Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT PLAYING STANDARD ARE THE RETREATS AIMED AT?
The minimum playing standard for our Saxophone Courses is Grade 5. You will also need to be a reasonably proficient sight reader, as the music will not be sent out in advance. It is therefore extremely important that you provide us with details of your current playing standard and playing experience on the Application Form, rather than just providing your highest grade achieved. Whilst this is useful information, it may not accurately reflect your current playing level.
The Wind Quintet Retreats are open to players of all standards. The most important thing is that the players within each ensemble are of a similar standard to each other. It is therefore extremely important that you provide us with details of your current playing standard and playing experience on the Application Form, rather than just providing your highest grade achieved. Whilst this is useful information, it may not accurately reflect your current playing level.
For people applying as individuals on the Wind Quintet Retreats, we will endeavour to form same-standard ensembles. Please note that it may not be possible for us to confirm your place immediately. We will need to wait until we have received enough applications from other individual applicants. Once we know that we can place you in a workable ensemble, then we will confirm your place on the retreat. For further clarification regarding playing standard, please click here.
WHAT TIME SHOULD I ARRIVE?
For the August 2024 Saxophone Course timings are yet to be confirmed. This section will be updated once more detail is known.
For Wind Quintet Retreats, if possible you should aim to arrive between 4pm and 4.30pm. You will be able to check in from 4pm and the staff will start to serve afternoon tea once a few people have begun to arrive. There will be a Welcome Address from us, hopefully at around 4.30pm, by which time we hope that most people will have arrived. This time is fairly flexible however, but please do let is know if you think you will arrive later than 4.45pm. The first playing session is usually untutored and will begin at 5.15pm.
DO I NEED TO PREPARE ANYTHING IN ADVANCE?
For the Saxophone Course, music will not be sent out in advance, so in that sense there is nothing for you to prepare in advance......you just need to hone your sight reading skills!
For the Wind Quintet Retreats, if you are part of a pre-existing ensemble and are hoping to work on repertoire which you find challenging, it would be a good idea for you to familiarise yourself with your part and to have done any personal practise which you think necessary, prior to the retreat. This will ensure that you and your ensemble get the most out of the time with the tutors.
For individual applicants of the Wind Quintet Retreats, we are hoping that it will be possible to place you into ensembles and then let each member of your ensemble know the instrument combination. At that point discussions will begin over possible repertoire for your group. The idea being that any music chosen can be sourced and copies sent to people to look at ahead of the retreat. In fairness to other members of your ensemble, please do practise your parts, especially any passages which you find tricky.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING WITH ME?
Aside from your instrument (and associated reeds, instrument stands etc.), clothes and toiletries, please could you bring a music stand with you. We will have some available just in case people forget to bring one, but it would help us greatly if people could bring their own. A stand light may also be a good idea if you have one, as some of the rooms at Parcevall Hall (and to a lesser extent, Rydal Hall) can be a little dark (we do have some stand lights for people to borrow, but not enough for everyone).
Malvern College is a new venue to us so we're not yet sure what is provided in terms of towels and toiletries. We will update this section accordingly once this is known.
WHAT IF I NEED TO CANCEL MY PLACE ON A RETREAT, OR A RETREAT IS CANCELLED?
Full details of our cancellation policy can be found on our Terms & Conditions page.
IS THERE DISABLED ACCESS?
At Rydal Hall there is one wheelchair-accessible bedroom on the first floor with level access to an en suite wet room. First floor rooms are accessible via a chairlift for guests with reduced mobility.
Parcevall Hall does have some disabled access, however, again there is only one bedroom (Room 12 - not ensuite) on the ground floor which is wheelchair friendly. This room is spacious, but it cannot be designated as fully wheelchair accessible, as this depends on the wheelchair. Parcevall Hall do have a wheelchair which people are welcome to use if they wish and this can access Room 12, the Milner Room, the Lounge and the Dining Room. There is a wet room available on the same corridor as Room 12, which is fully accessible to wheelchair users. For people who have mobility problems, but who don't require wheelchair access, there are two further ground floor rooms. The dining room, lounge and a couple of the rooms which will be used for the Tutor Sessions, are on the ground floor and are wheelchair accessible.
Please note that Malvern College is a new venue to us and so this section will be updated once accessibilty is known.
Please let us know about your requirements when you apply and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
I HAVE SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIREMENTS, CAN RYDAL HALL AND PARCEVALL HALL CATER FOR ME?
Malvern College, Rydal Hall and Parcevall Hall are able to cater for specific dietary needs, whether you are vegetarian, vegan, or have a food allergy. They do state, however, that in their kitchens they do use nuts, dairy, wheat, gluten, soya and eggs, so they cannot guarantee that these won't find their way into their home-cooked food. We therefore suggest that you detail your dietary requirements on the Application Form and express any concerns you may have. We will then contact the relevant venue to discuss your specific requirements and let you know the outcome.
WHAT TIME ARE WE EXPECTED TO VACATE OUR ROOM BY ON THE DAY OF DEPARTURE?
On the day of departure, we politely request that guests vacate their rooms by 10.00am, in order to allow for room preparation for subsequent guests.
WHEN IS MY BALANCE DUE?
The balance is due by 31st May 2024. If we do not receive your balance by this date, you will forfeit your place, as well as your deposit.