Advanced Course: 6th – 9th August 2018

2/8/18 STOP PRESS – A LAST MINUTE PLACE HAS BECOME AVAILABLE due to cancellation! Please contact us for details; a significant discount and/or part-time attendance offered. 

Please do contact us if you would like to go on the waiting list in case of a cancellation

Our 2018 Advanced Course will once again be held at the beautiful Owlpen Manor estate near Uley in Gloucestershire. Daily classes will be held in the historic Cyder House, whilst meals and shared accommodation will be offered in the characterful setting of Grist Mill, a unique eighteenth century mill house in the grounds of the estate.

The Advanced course is aimed at players of a standard equivalent to Grade 8 of the UK examination boards or higher, and aged 16 or over. There is no upper age limit, although full residence is only offered up to the age of 25. The course is ideal for those preparing for auditions, examinations or diplomas, including college and university students, or those simply wishing to develop performance skills and enhance existing knowledge.

Monday 6th – Thursday 9th August 2018
Arrival Monday 6th August from 1pm; classes commence 2pm
Departure Thursday 9th August, 2pm after lunch

Annabel Knight (recorders)

Robin Bigwood (harpsichord and piano accompaniment, technical/electronics)

Residential, full board in shared rooms (16-25 years only): £395 (Early Bird rate of £380 if booked by May 31st 2018)
Non-residential (includes all meals except breakfast): £310 (Early Bird Rate of £290 if booked by May 31st 2018)

Single day rates may also be available on request, depending on numbers

Fees include a public concert given in the Cyder House by the course tutors, on Tuesday 7th August 2018

Please note that a non-returnable £100 deposit is payable on application in order to secure your place. The remainder of fees become payable on 14th July 2018.


Venue and accommodation
Owlpen Manor is a Tudor Manor House nestling in a beautiful, quiet valley in a secluded corner of Gloucestershire. Surrounded by private woodlands and historic Cotswold cottages, Owlpen offers a peaceful and artistically stimulating environment in which to study and meet other like minded musicians.

We are very fortunate to have use of the historic Cyder House in the gorunds of Owlpen Manor for daily masterclasses. The historic Grist Mill, next to the Manor, offers accommodation in shared rooms, for students up to the age of 25, and will also form the base for meals for all course participants.

Please see links at the bottom of this page for accommodation suggestions for non-residents.

Level and Ethos
The course aims to provide and relaxed and friendly environment in which to study both solo and ensemble repertoire from all periods, with the emphasis of the course on personal achievement and acquiring new skills, knowledge and techniques. With the guidance of our tutors, participants can expect to explore their repertoire in some depth, drawing on relevant historical and contemporary performance practice, as well as exploring matters of technique and interpretation to a high level. Our experienced and knowledgable tutors aim to offer concise and constructive suggestions, with the aim of leaving you feeling more confident and inspired to take your playing to the next level.

You will be working with others in a small group; we suggest you bring 2 or 3 solo pieces which you are prepared to perform and work on in the class. Ensemble music will be supplied, but you are welcome to bring your own if there is something you want to try. Equally, do bring other instruments along if you would like a chance to play chamber music.

Course content
Each day of the course is structured to include technique and masterclass sessions, as well as special topics and ensemble music. Topic-based sessions can be on student demand and in the past have included historical and contemporary techniques (including using laptops and electronics), ornamentation, repertoire of specific periods, baroque dance, rhetoric, and instrument maintenance. Students will also be encouraged to make a short presentation on a relevant topic at the end of the course, using books, materials and music available in our comprehensive course library.


Other course highlights include

  • Baroque Masterclass
  • Electronics and Paetzold recorder class
  • Professional ‘on-tap’ accompaniment on piano and harpsichord
  • Beautiful countryside surroundings to relax and inspire
  • Professional tutors’ concert
  • Home-cooked food

Travel and Directions

Owlpen Manor Estate is a mile east of Uley, between Tetbury, Stroud (both 6 miles) and Dursley (3 miles west). Full directions can be found here.

For those coming by public transport, pick-ups can be arranged if required from Stroud railway station (trains from London Paddington, approx 1.5 hours)

Accommodation suggestions for non-residents
Owlpen Manor Holiday Cottages (beautiful holiday cottages all within the grounds of the Estate)
Old Crown Inn, Uley
Underhill House, (B&B) Dursley
Horsley Manor (B&B)