Currently we are offering the following groups. Our membership fees and structure is listed below. Contact us for more information about joining one of these groups. Don't own an instrument? We have a limited supply of instruments we can loan to you, please let us know and we can discuss availability.

Whickham Strings

This is a string orchestra for players of Grade 3 and above. We meet on Mondays at 4.30 in the Rectory Hall, Church Chare, Whickham.

Whickham Viols

Whickham is one of the leading centres in the UK for tuition in the viol. This ensemble for under-19s meets on Sundays between 6pm-7pm at the Rectory Hall, Church Chare, Whickham. We are hoping to establish a beginners ensemble soon.

Adult Viols Consort

This group meets on Tuesdays 7pm-8.30pm at Holy Trinity Church, Swalwell

Advanced Cello Ensemble

This group meets on Sundays between 7pm and 8pm at the Rectory Hall, Church Chare, Whickham.

2 Note Band

For those musicians who are beginning to play any orchestral or band instrument and who would enjoy playing with other people. So called because the only requirement is that you can play at least two notes! Weekly sessions are led by John Treherne, who has extensive experience of working with musicians at all levels. More advanced musicians are also welcome to join and music will be specially written and arranged by the director. This group meets on Tuesdays 4.15-5.15pm in the Bede Room, Parish Hall, Church Chare, Whickham.

Music theory and composition

These classes take place on Tuesday evenings 5.15pm-6.15pm in the Bede Room, Parish Hall, Church Chare, Whickham. Led by John Treherne, for all those wishing to gain more knowledge of music and write their own compositions.

Bells Up - Handbell Ringing Group

A fun handbell group for people of all ages, we meet on Tuesdays 6.15-7.15pm in the Bede Room, Parish Hall, Church Chare, Whickham. You don't need to have any previous experience and you don't need to be able to read music. Come along!

Cello, Violin and Guitar Tuition

Our tutors offer lessons in these instruments on Sunday and Monday afternoons, in practice space subsidised by CMWS.

Instrument Day Focus Time Venue
Cello, guitar and violin tuition Sunday Individual or small group tuition 12.30pm onwards Rectory Hall, Church Chare, Whickham
Monday 3.30pm onwards
Whickham Viols Ensemble Sunday Tuition, practice and playing together 6-7pm
Whickham Cello Ensemble Sunday 7-8pm
Whickham Strings Monday 4.30-5.30pm
Adult Viols Consort Tuesday 7-8.30pm Holy Trinity Church, Swalwell
2 Note Band Tuesday Learning music and playing together 4.15-5.15pm Bede Room, Parish Hall, Church Chare, Whickham
Theory & Composition Tuesday Gaining knowledge and writing music 5.15-6.15pm
Bells Up Tuesday Handbell ringing 6.15-7.15pm
Chase Notes Tuesday Community Choir, no previous experience required, all welcome. 2.30-3.30pm Chase Court, Rectory Lane, Whickham

There are currently places available in classes for upper string players and acoustic guitarists. Please contact us for more information or email

In addition we are planning to set up the following groups in the near future

Extra Violin Tuition

For small group and individual lessons, according to demand.

String Quartet and Chamber Orchestra

For players of grade 6 and above led by John Finnon and Erardo Evans.

Beginners' Viol Group

A new class will begin for all ages and abilities.

Membership Structure

We offer various levels of membership.


Membership of Bells Up handbell group only is £35 per term.


Full membership covers Whickham Strings, Whickham Viols, Advanced Cello Ensemble, Bells Up and the 2 Note Band. This costs £50 per term.


Theory & Composition classes are not covered in the full membership. These classes cost £50 per term for non-members and £30 per term for Full Members.


Adult Viol Consort sessions are paid for weekly and cost £3.50 per session.


We run three terms per year - September to Christmas, January to Easter, and Easter to July. On average there are 10 sessions per term.