Timetable and FAQs

Below are UK (GMT + 1) timings. However, all content is to be recorded exclusively for delegates, and will be easy to access enabling self-paced learning at anytime. *The only exception to this will be individual lessons - naturally you will need to be present for your own lesson! 

Monday 10th August             

10.00 - Sectional: Band repertoire focus
11.00 - Masterclass: Owen Farr
13.30 - Webinar Q&A: Philip Cobb
15.00 - Sectional: Ensemble focus
16.00 - MD’s address: Richard Evans
17.30 - Individual practice / private lessons
19.30 - Recital: David Childs & James Fountain
20.30 - Evening social
Tuesday 11th August             

10.00 - Sectional: Band repertoire focus
11.00 - Masterclass: David Childs
13.30 - Webinar Q&A: John Barber
15.00 - Sectional: Ensemble focus
16.00 - Keeping it Rhythmic: Lee Skipsey
17.30 - Individual practice / private lessons
19.30 - Recital: Les Neish & Becky Smith
20.30 - Evening social
Wednesday 12th August      

10.00 - Sectional: Band repertoire focus
11.00 - Masterclass: James Fountain & Brian Taylor
13.30 - Webinar Q&A: Robert Childs
15.00 - Sectional: Ensemble focus
16.00 - Brass Band History Lecture: Professor Stephen Allen
17.30 - Individual practice / private lessons
19.30 - Recital: Owen Farr & Brian Taylor
20.30 - Evening social
Thursday 13th August           

10.00 - Sectional: Band repertoire focus
11.00 - Masterclass: Becky Smith
13.30 - Webinar Q&A: James Gourlay
15.00 - Sectional: Ensemble focus
16.00 - Composition Lecture: Jonathan Bates
17.30 - Individual practice / private lessons
19.30 - Showcase: Solo Competition
20.30 - Evening social
Friday 14th August                 

10.00 - Sectional: Band repertoire focus
11.00 - Masterclass: Les Neish
13.30 - Webinar Q&A: Tom Hutchinson
15.00 - Sectional: Ensemble focus
16.00 - President’s address: Bramwell Tovey
17.30 - Individual practice / private lessons
19.30 - Finale: Gala Concert
20.30 - Evening social


When should I sign-up?
As soon as possible! We will schedule lessons based on application numbers, so this will help us plan.

What if I am busy or live in a different time zone and can't be at every event?
You will have access to all the recorded content until 1 September 2020, so you can watch and learn at your own pace.

What makes this year's BBSS different to so many other summer schools?
The majority of Brass Band Summer Schools have been cancelled this year. The BBSS has worked hard to ensure that we can deliver a meaningful experience for all that have a passsion for brass bands, performing and music in general. Our virtual course encompasses so many aspects, with quality classes, evening concerts, virtual ensembles, solo competition, all led by a specialist world-class faculty.

What is the typical daily schedule like?
The schedule is outlined in detail above, although this is subject to change as the new virtual concept evolves! The idea is that we provide as much meaningful content as possible based on the daily outline below. Remember you can watch it all later!

10.00 - Sectional 1
11.00 - Webinar 1
13.30 - Webinar 2
15.00 - Sectional 2
16.00 - Webinar 3
17.30 - Individual practice / lessons
19.30 - Concert performance
20.30 - Evening social

How will I attend my private lesson and how many lessons will I receive?
We plan to use Zoom for private lessons, which will be a minimum of 20 minutes individual time with your specialist tutor. It is our intention to offer more than one lesson to those that request it, and although current scheduling means you will not miss any other classes during lessons, all classes will be recorded and will be available for you to view later. Your private lesson can also be recorded for your own personal archive.

What will the Webinars, addresses and lectures look like?
This is an opportunity to hear about experiences, teaching methods and glean musical advice from some of the the finest in their field, in addition to having the opportunity to ask them questions!

We are fortunate to have a line-up of phenomenal speakers and guest artists to provide this invaluable content and you can read all about them as our Staff page is updated. They include: Principal Trumpet of the BBC Symphony Orchestra; Principal Trombone of Foden's; Principal Cornet of Cory; former Black Dyke percussionist and City of Bradford MD; Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Director of Brass Band Studies and euphonium soloist; Music Director of the USA's River City Brass and tuba soloist; Principal Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra and Artistic Director of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain; Rider University Professor; one of the UK's most exciting young composers; and our very own world-renowned Musical Director - Richard Evans.

How are sectionals going to work?
These will take place in an online group setting with your specialist tutor. In addition to warm-ups and other routines, they will guide you through intersting and different repertoire every day. Mr Richard Evans will also be making virtual guest appearances at every morning session to conduct full band rehearsal performances of marches, hymn tunes and larger scale works. Afternoon sectionals will focus on ensemble music, and guidance on a variety of performance and practice techniques, specific to your instrument.

What do the masterclasses involve?
Each session is led by a different BBSS resident tutor and will focus on a different aspect of music making. They will begin in a lecture format, but like all other classes during the week, they will become interactive allowing for questions, participation and discussion.

What can we expect form the scheduled recitals?
Joined by pianist Matthew McCoombie, these recitals provide an opportunity to hear your tutors perform! Repertoire will be varied, relevant, and presented as an evening concert. 

What is the new Solo Competition element about?
Although not compulsary, this new competition is exclusive to BBSS participants and aims to provide delegates with incentive to keep practicsing and performing during these difficult times. Initially those keen to enter will be required to send in an unnacompanied audio submission (piece of your choice) together with an adjudicator's PDF piano score, in advance of the course.

Up to 12 finalists will then be selected by a panel of adfudicators and will be required to make a video recording of their solo piece with a piano backing-track provided by pianist Matthew McCombie. This material will be edited together to form Thursday's Solo Competition Showcase concert, during which prize-winners will be announced. This new initiative has a prize fund of £500, which will be distributed accross various instruments and age groups. 

What should we expect from Evening Socials?
Good question! We will be presenting quizzes, and facilitating hangouts and chats, together with anything else we can come up with to recreate a small part of the cameradrie we've always enjoyed on the Brass Band Summer School. Send any ideas you may have to Liz Lancaster at: admin@brassbandsummerschool.com

How is the Virtual Grand Finale Gala Concert going to work?
Musical Director Richard Evans will be selecting 3 full band works (including a new commission by Jonathan Bates), and the tutors will be selecting one ensemble work, all of which will combine with other contributions from the tutors ensemble to create a unique concert with the new commission, composed in memory of Philip Biggs, as its focal point, providing a fitting close to the course.

In order for this to happen, we will be requesting that you video record your individual parts (we will provide a guide recording and further advice on how to do this) and send the videos to us. This content will then be brought together by a video editor to produce the concert, which will be broadcast on social media for you to share with all your friends!

An example of this type of performance, provided by the the University of North Texas Brass Band under the direction of BBSS euphonium tutor David Childs, can be viewed here.

I am not that good, should I take part in the Brass Band Summer School?
Absolutely! We have always tried to cater for all ages and abilities and with this new online format ability is definitely no barrier. Regardless of whether you wish to participate in the virtual performances and solo competition, you are guaranteed to learn an incredible amount during the week and you will have so much information after the event to help you become the best player you can be.

What equipment do I need to make the most of my Virtual BBSS experience?
A detailed technology guide will be provided in advance of the course, so that you're ready to go from day one. Live chats and phone support will also be available in advance and during the course to help with any real time issues.

Our priority is to ensure that the delivery of the course is as user-friendly as possible and to this end we are working with specialists to provide an easy to use platform that you will log-in to for access to all the week's content. You will need the following equipment: 

  • Device to access the platform: iPad, lap-top, or desktop computer etc.
  • Good internet connection with at least a 10Mbps (10 megabits per second) download speed. You can check this with your internet provider. This will only affect the quality of the classes as they're delivered in real time. Internet will not impact your access to archived material at a later date. 
  • A camera and microphone on your device. Most devices have these inbuilt, but an external/USB mic and headphones can enhance the experience.
  • A device (smart phone / iPhone is fine) to record contributions to the virtual finale concert and solo competition if applicable.

We will send out a recommended settings guide and helpful links to assist further during the week before the event.

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to email them to: admin@brassbandsummerschool.com


Booking your place on the Brass Band Summer School could not be easier BOOK NOW!