Music Summer School, July 2020

Our popular annual Broadstone Music Series music summer school needed to be cancelled in it’s current format due to the Covid 19 situation, but we were able to go ahead with a comprehensive risk assessment in place, a socially distanced, mainly outdoor summer school at Yarrells school Upton where we offered large spaces and outdoors to ensure social distancing and coaching with our distinguished tutors.
It took place at Yarrells school on 27th, 28th, 29th July 2020 as we had access to the vast grounds and many gazebos!
It was for a limited group of young musicians than usual who worked in bubbles, hence focus was on chamber music, in large spaces, out door rehearsing and also organised outside activities due to a long time since anyone played music together, so everyone came prepared for all weather! As usual, we are extremely grateful for the support from SoundStorm Music Agency.

Alison Kay organises the courses and this year’s school was for orchestral instrumentalists aged 10-18, (not sax, recorder, guitar or piano) and young musicians received inspirational input from highly skilled professional musicians including the Halcyon quartet who were resident this year, and also expertise from invited visiting tutors from our affiliated organisation, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. A fun and sociable atmosphere is always our priority, with inspiration and musical enrichment, with emphasis on small ensemble playing throughout the 3 days, musicianship classes and more, and this year was no exception despite the restrictions.
The young musicians worked in 6 bubbles and there were 12 members of staff this year. Everyone needed to bring everything with them, including scanned music so nothing was shared through the day. Hand washing was a priority and the bubble tutors monitored this.
SoundStorm recorded during the morning of day 3 for parents to see the work, and due to good weather, a brief outdoor demonstration of work was presented on the field on the final afternoons.

If you or your children have participated before you’ll know just how much fun and knowledge is gleaned from this fantastic annual event, and this year particularly it was a complete one off for music students in this area. Great bonds as well as great music making always takes place.

Feedback from previous summer school:-

My daughter, an oboist aged 15, wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Each afternoon, she returned happy and tired – the best combination. New people and old friends, inspiring adults, plus a massive range of music to enjoy and to challenge. She says that it’s her sight-reading skills that have benefited the most; she covered more music in those 3 days than in months before! The other new element was the chance to play chamber music – itself very focused and exposed – with new people, with the immediate need to listen and trust.

What we as parents appreciated was the absolute commitment, passion, and also sense of fun in the staff who ran the summer school, both administratively and musically. The final concert was relaxed, and yet had a real sense of urgency and a desire to communicate all that they had managed to learn and play together in 3 days.

We are grateful for the help and support of Soundstorm Music Education Agency for this event.
Here is the Halcyon string quartet in action performing themselves:

Kevin Morgan (BSO principal trombone) and Mark Law (trumpet teacher at Eton)
2018 July Summer School
July 2018, Emma Chapman, BSO co-principal bassoon
July 2018, Tammy Thorn, BSO principal bassoon