The Harrogate Saxophone Summer School


Saxophone Summer School – Residential (includes tuition fees and full board accommodation): £450.00
Single Room Supplement (there are a limited number of single rooms): £90.00
Saxophone Summer School – Non Residential (includes tuition and meals): £350.00
Accommodation only (full board for non playing friends and family): £300.00
Thursday night accommodation (available to those who are over 18): £45.00
Individual lesson – Grade 4/5 standard (please note, places for individual lessons are limited and will be dealt with on a first come first served basis. Multiple lessons are available where appropriate): £32.00
Individual lesson – Grade 6/7 standard: £39.00
Individual lesson – Grade 8+: £45.00

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Secure bookings may be made online through the event website.

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Course tutors

Rob Buckland is internationally acclaimed as one of the most distinctive and versatile Saxophonists of his generation, regularly appearing as concerto and recital soloist, with his Equivox Trio, and with the Apollo Saxophone Quartet. He has commissioned and recorded music from many of today’s leading composers, featuring on his own solo CD (Towards the Light 1998), with the Equivox Trio (The Time is Now 2006), eight CDs with the Apollo Saxophone Quartet (of which he is a founder member), and 2 new CDs planned for 2012, including a new disc of saxophone concertos that he has commissioned over the last 20 years.

He regularly performs and records with such diverse ensembles such as the Michael Nyman Band, Halle Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Concert Orchestra, Opera North and Northern Sinfonia. Uniquely in demand as both classical soloist and jazz artist, Rob also regularly works with Sax Assault, the John Wilson Orchestra, BBC Big Band, Royal Variety Performance Orchestra, Keith Nichol’s various early jazz projects, and can regularly be heard performing on many Film and TV soundtracks, including recently the BBC’s remake of “Upstairs Downstairs”, and ITV’s highly acclaimed “The Forsyth Saga”. In recent years, Rob has been heard performing as concerto soloist with the RLPO, CBSO and the Orchestra of Opera North performing John Williams’ “Escapades” Concerto – taken from the soundtrack to the Dreamworks Film “Catch Me if You Can”, leading the saxophone section of the RLPO’s landmark performance with the Wayne Shorter Quartet in 2008 and recently featuring as the saxophone soloist with Elvis Costello’s new orchestral project.

Rob has spent a significant proportion of his time over the last 25 years performing with the Apollo Saxophone Quartet, a world class ensemble that is widely acknowledged as one of the UK’s finest contemporary chamber ensembles, performing, recording and commissioning over 100 new works for the medium. As a composer, Rob writes and arranges for both concert performance and film, tv and media, and has written a highly successful and popular ongoing series of original compositions for young players, many of which are now part of the Associated Board, Trinity and Guildhall syllabuses (published by He will also release a new comprehensive saxophone tutor book, based on his 15 years teaching at the RNCM, in spring 2012.

Alongside his busy performing schedule, Rob is Professor of Saxophone at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where he was recently awarded a Fellowship (2008). He is Saxophone Consultant at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, runs his own International Saxophone Summer School, the Manchester and Harrogate Saxophone Summer Courses, and is frequently asked to present saxophone weekends and days throughout the UK. Rob is a Henri Selmer Paris artist, and endorsee for Vandoren Reeds.

Carl Raven is a freelance saxophonist and educator in Manchester, U.K. He has performed with BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Halle, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic,Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble 10:10, Manchester Camerata, Opera North, Northern Sinfonia, the Michael Nyman band and is a member of the acclaimed Apollo Saxophone Quartet. He is also a member of ‘House of Bedlam’.

Sally MacTaggart is an award winning freelance saxophonist and teacher based in London. She began her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, studying with Rob Buckland and Andy Scott, and graduated with first class honors in 2010. During her time there she picked up numerous accolades including the RNCM Creative Soloist prize, RNCM Concerto award and RNCM Chamber Ensemble of the Year. Following this she relocated to London and achieved a Masters with distinction at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, under Christian Forshaw, John Harle and Nick Moss.

Gilly Blair is an award winning classical Saxophonist from the Wirral, UK. She graduated from the RNCM with a First Class BMus (hons) degree in 2014 and with a Masters degree with distinction in 2016 under the tutelage of Rob Buckland and Carl Raven. During her studies, Gillian received tuition and appeared in masterclasses with internationally acclaimed artists including Vincent David, Arno Bornkamp, Johan van der Linden and Timothy McAllister, and studied at the internationally renowned ‘European University of the Saxophone’ in Gap, France. As a soloist, she has performed around the country at festivals and concert series’ including the BBC Proms.

Carl currently is a saxophone and improvisation tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and at Leeds University and Manchester University. Carl is a Vandoren performing artist.

Until very recently, John Alley was Principal Keyboard Player of the London Symphony Orchestra, with whom he has played just about everywhere. Indeed, he recently returned from a very successful trip to the west coast of the USA with Michael Tilson Thomas.

He has performed in countless Proms and has worked with many of the twentieth century’s major composer/conductors, including Boulez, Berio, Benjamin, Henze, Lutoswaski, Oliver Knussen, and Thomas Ades.

A ‘minor’ sensation occurred in the performance of Shostakovich’s ‘Suite for the Hypothetically Murdered’ when he drank a pint of beer in the middle of a cadenza!

He has recorded extensively for television, radio, and disc and played on the soundtracks films like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Braveheart, Little Women and (the new) Jane Eyre. He has contributed to over thirty volumes of music including Rabboni flute sonatas and the Arban trumpet studies, for which he wrote the accompaniments.

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Event Description

The Harrogate Saxophone Summer School is a stimulating programme for all levels of saxophone players from grade 4/5 standard through to professional led by course director Rob Buckland.

The course consists of a combination of classes, ensembles, performance workshops plus the option to take individual lessons/advice auditions from some of the internationally renowned tutors.

The aims of the programme are to give participants greater awareness of their abilities, confidence in their saxophone playing and experience in music making. A friendly and relaxed atmosphere is created to encourage all those attending, with an emphasis on participation. Those wishing to play/perform will be asked to prepare appropriate set pieces for classes, and chamber works for coaching in ensemble playing.


The beautiful and historic spa town of Harrogate, with its parks and gardens, castles and abbeys and closeness to the breathtaking scenery of the Yorkshire Dales, is an ideal venue for the course; relaxing, invigorating and inspiring.


We accept that many course members have a great distance to travel. Although we cannot offer accommodation on the Saturday night preceding the course, rooms can be available for the Thursday night at the end of the course (over 18s only). Harrogate has many hotels and B & B’s and we will be only too happy to help with any arrangements should you wish to arrive on the Saturday preceding the course.

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3 Croft Avenue, Crossflatts, Bingley BD16 2DT, United Kingdom

About the organiser

Windstruments was started in 1994 as a woodwind and brass instrument repair company. Since then we have expanded into one of the largest stockists of musical instruments in the UK adding a branch in Harrogate, known as Music House, as well as Bingley. We also stock accessories, cases and gifts.

During the school holidays, we run four summer schools in Harrogate for woodwind instrumentalists from ages 8 to 80: Clarinet Summer SchoolSax Summer SchoolFlute Kitchen and Woodwind Cafe.

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Asolo, Province of Treviso, Italy

11 August 2019 To 25 August 2019


Veneto Opera Summer School & Arte Lirica Festival 2019 for singers, pianists and instrumentalists

  • An enriching programme of coaching, masterclasses and performances including staged opera scenes from La bohèmeDon Giovanni and Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria
  • Led by renowned Italian Coach and Melofonetica Founder Dr Matteo Dalle Fratte (Royal Opera House, National Opera Studio, Guildhall School, Royal College of Music, London)

Join our experienced faculty in Italy to improve your performance skills in Italian opera repertoire – and be part of Arte Lirica Festival 2019.

With leading language coaching and music coaching to improve diction, expression and musicality, the programme will prepare participants for a range of exciting Festival performances – including recitals, pop-up events and staged scenes at Asolo’s royal opera house, Teatro Eleonora Duse.

We are proud to have received exceptional feedback from all our previous course participants – read numerous reviews here and join us to experience the difference yourself!

Opportunities for singers

Principal roles

We invite advanced and professional singers to join us for the two-week programme, 11-25 August, in one of the following roles:

La bohème, Puccini – excerpts from Acts 1 and 2

  • Rodolfo, Marcello, Schaunard, Colline, Musetta, Mimì

Don Giovanni, Mozart – full Act 1 Finale

  • Don Ottavio, Don Giovanni, Leporello, Masetto, Donna Elvira, Donna Anna, Zerlina

Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Monteverdi – excerpts from Act 2

  • Ulisse (tenor), Anfinomo (tenor), Antinoo (baritone), Penelope (mezzo), Pisandro (mezzo or countertenor)

Chorus members

We welcome singers of all levels looking to develop skills and experience in Italian repertoire to join us as a chorus participant on either the one-week programme, 18-25 August, or two-week programme, 11-25 August.

“Hands down worth every single penny. You can only benefit from this course, it should be mandatory for all young professionals who are seriously thinking of going into the profession.”

Óli, Tenor

Opportunities for pianists

We invite pianists looking to develop operatic accompaniment experience and/or skills as a répétiteur to join us for the two-week programme, 11-25 August.

Opportunities for instrumentalists

We welcome applications from both individual instrumentalists and ensemble groups interested in developing experience in playing for opera. Instrumentalists are invited to join the one-week programme, 18-25 August; some two-week places may also be available.

Programme information

All programmes include:

  • Inspiring coaching, lectures and masterclasses with renowned Italian coach Matteo Dalle Fratte and our experienced music coaches
  • Performances as part of Arte Lirica Festival 2019 in iconic Asolo
  • High quality, half-board accommodation in a comfortable ensuite room, with breakfast and wonderful Italian lunches (excl. 21 to 24 August when participants will be free to explore Asolo at lunchtime)
  • Welcome aperitivo in Bassano’s historic centre
  • Celebratory pizza and prosecco dinner

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Posted In  Masterclasses and  Summer schools

Sherborne School, Abbey Road, Sherborne, UK

21 July 2019 To 28 July 2019

+44 (0)1935 810 517

About our team

A high-profile team of professional musicians and educators delivers the Sherborne Choral Course. Here is a brief guide to the main tutors.

John Rutter CBE

John Rutter is one of the best-known English composers and conductors of his generation. His music is characterised by beautiful melodies that resonate with audiences around the world.

Longer compositions include Requiem, Gloria, Mass of the Children and The Gift of Life, while his shorter pieces are justifiably famous. Many will be familiar with anthems such as For the Beauty of the Earth, All Things Bright and Beautiful and The Lord Bless You and Keep You both from their extensive radio play and from performing them in concert.

John was Director of Music at Clare College, Cambridge, and leads the Cambridge Singers, who have made more than 50 recordings since the 1980s. He established the Collegium record label in 1983.

John will be sharing a new composition at the Sherborne Choral Course, leading the choir through rehearsals and conducting them during evensong in Sherborne Abbey.

Bob Chilcott

Bob Chilcott has been described by The Observer as a “contemporary hero of choral music” – an epithet that neatly captures his contribution to the British choral tradition. Bob was a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge and performed with the highly popular King’s Singers for 12 years.

With a particular reputation for compositions that engage young people, Bob is renowned for his friendly style. His St John Passion, Salisbury Vespers and Requiem are well known to many, both as recordings and performance pieces. They speak of his immersion in the Church’s choral tradition, but Bob’s expertise does not end there. As Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Singers since 2002, he knows how to bring the best out of any choir, whether they are preparing for a great liturgical act or to perform a piece of secular music in concert.

James Henderson

As Director of Music at Sherborne School, James oversees the Sherborne Choral Course and is a lead tutor and conductor.

An experienced tutor on similar courses elsewhere in the country, James is steeped in the Church’s musical traditions. He regularly conducts Sherborne’s choir as it leads services in the Abbey, and works closely with the clergy and staff team to ensure that the music is of the very highest quality.

James came to Sherborne in 2005 having previously been involved with the music at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, and having been Director of Music at Portsmouth Grammar School where he worked with the London Mozart Players in the Portsmouth Festivities. Thanks in no small part to his visionary leadership of the department, Sherborne is widely recognised as one of the country’s foremost independent schools for Music. Indeed, The Week named the School 'Best for Music' in its Independent Schools Guide – a well-deserved accolade that underscores the credentials of its Choral Course.

South-West England

Join promising young singers and musicians from across the country on the inaugural Sherborne Choral Course for a week in the beautiful Dorset town of Sherborne.

  • Sing Choral Evensong in the historic Abbey, and receive expert tuition in a school renowned for its musical tradition, with access to first-rate facilities and three stunning organs.
  • Work with composers and conductors John Rutter CBE and Bob Chilcott, refining your technique and enhancing your application for a university choral or organ scholarship.

The Sherborne Choral Course is an opportunity not to be missed. Open to anyone aged 15 to 18, it attracts some of the country’s finest young vocal talent.

Develop your talent and enhance your experience in choral singing

The Sherborne Choral Course offers a wonderful opportunity to sing evensong in an historic Abbey, working with some of the country’s leading composers and educationalists. Our programme is designed to nurture your talents, helping enhance your application for a university choral scholarship. Thanks to the residential nature of the course, you will learn from each other in a supportive yet stretching environment.

We’re attracting the very best young vocal talent in the country: people between the ages of 15 and 18 with a passion for music, a love of singing, and a desire to learn more about the Church’s choral tradition.

During the course of the week, you will:

  • Sing Evensong and a Eucharist in Sherborne Abbey and daily Compline in the School Chapel
  • Learn a new piece composed and conducted by John Rutter CBE
  • Work with the composer Bob Chilcott and Sherborne’s Director of Music James Henderson, as well as a team of specialist tutors and instrumentalists
  • Receive one-to-one singing tuition
  • Participate in barbershop and opera chorus workshops
  • Form friendships with your fellow singers, sharing tips and insights about applying for university choral scholarships

If you have a passion for music and a desire to take your singing further, the Sherborne Choral Course provides a wonderful experience that will live with you forever.

About Sherborne

Visitors to Sherborne can’t fail to notice the beautiful Benedictine Abbey standing at the very heart of the town. In its shadow are the historic buildings of Sherborne School – a prestigious boys’ boarding school with a strong choral tradition, playing a full part in the liturgical life of the church.

That makes it the perfect setting for a summer choral school that develops the talents of boys and girls between the ages of 15 and 18. We attract a diverse group of attendees from a range of backgrounds, distinguished by their vocal excellence.

Sherborne is easily accessible by rail or road, with good links to London, the South West and the North of England. It is a town of modest proportions, but by no means lacking in vibrancy. Thanks to the presence of two high-profile boarding schools, it is a place of intellectual energy and cultural stimulation. Its pretty high street is close to the School campus, meaning ready access to cafés, shops and supermarkets.

Choral Course attendees stay in Sherborne School accommodation, with girls and boys in separate houses. Everyone eats in the excellent School refectory and enjoys access to our brilliant School facilities. A pastoral team is on hand throughout the week, providing care and support at every turn.

Sherborne is a wonderful home from home, boasting stunning architecture, a tangible sense of history, and a warm, friendly atmosphere. Along with the Abbey and our own School Chapel, there are few finer locations to expand your horizons and prepare for your future as a singer.

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Posted In  EnglandInternationalSummer schools and  UK and Ireland

4 New Street, Oundle, Northamptonshire PE8 4ED, United Kingdom

8 July 2019 To 14 July 2019

+44 (0)183 227 4919


  • Ann Elise Smoot
  • Martin Baker
  • Jeremy Filsell
  • David Goode
  • Ronny Krippner
  • James McVinnie 
  • Anne Page
  • Richard Pinel


East Midlands

Oundle for Organists’ annual Summer School runs for six jam-packed days alongside the Oundle International Festival. The course is for organists roughly in the 14-23 age bracket, anywhere from Grade 6 through post-graduate standard.

Based in the beautiful Northamptonshire market town, the Oundle for Organists Summer School, founded over 30 years ago, is the perfect week of intensive tuition and fun.

Their renowned tutors will guide and inspire you; you’ll gain new insights into your playing every day. You’ll make friends and spend time with kindred spirits, and you’ll broaden your musical horizons by experiencing memorable performances in the Oundle International Festival. You’ll even participate in one of them!

Working with distinguished tutors, studying repertoire of all periods, honing technique, keyboard skills and making music in both concert and liturgical settings, there is a lot to be done in a short space of time!

Students will have free admittance to many musical events of the Oundle International Festival.

What happens?

  • Inspiring classes on organs in and around Oundle and a day of classes in Cambridge
  • The opportunity to hear a variety of performances in the Oundle International Festival, some of which will be by your tutors
  • Comfortable accommodation, great pastoral care, and good food at Oundle School
  • Plenty of fun with like-minded students – you’ll make friendships that last a lifetime
  • An OfO Eucharist on Sunday 14 July, where students conduct, provide the organ music, hymns, and accompaniments
  • Participation in a student choir at a Festival concert, and at the Eucharist
  • An informal student concert on Sunday 14th July at 2.30pm in the Oundle School Chapel
  • Instruction on improvisation, transposition, sight-reading, score-reading, hymn-playing and other keyboard skills which you will need for organ scholarship trials or church music jobs


Oundle courses are non-competitive. We aim to help you succeed by assessing your standard, progress, and potential. This helps us know how best to support you on the course and in the future. Following the Summer School each student receives a comprehensive written report from the Director of OfO, incorporating feedback from the other tutors. In addition, all students are eligible to receive Mentoring and Recital Awards. For further details of these, please see our website.

What they say

‘My week at Oundle has been one of the most memorable of my life so far. Never before have I encountered so many young and like-minded people, and I have come away feeling that I have made some life-long friends.’ – 2018 Summer School student

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Posted In  EnglandSummer schoolsSummer schools & holiday courses and  UK and Ireland