4th Bakewell Guitar Ensemble Weekend

4th Bakewell Guitar Ensemble Weekend

The twice-yearly Bakewell Guitar Ensemble Weekend now seems to be a firm fixture in the musical calendar for many of the students who attend. This event, which gathers together over 20 classical guitarists to form one large orchestra, took place on 8th-10th April 2016, 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 the three-movements of Vivaldi’s Concerto Grosso op3 no8 arranged by Steve Marsh especially for the twenty-four student orchestra. Also on the weekend's programme was Steve’s arrangement of Burt Bacharach’s lovely composition, Arthur’s Theme and finally one of the best-known tunes from the film ‘Calamity Jane’, the exuberant The Deadwood Stage.

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On the Friday evening a concert was given by Nadia and Steve Marsh playing a programme of guitar duets which included music by Vivaldi, Johnson, Murcia, Albeniz, de Falla, Carulli, Politi, Charlton, Wedlich, Montes and Bernstein.

Saturday was spent rehearsing the large ensemble works with several well-earned coffee breaks. During the afternoon four duos took part in a duet masterclass and a brief hands-on workshop was given by Steve on the topic of ‘Latin American strumming’.

On display over the weekend were several guitars supplied by the Lincolnshire-based luthier Earl Marsh (no relation) and also a huge ‘shop’ of classical guitar music supplied by Lathkill Music Publishers.

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.

The date of the 5th guitar weekend course will be on the 14th-16th October 2016 (with a further one planned for 31st March-2nd April 2017 - this one will feature a concert by the world-class duo THE KATONA TWINS). This 5th course will focus on two pieces arranged for guitar orchestra, Isaac Albeniz’s Sevilla and Steve Marsh’s 5-movement work The Gothic Suite.

There will be the usual duo masterclass session and a workshop, this time the subject being ‘folk-style’ fingerpicking and once again a recital by Nadia and Steve Marsh.

The cost for the course is £100.00. This is a non-residential course and a comprehensive live of local accommodation can be supplied.

For an application form or for any queries please email Steve Marsh at: or telephone 01629 813624.

updated: 3 years ago