Sinfonietta

Principal Conductor: Steve Bingham


(Grade 5 – 7, but string players of a slightly lower standard who have good orchestral experience will be considered.)

“Repertoire was fabulous. A great opportunity to meet like-minded people.”
– 2019 course member

“Usual week of inspiration and total immersion in music.”
– 2019 course member

“Loved the atmosphere and the friendliness”
– 2018 Sinfonietta member

There will be three timetabled sessions each day, which will be divided between full orchestral, sectional and ensemble sessions. Specialist coaches will take the sectional and ensemble sessions, and, in the case of strings, will lead the sections. Sectional rehearsals will concentrate on concert repertoire, and the ensemble sessions will provide opportunities to explore more specialist repertoire for strings, wind and brass.

Typically, one of the daily sessions is a “sectional” rehearsal:

Each string section, from first violins through to double basses, has a daily session with the professional who leads that section.
Wind and brass each have an overall coach who is present all week, with specialist instrument tutors for each instrument visiting for three days during the course.

In addition to timetabled sessions, there are opportunities during the week to form ad hoc ensembles, and members are encouraged to bring sets of music for that purpose, as these are not provided by the summer school. Members may also participate in the full range of optional activities, including the open choir.

This course is intended for instrumentalists of approximately Grades 5-7 but applications from string players of a slightly lower standard than that, who have good experience, will be considered. Clarinettists should bring both B flat and A instruments if possible.

Steve Bingham, course director, conducts the Sinfonietta, bringing his boundless enthusiasm to the ensemble. Alongside preparing repertoire for the end of course concert there will also be sessions devoted to additional repertoire pieces, so as to give as much variety as possible to the week’s music making.

2020 planned repertoire:

  • Mendelssohn – Symphony no.3, op.56 “Scottish”
  • Mascagni – Easter Hymn, from Cavalleria Rusticana (with the Choir)
  • Milhaud – Suite Française (orchestral version)
  • Hamish McCunn – The Land of the Mountain and the Flood
  • Mozart – Symphony no.31 in D “Paris”

The end of course concert will definitely include the Mascagni, and some of the Mendelssohn and the Milhaud.

String tutor David Lewis will take two sessions with the Sinfonietta strings, giving them the chance to explore some of the rich string repertoire, whilst our string coaches have time with their respective sections during the week to improve all aspects of orchestral technique.

Our woodwind co-ordinator, Graham Dolby, assisted by our part-time tutors, will explore wind repertoire and work with the woodwind players on technical challenges, whilst the brass players – not to be left out! – have their own ensemble sessions and concert.

>> Places for some instruments are limited – Apply Now!