Countdown to our BDRS Double Reed Day this Saturday…

We are looking forward to welcoming double reed players from all over the country to Park Place Pastoral Centre, in Wickham, Hampshire, and as we write the weather forecast for Saturday is sunny and dry for our Double Reed Day in a glorious setting.

It’s not too late to register and pay in advance (Register Here) or you can of course turn up on the day, cash, cheques or cards and Apple Pay are all accepted on the door.

BDRS member:£50 / Non-BDRS member: £70
Students in full-time education:  BDRS member:£40 / Non-BDRS member: £50
Non-playing person: £35 (There are some lovely walks)
Buffet lunch included.

It promises to be an inspirational event and here is what we are planning for the day.*

Saturday 4th May – BDRS Double Reed Day 2019

Arrival and registration:

On Saturday 4th May, please arrive between 0800  and 0930. The address is Park Place, Wickham, (near Fareham), Hampshire PO17 5HA.  The post code in most sat navs will take you to a cul de sac next door (Coldharbour Close) and the entrance to Park Place is the large brick entrance on the left heading North and vice versa on the A334 Winchester Road.

If you are travelling by train, the nearest station is Fareham – then it is either a bus from the station to Park Place (bus stop very close to the Centre) or a short taxi ride (roughly £6-£7 fare). You can find details of Park Place at


1000 Welcome, Sessions and Concerts to include Ian Cuthill –including The Baroque Bassoon

1245-1330 Serve-yourself Buffet lunch

1330-1415 Lunchtime concert – students and tutors

1415-1630 Sessions and Concerts to include Leo Duarte – Leo (Leo at the AAM) is a Baroque Oboist with the Academy of Ancient Music**

The afternoon will include Advice for young professionals – on career paths and navigating the world of “Mozart in the Jungle” with Roger Birnstingl and David Chatterton

Brush up your technique – oboes led by John Anderson

Brush up your technique – bassoons led by Laurence Perkins

Trade stands browsing time throughout the day in the main hall:-Howarths, The Oboe Shop, Double Reed Ltd, IonaReed, Golden Reeds, Forton Music, Graham Salter.

1700 Final concert – ensemble pieces from 5-day course participants, plus large Double-Reed ensemble performance

1730        End of event


*Subject to change

**Joel Raymond is sadly unable to take part this year as previously advertised. Leo will be demonstrating the baroque oboe instead.


Tutors Concert on Wednesday 1st May, Wickham in Hampshire


We’re looking forward to welcoming this year’s Oboe and Bassoon Course participants to the beautiful Park Place in Hampshire very soon. During the course our two esteemed tutors, Laurence Perkins and John Anderson, are giving a mid week concert, with our brilliant accompanist Yoshiko Endo.

This concert is open to everyone, so if you’re in the area on Wednesday 1st May, do go along to Park Place, Wickham PO17 5HA at 8pm for approximately an hour of inspiring double reed performance by John and Laurence.

Programme to include Zachow, Andre Jolivet, Dave Heath, Hindemith and Geoffrey Bush and if you don’t know some of those names, don’t let that put you off – go and discover for yourself!

Click the PDF link for all the details Park Place concert poster 2019 PDF (2)

Join in our Double Reed Day on 4th of May

Saturday May 4th is the BDRS Double Reed Day in Wickham, Hampshire PO17 5HA – Come and meet our two Double Reed Day guests talking about historical instruments, as well as all the other double reed day music making activities, networking and shopping opportunities to be had!

Meet David Chatterton and the early bassoons, pictured with this enormous contrabassoon – an amazing instrument (photo above from April 2015) and David is fascinating to listen to!

We also look forward to hearing from Joel Raymond to demonstrate the baroque oboe and tell us about how they are made (Photo © Graham Salter, Joel has played with the Oxford Bach Soloists, the Hanover Band, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Gabrieli Consort as well as playing abroad.

We are also planning to run the Handel ‘Musick For The Royal Fireworks’ again, in a double reed version (without brass).

There are plenty of other activities to get involved in, or inspired by. All ages and abilities are welcome! There will also be several trade stands for you to visit during the day with instruments to try/buy, music publications, reeds and accessories, and double reed literature.

It’s not too late to sign up and we look forward to seeing you, whether you are a member or not, for this exciting and inspirational day of all things Double Reed.

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.

Register Here!

Spring Events Update

Those of you who are joining us on Saturday 27th April for the 270th commemoration of Handel’s Musick For The Royal Fireworks will have received schedule details, and we have also updated the schedule here  Don’t forget our sectionals are being led by two double-reeds legends, Sarah Francis for the oboes and Roger Birnstingl for the bassoons. These sectionals will take place from 1.00pm until 2.45pm in the Concert Room and the Angela Burgess Recital Hall respectively at the Royal Academy of Music. It’s going to be really exciting! Polite reminder that you will not be able to turn up and play on the day but do come along for the performance at 5.30pm if you can!

This is followed by the BDRS Five Day Course led by John Anderson and Laurence Perkins beginning on Tuesday April 30th at Park Place,  Wickham in Hampshire. The Five Day Course is almost fully booked but there are one or two places still available so come and bury yourself in the Hampshire countryside and live and breathe oboes and bassoons with John Anderson and Laurence Perkins; comfortable, quiet and relaxing times guaranteed, with some marvellous music making opportunities to be had.

Finally on Saturday, May 4th the BDRS Double Reed Day also at Park Place Wickham in Hampshire. You will find all the details on the BDRS website.  We have engaged for the Double Reed Day on Saturday May 4thtwo “historic” double reed specialists as a bonus. Oboist Joel Raymond will demonstrate various historic instruments and tell us how to make a baroque oboe out of a piece of wood! David Chatterton will perform similarly on the early bassoons and might be persuaded to bring along his “Beethoven Contra” which he constructed himself and is as tall as a Scots Pine. We are also planning to run the Handel Musick For The Royal Fireworks  again in a double reed version (without brass). There will also be several trade stands for you to visit during the day with instruments to try/buy, music publications, reeds and accessories, double reed literature.

We look forward to seeing you!

Introducing Our Double Reed Day Guest – Baroque Oboist – Joel Raymond

We are delighted to announce that Joel Raymond is attending our Double Reed Day to demonstrate the baroque oboe and tell us about how they are made. Joel has played with the Oxford Bach Soloists, the Hanover Band, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Gabrieli Consort as well as playing abroad, notably with the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Joel had an early love of baroque music, coming to the recorder as a young player, and took up the oboe in his teens studying at Birmingham Conservatoire, when he took up the baroque oboe. Joel moved on to postgraduate study in historical performance at RAM London and attained the position of joint principal oboist in the European Union Baroque Orchestra. He has studied the instruments used in Bach’s orchestra and has even played some of them, and we are looking forward to a fascinating demonstration at our Double Reed Day on Saturday 4th May.

There is still time to sign up –

Photo © Graham Salter,

Our Double Reed Day is approaching!

This weekend look out for announcements here on our website and our social media outlets – we have a facebook page, we are on twitter and instagram – about our Double Reed Day on Saturday 4th May, at beautiful Park Place in Hampshire, including information about tutors, traders and a special guest we’re delighted to welcome this year!

Pics from last year ©Mike Bell

Come and take part in a special Handel celebration!

*From 23rd March 2019 places are only available on a waiting list basis, but there is another opportunity to perform this music at our Double Reed Day in Hampshire on Saturday 4th May 2019.

It was on 27th April 1749 that the ‘Musick for the Royal Fireworks’ composed by Mr Handel was first performed in Green Park in London. This was a major event in the city – even the rehearsal, held a week earlier in Vauxhall Gardens, attracted more than 12,000 people, each paying half-a-crown (12½ pence – just over £15 in current-day money value), and the event caused major traffic jams on London Bridge! If only classical concerts attracted the same attention nowadays – but this astonishing response was because the music was indeed the ‘pop music’ of its time. With our modern categories of ‘classical’, ‘pop’ and numerous other genres, this work is now firmly in the classical category, but it remains one of the most popular of all works from the baroque era.

It is a major piece for double-reed players – the original performance featured 24 oboes and 12 bassoons (multiple players on each part), and the work is one of the earliest to incorporate the contrabassoon. Exactly 270 years (to the day) after this legendary first performance, BDRS will be promoting a performance of this great music in London to commemorate the anniversary – and if you play oboe or bassoon, YOU could be a part of this historic event!

This will be on Saturday 27th April and it will be held in the Duke’s Hall at the Royal Academy of Music. There will of course be the original Handel oboe and bassoon parts, which are suitable for players of around grade 7-8 upwards, but if you are not quite at this level, you can still come and play. The performing edition which I have prepared for this from Handel’s original also includes some easier parts for players of between grades 3-6 standard. All parts will be put up on the BDRS website in March for you to download, print and practice in advance.

Please note: this performance will be on modern instruments playing at A=440

Here is the outline timetable for the day:

Saturday 27th April

1300    Arrive at Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Rd, London NW1 5HT

1315    Sectional rehearsals (oboes with Sarah Francis, bassoons with Roger Birnstingl)

1445    Break

1500    Those not taking part in sectionals arrive, we are not able to access Dukes hall before 3.00pm

1530    Set up and Rehearsal of Handel ‘Musick for the Royal Fireworks’

1700    Break

1730    Informal public performance (free admission to audience)

1800    Event ends

This schedule enables players from many parts of the UK to travel and take part – the start and end times fit with  train services to and from many destinations.

Event fees: There are of course numerous costs involved in promoting an event of this kind, but we have kept fees down to a minimum – and interestingly, they are fairly similar to what people paid to come and listen in 1749!

Adult non-members £20

Adult members £15 ( including those joining on the day)

Full-time students £5 (no BDRS discount, as this is already subsidised)

Application: You may apply but you will be placed in the queue on our waiting list. You will not be able to turn up on the day and play. There is an opportunity to perform this music at our Double Reed Day on Saturday 4th May, another opportunity to perform and join in!

Please go to the menu options at the top of the BDRS home page, click on BDRS MUSIC COURSES and in the drop-down options click ‘Music Course Application Form’. Places on this event are limited by the size of the Dukes Hall platform, so book soon! Places need to be booked in advance – for security reasons, you need to be on the players list. If you turn up on the day without prior booking, you may not be able to take part – sorry!

Updates: Plans and details are still evolving for this event, so please do keep a close eye on the BDRS website for updates and any possible changes. The one detail that will not change is the finishing time – it will not go beyond 6pm on that day.

Be there! This is arguably one of the most important historical events in the calendar for oboe and bassoon players. It’s a fantastic celebratory piece to play, and will undoubtedly be a unique, special and very memorable day for everyone involved. So, make sure that YOU are a part of this!


We are very grateful to the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department for kindly hosting this event.

Photo credit © Gerald Coke Handel Foundation

Annual General Meeting

Attention all members of the British Double Reed Society
The Annual General Meeting will be held on
Thursday 6th December 2018, 2.00pm
at Siobhan Davies Studios, 85 St. George’s Road, LONDON SE1 6ER
(Next to the Imperial War Museum – Elephant & Castle)
Come along with your mind brimming full of ideas for the way ahead!!
The AGM will be followed by a meeting of the newly elected committee.