Course activities

Outdoor concert

The initial focus of rehearsals is the outdoor concert which takes place at a local tourist venue. In the past, these have included locations such as Creswell Crags, Bolsover Castle, Renishaw Hall, Hardwick Hall and Newstead Abbey. As well as performing at these venues, there’s usually chance for delegates to take time for a look around and take in the ambience of the surroundings.


There will be masterclasses during the week. In the past these have covered topics such as performance anxiety, breathing, practice regimes, banding overseas, pushing the boundaries of our instruments, use of percussion in bands and how to tame your chimp (you had to be there for that one!)

Delegates concert

The delegates concert is an increasingly popular event on the timetable. It gives anyone that wants to the chance to get up and perform a solo, duet or ensemble piece to the tutors and other delegates in a friendly non-judgemental environment. It’s not compulsory to perform, but since its introduction, we have found that most  delegates like to take the chance to have a go  and over the years it’s been great to see people’s confidence improve. We bring in an experienced pianist for delegates that require piano accompaniment.


Introduced a few years ago, this session, run by experienced conductor and adjudicator David Hirst is a chance to play a small selection of pieces from years past. David’s not looking for a note-perfect performance… the aim is to try and lift the lid on some of these historically important pieces, practice sight reading and learn a little of the history behind them.

Tutors concert

The summer school school tutors are leading exponents of their instruments and this concert showcases their skills. The result is a public concert at Shirebrook Academy where they get a chance to show why we hold them in such high esteem. Members of the public are able to attend this free event and we encourage delegates to invite local friends and family as well as members of the local banding community.

End of course concert

After the outdoor concert, attention turns to the formal end of course concert. This is a formal concert where again members of the public, local bands, friends and families are welcome to attend. It takes place in the main school hall at Shirebrook Academy. Tutors will take on the role of guest soloist and Musical Director Steven Mead alongside David Hirst will take the audience on a journey through the music worked on during the summer school week. The concert also gives the delegates an opportunity to play and accompany one of the leading lights of the brass banding world.