25-31 JULY 2022

Currently available places:

Violin: 6 of 16 – Viola: 2 of 6 – Cello: 0 of 4
Double bass: 0 of 3 – Flute: 0 of 3 – Oboe: 0 of 3
Clarinet: 0 of 3 – Bassoon: 0 of 3 – Horn: 1 of 4
Trumpet: 2 of 2 – Trombone: 3 of 3 – Tuba: 1 of 1
Timpani/Percussion: 0 of 2

  • A friendly orchestral course for adults and young people in the stunningly beautiful south eastern corner of Sicily.
  • Our base is the baroque town Scicli (pronounced Shee-klee!) with a concert there at the end of the week.
  • Enjoy the superb history, architecture, beaches, food and hospitality of this unspoilt region!
  • If you know the TV series ‘Inspector Montalbano’ then you will already be familiar with this area.
  • Spouses / partners / children / friends are most welcome, and (non-playing ones) are exempt from the course fee.


Peter Fender is the conductor and Jessica O’Leary the leader (see About Us for more info). We will be joined by Italian tenor Yuri Sabatini and the Sicilian choir Coro Enarmonia (directed by Roberto Mezzasalma). In the past we have performed with the following soloists: Norma Ritchie (mezzo-soprano), Julian Fish (violin), Abigail Dance (violin), Ian Cumming (trumpet), Katy Noland (clarinet) and Janina Byrne (flute). 

See the list above for currently required instruments. We have players of a variety of standards across the orchestra, including professional.

There will be five rehearsals during the week (in Scicli) and the concert will be on the Thursday, preceded by an additional late afternoon rehearsal. In addition we are hoping to do an educational event on the Saturday, at which we will play a selection from the concert.

This year there will also be a room available in which you can play chamber music – chamber music coaching may be available should you want it.

Concert programme

Piovani: La vita è bella
Mascagni: Intermezzo
Mascagni: Viva il vino spumeggiante (tenor & choir)
Haydn Symphony 94.2
Verdi: La Donna è mobile (tenor)
Vivaldi: Gloria from Gloria (choir)
Puccini: Lucevan le stelle (tenor)

Mozart: Don Giovanni Overture
Verdi: La Traviata Prelude
Puccini: Nessun dorma (tenor & choir)
Beethoven: Symphony 7.2
Verdi: Va pensiero (choir)
Parlami d’amor Mariù (tenor)




You will be spending time in the Val di Noto, and particularly in the town of Scicli, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a town centre which is a fine example of late baroque architecture.

As well as the musical side of the week, there will be plenty of time to explore – whether your passion is history, architecture, beaches or food. Or you could just chill out with a granita or a glass of local wine in a wonderfully relaxing atmosphere!

There will be optional extra trips arranged to local places of interest. Previous trips have been to: Donnafugata Castle, Montalbano’s house at ‘Marinella’ (really Punta Secca), the beautiful city Ragusa and a meal (including fresh ricotta) on a working dairy farm. A small supplement to cover the cost of transport will be requested during the week from each person going on each trip. The beach is a short bus ride away.


There are three costs involved (apart from general costs relating to food etc):

  1. Course: the standard course fee is £260. Reductions are available (for example, a £30 discount if you are a student or a previous participant). Please see the Cost page for full details.
  2. Travel: you must book and pay for your own travel.
  3. Accommodation: we can arrange bed & breakfast accommodation for you in local apartments, or you can arrange your own accommodation. Please see the Full Information page for details.

NB: Large instruments: players of large instruments are eligible for help with the cost of transporting their instrument – alternatively we may be able to hire an instrument for you in Sicily (which we would pay for). Please enquire.