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The Magic of Playing Together

We practice, we think, we listen to music and watch people perform and the biggest joy is ours, when we gather with others, to work together and create a collective vision.

I still remember the thrill of going on summer courses when I was a teenager. I loved having that deep immersion in music, chosen to inspire us and on our playing, that challenged us and pushed us to new levels. One of these summer schools was so important to me, I can recall the gardens we sat in at break time and the smell of the pine needles on the ground. In my twenties, I ended up as the cello teacher there!

Past and present members of the Unsung Heroes Summer School have told me of the powerful musical and emotional impact on them from having this precious time with like-­minded people. Of meeting with new composers and their music, new musical and technical ideas to work with, and the excitement of meeting new people, some of whom become friends across thousands of miles, and at the centre, becoming co-­workers creating and driving towards a final performance.

I love creating and writing the programme that expands your historical-­musical world, often introducing you to music you may not otherwise get to know. I prepare a syllabus of ideas I want to work and develop with you. This work is noted for you in packs you receive at the end of the course.

What also marks out Unsung Heroes, is that my arrangements are of choral music, which makes it both natural and possible for cellists who are relative newcomers (typically two years into their path) playing alongside more experienced players. We all learn, all the time. We all have gaps, and we will always evolve as cellists and musicians. This ship has a fascinating crew of people with different things to bring to the group.

We are a small group (around 10–15 players) as I want this to be personal: for you not to get lost in a crowd. Your music is sent out a month before so you can listen and start choosing which parts you would like to play in each.

We feed you well too, and Tina will be in touch to sort out any dietary issues you need taken care of.

Lewes is a small, ancient town, full of friendly people, and easy to get around with a cello. There are lovely walks and views from the South Downs too.

If you want to join us but not want to fly your cello, you can rent one here.

What you can be sure of is having a lovely time in a lovely place with a great bunch of people!