The first brass band course held at Higham Hall in Cumbria recently saw 22 course members brave a month's worth of rain in 24 hours (and the resulting flooding!) to enjoy a weekend of outstanding tuition and musical inspiration.
Right in the heart of the Lake District, Higham Hall was built in 1828 by railway pioneer Thomas Hoskins, and became a well-established Education Centre in 1975.
It is now an independent Educational Trust attracting around 3,000 adults each year on over 250 courses of lengths from half a day to up to a week — with the specialised brass band weekend now established alongside them as a major attraction.
Welcome and whisky
Led by Besson star Owen Farr alongside Andy Kershaw and Martyn Grisdale, the opening session (after a welcoming meal) was a full band rehearsal playing through both well and lesser-known repertoire.
A spokesperson told 4BR: "The tutors' relaxed approach quickly put course members at ease resulting in some wonderful and rewarding music-making sectional rehearsals, a masterclass led by Owen and Andy, and even some whisky tasting!"
The course culminated in an informal playthrough of the repertoire covered over the three days to round off what had been a wonderful musical time in arguably one of the most beautiful parts of the UK.
The next course from 18-20th February 2022 with guest tutor, Besson star Steven Mead.
Anyone interested in attending should contact course leader Martyn at email@example.com before enrolling to ascertain level, instrument(s) and suitability. February's weekend course is £242 or £172 non-residential.