What will I do each day?

The course is carefully structured to offer you a variety of musical experiences throughout the day as follows:

9.30 – 11.00: Permanent Groups

You will be allocated a permanent group – or, if you wish, you may come to the course with a pre-formed group. Either way, we try very hard to make sure that consort is compatible, and, if we get it wrong we will do out best to resolve any problems after the first session. You will work one-to-a-part with this group for 90 minutes each day, giving you a chance to develop consort skills and explore repertoire in depth. A tutor will work with you for between 30 and 45 minutes of these sessions.

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11.30 – 13.00: Ensembles/Viol Orchestra/Workshops

You will be able to choose from two or three options each day: playing in a larger ensemble (often combining voice, viols and recorders) or the Viol Orchestra (conducted by Ibi Aziz), or attending a workshop. On Thursday this time is given over to the Arrangers/Composers’ Competition. This is a feature of the course, and always a lively occasion whether you submit an arrangement or composition (for any combination of instruments/voices on the course), or are co-opted to play somebody else’s work or are an audience member. The modest prize of €30 is hotly contested, and winning entries in the past have gone on to be published.

14.00 – 16.30: Free Time or Recorder Orchestra

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If you would like to join the Recorder Orchestra, conducted by Marion Doherty, for an hour each day, sign up on the Course Application Form. If not, your time is

free to walk to the beach or to arrange informal music-making. There may be an organised trip to a local place of interest, and one afternoon will certainly feature the famous SANDCASTLE COMPETITION!

16.30 – 18.00: Non-Permanent Groups

After a cup of tea there is another 90 minute session, this time with a different consort each day; a recorder or viol consort, with or without a singer, or perhaps a trio-sonata, or broken consort of recorders and viols. The aim here is to meet as many other course-members as possible, regardless of whether they are more or less experienced than you! You will typically be placed in a consort of recorders or viols, but, when you complete the application form, you will be asked to choose up to two other options that you would like to experience during the week (from Renaissance wind ensemble, broken consort of recorders and viols, Baroque chamber music with continuo or consort songs) and we will do our best to oblige.

19.00 – 20.00: Choir

The choir (conducted by Philip Thorby) meets for an hour each day and takes part in the end of course concert – you are welcome to join, whatever your level or experience. Works previously studied by the choir have included Striggio’s Missa sopra ‘Ecco si beato giorno’ and Padovano’s Mass for 24 voices.

20.00 – 21.30: Massed Playing

An opportunity to play together in the main hall, with a different tutor and different repertoire each evening. On the final evening there will be a course concert at this time which will include Choir, Recorder Orchestra and other items.


The bar is open! On Tuesday evening the tutors will give a (very informal!) recital, and on Thursday there is a Ceilidh.

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