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  • Writer's pictureDark Peak Music

The Story of Dark Peak Music Foundation

Updated: Jan 21

The Dark Peak Music Foundation is based in the Peak District, in Derbyshire, situated in the Pennines between Manchester and Sheffield in the North of England. It welcomes young musicians from Glossop, New Mills, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Hayfield and the surrounding areas.

The music centre was formed in 2000 and has established a reputation for high standards of performance and a varied and enjoyable repertoire, with popular music from stage and screen sharing the programme with classics. Past members have gone on to study at music colleges and universities, many pursuing successful careers in music.

High achievement

The Foundation provides opportunities for players from beginner to advanced levels to play together in a structured family of ten ensembles. With over 200 members, the emphasis is on high standards of achievement in an enjoyable and friendly atmosphere, giving young players the best opportunities to develop their interest in music and the friendships that are born out of playing together.

The Senior groups cater for players of higher grades performing major works for orchestra and symphonic wind band. Less experienced players are invited to join one of our training ensembles where they will enjoy playing music carefully chosen for their level of ability, under the guidance of expert ensemble directors.

Leading the way

The ensembles give regular performances, including prestigious venues such as Buxton Opera House, Birmingham Symphony Hall and the Royal Northern College of Music. The Concert Band appears at major national festivals including being a regular Gold Award Winner at the National Concert Band Festival and performing at the national finals in 2017 and 2023.

In 2023 the Concert Band received the ultimate accolade of being selected to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in the Music for Youth Proms, establishing it as one of the country’s leading youth ensembles.

The Concert Band and Senior Strings have performed in major cities and concert halls across Europe, including Prague, Antwerp and the Italian Alps with tours including Belgium, the Czech Republic, Italy and most recently central Spain. In 2024 the senior ensembles will once again venture across Europe, this time to Saxony with concerts in Leipzig, Bad Schmiedeberg and Colditz.

Four teenagers playing French Horns

A Beacon of innovation

In recent years the Foundation’s activities have extended beyond its core work. The Foundation has recently established a community orchestra for musicians of all ages and levels of ability.

At the other end of the age spectrum our Supertonics group offers weekly music and movement classes for very young children aged 5-9, with a pathway to taking up instruments through our “Gateway” lessons.

The latest addition to the Foundation's busy schedule of activities is the recently launched children's choir, Dark Peak Young Voices, under the direction of opera singer Claire Surman.


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