Dark Peak Music Foundation

…. a bright musical future

Welcome to our Blog.


Here we will put up stories and  news that we think may be of interest to our members, partners and supporters.

Jazz Inspire Concert 14th September

Don’t miss a great start to the year with a terrific concert in our continuing Inspire Series. Come and listen to the music of George Gershiwn and Cole Porter played by local professional musicians.

DA R K  P E A K  M U S I C   I N S P I R E   C O N C E R T

The Dark Peak Inspire Series was launched two years ago to promote special events including professional concerts, masterclasses and workshops, extending the work of the music centre beyond our core activity.

We are delighted to be presenting the third of our professional concerts at St Luke’s Church Glossop,  at 7.30 on 14th September 2018.

This autumn we welcome Carl Raven (saxophone), Dan Whieldon (piano), Gavin Barras (bass), Dave Walsh (drums) and Emma Dixon (cello).

The programme consists of the music of George Gershwin and Cole Porter, arrangements for the quintet made by Dan and Carl.

Be sure to book early for this inspiring concert!

Admission £10 adults, under 18s free.   Tickets available at www.ticketsource.co.uk/darkpeakmusicfoundation

Please forward this information on to your friends and family.  Please contact a.zuntz@darkpeakmusic.co.uk if you would like to help publicise this event we have flyers and posters to display and distribute.

Italy Tour 2018

It was an early start for 60 members of the Concert Band and Sinfonia as they boarded a 90-seater luxury coach bound for the Veneto region of Italy. But the party was soon in full swing as the group departed on their 30-hour journey to one of the most beautiful areas of Italy.

The tour was organised through Specialised Travel Ltd, and we were treated to a 4* hotel, excellent meals (the best being in an amazing open-air restaurant outside Lavarone) and well publicised concerts in great venues.

The group gave two concerts in stunning venues high in the Dolomites, one in the beautiful Alpine town of Lavarone and the other in the magnificent cathedral in the spa town of Asiago. Both concerts were packed with locals and holiday makers who gave a rapturous welcome with standing ovations for both concerts. The Duomo in Asiago was particularly impressive with the audience packed to the very back of the cathedral. 


As well as the concerts, the young musicians had the chance to visit Verona, the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, visiting the very balcony which was said to have inspired the story, and the amazing city of Venice, taking in Saint Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace as well as having time to explore in small the groups. The group learnt about the powerful family dynasties that ruled the different regions of Italy in the renaissance period, and the rise of the great Venetian Empire from the swamps of the venetian lagoon. They had a taste of the great cultural, musical and artistic developments in these cities as well as being able to explore and soak up the special atmosphere of Venice by night.

The tour alternated between the sweltering heat of the Italian plain and the fresher climate of the Alpine uplands, with some impressive coach journeys with stunning Alpine scenery and hair-raising mountain roads (expertly negotiated by our superb drivers Ken and Sean).

The group had a very wide age range, with a substantial group of players from the Intermediate Wind Band joining us. The initial plan was to include some repertoire specifically for their ability level, but in practice they played everything, even the most advanced wind band classics.

Our team of 8 staff, which included two ex-members of the music centre now studying music, ensured that everything ran safely and to plan with suitable activities for all age groups. But the highlight of the activities had to be swimming and boating in the lake at Lavarone, surrounded by mountains. The now infamous “Pedalo” race in the lake was captured on film by our resident photographer Gareth Widdowson.

All the official pictures of the tour by Gareth are available on our Flickr gallery via the website and plenty of other pictures are shared on the Facebook page.

The Music Foundation runs international concert tours every two years and it has become a major part of the life of the music centre. We’re already looking forward to the next tour which we hope will be to Poland in 2020.

Summer Concert and Garden Party

The 2017-18 season concludes with two concerts:

Our now traditional Summer Concert and Garden Party on Sunday 24th June, 4pm in the delightful setting of Old Glossop Parish Church of All Saints.

The second concert is the Strings Concert on Saturday 30th June at St James’ Church, Whitfield at 7pm 

Join us for our traditional end of year celebration featuring the Concert Band, Sinfonia, Intermediate Wind Band and Chinley and Glossop Junior Bands. With music ranging from Bizet’s Carmen Suite to Holst’s masterpiece for wind band the Suite No.1 in F, and also including a “Film-night Spectacular” from our junior bands, it promises a fun packed end to the year.

As we bid a fond farewell and bon voyage to our leavers, many of whom have been with us since they were primary school age and are now going on to further education, we also welcome new players who have joined since Christmas for their first concert. It is also a chance to give awards for outstanding achievement and contribution to the music centre throughout the year.

We hope everyone, children, parents, gradparents and friends will join us for food and drinks outside (weather permitting) on the green….. a thoroughly pleasant finale to another highly successful year for Dark Peak.

This is a very popular event and seating is limited so we strongly recommend getting your tickets in advance. There will be some standing room, but we don’t want anyone dissappointed. Tickets cost £5 full/ £1 Children and can be purchased online using the link below.

The Strings Concert features the Junior, Intermedaite and Senior Strings Orchestras, concluding with a mass performance from all the players. We hope parents and friends will come and support all our young players, many of whom will be taking part in their very first concert.

Concert Information for Parents and Players

NCBF 2018

Dark Peak Intermediate Wind Band achieved a Gold Award at the national final of the NCBF at the Royal Northern College of Music.

It was an early start for the Dark Peak Intermediate Wind Band who were performing at the national final of the prestigious National Concert Band Festival, one of the biggest festivals of its kind in the world.

The invitation came following their successful appearance at the regional festival in November and the players were determined to give their best ever performance …  and they certainly did the music centre proud, impressing the adjudicators Gererd Booth and Simone Rebello, who commented particularly on their confidence, ensemble skills and superb section work.

Opening with a lively flamenco dance “La Caracola” they moved onto an evocative tone poem “The Painted Desert” both by Philip Spark. After a foray into the world of film music with “The Great Escape” they concluded with a rousing finale “Celtic Air and Dance” by Michael Sweeney.

The music centre was represented this year at NCBF by our younger ensemble, with an upper age of 14. And judging by the amount of talent and commitment on display we have great things to look forward to in the years to come.

Pictures from the event are on our Gallery Page and a YouTube video of their performance is now published on the Dark Peak channel:

Windows of the World

Peak District and Wirksworth Music Centres are joining forces with Dark Peak for an evening of musical fireworks at St John’s Church in Buxton. The event is the culmination of three months of work which have seen projects taking place all over the area.

Drawing together the talents of young musicians from across the Peak District , the “Windows of the World” project has had three main elements: The Orchestra of the Peaks has run a course of fortnightly rehearsals with tuition from professional musicians involved with both PDMC and Dark Peak Music Foundation. The senior wind bands of PDMC and DPMF have been working simultaneously on Peter Graham’s showcase band spectacular “Windows of the World” and some of our percussion players have been working with leading drummer Charles Ashby on a devised work as part of the performance. In addition we are delighted to have a performance from the national award winning Peak District String Orchestra under their director Gavin Usher.

St John the Baptist Church, Buxton

Friday 13th April, 7.30pm

Tickets on the door: £7 (accompanied children free)


Concert Details for Players

Tour of Italy

60 members of the Dark Peak Concert Band and senior string ensemble will be donning t-shirts and shorts and heading for the beautiful Veneto region of Italy from August 18th to 25th.

The tour will include concerts in the historic spa town of Asiago and the Alpine town of Lavarone with its mountains, woodlands, meadows and lakes.

The trip will also include full day excursions to two of Italy’s most iconic and culturally important cities, Venice and Verona.

From the Podium

Our chairman Andy Zuntz, who is something of a techno-geek has created this wonderful new website for us. We hope you enjoy the new look and we will continue to develop the website over the coming months.

If you have any ideas for content which would be useful/interesting/fun please do drop us a line.We would like the website to become a central hub for all the activities of the music centre, with the possibility of eventually introducing a Members Area for enrolment etc. For now you can find information such as the schedule and stories about our adventures.

The Dark Peak Music Foundation is such a dynamic organisation that it is a difficult task keeping up with all the developments. Every year we seem to come up with new projects and opportunities for our ever-growing family of young musicians.

In April of each year Ensemble Directors and Trustees meet to throw ideas into a melting pot, responding on a year-by-year basis to the changing needs of our musical community. We like to call it the “wish-list meeting” and it is our favourite. Collectively we then decide which projects to carry forward and these become the basis for the planning of the following year.

So, whether it be giving 10-year-olds lots fun in our junior bands or helping our advanced students to prepare themselves for further education in music conservatoires or universities, we are here to give the very best professional guidance and to help all our players achieve their full potential.

And with the launch of our Inspire Series it doesn’t stop there. Our series of professional concerts, masterclasses and workshops open the Dark Peak experience up even wider, enriching the musical environment for the whole community.

Strings Mini-Concert

The Dark Peak Strings, junior and intermediate groups held a short Concert on 19th March 2018
The Dark Peak Music Foundation Junior Strings group and those Intermediate players who haven’t been involved in the Buxton project gave an informal performance on Monday 19 March at 5:45pm in the Drama Studio at Glossopdale Community College.

An enthusiastic and excited group of parents and siblings came to the concert to see and hear the young performers.   First the intermediates played a Minuet & Trio by Mozart. This was followed by the exciting Shark Attack by Cathy & David Blackwell performed by the Juniors with great gusto.  The mini-concert ended with John Ryan’s Polka a traditional tune arranged by Katherine and Hugh Colledge, played rousingly by  the Intermediates and Junior Strings together.

The concert was organised by Helen Parkes and Isobel Wren, under the leadership of Strings Director Emma Dixon.

The Mini-Concert is part of our Adventure Program, where we encourage players to give performances from an early point in their development.