Newsletter No 9

Thank you for being on the distribution list for these occasional emails about Playing Days and Courses run by Ann and Steve Marshall, under the banner of ASRE (Ann & Steve’s Recorder Events). Our newsletters are to let you know about significant updates of the ASRE website… and to encourage you to visit the site for details.

A particular welcome to those people who are new to our distribution list. But this is not some spamming exercise – we feel very strongly about unwanted emails, so if you do not want to receive these update emails, please let us know and we will delete your details immediately.



Our fourth U3A-Level Recorder Course took place at the end of June at Llanerchindda Farm (near Llandovery). We had our absolute maximum number of players on this course (only seventeen, but it is a ‘bijou’ venue!). We have already booked the venue for next year, so if this very popular course appeals to you, perhaps you would like to make a note of the dates – Monday 25 – Thursday 28 June 2018. Please note, incidentally, that this course is not related in any way to the U3A organisation, so you do not need to be a U3A member to attend.

We have organised another back-to-back playing day, in the style of our May Hill Double-Headers, but this year we have spread eastwards to run the Aston Double-Header (Aston is a couple of miles from Stevenage). The Aston Double-Header takes place on the weekend of 16/17 September 2017 at Aston Village Hall. Ann and Steve Marshall will handle the Saturday, where we will be playing Easier Eight Foot music (for the uninitiated this is gorgeous music where the smallest instrument is the tenor). Then on Sunday everyone’s favourite Helen Hooker will get together with Steve to present All That Jazz, a new jazz-based venture at moderate playing standard. And have no fear –  improvisation is not required! It is a large hall, and we still have plenty of room left. For more details, and to book online, please go to this page…

The very first event we put on at Llanerchindda Farm was the Rural Recorder Course. The 2017 (sixth) course takes place from Wednesday 20 September to Sunday 24 September 2017 and, as always, Helen Hooker, Ann Marshall and Steve Marshall share the conducting honours. The Rural Recorder Course is a small, friendly and relaxed course, aimed at good moderate players. As for other courses at this venue, it is particularly important that we have a good balance of instrument sizes and reasonably similar playing standards. If you would like to come, therefore, please let Ann know. Once we see who is interested, we can then decide which combination of players would work well together. At the time of writing we have just one room left – a twin without ensuite. For more information, please go to…

There is a concert by the Wayland Recorder Orchestra, conducted by Helen Hooker. This takes place at 3.00 on Sunday 8 October 2017 at St Andrew’s Church, Shrivenham. You may not have heard of this group – it is a sixteen-player development from a recorder octet (is that a double octet?) that has played annual concerts in recent years. The three constants of the groups are the star of the show Helen Hooker, and the organisers Ann and Steve. The concert is a varied programme of music from the last 450 years, including works by William Byrd, J S Bach and modern classics of the recorder repertoire, such as The Unicorn’s Grace by Hans Ulrich Staeps. We are delighted that Helen is also going to treat us to a performance of the Sammartini Recorder Concerto in F. Please see here for further information…

Our last event of 2017 will be the Autumn Recorder Course, at Llanerchindda Farm from Friday 13 October to Monday 16 October 2017. This is our most technically demanding course; players must be good sight-readers, have very decent technique, and play a variety of instrument sizes, including tenor, probably bass, and hopefully big basses. Despite the challenging music, entertainment and honest-to-goodness fun are still important ingredients!

The structure of the Autumn Recorder Course is interesting – each day we will be immersed in a different recorder repertoire. It may change from year to year, but for 2017 the programme is:

Friday: Renaissance

Saturday: Playing at Eight-foot

Sunday: Jazz

Monday: Baroque

The conductors are Helen Hooker, Ann and Steve, and we believe that this team is well able to give an interesting (even, to be mildly pretentious, ‘insightful’) playing experience for all of these repertoires. At the time of writing we have three places remaining. For more details see…

We should also say that the above course is not to be confused with the Autumn Recorder Orchestra Weekend, held at High Leigh Conference Centre, near Hertford. Ann and Steve organised this course in 2015 and 2016 but, despite both events being sold-out and musically successful, they wanted to move on to organising new events (see the rest of this newsletter!) They were delighted to find that Helen Hooker was interested in taking over the Autumn Recorder Orchestra Weekend, and so from 2017 it is all Helen’s. Please go to her own website for further details…

And finally on the playing front…we run an easy recorder orchestra – the Orchestra on the Hill.  Now in its seventh year, we set up this orchestra to provide a recorder orchestra experience for players of modest technical ability. What started as a tentative experiment has blossomed into a regular and friendly ensemble of about 30 players, which has a great time producing music that benefits from a firm foundation of great basses and contrabasses. We do not work towards public performances, but we exist purely for the pleasure of playing music. The orchestra is conducted by Steve, and we play on one Sunday afternoon a month in May Hill Village Hall. We are always keen to welcome new players, of any size of recorder. If you live not far from Gloucester, do come along! Just turn up, as and when you are able to. More details are here…



May Hill Edition is the music publishing vehicle of Ann and Steve. We have just passed our 400th publication, so we must be one of the biggest publishers of recorder music in the world. The address is… .

The site features a page that shows New Publications since the previous newsletter, and it is an interesting mixture – there are several sets of arrangements by Ann of the work of Lassus, Morley, Weelkes, Wilbye, Mundy and others, and also four large compositions by Steve, commissioned by four of the UK’s recorder orchestras. One of these pieces is a set of songs for soprano and recorder orchestra. The other three, believe it or not, are Steve’s Symphonies 7, 8 and 9 – that’s the thing with symphonies; you wait ages for one, and then three come along at once!

Best wishes,

Ann and Steve