Adult holiday courses

Woman playing instrument at a live performance

Adult holiday courses

GAM is part of Make Music Gloucestershire, our county's music hub
Adults practicing with instruments

About Adult holiday courses

Beachamp Early Music Week

Started by our founders, Alan and Caroline Lumsden in their home, Beauchamp House, this residential course for singers and players of Renaissance instruments has been running for many years.  We attract nationally renown tutors who are specialists in their fields.  Enthusiasts of early music come back year after year, enjoying the friendly atmosphere and high standard of music-making.  

The title of this year's course is O Quam Gloriosum

Course director:  David Hatcher

Course tutors:  David Allinson and Sue Addison

The saints of the Catholic Church have been the inspiration for countless works of art since the beginning of the church itself. Martin Luther did

not reject the notion of sainthood at all: “Next to theology I give to music the highest place and honour. And we see how David and all the saints have wrought their godly thoughts into verse, rhyme, and song.”

This year’s course will explore the rich diversity of music associated with saints and sainthood, from small-scale settings of the Litany of the Saints to grand, polychoral masterpieces, especially from Italy and Germany. 

We are delighted to be able to provide this course at Rendcomb College near Cirencester from 1-7 August 2021.  Players are welcome as residents or day guests.  The course is currently pretty full, but we have a few places remaining for those wishing to make a late booking.  Contact to find out more. The course fee is £460.  This includes tuition and meals.  There is a supplementary cost for bedroom accommodation on site.

The week begins on Sunday evening, 1st August, with dinner at 6.30 p.m. followed by the first rehearsal. The course ends after breakfast on Saturday 7th August.

Venue: Rendcomb College, Rendcomb, Cirencester, GL7 7HA – an independent school in the heart of the Cotswolds.

Accommodation: We offer bedrooms in an accommodation block. There is a flat grassed area for campers. For those who prefer to be off-site, there are nearby hotels/B&Bs. There is plenty of parking.

Meals: All meals are provided including a cooked breakfast, morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea and 2-course dinner; all dietary requirements can be met.

We run our own informal bar in the evenings.

Instruments: Instruments will be locked up overnight but participants must arrange their own insurance cover.

Feedback quotes from 2019 (no course in 2020!):

· Lovely people and very warm atmosphere – a lovely experience and  highly recommended.

· It was a unique and wonderful experience; enormous thanks to everyone for such an enjoyable and worthwhile week.

· An enjoyable week, meeting new people, hearing fantastic sounds.

· A new experience to be intensively making music for a week and one that I enjoyed immensely. A big thanks to the tutors whose support and interest was much appreciated.

· We covered the usual range of wonderful music! 

The course is open to singers and players of cornetts, sackbuts, curtals, recorders, baroque strings, viols, continuo instruments. This Early Music course is unique in that, with its strong brass and loud wind sections, it is possible to play large scale pieces.

A level of competence is required from participants. Voices don't have to be beautiful, but singers need to have some sight-reading fluency and control of their voices; players need to be able to hit the right notes on suitable instruments at the right time! Pitch is A440. The tutors reserve the right to decide who plays/sings which part/instrument.

Each full day there are 4 tutor-led sessions: after breakfast, after morning coffee, late afternoon and after dinner. The tutors put up daily lists naming the instrumentalists for each piece to be played. There is ample opportunity in the early afternoon ‘free time’ for musicians to arrange groups amongst themselves to sing or play any instruments they may not be listed to play.