BIBBSS 2019 has created many happy memories and wonderful experiences for our delegates.

Here are a few comments from some of our delegates.

Anna Holm, Sweden-Euphonium

Landed back in Sweden yesterday and I’m still trying to get my head out of the clouds after an amazing week at the Bolsover International Brass Band Summer School.  Almost directly when I got home I felt the urge to play, even though I didn’t have much sleep the night before and leaving the other bags closed in the hallway. That’s how inspirational it was.

It has been just wonderful to have the opportunity to play with and to get to know everyone, so friendly and just awesome people.

As a Euphonium player, to have Steven Mead leading all the Euphonium sectionals, conducting the band and giving lessons is such an amazing privilege. All the tutors at a fantastic skill level, supporting and cheering.

This will stay with me for a long time.

Sarah, UK- Baritone, gave thanks to Steven Mead.

Thank you so much for such a fantastic week. I had an amazing time! I really appreciated your energy and enthusiasm, and I am so grateful for the individual help and advice you gave me. I left inspired, excited, and a more confident player. I never expected to be sight-reading my way through the 1812 Overture for the first time the day before the concert.

The choice of repertoire ​for me was the perfect balance of challenge vs playability and a great variety of music from traditional brass band to
contemporary; classical, jazz etc. I particularly enjoyed the challenge of the 1812 (especially as I hadn’t seen it until the day before the concert!) and also working on the jazz/latin rhythms that came up in Riverdance/City of Angels/All night long.

Personal highlights for me would be ​having the opportunity to work with, and play alongside world class players in a relaxed environment. The tutors were super-friendly, approachable and genuinely wanted to help us improve and become better players. Building confidence within the band by sitting next to (and being encouraged by) more experienced players. Other personal highlights were Learning and playing new repertoire and of course the one-to-one tuition with Steven Mead.

Hopefully see you next year; my buzzing is improving…

Bridgett, UK- Horn, Tutor Paul Bennett.

There were many highlights of the course but the most positive one for me was being told how much I had improved since last year and that was all due to the help and advice I’d received from the fantastic tutors. It was a real boost to my confidence and that in itself has helped the way I play.

Couldn’t have done it on my own…..

The performance masterclass (Shaun) was incredibly helpful. The Tutors’ concert was just brilliant and the people on the course were all really friendly and welcoming.

I’ve loved the choice of pieces which was music I wouldn’t usually get to play. There were (too many!) occasions where I missed an entry because I was too busy listening to such great playing from other delegates and tutors.

Dirk, Belgium- Flugel, Tutor Paul Bennett.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first Bolsover summer course.

For starters I appreciated the tight organization and efficient communication. The hard work by people behind the scenes is usually taken for granted and only too often goes unnoticed. But it is absolutely not as self-evident as it may seem.

I found the music programmed for the course to be well-considered and varied. There was certainly something to everyone’s taste. And more importantly to everyone’s abilities: I felt that the music selected was of a realistic level, but at the same time challenging and enjoyable for all participants on the course.

Above all else, I enjoyed the warm, friendly, encouraging and pressure-free atmosphere, with really excellent tutoring. Without any hesitation, I wish to award full marks to horn section tutor Paul Bennett: he did a terrific job in supporting everyone in the section. And I’m quite convinced that this goes for the other tutors as well.

Spending a week in the company of people who share your hobby really is a very special experience. I made loads of new friends, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s BIBBSS. Most of all perhaps to the original, often slightly crazy morning warm-ups: they made everyone go their first practise session with a big smile, and set the tone for the rest of the day.

Mary, UK- BBb Bass, Tutor Shaun Crowther.

I’ve just returned from my seventh consecutive Summer School at Bolsover. In 2013, when I first attended, I was very nervous as I’d only been playing brass for a relatively short time and had never attended a summer school or even a workshop. Having taken it up late in life I was, not unnaturally, quite apprehensive, but I needn’t have worried! The tutors were all very helpful and encouraging.

The lynchpin of this summer school is of course, Carole Crompton (Hirst), who started the whole thing off in 2012. She spends her year organising all the minute details, and without her invaluable planning, the Summer School just wouldn’t happen. During the week of the course, Mark Wilkinson acts as administrator, to ensure that Carole’s detailed arrangements go according to plan; He has also been one of the tutors since the Summer School began.

All the tutors over the years have been excellent and have always made me feel that I was just as important as those clever people who can play high and fast on cornets and euphoniums!! The delegates are a great bunch – Some return year on year; I’ve seen many different faces come and go, but each course is a bit like a family reunion!

Although I have always had a wonderful time, I had decided that this year would be my final one:

I find it increasingly difficult lugging a Bb bass around, and I am still not a very competent player, though I’ve definitely improved.

However, once again, I had such a great time that I will definitely be booking for next year and hopefully for several years to come.

I just can’t keep away!!!!


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