We have received a wonderful testimonial for our Summer School from one of the course members, Ron Walton. He writes:
‘If you want to recharge your pianistic and musical batteries there is no more enjoyable way to do it than to join the August Summer School for Pianists, now held at Wolverhampton University’s Walsall Campus. Throughout the week course members receive excellent tutoring and guidance on pieces they have prepared from a great team of accomplished recitalists and teachers. In the evenings the tutors give a splendid series of recitals.
I have been coming to the Summer School for many years and for me there are a number of distinctive features. It is a community of pianists of all ages with a core aim of developing their performance and interpretation of a wide range of piano repertoire. It is not competitive and I have never known a tutor who does not blend expert guidance with positive encouragement and a lively sense of humour. For course members who wish to gain experience of playing in public, there is the opportunity to participate in one of the three student concerts.
Friendliness is the hallmark of the course and I enjoy chatting to other course members and tutors at coffee breaks and mealtimes or in the bar after dinner. After a hardworking but pleasurable week the final dinner and barn dance make an experience not to be missed.
The campus has en suite rooms which are comfortable, there are good meals, and coffee breaks are in an open plan concourse which encourages conversation and getting to know other course members. The practice pianos are of a high quality and I had no difficulty in booking a practice session each day.
Also, I particularly appreciated the campus swimming pool, and for the even more active there is the campus gymnasium. In between pianistic exertions I managed brief visits to Walsall’s beautiful park/arboretum, the modernistic art gallery (with some fascinating Damien Hirst works) and the fine Leather Museum.
There are moments of sheer magic – I have never forgotten my first hearing of Beethoven’s 32 Variations in C minor in a course recital or participating in the male chorus in Busoni’s Concerto for Piano. Perhaps for non-pianists a summer school might seem a week of purgatory, but for me it gives a fresh spur to try new pieces, improve pieces I am familiar with, and a greater appreciation of works that I know I will never play but want to understand what the composer was saying.’
Thank you, Ron – we look forward to seeing you again in August 2015!