Wren Music community choirs and orchestras happen across Devon. Our groups are open to anyone. There are no auditions or waiting lists. We encourage people of all backgrounds to take part and experience the positive impact of making music in a group. We complement in-person sessions with online resources so you can practice at home.
Our professional community musicians run the weekly and monthly choirs and orchestras. They arrange traditional folk songs and tunes as well as composing new works and exploring songs and tunes from other cultures. So there is always a great variety of things to learn. You’ll learn folk songs and tunes hailing from Devon, the wider UK and around the world.
You don’t need any experience to join a group. You’ll learn music by ear so there’s no need to read music. Full music scores are provided alongside the aural teaching for those who wish to use them. Our inclusive style brings together people with formal music training and those who never believed they could take part in workshop sessions and concerts. So whether this will be your first time in a music group, are looking to find music in your life again, or are a confident musician, you’ll fit right in.
Every group has opportunities to take part in public performances throughout the year. Our groups have performed at festivals, on high streets, in caves, shops, hospitals, community centres and cathedrals. We also bring the groups together to meet and perform.
We have members from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities. We are committed to diversity and welcome people of all ages and abilities. Learning materials are available in a range of formats, and venues are accessible. Our programmes can be tailored to the needs of any group and activities can be adapted for individuals.
Some people have told us that coming along and learning music has changed their lives. Others have said that now they’ve got involved they will be singing or playing for the rest of their lives. Sometimes these are people who were told at school that they couldn’t sing. Wren Music believes we can all sing and play, it’s just about having the opportunity.
We have five open access weekly folk choirs across the county, plus a men’s singing group, MenSing, a women’s singing project, Her Story, and a programme for those with COPD and other respiratory issues, Singing for Wellness.
We have two weekly ensemble orchestras for players of all abilities and a wide range of instruments; violin, accordion, guitar, flute, whistle, recorder, cello, banjo, saxophone, clarinet, bodhran, viola, concertina and many more. We also have a specialist Fiddle Orchestra for bowed string instruments and a Mandolin Orchestra for plucked strings. We also run individual orchestra days across the county which are open to anyone. You can find about upcoming orchestra days and book yourself a place on our What’s On page.
Each group meets over the academic year from September to July. Usually taking a break over August and around the Christmas and Easter holidays, when special concerts and projects may happen. Weekly groups run in five-week half-term blocks. Our monthly groups have three terms a year, meeting once a month, except August. You are welcome to join at any time and do not need to wait for a new term.
When you join one of our groups you’ll have access to our online community. Here you can download musical scores and lyrics for the songs and tunes your group is learning. Our musicians also create videos to prepare your voice and cover aspects of healthy and safe singing, along with audio guides to help you practice at home. There’s also the opportunity to leave online comments and discuss the music outside the sessions.
Explore all our choirs and orchestra by clicking below.