Music is at the heart of all we do. Through the very busy week everyone will take part in ensembles, flute choirs, warm up and technique sessions, where the focus is on developing your own musical voice. Small group lessons, one to one lessons with our flute teachers and pianists, will guide you and help you achieve your goals. There are concerts and masterclasses to inspire you to discover new repertoire. You will leave with a plan for the year ahead.
It all started in 1988 when two young teachers, Janet Way and Clive Conway, discussed starting a flute summer school in Oxford. Janet’s flute-playing niece Katie Bycroft was recruited as assistant to the directors. At the time there were just a couple of other courses based around particular teachers where students would come to sit at the feet of the master and play only once during the week. We felt there was a need for a more active week when flautists could enjoy group playing and learn through participation. One of the important ideas was that this week should be for everyone, not just those with dizzying technical skills. We wanted to attract players who just loved the flute and music but were busy with their other lives for the rest of the year. This is still our guiding principle.
While Oxford colleges can’t be rivalled for beauty and serenity we soon outgrew the accommodation and teaching spaces they can offer. In 2009 we moved to Radley College in Abingdon; almost as beautiful and with a superb music school, a concert hall, many practice rooms and 20th century boarding houses. The city of Oxford is just a short bus ride away.
It’s now more than 30 years since the first Oxford Flute Summer School and in that time some of the biggest names in the flute world have worked with us; Jacques Zoon, William Bennett, Peter Lloyd, Michael Cox, Jeanne Baxtresser, Wissam Boustany, Michel Debost, Katherine Kemler, Patricia Morris, Peter Verhoyen, Sam Coles, Juliette Bausor and Adam Walker. The list goes on…
Our multi layered course still provides options for the most advanced player and the uncertain returner to the flute world and everyone’s contribution is equally valued.
Our goals have not changed. Inclusivity is key, music is at the heart of all our teaching and Oxford Flute Summer School is proud of all that our students have achieved over the years.