These retreats are open to individual applicants and pre-existing wind quintets, or other wind ensembles alike.
Pre-existing groups may wish to work on repertoire of their own choice and are very welcome to bring their own pieces with them. If, however, you would like some suggestions from us that's fine too! We will send each member of your group a suggestions list together with an accompanying YouTube playlist and await your decision. Your group is also welcome to browse our music collection during the weekend and try something new.
For individual applicants, we will endeavour to place you in same-standard ensembles, once we know everyone's instrument and standard. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee individual applicants a place until all applications have been received and workable ensembles have been formed. Upon confirmation of a place, successful applicants will be advised of the make up of their ensemble and discussion of suitable repertoire for your group can commence. There will also be additional music for you to browse and try out during the weekend.
We have a fantastic team of tutors for each retreat and always have a tutor for each instrument (flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon). Our tutors are all professional players and also have a wealth of tutoring/teaching experience and lots of advice and helpful tips to share with you. Please see the Tutors page for a list of tutors for each retreat. Tutor biogs can also be found on the relevant page for your instrument (e.g. Flute Tutors etc.).
Unlike many other events of this type, the tutor : attendee ratio is excellent at 1 : 5 (at maximum capacity), compared with 1 : 12 (or more) at many other events. This therefore means that places are limited, so early booking is advisable, especially for flautists!
The 2021 courses are being held at the very beautiful Rydal Hall in the Lake District, which is set in beautiful gardens and surrounding area.....Oh, and the food is delicious too.
* Tutored Sessions (including instrument-specific session(s) with the relevant tutor and the opportunity to decide what format this session(s) should take (Q&A, ensemble playing etc))
* Occasional Untutored Sessions to enable groups to work by themselves and to practise what they've learnt
* A chance to see our tutors rehearsing together in an open rehearsal, plus Q&As at the end
* Individual lessons with our tutors are available. These will be at the additional cost of £30 for 45 minutes, or £40 for an hour. (Please note that on our two-day retreat we are restricted to two/three lessons per tutor, due to time available, so lessons will be offered on a first come, first served basis)
* Huge choice of repertoire - if we don't already own a piece you've chosen we will buy it in!
* Wind Quintets and smaller ensembles get to choose the repertoire they will work on. We ask each group member for suggestions and we're also more than happy to help with suggestions too if required. We then circulate the suggestions list together with a YouTube playlist of all the pieces to each group member. Everyone then votes individually and the most popular pieces (usually 3/4) are chosen.
* Individual parts are emailed to you as pdfs well in advance of the retreat for you to practise
* Free time to get together in adhoc groups, explore the gardens/surrounding area, practise etc.
* Amazing food - Breakfast, morning coffee (and cake!), lunch, afternoon tea (more cake!) and dinner
* Well stocked bar
* Informal concert at the end of the retreat, including a performance by our tutors
* Beautiful accommodation - the majority of rooms are ensuite and those that aren't have their own private bathroom a short distance from the room (dressing gowns provided by Rydal Hall)
* Caring administrator - always available to answer any queries you may have before and during the course. Personal and tailored replies....no standard emails here!
We'd love for you to join us, so if you're interested in applying, please fill in our online Application Form (it's not too onerous, we promise!)