Bassoon courses and projects

At the top of this page:

BDRS 5-day oboe and bassoon courses
and Double-Reed Day
30th April - 4th May 2019

At the end of this page:

Recent events
Autumn 2015
UK Bassoon Project

- details and feedback

BDRS 2018 courses header
Park Place, Wickham, Hampshire
Park Place, Wickham, Hampshire

Five-day oboe course
led by
John Anderson
(principal oboist, English Chamber Orchestra)
Tuesday 30th April - Saturday 4th May 2019
Course begins Tuesday lunchtime, ends Saturday 5.30pm - adult players of all playing levels welcome


Five-day bassoon course
led by
Laurence Perkins
(bassoon soloist, and Hyperion solo recording artist)
Tuesday 30th April - Saturday 4th May 2019
Course begins Tuesday lunchtime, ends Saturday 5.30pm - adult players of all playing levels welcome


BDRS Double Reed Day
led by
John Anderson and Laurence Perkins
Saturday 4th May 2019
Starts 10am, ends  5.30pm - a one-day event, players of all ages and playing levels welcome

All events to be held at

Park Place, Wickham (near Fareham), Hampshire
(near M3 and M27 motorways,
10 miles from Portsmouth - 2 hours* drive from London or Bristol, 2.5 hours from Birmingham, or direct train from London or Bristol to nearby Fareham station.
Southampton airport is nearby - just 30 minutes by direct train to Fareham.

London Gatwick airport to Fareham is about 90 minutes by direct trains.

* Journey times may differ at certain busy times.


Events are promoted by the British Double Reed Society (BDRS).
The double-reed day on 4th May is the final day of the five-day oboe and bassoon courses.

John Anderson
John Anderson
Laurence Perkins
Laurence Perkins

Five-day oboe and bassoon residential courses
Two parallel five-day courses for amateur players of all levels who want to develop their musical and technical skills. These in-depth sessions offer the chance to explore

✻ good posture and breathing
✻ sound quality and tuning
✻ fluency of technique
✻ effective practice
 ✻ solo performance* (with pianist  Yoshiko Endo)
✻ the art of musical interpretation
✻ orchestral excerpts
✻ tackling performance nerves
✻ tutored ensemble playing

Park Place is just short car ride away from the South Downs National Park, and is a wonderfully quiet, comfortable and spacious venue -  the perfect setting for  a five-day residential course.

* playing in the solo performance class is entirely the player’s choice - there is no pressure to do so.

Click HERE to go directly to the BDRS on-line application form for either of these events!
See booking details below.

BDRS Double-Reed Day

Saturday 4th May 2019  (a one-day event*)

A great double reed event for all players, all ages and all grades! This is a real treat for all oboists and bassoonists - come along, take part and enjoy a wide range of concerts, sessions and presentations.

✻ Concerts by tutors, course participants and students
✻ "Brush up your technique” session
✻ Help and advice with reeds
✻ Large ensemble playing for everyone
✻ 'Bare Necessities' for school woodwind teachers
✻ 'Making your way'  for students and young professionals
✻ New solo and ensemble music publications
✻ Dealing with tension in performance
✻ Trade stands with help and advice on a range of instruments and accessories.

* This is also the final day of the five day oboe and bassoon courses.

Click HERE to go directly to the BDRS on-line application form for this event!
Please specify on the form that you are applying for the Saturday double-reed event. See booking details below.

Course fees


5-day oboe and bassoon courses

One person applying:

Full board in single en-suite room, and all course fees:
BDRS member: £610
Non-BDRS member: £660

Full board in single standard room (shared bathroom facilities), and all course fees:
BDRS member: £578 / Non-BDRS member: £628

Two people applying:

Two players sharing a room – full board in twin-bedded en-suite room, and all course fees:
(You must name the person you are sharing with at the time of booking)
BDRS members: £586 per person / Non-BDRS members: £636 per person

One player and one non-player sharing a room – full board in twin-bedded en-suite room, and all course fees:
(You must name the person you are sharing with at the time of booking)
BDRS member player: £586 / non-BDRS member player: £636
Non-player: £406 (may attend concerts and social events, but not classes)

Student residential places:

Student places (18 or older only) – shared twin-bedded room, full board and all course fees:
BDRS student member: £438 per person / Non-BDRS member student: £468 per person

Non-residential (5-day course):

Lunch and evening meals, plus course fees:
BDRS member: £490 / Non-BDRS member: £560

Saturday Double Reed Day

BDRS member:£50 / Non-BDRS member: £70
Students in full-time education:  BDRS member:£40 / Non-BDRS member: £50
Non-playing person: £35
Buffet lunch included for all attending this Saturday event.

places are limited, so book now!


5-day residential oboe or bassoon course
(which includes the BDRS Saturday Double-Reed Day)


The BDRS Saturday Double-Reed Day
(as a one-day event)

Click >> HERE << for the BDRS on-line application form

Please specify on the form if you are applying for a five-day course or the Double-Reed Day.

Nothing is payable when you complete and send this form – you will be advised by email as to whether there is a place available for you on the course. If a place is available, you will be sent an invoice, with a link to the BDRS PayPal page where you can pay by PayPal or by debit or credit card.


led by Laurence Perkins


CAMBRIDGE Bassoon Workshop - 15th October 2016

HIGH WYCOMBE Music Centre Bassoon Day - 16th October 2016

ISLAND OF RAASAY (Scotland) bassoon course - 10th-14th April 2017

The Vibrant '60s - performance (oboes and bassoons) in St. James's Park, London - 3rd June 2017
(a British Double Reed Society event)

Bear-faced Bassoonery at Hawkwood College, Stroud, Gloucestershire
17-19 November 2017


Other past events below...

IBD RAH 11.10.2015 photo John Durham

Autumn 2015



led by
Laurence Perkins

This marathon UK project began with International Bassoon Day (IBD) on Sunday 11th October 2015, ending two months later after a total of 35 events around the UK - 27 'Bear-faced Bassoonery' presentations, plus 8 performances of the concert programme 'Bassoon Voyager' (click here for details).

The above photo (by John Durham) was taken on the steps of the Royal Albert Hall, on International Bassoon Day - 38 bassoonists gathered to play Mozart on a beautifully sunny lunchtime. Watch excerpts of the London event on YouTube - click HERE to see this delightful memento of a special occasion!
Martin Jones has also put his own film of the RAH event on YouTube - click HERE to see it.

This was truly an international event - bassoonists all over the world took to the streets and played in public places to raise the profile and awareness of the bassoon. See the Facebook postings by clicking HERE

In the 'Bear-faced Bassoonery' sessions that followed IBD, more than a thousand children discovered the bassoon for the first time, with many having their first opportunity to play this most characterful of all musical instruments. There were also a few who had already taken up the instrument, so the sessions provided an opportunity to discuss the ways forward into advanced studies for those who wish to take their playing further. A few contributed to the sessions with short solo or ensemble pieces - an inspiration for those who were becoming interested in starting to learn.

Sincere thanks to all those organisations - schools, music hubs, colleges and universities - who hosted the events and provided their facilities free of charge, also to the Royal Northern College of Music and the Musicians Union Education Department for providing essential funding for this project. Special thanks also to the retailers (listed below) who provided both funding and valuable practical assistance in the session themselves.

Retailers who supported these events:

Howarth of London, 31-35 Chiltern Street, London W1U 7PN Tel: 020 7935 2407

Windstruments, 3 Croft Avenue, Crossflatts, Bingley,West Yorkshire,BD16 2DT Tel: 01274 510050

Windblowers, 75-77 Derby Road, Nottingham NG1 5BA Tel: 0115 941 0543

Haydock Music., 5 Stewart St, Milngavie, Glasgow City G62 6BW Tel: 0141 955 1812

Double Reed, 38 Fields Park Road
, Newport
, South Wales
 NP20 5BB Tel: 01633 677729

Wood Wind & Reed, 106 Russell Street, Cambridge CB2 1HU Tel: 01223 500442

Dawkes Music, The Woodwind and Brass Warehouse, Reform Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 8BT Tel: 01628 630800

Autumn 2015 events and feedback:

Sunday 11th October:
London - Royal College of Music
We celebrated International Bassoon day in style at the RCM last October, led with great style and passion by Laurence Perkins. We have received so much positive feedback from the day. So perhaps the tide is turning, thanks to the advocacy of inspiring people like Laurence.
Simon Channing
Head of Woodwind, Royal College of Music

Monday 12th October:
Dartford Grammar School for Girls
(for KentSoundhub)
This was the first time many of these children were going to see and hear a bassoon, and I think it was clear from a quick survey of faces in the room that they were very unsure about what to expect. Laurence was immediately able to get and hold their attention, gaining an attentive and interested audience. This was evident from the number of thoughtful questions he was asked  ... the concert was first-class – I don’t think there’s much chance of hearing better. What was particularly apposite was Laurence’s demonstration of his belief in his instrument and its use for expressive music making. That many of the pupils remained after the end of the concert to ask questions and to look over Howarth’s demonstration stock showed that they had been given cause to think about their own music making.  We were given a top-quality introduction to the instrument, a performance of a quality that is not always forthcoming  in an educational setting and we have four new bassoon players with, we hope, more to come.
Mark Mortimer
Area Leader for Dartford, Dover and Shepway

Tuesday 13th October:
Hornchurch - Havering Music School

Wednesday 14th October:
Ealing Music Service
Bear-faced Bassoonery came to us at the most opportune time. We suggested to Laurence Perkins that he deliver the 2 workshops jointly with Yoshi Inada, our own bassoon teacher, and his led to further workshops and the purchase of 8 mini bassoons with a view to piloting tuition in 4 primary schools from September which have all been taken up. Many thanks once again to Laurence for this generous of Bear-faced Bassoonery workshops. Until Bear-faced Bassoonery we had 1 or 2 pupils to whom loaned a bassoon and the Laurence’s workshop proved to be a catalyst for a more strategic approach in which we are specially targeting primary school pupils to embrace this beautiful instrument to come up the ranks and eventually join various orchestras.
 Yogesh Dattani
Head of Ealing Music Service / Chair of Music8London

Thursday 15th October:
University of Huddersfield

Friday 16th October:
University of York

Saturday 17th October:
Manchester - Royal Northern College of Music

Monday 26th October:
Leeds - Yorkshire College of Music and Drama

Tuesday 28th October:
Selby High School
(North Yorkshire Music Service)

Thursday 19th November:
Rotherham Music Hub, South Yorkshire

Saturday 21st November:
Glasgow, Royal Conservatoire

Tuesday 24th November:
South Derbyshire Music Centre
This was an incredibly informative and enjoyable event attended by 120 children and young people, plus an additional 30 parents and friends. From the outset Laurence captured the interest of the audience with his well-paced and thoughtfully-chosen music excerpts and stories.  The event created considerable interest and three players were tempted to change from clarinet to bassoon ... Laurence is a wonderful advocate for the bassoon.
Philip King
Head of South Derbyshire Music Centre

Wednesday 25th November:
Minster School, Southwell, Nottinghamshire
Following your presentation we had two new students begin bassoon tuition ... these students now receive individual 20 minute lessons once a week, which for our school has doubled the number of bassoon players!
Michael Gibson
Music Administrator, The Minster School, Southwell

Thursday 26th November:
Nottingham - Trent College

Friday 27th November:
University of Bristol

Saturday 28th November:
Oxford - Centre for Music

Monday 30th November:
Buckinghamshire Learning Trust Music
and Redborne Upper School

Tuesday 1st December:
Bedford School

Thursday 3rd December:
Purcell School

Friday 4th December:
Southampton Music Service

Hampshire Music Service
Two quite different ‘Bear-faced Bassoonery’ events were hosted by Hampshire Music Service. The afternoon presentation to the older pupils in the school (Yrs. 4 – 6) was pitched at exactly the right level for this age group. Laurence's use of storytelling, particularly of the Dancing Bear and the Princess, gave a wonderful platform for introducing classical music played on the bassoon. Audience participation and visual props both captured the children’s attention as well as their imaginations. The after-school event, pitched more to the interests of older students and adults, was also very much enjoyed. The workshops have contributed to  a countywide drive to encourage more young musicians in Hampshire  to take up the bassoon.
Sandra Woolsey
Bassoon teacher with the Hampshire Music Service

Saturday 5th December:
Chiltern Music Academy, High Wycombe

In September 2015 Chiltern Music Academy had only one bassoonist. Since a “Bassoon Flashmob” in High Wycombe’s Eden Centre, and the wonderful Bear-Faced Bassoonery presentation by Laurence Perkins ... we now have ten bassoonists covering a wide range of abilities enabling almost all our ensembles to have a proper bassoon section.
Kate Venvell
Chiltern Music Academy

Tuesday 8th December:
Sheffield Music Hub

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 09.57.51

The Fresno State Bassoon Ensemble, California, USA on International Bassoon Day, 11th October 2015.

Bassoonists all over the world gathered together on this day to play Mozart, and to let people who are not familiar with the bassoon know what a fantastic instrument it is to listen to and to play. To see some of the contributions from around the world, take a look at the IBD Facebook page HERE

Bassoon quartets live on BBC Radio 3

A feature about IBD was the first item on BBC Radio 3's popular drive-time In Tune programme two days previously  on Friday 9th October 2015, and featured four bassoonists from different walks of life. Listen to a performance from that live radio broadcast - the performers are Laurence Perkins, Rachel Whibley, Matthew Kitteringham and Alex Kane.

Mozart: Adagio, KV580a (arranged for bassoon quartet by Laurence Perkins) - duration 4’35"