NYWO Focus on ChamberIf you want to play wind chamber music in great company with top class coaching and get maximum value from a course then look no further.

The Focus on Chamber Music at NYWO courses are held under the auspices of the NYWO and have been running twice a year for the past ten years. Led by Peter Harrison and Simon De Souza, they have been enormously successful in introducing young wind and horn players to the pleasures and techniques of wind ensemble playing.

But this is so much more than just another ensemble course.

Starting with four wind quintets, the ensembles are combined into double quintets and also into larger combinations to play works such as the Strauss Serenades. Smaller groups perform without a conductor, the larger ones are conducted by one of the tutors. In addition there are opportunities for students to learn to rehearse their own groups, perform their own compositions, learn to conduct and a special emphasis is laid on presentation skills and good performance practise.

Many Focus on Chamber members go on to join the main orchestra of NYWO, but over and above all this the course is about having fun whilst making music. Peter and Simon ensure that all the students have a great time working and playing together.

Ensemble, quartets, repertoire and technique are all fully covered in the sessions. Participants often return inspired by the tutoring and the high quality of music making with like minded people in a relaxed and fun way. The course takes place alongside the main orchestra and the ensemble course.


PETER HARRISON teaches bassoon at Wells Cathedral School, the Junior Department at the Royal Academy of Music where he coaches the symphony orchestra and wind orchestra and often conducts for East Sussex. He is a busy freelance player with particularly strong links in the West End where he has played extensively in shows and conducted in shows such as Crazy For You andBeauty and The Beast. Peter now directs his own production company and his shows have included Les Miserables in concert and Chess in concert both featuring The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

is one of the best known and sought after horn teachers in Britain. He teaches at two of the four specialist music schools in the UK, Wells Cathedral School and the Purcell school and also the Junior Dept of the Royal Academy of Music, he is also a consultant to the Junior dept of Trinity College of Music. Simon is the Educational Consultant and Vice Chairman of the British Horn Society and has had many articles on horn playing matters published. A busy freelance player he is also the solo horn player with the brass quintet with whom he has made recordings and appeared on Radio and TV.

NEIL CROSSLEY – Focus on Saxophones tutor
Neil is a freelance saxophonist who is constantly in demand performing, teaching directing and writing.He is currently working in the West End playing on ‘Shrek the Musical’. Other shows include ‘Passion’ (Donmar),The Rat Pack, Wicked, Shall We Dance (Sadlers Wells) ‘Oliver!’, ‘Billy Elliot’, ‘Les Miserables’ and ‘The Producers’.  Freelance performing includes:BBC Concert Orchestra, Appollo Saxophone Orchestra, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Manchester Concert Orchestra Eclipse Saxophone Quartet and Sax Assault. In addition to his work with NYWO, Neil tutors for Benslow Music and adjudicates for the ‘Pro Corda National Chamber Music Festival. he is a reviewer for the Music Teacher Magazine and runs the Freelance Benefit Society.


Course details

The Focus on Chamber courses are residential and last for 5 days.

5th – 9th April 2014, Radley College, Kennington Road, Radley, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 2HR

2nd – 6th August 2014, Tudor Hall School, Banbury, OX16 9UR

Please be aware of the course dates. Time off the course is not allowed except in emergencies.

How to apply

To apply for Focus on Chamber at NYWO you should be Grade VI/VII standard or equivalent. If you have not taken any exams you should supply a recommendation from your teacher if possible.

Click here to complete the online application form