During the Easter Holidays, Dean Close was delighted to host two county-wide workshops for aspiring young Musicians: The Big String, for string players of all stripes, and The Big Blast, a new event for woodwind and brass players.

Around 150 young musicians, aged between 7 and 18, came together to rehearse – in socially distanced groups – a range of newly commissioned pieces and arrangements of well-known music. Following four days of fun by intensive workshops, students recorded and filmed the music in ‘bubbles’. The audio and video is currently being edited by Dean Close’s own Andy Rushton and will be released online later in the term.

The event, run by the Gloucestershire Academy of Music (GAM) in collaboration with instrumental tutors from Dean Close School, was a sell-out success. Hannah Opstad, Head of Brass at Dean Close School who led the Big Blast, had this to say:

‘After a year of remote and online rehearsals, it can’t be exaggerated how wonderful it felt once again to hear the sounds of young people making music together. It felt like a true celebration with both students and tutors commenting on how joyful it felt to be able to connect with each other and get back to doing what we do best.

It was a privilege for me to work with Gloucestershire Academy of Music, welcoming young musicians from across Gloucestershire to Dean Close. We were able to make the most of this exciting opportunity to share our wonderful facilities and I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who worked tirelessly to enable The Big Blast to go ahead.’