I hope everyone is finding our new and extended online course descriptions useful and informative. I have again been working closely with tutors to document the learning aims of their courses, the topics that will be covered and other details to assist participant preparation. Therefore do take a look at our website when the new July to December 2020 courses are added in December/January. Please let us know what you think about these or whether there are any other elements that you feel would be useful to you.
On the topic of feedback, we have recently held our first focus group. It was great to observe the strong customer loyalty and emotional connection many of you have with us. We plan to organise additional sessions over the coming months with our newly appointed Marketing Consultant Catriona Bevan, a Hitchin-based cellist, Chair of Hitchin Chamber Orchestra and Member of Benslow Music. Catriona has been working closely with me on our marketing strategy and we look forward to exploring and implementing many exciting new ideas in the near future – so do watch this space! We have been looking particularly at how we can add value to our course and concert offerings. Your comments, as always, very welcome!
Word of mouth is very important to us and I thank guests for encouraging (and continuing to encourage!) those of your contacts unfamiliar with Benslow Music to visit us. We continue to offer a special Bring a Friend discount scheme for certain courses so do keep an eye out for this in the next brochure.
Our July to December 2020 brochure will be posted out to everyone in December. Booking for Members opens at 9am on Tuesday 7 January 2020 (Monday 6 January 2020 for pre-formed courses only) and for non-members on Monday 3 February 2020. Membership of Benslow Music enables early booking (particularly useful for popular courses) and the opportunity for longer term borrowing from our wonderful library amongst other benefits. Please consider showing your support for us in this way, still a bargain at just £30 per year or £350 for Life Membership.
As I write, we are looking forward to our 2019 Young Composers Competition Winners Concert on 1 November. The winning pieces, ‘A Train Ride’ by Joe Berry (age 15) and ‘…and the light changed…’ by Luciano Williamson (age 23) will be premiered by the Coull String Quartet in the presence of Judith Weir (Master of the Queen’s Music and President of Benslow Music) alongside music by Haydn, Mendelssohn and John Ireland’s first String Quartet (written when he was 18 years old). It will be a fascinating evening discovering how young composers, past and present, were inspired and approached writing new music for the string quartet. Do come and join us! The registration deadline (5pm on 1 November 2019) for our 2020 Young Composers Competition in association with the London Klezmer Quartet and Judith Weir is fast approaching!
Dr Christopher Roberts, Head of Music