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Nottinghamshire County Council - Proud of our past, ambitious for our future

Performing Companies

Perform Live!

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We will help you explore your creativity, enhance your skills as a musician, actor or dancer and make you a better performer.  We expect a high level of commitment and a professional approach to rehearsal and performance from all of our Company actors, dancers and musicians.

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Call us on 0115 977 2782 weekdays between 8am - 3pm for further information. 

Do you love performing and want get involved more with music, theatre and dance?

Are you between 11-19 years (or 7-19 years for the Training Band, Intermediate Band and String Group)? 

Are you good at what you do?

Then you’re in the right place to join one of the Notts Performing Arts Companies.

Being a member of a Performing Arts Company can provide you with skills to access further study within higher education, and provide pathways into the performing arts industry. Our Companies work regularly with nationally recognised performing arts organisations such as Dance4, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham.

 Auditions are held for the performing arts companies. You may be asked to audition by one of our teachers if you are going to a Saturday morning centre or you can request an audition for a place when you feel you are ready for the challenge, which could be right now or after a little more training with our Saturday option.

 If you have a successful audition you will be working to a high standard of performance, being taught by experienced teachers, professional artists and musicians and performing regularly in front of audiences across the County and beyond.


Does your child live in Nottinghamshire or attend a Nottinghamshire maintained school?

Membership to Notts Performing Arts costs £35 per term or £70 for the academic year.

Financial assistance may be available for students who are eligible for free school meals.

If your child does not live in Nottinghamshire or attend a Nottinghamshire maintained school we offer membership for £70 per term or £140 for the academic year.

Pay the termly or annual membership fee and your child can join a Saturday morning Centre and as many Companies as they successfully audition for.

Applying to a Company

Complete an application form or contact the office on 0115 977 2782 to request an audition. No payment is made at this stage. An audition date will be arranged. If your child is successful in gaining a place, we will confirm the payment and start date.

  • Advanced Music Ensemble (Grade 6 and above)

    The Minster School, Southwell - fortnightly Sundays 9.30am - 12.30pm term timeThe NPA Advanced Music Ensemble offers gifted and talented musicians across Nottinghamshire a... Lucy Reid
  • Black Box Theatre Company

    The Old Library, Mansfield - weekly Sundays 1.30pm - 5.30pm term time onlyThe NPA Theatre Company is for young people who feel ready to commit to being part of a working...Jeremy Cort
  • Choir (Grade 3 and above)

    The Minster School, Southwell - fortnightly Wednesday 6.45pm - 8.45pmThe NPA Choir provides singers with the opportunity to sing in a mixed choir and have expert vocal...Daniela Smith
  • Concert Band (Grade 5/6/7 depending on Instrument)

    The Minster School, Southwell - fortnightly Sundays 1.00pm - 5.00pm term timeThe NPA Concert Band is for musicians who feel ready to join an established performance group and...Michelle Pickering
  • Contemporary Dance Company

    College Street Centre Nottingham, weekly during term time Wednesdays 6.30pm - 8.30pm plus October...Auditions for the Dance Company will be on Monday 3rd September and the Company will meet for four...Dance 4 choreographer
  • Intermediate Band (Grade 4 and above)

    The Minster School, Southwell. Fortnightly during term time Sundays 3.00pm - 4.15pm
  • Red Hot (Swing) Band (Grade 4 and above)

    The Minster School, Southwell - weekly Wednesdays 6.30pm - 9.15pm term timeYoung people get the opportunity to play a variety of jazz, swing, Latin and blues in a relaxed...Matthew Callingham
  • Steel Pan Band (Advanced)

    The Brunts Academy, Mansfield - weekly - Tuesday 7.00-9.00pm term time onlyThis Steel Pan Band is a newly formed company from September 2012 that will perform around the...Nicola Coker and Angela Allen
  • String Ensemble (Grade 2 and above)

    The Minster School, Southwell - fortnightly Sundays 12.45 - 2.00pm term time onlyThe String Group is a new and exciting group designed to provide a stepping stone into...Yolanda Mitchell
  • Training Band (Grade 2 and above)

    The Minster School, Southwell. Fortnightly during term times Sundays 2.30pm - 3.45pmThe Training Band is a new and exciting group designed to provide a stepping stone into the Concert...Louisa Hammond

My child is 7 years old but in Year 2 – can they join?

Notts Performing Arts is open to students from Year 3 and above to join a Saturday centre. Please apply once your child has completed Year 2. However, the companies are for older children - Year 5 and above for the Training Band and String Group and Year 7 and above for all other companies.

My child has special needs – can they join?

Yes provided they meet the eligibility criteria and Notts performing Arts has a Support Assistant to work with them if needed. Please clarify any support that may be required in your application so we can ensure your child fully participates.

My child has special needs – why are they are on waiting list?

Notts Performing Arts has a large number of Support Assistants who work with children with special needs so they can fully benefit from the arts opportunities on offer. We also regularly recruit new staff to respond to the high level of new starters and from time to time do not have staff cleared to work to meet the demand. Students will be placed on a waiting list in strict order of application and contacted once a new Support Assistant is available to work.

When can my child start?

Once your application is confirmed and payment made your child can start on the first week of the new term or the first week after half term.

Is there a uniform – do they have to wear certain clothes?

NPA students should wear clothes they are comfortable in and for dance students clothes that they can dance in.

Are the staff CRB checked?

All NPA staff are enhanced CRB checked as are all the parent helpers who work in the Saturday morning tuck shops. These checks are re-done every three years.

Are there opportunities to do exams?

Students can take their Bronze Arts Award if they attend a Saturday morning Centre. Silver and Gold Arts award sessions run on Tuesday evenings in Mansfield and Southwell.

We live in Nottingham city and my child attends a Nottingham city school. Why does it cost more?

NPA provision is subsidised by Nottinghamshire County Council for students who live or go to school in the county of Nottinghamshire.  

My child will be absent for one week. Who do I tell?

You can tell the Group Leader of the Company or you can telephone the NPA office on 0115 977 2782. Please note that regular absences will mean your child can not participate in performances.

Can I get a refund if my child changes their mind or starts and then decides they do not want to stay for a term?

The membership fee is non-refundable and non-transferable

My child has a medical condition. Are staff trained to administer medication?

None of the staff administer medication. If you child cannot self medicate then you can come into the rehearsal and administer it to your child yourself. Please contact the NPA office on 0115 977 2782 if you wish to arrange this.

My child already belongs to one NPA company. Can they belong to another one?

Yes they can. Please contact the NPA office on 0115 977 2782. It may be possible for them to join another company without audition. 

Do I have to get my child to and from the performances venues?

If the performance is on a school weekday NPA will arrange transport from your child’s home/school directly to the venue in time for the rehearsal. You will need to collect your child at the end of the evening but it is likely you will be watching the performance. If the performance is on a non-school day/weekend you will need to transport your child. It may be possible to car share with other group members.

What does my child wear for performances?

The Group Leader will confirm the performance dress. Dance/Drama will be in costume. Musicians will either be in all black - shirt/trousers/skirt/ dress or with a white shirt.

What does my child have to do for an audition?

It depends on which company your child is auditioning for. Full details regarding the audition will be sent out should the application be successful. Auditions take place during the normal rehearsal time of the company and usually involve participation in the part of the rehearsal and a 1:1 prepared audition piece.

Things You Need to Know

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Over the last few years NPA students have performed at: The Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham; Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham; Rufford Country Park, Ollerton; Crucible Theatre, Sheffield; Kelham Hall, Newark; East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham; John Fretwell Centre, Mansfield; Nottingham Playhouse; The Old Library Theatre, Mansfield; Southwell Minster; Thoresby Riding Hall, Ollerton, and various smaller scale venues

Notts Performing Arts Companies

Gaining a place in one of our companies is through audition only. Students in year 5 and above can apply for the Training Band and String Group. Students in year 7 and above can apply for all companies.

  • Advanced Music Ensemble
  • Choir 
  • Concert Band
  • Contemporary Dance Company
  • Red Hot Band
  • Steel Pan Band
  • String Ensemble
  • Theatre Company
  • Intermediate Band
  • Training Band
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