Music Coll 2018 was a truly amazing experience in many respects. Immersed in the quiet beauty of the Scottish Inner Hebrides, we enjoyed an intense week of rehearsals and performances giving us the perfect opportunity to tackle new repertoire and prepare for our upcoming competition.
Each day would begin with the sound of our footsteps interrupting the silence of the moor as we walked to our rehearsal space - a beautiful house atop the hill kindly provided by a lovely local family, from which we could admire the sea. In Coll no one locks their front door: everyone knows everyone and it is inevitable being greeted with an enthusiastic wave by a friendly and soon-familiar face from a passing car as you stroll down the one of two roads on the island.
Aside from the charm of the location, Music Coll offers a great opportunity for young ensembles to get to know new colleagues and absorb the fantastic expertise of top-class tutors. We had the pleasure to receive coaching from Charles and Jonathan Tunnell, Richard Deakin and Michael Dussek who would drive to our rehearsal space every day to assist on all matters however big or small...whether it was listening to incredibly fresh excerpts from a Szymanowski quartet or helping us resolve a typical quartet quarrel on the length of a dotted quaver in Beethoven Op.74.
The course combines the possibility of receiving diverse feedback from experts in their fields and the opportunity to perform in front of an audience with the liberty of time and space to rehearse at ease, far from the distractions of the city. There was a lot to take away from the whole experience and we felt privileged to have been the recipient of much inspiration that week.