3rd Bakewell Guitar Ensemble Weekend

3rd Bakewell Guitar Ensemble Weekend

3rd Bakewell Guitar Ensemble Weekend directed by Steve Marsh

The twice-yearly Bakewell Guitar Ensemble Weekend seems to now be a firm fixture in the musical calendar for many of the students who attend. The third ensemble weekend took place on 13th-15th September 2015, once again at the Medway Centre in the heart of the picturesque town of Bakewell in the Peak District and once more we were blessed with excellent weather conditions.

The three days were spent working on Freddie Mercury's WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS arranged by Steve Marsh especially for the twenty-one student orchestra. Also on the weekend's programme was Karl Jenkins' PALLADIO and another large-scale arrangement of the well-known composition by the Spanish Baroque composer Gaspar Sanz, CANARIOS.

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On the Friday evening a concert was given by the Peak Guitar Quartet (Nadia Marsh, Steve Marsh, Mick Pearce, Derek Thompson) who presented a programme of works for two and four guitars. The first half was given over to guitar duets with Richard Charlton's ROMANZA and SPIRAL ELIPSE and SUITE ESPAGNOLA by Mario Gangi performed by the 'Ashlea Duo' (Nadia and Steve Marsh) and Derek Taylor and Mick Pearce playing two pieces by Andrew York SANZEN-IN and CALIFORNIA BREEZE as well as FAREWELL by Sergio Assad.

The remainder of the programme was given over to guitar quartets and included works by Telemann, Charlton, Rak, Bacharach and Marsh.

Saturday was spent rehearsing the large ensemble works with several well-earned coffee breaks and a very entertaining and informative lecture by luthier Earl Marsh (no relation) who had brought along several of his guitars which were ably demonstrated by course member Andy Pryor.

Sunday morning was given over to preparing for the afternoon concert in which many of the students performed solos, duos, trios, etc. before the big finale to the weekend with the full orchestra playing the three ensemble works.

A good time seemed to have been had by all, with some saying that this third ensemble weekend was the best yet.

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The date of the next weekend course will be 8th-10th April 2016 (the September one will be announced shortly). As well as working on large-scale guitar orchestra pieces, we are hoping to include informal sessions on Latin American strumming techniques, folk-style fingerpicking and duo/trio masterclasses during the three days. Also we are hoping to get guitar legend Gordon Giltrap along for one of the concerts.

For an application form or for any queries please email me at: or telephone 01629 813624 (home) / 07834 789207 (mobile)

UPDATE April 2016;

The 4th event was a great success and you can read my review HERE

updated: 3 years ago