Dear Friends,

The following is the preliminary announcement of the Third Edition of our International Easter Course of Ensemble Recorder playing.

This will be 5 days long and will take place the week before Easter 2005, i.e. from Thursday 24th March 2005 to Monday 28th March 2005, inclusive. For your reference, Easter is on 27th of March 2005. >P> We are going to have once again Rachel Gregory and Celestino Dionisi for tutors.

Rachel Gregory studied recorder, viol and harpsichord with Dr. Carl Dolmetsch. Subsequently, she obtained her fellowship diploma of Trinity College of Music, London. She has broadcast on radio and television, and, in addition, she regularly performs, adjudicates at competitive music festivals and tutors on summer schools and weekend courses, including Dolmetsch Summer School (for more than 20 years) and Northern Recorder Course (in Chester - U.K.).

Celestino Dionisi has been teaching amateurs for 30 years, at Urbino's Summer School, and in many other Courses and Seminars. He founded the Italian Recorder Orchestra in the year 2000, a growing group of amateurs and professional musicians, meeting regularly, and giving concerts in many Italian venues.


  Celestino Dionisi, conducting at the final Concert of the Course in Lucca   Rachel Gregory conducting, at the same Concert

The idea behind our Course was to blend the best of the two different national ways of teaching Recorder music to amateurs, and to reunite players from the Italian- and English-speaking areas. In fact in our Second Edition we ended up using at times three different languages, as we also had a some Course members from Germany and from our German-speaking South-Tyrol.

Music will a mix of Recorder Ensemble and one-to-a part repertoire. There will be two sessions of approximately 90 minutes each morning. An accurate timetable will be issued later in the year .

The Course is meant for amateur recorder players with abilities ranging from Lower Intermediate to Higher Intermediate. We would like you to focus the choice of our scores on the Baroque / Late Renaissance periods. A 10 – 20 % of modern recorder scores will also be played. Difficult scores will be chosen and gauged keeping in mind also the lower end of the Course members' abilities
A harpsichordist will be available for accompanying ensemble and one-to-a-part scores etc. upon arrangement. If possible we would also like to organize a plenary Concert session, together with members of the Italian Recorder Orchestra (which is also directed by Celestino Dionisi), which would be added in the afternoon of Monday 28th March.

You may have perceived that what we are planning is something rather different from other residential Courses. It is in fact our great luck to be based in Lucca, in the very heart of Tuscany.
This is why we are planning to restrict the official teaching / playing sessions to mornings only, so as to leave lots of spare time for personal activities, and of course for playing individually or in locally formed groups.

Indeed, what we thought is that it would be a shame to be living for nearly a week next to so many natural and historical beauties without having the chance for some sightseeing !!

We chose Lucca as the venue for the Course for a number of reasons. This fine Tuscan city is very easily reached by car, train or plane and is situated in a lovely valley, close to many well-loved resorts of the Tuscan Riviera. The city itself is a miniature gem, and at the moment is largely unspoilt by mass tourist business. Therefore it is much quieter than many other better-known Tuscan cities, and is also moderately priced, and with a wide range of accommodations to suit most budgets and purses. Food in Lucca is incredibly nice, and very addictive. Florence, Pisa and other charming places are very easily reached from Lucca, even on a day-trip basis, and due to gentle hills and slopes, the place is a paradise for those having a bicycle, or hiring one locally. Such a wide range of tourist attractions at hand might also encourage members to combine their Course with a relatively inexpensive way of visiting Tuscany, and perhaps to bring someone from their families too...
This is the reason why our Course does not offer a residential accommodation to members, who may choose whatever suit their needs. Needless to say, we will provide a list of local hotels, bed & breakfast, hostels, etc.

We are trying to keep enrolment fees to a minimum, well below the ones of other similar Courses, in the range of € 100 – 130 per person, for all the musical activities of the five days.

Lucca is also ideal before Easter, as a more accommodations are then available to suit all purses. In fact the big tourist business starts * after * Easter, and hotel rooms, etc. are less expensive and easier to find the week before Easter, when we are in fact planning our Course.

We need a minimum number of 10 enrolments to be able to actually start the Course, and we would be very grateful if you could help us by passing the news to any person of your group to which it might be of interest.

If you are interested, would you please send an email, as soon as possible, to my address i.e.:

You are not committing yourself in any way, and you do not need to pay anything for now. We need this preliminary contact to have an estimate about the feasibility and probable attendance for the Course. Ideally we would like to have a group from 10 to 40 members

In December a final announcement and program will be released, and those who are interested in attending the Course will be required to enrol, and to pay for their fees.

Arrivederci a Lucca !!