Summer School 2010

Photo: Martin Wess
15 – 21 August 2010
Purcell School, Bushey, Herts

Five expert Key Tutors, a dazzling team of supporting staff, seventy-two enthusiastic young composers, an atmosphere buzzing with excitement, energy and creativity, and a wonderfully spacious venue with state-of-the-art musical facilities! A recipe for success, one might say – indeed, this certainly proved to be the case!

For a second year, Sound and Music (SAM) and The Purcell School have worked hard to refine and further develop their unique, life-changing Summer School for talented young people who enjoy composing.

During the Summer School, 72 young composers enjoyed an exciting, action-packed week of compositional activities and workshops running from dawn to dusk. They were each expected to compose a new piece for a specific ensemble of professional musicians, and by the end of the week to have it completed and recorded. The young people were amazingly industrious and committed, often working through their breaks and lunch hours! The five Key Tutors and supporting staff gave them confidence and helped them to write sensitively and expressively for the instruments/voices in their chosen ensemble.

The Summer School’s Key Tutors were Kerry Andrews, Issie Barratt, Kuljit Bhamra, Alison Cox, Aidan Goetzee and David Horne. Each ran and directed a different strand of the programme, catering for young composers with many different interests – Jazz, choral and vocal, film music, advanced compositional techniques and music from other cultures.  Carefully designed ‘taster sessions’ enabled each group to experience some of the work that others were doing.

The course was fun as well as hard work. Excellent pastoral staff (many of whom were alumni students from The Purcell School) carefully looked after the wellbeing of the young people, arranged outings and activities for them, and encouraged them to socialise with one another when they were not composing. Many friendships were formed as a result! 

The quality and success of the Sound and Music Summer School is best summarised by the young composers themselves…

I had such a brilliant time and an exciting new piece out of just one week. And that's without even mentioning the wonderful people I met and worked with! Thanks

– Nicky (Bristol)


Thanks for such a fantastic year (yet again)!!!It was great fun and so inspiring!

– Matthew (Monmouth)


Thanks for a totally superb week, special thanks to David, Gemma, Tom, Richard and Hannah. (I'm already enjoying trying the new things I've learnt). The final concert was so exciting and diverse, keep in touch everyone.

– George (Manchester)


Thank you Alison, Judith and all of the tutors!  I learnt so much and had the best week ever. Everyone loved the course and will be back next year!”

– Kate (Truro)


We all loved the course so much, you all did an amazing job and there was never a dull moment!

– Aditya (London)

In this project

In partnership with

The Purcell School of Music

Funded by

Thanks to our funders who make the Summer School possible

The Monument Trust

Musicians Benevolent Fund

Michael Tippett Musical Foundation
Seary Charitable Trust
D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust
The Idlewild Trust


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