer: Richard Davenport

Keep playing

First of all, an enormous thank you for joining the house band. It was fantastic to have so many people, and so many different instruments and voices, onstage with us across the UK.

To date, 419 people have played in the house band. Writer, Maddy Costa spoke to over 30 of you, and has produced this fantastic 'zine, Stories from the House Band. It's great to read how many people have been inspired to write music, join other groups and find ways to keep your instruments from getting dusty.

We really hope you keep playing. With that in mind, our hard-working Company Producer, Morag Iles, has been working with all of our tour venues to put together this list of other local groups, bands and choirs you can join. Scroll down to find your local listings.

Go on. You know you want to...!

Photograph of Arts Centre Washington House Band

Rehearsing with the Arts Centre Washington house band

Sunderland: Summer Streets Festival & Arts Centre Washington
Check out The Cultural Spring website for a full list of workshops and events.

Arts Centre Washington run two community choirs, a ukulele group and drum lessons. They also have rehearsal rooms, recording studios and space for gig opportunities. Check out Activities for Adults @ ACW for more information.

Hylton Ukes meet every Tuesday and Thursday, 7-9pm at Hylton Castle

Whitburn Singers are always on the look out for new members, a fun and friendly singing group for people who love to sing, or want to find out whether they love to sing.

Pop Recs is an independent record shop, which also has an art gallery, shop, host's community gigs and serves steaming cups of coffee. Pop Recs run sessions for young people including Cuckoo Young Songwriters, who meet every Saturday morning, 9.30am-1pm and a session Tuesday 4-6pm run in association with MIND. For more info phone: 0191 565 2150

Bunker run rehearsal rooms, recording facilities, tuition and a young apprentice scheme for people who are interested in a career in music.

Photograph of Annie Rigby

Rehearsing with the Northern Stage house band

Newcastle: Northern Stage
Jazz Coop Newcastle are a community cooperative set up to support the learning, performance and development of jazz, related music and the arts. Based at The Globe, their website details feature gigs and courses for those wanting to play Jazz to those wanting to write songs.

Looking to hire a studio or learn to play? Northern Music Centre in Heaton, Newcastle may have what you need.

Join the Newcastle Rock Choir. They meet Wednesdays 8-9pm. Book a free taster session here

20,000 Voices has a mix of community to children's choirs in the North East.

Join in with music at Sage Gateshead. They offer a massive range of classes for adults, young people.

Photograph of BAC house band

Selfie with one of our BAC house bands

Battersea Arts Centre, London
Are you 12-21 years old? Have family members who are? Check out BAC's Beatbox academy

Trinty Hall, Bristol
Information to follow. Please check back soon.

Photograph of Halifax house band

Our Halifax house band

Halifax, Square Chapel
Square Chapel has an active outreach programme. To find out more activities you can get involved with visit their website for up to date opportunities.

Cube Choir of Square Chapel is a mixed choir for over 50's singing modern and contemporary music. Cube Choir welcome complete beginners to experienced singers. To find out more visit their website.

If you fancy something more classical, check out:
Orchestra of Square Chapel
Young Philharmonia

For those under 19, Orange Box Young People's Centre have incredible recording studios and rehearsal rooms.

Photograph of Harrogate house band

One of our Harrogate house bands

Harrogate Theatre
Get Involved in Harrogate Theatre - from performing on stage to developing new skills check out the amazing opportunities they have for you:

Harrogate Theatre Choir sings a wide repertoire of songs from traditional to modern. If you would like more information on performances and membership please email Christine Hines: 

Rock Up & Sing Choir Harrogate meet Thursdays 7.30-9.30pm at Claro Court Business Centre. Please contact or telephone 01423 508500 to register your interest

Vocalis Choir rehearses on Monday evenings between 7.30pm and 9.30pm in St. Wilfrid's Church Hall on Duchy Road. Enquiries from prospective new members are always welcome. Please contact

Spanning everything from British folk to teenage rock/rap, and from acoustic indie to classic rock and roll, Frazer Theatre Music endeavors to book shows for all generations and all tastes. Check out their website to find out more about whats coming up or follow Frazer Theatre Music on Facebook Frazer Theatre Music and on Twitter @FrazerTMusic.

Check out Martin Rose Music Facebook page for open mic and jam sessions in Harrogate and the surrounding area.

Orb Community Arts are a charity providing opportunities for vulnerable people in Harrogate and Knaresborough to get involved the creative arts and skills.

Hull Truck
There are a number of choirs you can get involved with in Hull:
Hull Ladies Choir. Email for more details
Hull Male Voice Choir study and practice Choral music, meeting Wednesday evenings
Love singing and looking to join a non-audition choir? Try All For One Choir Hull
Hull Bach Choir welcomes new voices in every department. They rehearse on Monday evenings, 7.30 - 9.30pm
Hull Choral Union are an amateur choir who have been making music in Hull for over 80 years
Hull Freedom Chorus is for anyone over the age of 14. You can take part whatever your singing ability

Join Hull Samba, a weekly Samba Drumming Group who meet Tuesday 7-9pm

Play Brass or would like to? There is the East Riding of Yorkshire Band, the East Yorkshire Motor Service Brass Band and Beverley Brass Band.

To find out more about gigs in your area and get the latest kit check out Hulls music shops:
Gough & Davy
Antones Guitars
Paddy's Music
The Gig Shop
Michael Lawrence: The Music Shop

Hull Music Hub is Hull's music service connecting music to the people, schools and communities of Hull

Photograph of Lancaster house band

Selfie with our Lancaster house band

Lancaster Arts
The Music Spot, Lancaster offer lessons for both children and adults in a range of instruments and proficiency.

Fun Palaces is a national initiative, bringing communities together with the belief that  'creativity in community can change the world for the better'. The event itself does not actually happen until the 7th/8th October. You can find out more on their website or by emailing Follow @LancasterFunPal to find out about any upcoming opportunities.

Lancaster Millenium Choir is open to all ages and abilities with no formal audition process. Visit their website for join-up information

Lancaster Singers, meet on Tuesdays, 7.30-9.30pm at the Lancaster University Chaplaincy Centre. If you would like to join Lancaster Singers please contacts John Falkington to arrange an audition: 01524 782302

Music Festivals in Lancaster:
Lancaster Music Festival, 12th-16th October
Lancaster Jazz Festival, 15th-17 September

For Lancaster University students:
ULMS, Big Band, Gospel Choir, Folk, Hip-Hop, Jazz&Blues. Times and meetings can be found under Societies at the Students' Union website alongside many other performance societies.

Photograph of Farsley house band

Some of our Farsley house band playing onstage

Trouble at Mill, Farsley and West Yorkshire Playhouse
Harmony choir will help you find your voice if you haven't sung before. They sing every Thursday 6-7.30 pm at the Anglers Club, 75 Stoney Rock Lane, Leeds,LS9 7TB

Asmarina Voices is a singing group for refugee women. Sessions are informal and fun, a chance to relax, socialise and sing together. Sessions are free and take place during the spring term on Friday's from 22 April - 15 July and then are back from 16 September - 9 December. All sessions take place at First Floor, 6 St Peter's Building, St Peter's Square, Leeds, LS9 8AH

Fancy free guitar lessons every Monday night? 4-6pm at the New Wortley Community Centre. Check out their bust timetable here.

There is also further education, higher education and short courses available at Leeds College of Music.

Lincoln Drill Hall
Lincolnshire Sings is a brilliant resource that connects people to community choral groups in their areas across Lincolnshire. Search their map and click on a marker to reveal more information about that group, including their contact details and rehearsal time and venue.

Learn some New Tricks with SoundLINCS, an Older Adults Music Service for Lincolnshire. Whether you're an existing musician, want to blow the dust off something you haven't played since school, or even if you're a complete beginner and just wanting to try something new then soundLINCS New Tricks project will have something for you!

Photograph of Leicester house band

Our Leicester house band

Leicester: Attenborough Arts Centre
For live Jazz, artists, venues and music education in Leicester visit Jazz House

Handmade Festival is an independent art and music festival that takes place on the May bank holiday weekend in Leicester. Their aim is to find the best new and forward thinking music, comedy, art, film, performance and photography, bringing it all together for one weekend. Check out the 2017 line up.

Be part of the world's quickest Theatre festival hosted by The Y Leicester, 14/48 Lecicester  

Keen instrumentalists can join Knighton Chamber Orchestra and perform in 4 concerts per year. Email Paul Jenkins for more information:

Check out the websites events page to find out more about taster sessions:

Photograph of Luton house band

Our Luton house band

Luton Hat Factory
Herts Acoustic and Unplugged is a social group for anyone interested in getting together to play acoustic music of pretty much any variety. Pop, rock, blues, country, folk etc. Any instrument and vocalists are also encouraged to join. The group meet at various locations around Herefordshire, check the events for locations.

Arlesey Musicians get-together weekly to play at The White Horse. All instruments welcome, but it's simpler if they don't need to plug in. Although it's still an option if you want to bring along a keyboard or electric bass. Beginners are very welcome. They also hold monthly (approximately) open mic sessions with a PA where you can perform to a larger audience when you feel ready.

Learn Guitar Milton Keynes is run by DK Music MK and is for absolute beginners, beginners plus and improvers. They run a range of structured and affordable group lessons and workshops for Acoustic and Classical Guitarists in Central Milton Keynes. 

Open Mic nights at The Castle Tavern, Luton every Thursday, 8.45-11.45pm
Castle Tavern, 1 Castle St Luton, LU1 3AA

Luton Ukele Meet up is for those who want to play their Ukele with others in an informal and social group. From beginners to intermediates, it's about learning from each other and have a bit of fun along the way.

Photograph of Lighthouse house band

Our Lighthouse Poole house band

Lighthouse Poole
Bournemouth Academy of Modern Music - BAMM
Study music after your GCSEs at Bournemouth's hub connecting you to the industry. For BTEC qualifications courses include Songwriting, Performance, Production and DJ Skills. Applications now open. Call 01202 572948 for details.

Absolute Music - award winning music retailer
Love music? A must to visit is Absolute Music a 14,000-square-foot music superstore and 10,000-square-foot rehearsal and recording studios with in-house cafe;. Located at Knighton Heath Estate, 855 Ringwood Road, Bournemouth, BH11 8NE. Tel: 01202 597180.

Photograph of Salisbury house band

One of our Salisbury house bands

Salisbury Playhouse and Salisbury Arts Centre:
Salisbury Ukulele Band A fun and friendly ukulele class, giving you the chance to learn to play and perform on this ever popular instrument. Contact Robin on 07824 552414

Mondays (term time)
2 - 2.45pm Beginners £6 per session
2.45 - 4pm Intermediates £7 per session
4 - 4.30pm Advanced £4 per session
(instruments provided)

Recycled Rhythms with Alex Miles Wednesday 26 July, 10am-3pm, £20
Create, decorate and learn to play your very own instruments made from recycled materials in this fun workshop exploring junk percussion and found sounds. Learn how different elements of an orchestra work and make music for a special performance to family and friends at the end of the day. This workshop is suitable for all ages (children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult). 

African Arts Day with Alex Miles Wednesday 16 August, 10am-3pm, £20
Explore African drumming, song, dance and traditional folk tales to create a performance for the end of the day. You'll also make props, like Maasai shields or animal masks, for your show and take home what you've made during the workshop. This workshop is suitable for all ages (children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult). 

Zone Club  Saturdays 27 May, 24 June and 29 July, 10am-2.30pm, £18 per session
A music and filmmaking club for adults with learning disabilities, aged 16 and over. Have fun making music and films with new friends. Kindly supported by Wiltshire Music Connect.

Salisbury Community Choir
The choir sings for the sheer love of it, but also challenges itself to develop up to and beyond its potential. The choir is non auditioned, some members read music and some do not. The choir are ambitious and adventurous musically, performing in both small and large scale concerts all over the UK. Regularly touring abroad.

If you love to sing, have a spirit of adventure and would like to be part of why not come and the choir out! To find out more about joining, contact

Salisbury International Arts Festival
The Festival offers a range of participation projects each year, including new choral works and music projects. They also stage Salisbury LIVE each year offering local bands and musicians the chance to perform in local venues. Visit for more details.

Sound Emporium
Recording studio in Salisbury, offering group sessions and classes for budding young musicians wanting to work with others or form bands. Learn production skills, what to expect from studio recording, group instrument/vocal tuition, songwriting techniques and more all building towards live performance opportunities! Contact - 01722 500070

For details of other opportunities in Salisbury including music activities for young people please contact

Mind The Gap - Fridays, 10.30am  -11.30am in the Community Room at Salisbury Playhouse.
Are you feeling imaginative, dramatic and ready for some creative play? Mind the Gap is a lively, social group for ages 55+ that meets every Friday morning in the term time for workshops in a variety of arts and devise performances for the local community. Why not come along and give it a try?

Dance Six-0 - Thursdays 10-11.30am. Cost £5 per person.
A contemporary dance performance company for people over 60 which works with professional choreographers and Rehearsal Director, Rosalind Conlon. If you are interested in joining the company, please email
DANCE SIX-0 also holds friendly and fun weekly open classes on Wednesdays for men and women. Led by dance professional, Debbie Lee-Anthony, the class explores movement for all levels of mobility. No previous dance experience necessary. Places can be booked through the Playhouse Ticket Office 01722 320333

Photograph of Customs House house band

Rehearsing with our Customs House house band

South Shields: Customs House
Customs House has plenty of shows and gigs to see. Regularly check their website for up to date listings.

Katheryn Jones School of Music offers music tuition personally tailored to your individual needs.

South Shields Music Meet Up meet every Tuesday Evening in the back room of the Steamboat, South Shields (within walking distance of the Customs House Cinema and Play House). They play musical instruments mostly 'unplugged' and will accept actors/performers doing solo/two handed pieces.

Photograph of ARC Stockton house band

Our ARC Stockton house band

ARC Stockton
ARC has a range of courses and classes for young people and adults - check out their opportunities by visiting the Get Involved area on the website.

Stockton Calling Music Festival takes place every year. Over 70 bands in 9 venues over 1 day. Not to be missed!

Join ARC Silver Singers, 11am Wednesdays - No previous experience is necessary and you do not need to be able to read music. There is no audition - just turn up!

Want to learn to play the Uke?
Wednesday afternoons:
Friday afternoon:

Photograph of Reading house band

Our Reading house band

Reading: South Street Arts
Readipop has an extensive range of courses, groups and opportunities for a variety of music styles, genres and levels. Visit the website to find out more details and learn more about the Readipop Rehearsal Studio.

Based at Reading College check out Reading All Steel Percussion Orchestra (RASPO) workshop dates and join the Orchestra .

For classical instrumentalists, check out:
Aldworth Philharmonic
Reading Symphony Orchestra
103rd Reading Wind Band

For Singers:
Reading Haydn Choir
Reading Bach Choir
Reading Phoenix Choir
Reading Festival Chorus
Rock Choir

Putting The Band Back Together was commissioned by The Cultural Spring in Sunderland and South Tyneside.

Arts Council Grants for the Arts logoFoyle Foundation Logo Garfield Weston Foundation Logo
The Cultural Spring Logo The Sir James Knott Trust Logo Community Foundation Logo