About the Weekend
Now in its fifth year, the Hothorpe Hall Recorder Orchestra Weekend explores the many facets of recorder orchestra, from established and well-loved orchestral repertoire to exciting new and experimental music. The weekend is tutored by five of the finest recorder orchestra conductors at a superb venue and offers sessions suitable for recorder players of all abilities.
This weekend course has grown steadily since its inception and now features three orchestras running concurrently in every session (apart from massed playing sessions): an “Easier” and a “Harder” large recorder orchestra and a Chamber Recorder Orchestra. Essentially a one to a part orchestra, Chamber Recorder Orchestra has a growing amount of repertoire composed specifically for this type of ensemble. Pieces vary from the very easy to the scarily difficult, thereby allowing everyone at the Hothorpe Hall weekend the opportunity to play in a Chamber Recorder Orchestra, should they wish to. Participants are, of course, welcome to stick to the larger orchestras where there will be strength in numbers on your part!
Players of all abilities are catered for during the weekend as each playing session features a choice of “Easier” and “Harder” music. “Easier” sessions are geared towards players with little or no orchestral experience, or experienced players who want to try playing in a different section or who wish to give support to less confident players. The “Easier” repertoire is carefully chosen so that by the end of the session everyone should be able to play their part to a satisfying level. “Harder” sessions are designed for regular recorder orchestra or more experienced players and feature more challenging music. Both the “Easier” and “Harder” sessions will feature a range of different types of music to keep you interested all weekend.
There are three massed playing sessions during the weekend and less experienced players will be able to rely on stronger players sharing their parts in these sessions.
The weekend 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 evening to give you the chance to try out the larger instruments in a supportive, friendly and informal environment. If you enjoy the experience, you're very welcome to sign up to borrow a Bass, Great or a Contra to play in one or more of the sessions over the weekend. Highly experienced Bass, Great and Contra players will sit at your side throughout each session to support you if needed. Trying out Bass instruments is always a popular feature of this weekend and has been both great fun and highly satisfying for many players.
In order to ensure that the orchestras are balanced, players sign up for their chosen part for each session on arrival at Hothorpe Hall. This allows you the flexibility to play a different recorder in each session or to play the same one all weekend. Players may also choose to sit out of sessions, perhaps to explore Hothorpe Hall's wonderful grounds or to browse the music shops. Recorder MusicMail and the Early Music Shop will be in attendance during the weekend and Anthony Barrett will be available to undertake any repairs or maintenance that your recorders require.
All music is provided for the weekend.