OUR NEW LOCATION
NLMS Music Summer School was previously based at Queenswood School near Potters Bar, but in 2019 we needed to find a new home. After a thorough search, an ideal venue has been found – Downe House – a girls’ day and boarding school in Cold Ash, a village near Newbury, Berkshire. The school is set in a beautiful 110 acre estate in Berkshire, overlooking woodland and the Berkshire Downs. The week that Downe House can accommodate us in 2019 is from the 3rd to 10th of August.
There is a plentiful supply of modern, purpose-built living accommodation, with a mixture of mainly single, and a few double rooms, mostly in groups of four rooms. Some of these are on the ground floor, and these will be allocated on the basis of need. We will be based in two sixth-form houses and all rooms will have washbasins with toilet and shower facilities nearby.
Downe House has a thriving Music department, with a wealth of musical ensembles for girls at all levels, from beginners to diploma-standard instrumentalists and singers. Accordingly, NLMS participants will be able to benefit from the school’s very high quality musical accommodation, including:
- a modern Performing Arts Centre which has a large auditorium with hydraulic floor, ideal for concerts
- a state-of-the-art new Learning Centre with a large performance space
- a traditional concert hall
- a chapel
- a music block with rehearsal and practice rooms
- plentiful supply of large classrooms for sectional rehearsals.
We are still planning the detailed room allocation for each ensemble. All the musical accommodation is modern, with good lighting. There are plenty of small practice rooms with pianos, and other classrooms which will be set up for sectionals etc.
DINING ROOM AND BAR
The dining hall is spacious – a very pleasant space with round tables and comfortable chairs. There are multiple service points, so we should find that we are served quickly.
There will be a large lounge and kitchen space at our disposal for the use of non-residents. And of course there will be a lounge and bar space!
There is a very good space next to the car park which is probably where we will set up reception. There will be the usual MD’s office, music library, and Course Office. Site security and access is controlled through individual security passes, which we will all be issued with – no need to remember various key codes.
FACILITIES FOR PARTICIPANTS
In addition to the school’s large and beautiful grounds, we will be able use the swimming pool for an hour each day, squash courts, tennis courts and (for controlled use only) a very well-equipped sports hall. All the usual NLMS services as in previous years, with the possible exception of newspapers, will still be available, including those of your very own personal shopper for anything you need to get from local shops, and, of course, a bar!
GETTING TO DOWNE HOUSE SCHOOL
The school is about 4 miles by road from Junction 13 of the M4 (Chieveley/A34), almost equidistant between Oxford, Swindon and Reading. The nearest major railway station is Newbury (accessible from the West Country and from Reading) and the best way to get to Downe House from there is by taxi, which should take about 15 minutes. There is plenty of car parking, close to the accommodation.
FIND OUT MORE
Have you already explored the courses available?
>> String Group
NLMS Committee members have made frequent visits to Downe House, and on each occasion have been unfailingly impressed by the standard of the accommodation and by the friendliness and professionalism of the staff. We are unanimous in our view that this is an ideal place for the Summer School.
So we can get an idea of numbers, please send in your application if at all possible by 31 January 2019.
Photographs courtesy and © copyright Downe House School and Steve Walker