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Advance notice: Summer School 2018 (21st Anniversary!)

Monday 16 – Thursday 19 July 2018

  • with Matthew Beetschen director, Kevin Duggan organ
  • Services in Dunblane Cathedral on Monday to Wednesday evenings (8pm), with a closing Eucharist on Thursday morning (10am). All welcome.
  • Come for the whole course, or just for a day!
  • Optional workshops open to non-course participants

To book your place, contact Brian Baker (Summer School administrator):
T: 01786 821294
E: summerschool(at)

Online booking coming soon.

RSCM Scotland Summer School (incorporating Dunblane Singing Break)

RSCM Scotland Summer School 2017: 10–13 July in Dunblane, with all services in Dunblane Cathedral

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 20th 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)


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.


This is still to be confirmed. As an indication you can see the 2016 timetable below.

(2016 Timetable)

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 and Wednesday

  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)


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

Plenary sessions

These are still to be confirmed. As an indication you can see the 2016 sessions below.

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 & Alistair Warwick

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.


These are still to be confirmed. As an indication you can see the 2016 workshops below.

(2016 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
  • Tea and coffee will be available in the Cathedral Hall

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

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

(Only Member prices are shown; we will update the page with more information when we have it)

Tuition, workshops and plenary sessions

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

  • RSCM affiliates and Individual members: £250

Day rates

These will be added, when available.


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.
  • The organist will be Kevin Duggan, Organist at Dunblane Cathedral.
  • Edinburgh-based Susan Hamilton, International Soprano Soloist and Co-Founder and Director of the Dunedin Consort will again be Vocal Tutor.
  • 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?

Payment methods may well change this year, due to our new banking arrangements. We will update this page when we have more information.

How can I get an application form?

Please download the application form, then complete it and return it to us.

Booking your place

    To book your place on the course, download a

  • booking form and send it to Brian Baker at the address on the form.

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