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RSCM Scotland Summer School (incorporating the Dunblane Singing Break)

The 2016 RSCM Scotland Summer School: 11–14 July in Dunblane, with all services in Dunblane Cathedral

The RSCM Scotland Summer School begins today, and Matthew Beetschen and the team are looking forward to welcoming everyone to Dunblane for four days of music-making, learning, reflection and worship.

  • Incorporating the Dunblane Singing Break, this course is now in its 19th year.
  • The acts of worship take place in Dunblane Cathedral.
  • Directed by Matthew Beetschen with Susan Hamilton (vocal coach) and Kevin Duggan (organ), Director of Music at Dunblane Cathedral.
  • Optional skills workshops are available on Tuesday and Wednesday.

For more information contact Brian Baker T: 01786 821294; E: summerschool(at)

Some last-minute places (including day places) are still available

  • £25 for the rehearsals, plenary sessions and workshops (see below), or
  • £45 also includes an hour's lesson (singing or organ) or consultation with a tutor.

Tea/coffee is included and meals may be arranged at further cost, if desired.

In the afternoons you can take part in optional workshops.

To book your place, please contact the Summer School administrator: Brian Baker
T: 01786 821294;
E: summerschool(at)
or Book online here


Dunblane Cathedral


Who takes part in this course?

Around 50 singers attend this course each year. They appreciate the opportunity to learn new repertoire, improve their music skills and value the fellowship and worship.

Services follow the traditions of both the Church of Scotland and the Scottish Episcopal Church, and are led by clergy of different denominations. Much of the music used will be suitable for small choirs but there will be works to challenge too.

We welcome many singers from across the British Isles and beyond. The sharing of experiences by singers from church choirs all over the world is particularly valued by the participants.

Timetable (subject to change)

Monday 13 July

Please arrive during the morning and register in the Cathedral Halls.

1.00pm                   Lunch
2.00pm                   Rehearsal in Cathedral Halls
4.00pm                   Afternoon Tea
4.30pm                   Rehearsal in Cathedral
6.00pm                   Evening Meal
7.15pm                   Rehearsal in Cathedral
8.00pm                   Service in the Cathedral

Tuesday 14 July and Wednesday 15 July

  9.30am                Rehearsal in Cathedral Halls
11.00am                Coffee
11.20am                Plenary session
12.20pm                Rehearsal
1.00pm                  Lunch
2.15 – 3.30pm       Skills workshops
4.00pm                  Afternoon Tea
4.30pm                  Rehearsal in Cathedral Halls/Cathedral
6.00pm                  Evening Meal
7.15pm                  Rehearsal in Cathedral
8.00pm                  Service in Cathedral (Choral Evensong on Wednesday)

Thursday 16 July

  9.30am                Rehearsal in Cathedral
10.30am                Closing Service (Holy Communion) in Cathedral
11.45am                Coffee

Plenary sessions

Tuesday: Good taste, Bad taste and Christian taste

Rev Douglas Galbraith ARSCM

Modern dilemmas about music in worship are not new but they can give rise to friction and concern in the local church community.

What criteria can we use to help us match music to worship, whether from the established repertoire or in contemporary styles?

And how can theology help?

Wednesday: Singing the Reformation

Susan Hamilton

Susan has done pioneering work bringing to life the music of the Wode partbooks, which date from post-1560 Scotland.

Thomas Wode was afraid at the time that "musike sall pereishe in this land alutterlye" and he set about preserving as much of it as he could.

Susan will share her knowledge of this music and her experiences of performing it.


We are again offering Workshops.

  • Making the best use of your voice (Susan Hamilton)
  • Preparing for Voice for Life Bronze and Silver singing exams (Alistair Warwick)
  • Music and Spirituality (working title!) (Revd Colin Renwick)
  • Plainsong and other forms of Chant (Pat Lynch)
  • Solo organ playing and Accompaniment (Kevin Duggan)
  • Choir training and Conducting tips (Matthew Beetschen)
  • 'Are hymn tunes real music?', a discussion group (Tuesday only, with Douglas Galbraith)

All these workshops will help you should you choose to take part in the RSCM's Church Music Skills or Voice for Life programmes.

The cost of these is included if you're participating in the Summer School whole course or day-rate, and at £10 each for visitors.

If you would like to attend any of these workshops, please contact Brian Baker on 01786 821294 or summerschool(at)

Meal arrangements

Lunch and Tea (Dinner) will be served in Old Churches House (formerly Scottish Churches House), Dunblane.

We meet on Monday for lunch, and finish mid-morning on Thursday.


You will need to arrange and pay for your own accommodation.

Although there is very little available in Dunblane at the lower end of the price range, within a 10-mile radius there is a wide choice. You may find the following information helpful.

(and website)
Phone Details (and addresses)

Old Churches House

01786 823663

opposite the Cathedral

Chimes House


Guest house in Dunblane

Stirling University

01786 467140

Bed and Breakfast is available in student halls of residence on the University Campus, 4 miles from the Cathedral
Contact: Lisa Rice

Stirling Management Centre

01786 451666

on the University campus and provides more up-market facilities

Ciar Mhor

01786 823371

Guest house in Dunblane, 15-minute walk from Cathedral
Auchinlay Rd, Dunblane FK15 9JS

Westlands Hotel

01786 822118

small hotel on outskirts of Dunblane
Doune Road, Dunblane FK15 9HT

Doubletree by Hilton Hydro

01786 822551

large hotel in Dunblane
Perth Rd, Dunblane FK15 0HG

The Woodside Hotel, Doune

01786 841237

small hotel, 4 miles from Dunblane
Stirling Rd, Doune FK16 6AB

The Royal Hotel, Bridge of Allan


hotel, 5 miles from the Cathedral
55 Henderson St, Bridge of Allan FK9 4HG

Premier Inn


2 locations in Stirling



1 location in Stirling

For other possibilities including many places within 10 miles of Dunblane, see the Visit Scotland website

If you need further assistance, please contact Brian Baker
phone: 01786 821294
e-mail: summerschool(at)

Booking arrangements for this course

Tuition, workshops and plenary sessions

Including Lunch, Dinner, tea and coffee in Old Churches House

  • RSCM affiliates and Individual members: £230
  • Non-members: £289

If you don't want meals

  • RSCM affiliates and Individual members: £134
  • Non-members: £193

Day rates

  • £25 for the rehearsals, plenary sessions and workshops
  • £45, including an hour's lesson (singing or organ) or consultation with a tutor


This course is organised by the RSCM Scotland Committee

The Course Administrator is Brian Baker, and he can be contacted
by phone: 01786 821294
or e-mail: summerschool(at)

Is this course the same as in previous years?

Matthew Beetschen will direct the course again this year. We are delighted to announce that Edinburgh-based Susan Hamilton, International Soprano Soloist and Co-Founder and Director of the Dunedin Consort will again be Vocal Tutor.

After 17 years directing the course, Gordon Appleton has now retired. We are grateful to him for his enthusiasm and dedication over these many years!

The venue is Dunblane Cathedral hall, with services in the Cathedral.

Why is the course now called "Summer School"?

For a while now, participants have seen the course as more than just a break (although for many it is a welcome part of their holiday!). Previous courses have included elements of vocal training, and we have now taken the opportunity to use some of the neighbouring churches for workshops to help you with other skills for organists and cantors. These will help you should you choose to take part in the RSCM's Church Music Skills programme.

How do I pay?

Although we don't have the facility to process credit card payments, we use PayPal to take MasterCard/Visa credit card or debit card payments securely online – it doesn't cost you any more to pay using this method – and you don't need a PayPal account to pay online.

How secure is this way of paying?

It is totally secure. We never see your card details; they are all handled by PayPal's secure server.

How do I return the application form?

Please download the application form, then complete it and return it to us. If you have the facility to do so, you can scan your completed form and send it by email to summerschool(at) - if not, then you can send a copy by post.

How easy is it to pay online?

It's really easy. See the next question for step-by-step instructions.

Over half of the participants pay online.
75% of those who paid this way found it either "easy" or extremely easy" to pay this way.

How do I pay by credit card or debit card?

  1. Choose one of the buttons below, depending on whether you are or are not a member of the RSCM.
    Decide if you want to pay the full amount in one go, or just £50 deposit now (the balance is due on 15 June).
  2. After you have clicked the "Add to Cart" button you will be taken to a page showing your "Shopping Basket". Here you can review your choice, make changes or go to the "Checkout".
  3. On the "Payment Information" page, you enter your name and address details as shown on your credit/debit card. If your home address or "shipping address" is the same as your credit card billing address, click the appropriate button and it will copy the details into the fields in the next section. Go to the bottom of the page and click on "Checkout" where you get a final reminder of your purchase. Click on "Submit Order".
  4. You are taken to the PayPal page where you will see some text on the left-hand side (above a group of credit card icons or pictures) that says "Don't have a PayPal account? Use your credit card or bank account (where available)." Click on the "Continue" link: this takes you to a page headed "Pay with Credit Card or Log In".
  5. Enter your details, including your email address (this is important, as the receipt for your payment will be emailed to you) and click on the button"Review Order and Continue".
  6. Finish making your payment.

How will I know that you have received my payment?

When you complete the payment on the secure PayPal site you will be taken to a page that acknowledges your payment and gives you a PayPal reference. You will also receive an email sent to the address that you gave when you entered your credit/debit card details.

What if I am unable to make the payment online?

You can still pay by cheque if you wish. Download the booking form, complete it and send it with your cheque to the address on the form.

Booking your place

    To book your place on the course, download a

  • booking form
  • make your payment below
  • send the completed booking form to Brian Baker at the address on the form.
Select the appropriate option Pay full amount now Pay £50 deposit Pay balance
non-residential – with meals
(member price): £230

Individual Member of the RSCM member
or member of an affiliated church/choir
non-residential – with meals
(non-member price): £289

non-member of the RSCM

non-residential – no meals
(member price): £134

Individual Member of the RSCM member
or member of an affiliated church/choir


non-residential – no meals
(non-member price): £193

non-member of the RSCM


Day rate – rehearsals, plenary sessions and workshops: £25

not available not available

Day rate – including lesson or consultation: £45

not available not available

For more information contact Brian Baker
phone: 01786 821294;
e-mail: summerschool(at)