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

Performing Companies


Call the Notts Performing Arts Office on 0115 977 2782 between 8am – 3pm for further information.

Notts Performing Arts Companies

Gaining a place in one of our companies is through audition only. Students in year 3 and above can apply for Intermediate Concert Band. Students in year 7 and above can apply for all companies.

  • Black Box Theatre Company
  • Senior Concert Band (Grade 5/6/7 depending on instrument)
  • Intermediate Concert Band (Grade 2 and above)
  • Red Hot Band (Grade 4 and above)
  • Steel Band (Advanced)
See Company Details tab for more information. 

Grades are a guide only to the standard required for audition. Students do not need to have taken examinations.

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

Are you between 11-19 years in Year 7 or above (or 7-19 years in Year 3 and above for the Intermediate Concert Band)? 

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.

 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 a Performance Company is as follows:

  • Intermediate Concern Band - £35 per year/ £20 per term
  • Senior Concern Band - £80 per year/ £45 per term
  • Red Hot (Swing) Band - £75 per year/ £30 per term
  • Steel Band - £50 per year/ £30 per term
  • Theatre Company - £80 per year/ £45 per term

Financial assistance is available for students Looked After by Nottinghamshire and those eligible for free school meals. 

If your child does not live in Nottinghamshire or attend a Nottinghamshire maintained school then Membership to a Performance Company is as follows:

  • Intermediate Concern Band - £70 per year/ £40 per term
  • Senior Concern Band - £160 per year/ £90 per term
  • Red Hot (Swing) Band - £150 per year/ £80 per term
  • Steel Band - £100 per year/ £60 per term
  • Theatre Company - £160 per year/ £90 per term

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.

Black Box Theatre Company - The Old Library, Mansfield – weekly Sunday 1.30pm – 5.30pm.

The focus of the theatre company is to introduce and develop skills in a range of different theatre styles by a mixture of warm up, technique and improvisation sessions and developing creative projects. Students are encouraged to explore their own creative potential whilst rehearsing for a variety of challenging performance opportunities across the County

Students need to be able to show commitment to being part of an ensemble.

Senior Concert Band - The Minster School, Southwell -  fortnightly Sunday 12.45pm – 5.00pm.

The Concert Band is for musicians who feel ready to join an established performance group and work more intensively on their ensemble skills. The Concert Band aims to get everyone playing together at a high standard and enjoying a wide range of music, from show tunes to pop medleys, film music and romantic suites.

Some of each rehearsal is spent working in sectionals to provide more focused, smaller group teaching, which helps to support the less experienced students.

The standard required at audition depends on the individual instrument played.

Intermediate Concert Band - The Minster School, Southwell -  fortnightly Sunday 1.30pm – 3.30pm.

The Junior Concert Band is a new Band formed by the merging of the Training Band and Intermediate Band, which is designed to give confidence to younger players to improve their playing and to prepare them for entry into the Concert Band. Students will have the opportunity to play a wide variety of music from orchestral and concert band classics to modern film music.

The standard required is about Grade 2 depending on the instrument played.

Red Hot (Swing) Band - The Old Library, Mansfield -  weekly Wednesday 6.30pm – 9.15pm.

Young people get the opportunity to play a variety of jazz, swing, Latin and blues in a relaxed environment and are able to develop their improvisation skills, performance skills and develop an understanding of professional musicianship.

The standard required is about Grade 4 level

Steel Band (Advanced) - The Brunts Academy, Mansfield – weekly Tuesday 6.30pm – 8.30pm.

The Advanced Steel Band is for students who have played at an advanced level for about a year and can play by ear and not only by reading music. The rehearsal ethos is that it will be hard work but very enjoyable and there will be a wide variety of music from pop medleys, film music and musical favourites. There is plenty of opportunity to move round the chrome pans eg tenors, bass, cello, guitar and melody to really broaden your skill level on each part.

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. Students in Year 3 can also audition for the Junior Concert Band. However the other companies are for older students who must be in Year 7 and above. 

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.

When can my child start?

Once your child has successfully audition a start date will be agreed with you.

Are the staff CRB checked?

All NPA staff are enhanced CRB checked and this is redone every three years.

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 with details of their skill level and we will arrange an audition. Payment for new company will be taken following a successful 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, Southwell Workhouse and various smaller scale venues

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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