html menu generator by

Early Music (Adults)
Beauchamp Early Music Week
A course for singers and players of Renaissance instruments

4th - 10th August 2019
Directed by Philip Thorby
Tutor: David Hatcher
Guest tutors: Theresa Caudle, Adrian France, Richard Thomas
Location: Glenfall House, Mill Lane, Cheltenham, GL54 4EP
Residential - camping - B&B
Fee: £460
(Download Application Form)
(Download Printable Course Information)


Each year our course has a unifying theme.   This does not inform every single piece of music we work on, but the major "tutti" works as well as some of the smaller sessions reflect our chosen topic.   For 2019 it is "Gloria in Excelsis Deo".   With its powerful and colourful text, the Gloria is often the finest individual movement in Renaissance settings of the Mass.   We will be exploring Glorias in from four to forty parts, including the 24-part setting by Annibale Padovano, and the 40-part setting by Alessandro Striggio.

Philip Thorby

The Beauchamp Early Music Course has been running for over 30 years, over half of which have been under the charismatic direction of Philip Thorby.   For the last few years Philip has been ably assisted by David Hatcher.

In 2019 we have the privilege and pleasure of running the course at Glenfall House, situated to the east of Cheltenham, bordering on the Cotswolds.   This regency villa has been extensively refurbished and is now a luxury ‘venue’.   It offers a number of bedrooms on site.   Course participants may camp in the grounds and there are shower and toilet facilities.   All dietary requirements can be met.

Early Music Week Each full day there are 4 tutor-led sessions (2 in the morning, one late afternoon, one after dinner); for these the tutors will put up a list daily naming the singers and instrumentalists for each piece to be played.   There is ample opportunity in the early afternoon and late evening ‘free time’ for musicians to arrange groups amongst themselves to sing together or play any instruments they may not be listed to play.   These optional, informal sessions tend to gravitate to a slightly later repertoire.

Daily programme:

8.15 a.m. Breakfast
9.15 - 11.00 a.m. Session 1
11.00 a.m. Coffee break
11.15 a.m. - 12.45 p.m. Session 2
1.00 p.m. Lunch
4.00 p.m. Tea
4.30 - 6.00 p.m. Session 3
6.30 p.m. Dinner
7.30 - 9.30 p.m. Session 4

Early Music Week A level of competence is required from participants.   Voices don't have to be beautiful, but singers need to have some sight-reading fluency and to be in control of their voices; players need to comfortably hold their part and be able to hit the right notes on suitable instruments at the right time!   Appropriate instruments for most of the repertoire are cornetts, sackbuts, curtails, recorders, baroque strings, viols, continuo instruments.   Pitch is A440.   As always we try to remain as close as possible to the composer’s orchestration, so not all instruments may be involved at all times.   If you have more than one instrument, or are happy to join the choir for a session or two, you will be kept very busy: if you come as a dedicated sopranino shawm player, less so!   (If in doubt, please feel free to enquire.)  

Early Music Week

Though many who attend are regulars - and some have been coming on the course since its inception! - new participants are always most welcome.  

To download the course leaflet please click here:  

Early Music

For a Booking Form, please click here.   For further information or queries please contact Anne Summers by email at or phone 01989 218432 / 01452 668592.


Philip Thorby is well known as a performer, teacher and conductor of Renaissance and Baroque music.   As a performer he has played recorder, viol and early wind instruments with many of London’s early music ensembles, as well as in premieres of works by composers such as John Tavener, Imogen Holst, David Bedford and Paul McCartney.   He founded and directed the Renaissance ensemble Musica Antiqua of London, which made seven highly acclaimed CDs of sixteenth century music, broadcasts for the BBC and performed concerts in Britain and abroad.   He now plays regularly with Philomel, an ensemble formed by some of his former students, and his new ensemble The Intrepid Academy, as well as continuing as a freelance soloist.   As a teacher, he had a long career directing early music at Trinity College of Music (now TrinityLaban Conservatoire of Music and Dance) in London, of which he is now Emeritus Fellow.   He was recently invited to direct Cambridge choral scholars and professional instrumentalists in a project on Cavalieri’s opera "Il Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo", culminating in staged performances in Trinity College Chapel.   His energetic, passionate and scholarly direction is also much sought-after on playing days and weekends, as well as on courses such as the Easter Early Music Week in Ascot, Cambridge Early Music Summer Schools (where he directs the Renaissance course and co-directs the Baroque one), the Irish Recorder and Viol Course, and in Venice, where he directs two courses a year, with final concerts in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, where both Gabrieli and Monteverdi directed their own music!

David Hatcher attained the LTCL diploma in recorder two years after taking up music and then went on to study viola da gamba and recorder with Charles Medlam and Philip Thorby at Trinity College of Music.   He began his career based in England, touring to America, Israel, France, Germany and the Netherlands.   In 1987 he moved to Japan where he was to remain for the next nine years, taking an active part in that country’s flourishing early music scene.   David has appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, The Globe Theatre, The Consort of Musicke, Musica Antiqua of London, The Corelli Orchestra, The Harp Consort, Glyndebourne Opera and many other period orchestras and ensembles.   He regularly teaches on summer schools and is in demand as a tutor for many weekend and day courses.   He is a founder member of Philomel and The Intrepid Academy, which, under the direction of Philip Thorby, explores the rich heritage of early 16th century Venetian music.

Theresa Caudle is well known in the early music world both as a baroque violinist and cornettist, becoming leader of The London Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble whilst still a teenager in the 1970’s.   She was a principal member of The Parley of Instruments for 25 years and plays with many leading period instrument ensembles including The London Handel Orchestra, The Sixteen and The Monteverdi String Band.   Theresa directs her own ensemble, Canzona, leads The Hanover Band and regularly directs concerts both for professional and amateur ensembles.   Teaching is an important part of Theresa’s work; she is a popular tutor on several courses and is Artistic Director of the summer school, Baroque Week.

Richard Thomas.  Richard studied at the University of Wales, the Royal Academy of Music and the Schola Cantorum, Switzerland.   As part of his Master of Arts degree, Richard undertook research into the William Shaw Silver State Trumpets housed in the Jewel House, at the Tower of London.   Richard’s interest in the performance practice of historical brass instruments (including the natural trumpet, keyed bugle, saxhorn, slide trumpet and cornett) has enabled him to work with The Wallace Collection, English Baroque Soloists, Australian Chamber Orchestra, The King’s Consort, Florilegium, Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Dufay Collective, Ex Cathedra, New London Consort, Gabrieli Consort, Opera North, English Touring Opera, Norwegian Opera, Early Opera Company, Alamire, London Pro Arte Baroque, Counterpoint, Meridian Sinfonia and the Musiciens de Louvre - Grenoble.   As well as being a regular performer at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London Richard can be heard on the film sound tracks for Shrek III, The Golden Age and Bedtime Stories.   Richard is a founder member and director of the acclaimed sackbut and cornett ensemble QuintEssential as well as a founder member of waits band The City Musick and the 19th century brass group The Prince Regents Band.   He teaches natural trumpet and cornetto at the Royal College of Music, London, the Birmingham Conservatoire and University of Birmingham.

Adrian France.   Adrian’s career has spanned 25 years and has covered a broad spectrum of trombone playing ranging from Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods on period tombones through to the modern orchestral trombone.

His performing work includes working with some of the world’s finest period instrument orchestras such as The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Hanover Band, King’s Consort, English Concert, Collegium Vocale Gent and Cappella Mediterranea through to working with orchestras such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia and The Royal Northern Sinfonia.

In 2018 Adrian was appointed Professor of bass sackbut at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama (the first such appointment in the UK) and he is also head of brass studies and trombone tutor at Newcastle University, a role he has held for several years now.

Adrian is a founder member and co-director of The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble which, in 2018, celebrates its 25th anniversary and has also recently released a CD ‘Music for Windy Instruments’ on the Resonus label.   In 2019 Adrian will be giving master-classes in Linz, Ljubljana as well as adjudicating an international brass competition in Croatia.

Early Music Week

Feedback from the 2018 course:

There are also some more detailed comments from one course participant that you can
find here

Back to top