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Easter Course 2025

13 - 19 April

The course meets for a week in the idyllic surroundings of Bryanston School in Dorset.

Bryanston School, Blandford Forum, Dorset DT11 0PX, UK

Welcome to the Gathering of the Clans Easter course 2024. We are back at the superb facilities of Bryanston School where we can get some solid work done on our cellos, enjoy the countryside, the fabulous gym and swimming pool, lovely food, and much needed time to relax in the evenings!

As ever the course offers a cello lesson every day, accompanied masterclasses, performance platforms and student concerts; all this is done in a non-judgemental supportive atmosphere. We are all on a cello journey with its disciplines and routines. Ultimately the aim is to go on stage ‘fearlessly’, ready to share our best performances. I feel that there is so much to be learnt from the course in this regard; each one of us has a different experience of being on stage and here is the chance to find out. This is what I wrote a few years ago when I was thinking about my teaching…

“I read somewhere about the ‘cultured hands’ of the brain surgeon. It is a good phrase to describe the bow hold/bowing and precision on the fingerboard and takes as long to learn and perfect and in some ways, is even more subtle than the surgeon. It is very hard work and demanding because it forces the learner to confront themselves no matter how musically gifted. There is a foundation of  knowledge about how the instrument works that is indispensable,  what I call core skills.   As I frequently say on my school reports, “Sue musician not magician.”

I’m thrilled to welcome back as our core teaching faculty Jonathan Aasgaard, Tim Lowe and Matt Lowe and myself. Depending on numbers applying I will bring in other teachers. As usual JP Ekins will be accompanying masterclasses and performance classes. Come and join us next Easter and maybe some magic can happen!

Sue Lowe

(Artistic Director)

If you would like to discuss anything about the course then get in touch on 07916 172700

The Faculty

Jonathan Aasgaard, Principal Cello, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Cello Professor Guildhall School of Music and Drama; Adrian Brendel, is an international soloist with many collaborations, is Artistic Director of the Plush Festival and is Cello Professor at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Martin Johnson, Principal Cello RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Dublin and Cello Professor at the Royal Irish Academy of Music; Tim Lowe, Guest Principal Cello to many UK orchestras and Cello Professor at Guildhall School of Music and Drama; Matt Lowe previously with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and was Director of Music at Bradfield College, now combining a coaching, teaching and performing career based in Belfast; Sue Lowe previously Assistant Professor at the Royal College of Music, was Cello tutor in University Music Departments (Cambridge, Oxford, Durham, Leeds, Hull, York) and for many years taught at Chetham's School of Music and Eton College.

An outstanding feature of the course, is the exceptional quality of the pianists. We are delighted to welcome back JP Ekins who is well known for his skills as a duo partner and is currrently working at Guildhall School of Music and Drama; Stephen Gutman is recitalist based at Guildhall School of Music and Drama; John Lenehan is much recorded pianist, composer and long-term duo partner with Emma Johnson and Tamsin Little.

The Facilities at Bryanston


The facilities at Bryanston are second to none! The school is set in its own grounds two miles from the lovely market town of Blandford Forum in the heart of Dorset countryside (‘Hardy Country’).

Due to numbers there are normally separate boys and girls houses with each person allocated an individual room where, within social time limits, you can practice, rest, revise for upcoming academic exams and spend quiet time.

There is access to the Internet through the school intranet. There are pool tables in the houses. We provide two house-parents to ensure the "juniors" are happy and feel included and get to bed in reasonable time!


The food, of which there are always many options, includes a pasta bar, an omelette bar and a salad bar, of the highest quality. There is also a Coffee shop on site, for those who need caffeine!

The Music Schools building

The Tom Wheare Music Schools Building is a modern, state of the art facility, designed by the prize winning Hopkins Architects containing a wonderful concert hall, a recital room, large rehearsal rooms, and smaller individual practice rooms.

The concert hall and the lovey recital room are named after the school’s most famous music alumni, the conductors Mark Elder and John Elliot Gardiner. The building opens at 07:00am for students to start the day with a practice session and closes at 10:00pm. Instruments can be securely stored in the building overnight.

We also have access to all other school facilities, including brand new swimming pool, gym, squash courts etc. All of these are supervised by professionals.

Application Process

The fee

The fee for the course is £825 which includes full board, single room, access to all the school’s facilities, and teaching fees.


On 7th April Bryanston School vans will meet the 08:45 from London Waterloo to Gillingham (Dorset) Arrives 11:16.The return train from Gillingham on 13th April will be 13:51 (arr.15:49). School vans will deliver you at the station in good time. The journey time between the station and the school is about 45 minutes.

Please mark your Mini Bus requirements on the application form.

A deposit of £300 is required to secure your place and should be sent at the same time as the application form. Please follow the links on completion of the application form below.

To speak to Sue Lowe (Artistic Director) Tel: 07916 172700

We will accept applications up to 1st March 2024
Balance of the payment is due no later than 15th March 2024.

Easter Course
Application Form

To register, please take the time to fill out the information below.
Application form
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