SuRF 2022


Summer Recorder Festival

 Friday 26th – Sunday 28th August 2022

Dean Close School, Hatherley Rd, Cheltenham GL51 6EP


There are no non-resident places for SuRF and just a few remaining for residents. Please check with Jan Epps that there is a place for you before applying.

After much consideration, we have decided to run SuRF this year with smaller numbers, so that there will be more space in the playing rooms and in Helen Porter Hall (previously Prince Michael). Priority will be given to those people who had booked for the cancelled 2020 event. There is likely to be high demand for places as only fifteen non-residential places are available, so early booking is advised. Due to reduced numbers, bookings can only be taken for the entire festival.

Players need to be able to play two sizes of recorder one if which should ideally be tenor or bass.  Registration on Friday is at 3:30 pm in the Orangery by the Bacon Theatre. The first playing session will be 5:00 pm and the festival finishes with a cup of tea at 4:00 pm on Sunday.


The tutors for 2022 will be: Andrew Challinger, Helen Hooker, Annabel Knight, Pam Smith, Moira Usher, Sarah Whomersley and Robin Bigwood. All music will be provided but you do need to bring a music stand (clearly marked with your name) and pencil in addition to your recorders.


2022 Timetable

Throughout Saturday and Sunday there will be a ‘very hard’ (VH) option, a ‘moderately hard’ (MH) option and two ‘moderate’ (M) options.  There will also be a fifth option which will involve Robin Bigwood on keyboard. If you don’t already know of Robin, have a look at his website:


Robin has, without too much persuasion, agreed to tutor for us – some sessions with Annabel and some on his own. The joint sessions will feature repertoire for several recorders with keyboard. However Robin will also be delivering a workshop on ‘An Introduction to figured bass’. Even if you have no ambitions to play the keyboard or accompany anyone, an understanding of this will make a huge difference to the way you play and ornament a Handel sonata! Places will be limited as we will be making use of the multiple practice rooms to give you a chance to have a go on your own. Please indicate on the application form whether you are interested. This will give us an idea of numbers and we will try to offer this opportunity to as many people, who are keen, as possible. If there are enough takers, Robin is also willing to run a session for ‘reluctant accompanists’; again, please indicated on the application form whether this would interest you.


On the Saturday evening there will be a massed playing session with a difference! More details will follow.


The Venue

Dean Close School is situated just off the A40, five minutes’ drive from junction 11 of the M5 and Cheltenham Spa railway station.  If you wish to take some time out to relax, the grounds of Dean Close School are extensive and there is a pretty garden with seats adjacent to the dining room and chapel.  There is ample free parking on the site. Cheltenham town centre is 10-15 min away on foot. There is free Wi-Fi on the campus accessed with a password.  Further information can be found on the web site:  


Playing rooms

The Helen Porter Hall in the music block will be the location for several sessions including the massed playing.  There are several adjacent music rooms where instrument cases can be stowed. Classrooms in the English and Modern Language blocks will be used as the other playing rooms.



All meals, including tea and coffee, will be served in the main dining hall; this is also where you will find all the shops.  



Accommodation will be in single rooms (shared bedrooms for couples are available) with various bathroom and semi-en-suite facilities in two accommodation blocks.  NO TOWELS ARE PROVIDED so please bring your own. There are no en-suite rooms. 


Shelburne is a modern block located a short distance from the main campus and has lifts to all floors. The bedrooms are semi en-suite (a bathroom between two bedrooms) and are suitable for disabled guests. PLEASE NOTE although the rooms in Shelburne are suitable for the disabled it is a short walk to the main campus.


Brook House is located close to the music block, where some of the playing sessions will take place.  There are no lifts and the rooms in Brook are quite small. There are only a few ground floor rooms, none of which are suitable for disabled guests. We will use mainly semi-ensuite rooms and the few with shared bathrooms won’t have more than two people sharing each one.


In both accommodation blocks there are kitchen facilities where tea and coffee will be provided. The provisions will not include fruit or herbal teas or decaf tea/coffee so please bring your own if required. Please bring your own mug and teaspoon.


We will not be using Tower this year.


Disabled access

Dean Close School has wheelchair access and disabled toilets but access to some areas is not possible, including some of the playing rooms. If you have a disability and would like further information about the facilities, please contact Jan. 


Jan Epps 

35 Furzehatt Rd




Email:  moc.liamgnull@75sppe.naj 

Phone:  01752 417093.


Please note: This information is correct at the time of publication (27th April 2022) but may be subject to alteration if circumstances change.

If you wish to attend, please download and complete the Application Form.



Location of the Venue


 Posted by at 1:49 pm