About the Eight Foot Recorder Course
The first Eight Foot Recorder Course was held in summer 2012 and was a huge success. The players were particularly impressed with the large variety of music on offer and the friendly, supportive environment at the course. We explored music from very early Medieval to twenty-first century in small groups, multi choirs and large ensembles and explored a concerto for trombone and eight foot orchestra. For the 2013 course there will be even more tutors with an exciting variety of classes and more opportunities to develop your big recorder technique.
In the last few years bigger recorders have become more common and more powerful. Ensembles of all sizes now relish playing the occasional piece “at eight foot” and this course gives you the unique opportunity to play a wide variety of repertoire played at this pitch. Playing music at eight foot pitch is tremendously satisfying, resulting in an extremely rich sound.
Traditionally recorder ensembles consist of descant, treble, tenor and bass and these instruments are played at four foot pitch. If you drop the ensemble down the octave so you have a tenor on the top line, a bass playing the treble line, great bass on the tenor line and a contra playing the bass line you now have an eight foot ensemble. Accordingly, tenor will be the smallest recorder played for most of the music explored at this course, although some sessions will feature trebles on the top line. Players with basses, great basses, contra basses and subcontra basses will be particularly welcome on the course. If you own a larger recorder but wish you had more opportunity to play it, then this course with its friendly, supportive and positive environment will be ideal for you. There will be an unrivalled variety of eight foot music on offer to play with other like-minded, friendly recorder players who enjoy playing the larger instruments.
The course is led by five tutors with a wide range of musical interests and specialities. However, the one thing the tutors have in common is that they are all excellent players of the large sizes of recorder. Accordingly, they all know first-hand the unique challenges of playing big recorders including how to project sound effectively, minimise key clacking and techniques to improve your breath control.
Whether you are interested in playing very easy or very challenging music, huge multi choir pieces or small scale ensembles, renaissance music or contemporary, there will be lots to keep you stimulated and entertained throughout the course. There is a choice of music to play in every session to allow you to tailor the course to your own playing ability and musical interests and there are sessions suitable for recorder players of all abilities.
If you are interested in playing at eight foot pitch but are not an experienced bass player you'll be pleased to know that the course also gives you the opportunity to try out a Bass, Great or a Contra Bass recorder. Sessions introducing Basses, Greats and Contras will be held on the first day to give you the chance to try out the larger instruments in informal, accessible sessions. If you enjoy the experience, you're very welcome to borrow a Bass, Great or a Contra to play in one or more of the sessions during the course. Highly experienced Bass, Great and Contra players will sit at your side throughout each session to support you if needed. There will also be Technique Classes scheduled during the course should you wish to develop your skills further. If you are an experienced big bass player you may choose to attend a workshop to give you the opportunity both to share your tips and to pick up ideas from other players.
The course starts with lunch on the Monday and finishes with breakfast on the Friday. Each full day will offer playing opportunities from 9.15am to 9.30pm with plenty of breaks for refreshments and meals. You are welcome to take a break from music making and to sit out as many sessions as you wish, should you choose to. Jan Epps, a professional craft tutor, will provide a range of different craft classes during the course which will be suitable for both experienced crafters and beginners alike. The cost of Jan's tuition and materials is included in the price of the course. Indoors there is a pool table, table tennis and board games and puzzles to enjoy. Hothorpe Hall is located in twelve acres of beautiful grounds with many interesting walks and basketball, volleyball and tennis courts.
There will be music and instrument shops in attendance at the course and Anthony Barrett will be available to undertake your recorder repairs and maintenance at Hothorpe Hall.
All music is provided for the course.