Easter Recorder Course 2020


No further residential places available.
Non-residential places still available.

This will be held from Thursday 26th March to Thursday 2nd April 2020 at
 The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Alfreton, Derbyshire, DE55 1AU
Click here for a map

The Venue
The Hayes is set in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside, within its own grounds, and has been a highly successful conference centre since 1911. It is situated just five miles from junction 28 of the M1 and the nearest train station – Alfreton, on the Sheffield to Nottingham line – is only three miles away. The mainline station at Derby is easily reachable by bus or taxi and The Hayes has a special arrangement with a local taxi firm; further details can be found here:


All the bedrooms are en-suite and have tea/coffee making facilities; there is free Wi-Fi throughout and a licensed bar.

For 2020 we have requested the Main Conference Hall again which worked very well as a course hub last year and will serve as our main playing room and will house the following shops:

The Course
Recorders for All is an entirely voluntary, not-for-profit organisation with Pam Smith as musical director and Jan Epps as secretary and administrator. This is the fourth ERC at The Hayes and will begin with afternoon tea on Thursday 26th March and finish with lunch on Thursday 2nd April. Course participants must be at least grade 3 standard on both C and F instruments, one of which must be tenor or bass; ideally we would like all course members to play bass. If you need advice please contact Jan: moc.liamgnull@75sppe.naj or 01752 417093.

For non-residents the course starts at 9:15 am on Friday 27th March.

Orchestral playing has always been an important element at ERC and last year the three chamber recorder orchestras we ran were very popular; this year all three orchestras will run for the whole week. The idea of a chamber orchestra is that the upper lines are all one-to-a-part and there are far fewer people playing the lower bass lines.  This means that whichever chamber you would like to play in, the level of focus and concentration required is the same; it is only the difficulty of the music which is different.

You can apply to play in more than one if you wish but you must give at least 3 choices of instrument for each. (N.B. They must be different instruments – not tenor 1 or 2!) Depending on the numbers, we will give as many people as possible the opportunity to play in at least one chamber orchestra. You must attend the course for the full week to be considered for any of the orchestras. The ‘easier’ will be conducted by Julie Dean, the ‘intermediate’ by Andrew Challinger and the ‘advanced’ by Philip Thorby.

Each day will start with a range of classes on a particular aspect of music or recorder technique.  This year’s ‘technique’ classes will include: an introduction to jazz, including some improvisation for complete beginners; an exploration of both baroque and renaissance repertoire – including a renaissance facsimile course; and a chance to spend the week with Annabel working on improving specific elements of your technique and raising your overall level of playing.

In addition to these ‘set’ groups, each day there will be a varied selection of ensembles including the opportunity to play renaissance reeds and/or gemshorns.

The evenings will involve us all coming together in either a massed playing session or informal concert.  A music list and further details will be sent out shortly before the course.

The Tutors

An application form is available here (PDF)

 Posted by at 11:42 am