Booking Open for 2022-23 Season

We are very excited to welcome you to Jackdaws 2022-23 Season, whether you’ve visited us before or have only just discovered us. Our weekend courses are known for their high-quality content with a welcoming atmosphere and delicious home-cooked meals, all set against a backdrop of beautiful rural Great Elm in the Vallis Vale area of outstanding natural beauty.

Moving forward with the new season…

Following on from the last two years of uncertainty and difficulty we were thrilled that so many musicians booked and took part in our courses last season with most of them selling out. The slightly reduced number of places we were able to offer because of social distancing and the other mitigations we have had in place over this season have been received very favourably and we thank you for your kind feedback on this subject. It was clear that keeping the number a little smaller on solo study courses was popular with both participants and course leaders, so we have maintained this with 8 places available on most of this type of course. Ensemble and some instrumental courses where the players form small ensembles have different capacity so do check the course numbers when booking.

Some other covid legacies remain in place such as requested use of hand sanitiser / hand washing before using pianos and earlier closure of the site on the middle day/s in order for staff to close up securely. We are also still requesting that you do a lateral flow test before traveling to us if you can, though there is not a requirement to do so. We want to keep staff and visitors as safe as we can but we acknowledge that things are moving forward and we are moving forward with them and will continue to review our requests as things continue to develop.

What we can say is that none of the challenges presented in any way stopped people having a wonderful time making music at Jackdaws last season, there were some wonderful and moving experiences.

“I came so close to ‘chickening out’ that I only packed in the early hours of Friday morning. It was such a big step to take after 17 months of being confined to the distance my feet would take me. I am so glad I did it! It was truly wonderful!”

“The course was jam packed, supportive, well run and ultimately extremely worthwhile and invaluable!”

Remember: your booking is not guaranteed until you have paid your deposit. The easiest way to do this is to pay online via PayPal – no need for an account, simply check out as a Guest.

Let’s take a look at some of the seasons highlights:

Singers are spoiled for choice with several great new courses to try out this season including Singing in Handel led by Jonathan Peter Kenny, The Three “R”s of Singing with Russell Smythe and Richard Jackson, Singing with Confidence with Owain Browne and Performance vs Technique – The Clash of Titans led by Emma Bell.

Alongside many of our wonderful regular courses featuring a wide selection of repertoire, technical and language based approaches there is song for all to sing.

Jackdaws Tutor Russell Smythe

Stephen Marquiss is back to help us play the piano by ear and new themes from James Lisney – Classic Piano Music and Julian Jacobson, who is tackling the thorny issue of how to manage your fingers, will no doubt be popular along with so many other themes and courses to choose from including a return visit from William Westney.

Our beloved Guitar Ensemble Weekend led by the Eden Stell Duo returns to its larger capacity which means an exciting orchestral time for guitarists, and at the other end of the year Nic Fallowfield and Jenny Curtis lead Strings and Things also with newly increased capacity.

There is also an amazing opportunity for our string players to get involved in the Introduction to Klezmer weekend which promises to be fabulous.

Jackdaws Tutor Nic Fallowfield
Jackdaws Course Leader Anna Stegmann

Our Wind courses encompass dedicated weekends for Recorders, Clarinets, Oboes and Bassoons with opportunities to play solo and in ensembles. Be sure to take a look at our Ensemble Courses for other opportunities to play in groups.

We are very excited to be offering a new ensemble course – introduction to Klezmer – with the an amazing trio who lead with violin, clarinet and accordion but most instruments are welcome to join in the experience of playing this incredible community music of celebration.

One of the busiest weekend of our Ensemble calendar is undoubtedly the Chamber Music Weekend, led by Stephen Gutman. We are also delighted that William Lyons and Richard Thomas give extra opportunities to make music as an ensemble by running two weekends of their early music ensemble weekend The City Musick (September 2022 & February 2023)

Along with the ever popular Stylish Baroque, there are some wonderful opportunities for making music with others.

Christmas Wreath by Patrick M Burke

Based on arts and crafts this year we are offering December making days, an art day with Nicky Knowles where you can make some Christmas decorations and gifts  and a Christmas Wreath making day, using the best of the beautiful foliage around us. It is never too early…