Frequently Asked Questions
I've never been to a BIG Double Reed Day before. What should I expect?
You're in for a busy day of classes, workshops, concerts, rehearsals and performances, and if that's not enough there'll be a vast array of trade stands to look at in your breaks.
What do I need to bring?
Your instrument, music for your performance class (including the piano accompaniment), any specific things you need to prepare for your short workshops, such as a troublesome reed or orchestral excerpt, a pencil for the rehearsal and pocket money if you want to visit the trade stands. Snacks and a drink may also be a good idea.
Is lunch included?
No. There is a small café selling snacks, sandwiches and drinks.
What time do I need to arrive?
Registration is at 9am for all student oboists and adult bassoonists, 9.30am for student bassoonists and adult oboists, and 10am for juniors. Please don't try to register before that time as we won't have your information to hand.
Do I need to bring concert clothes?
No, it's fine to wear casual clothes or you can change into your BDRD souvenir t-shirt.
How much are the t-shirts?
These are free! Be sure to pick one up at registration or after the lunchtime concert.
Do I have to play in my Performance Class?
Nobody will be forced to play, but we do ask that everyone prepares a piece just in case they feel brave enough on the day, and to avoid a situation we had a couple of years ago, when nobody was prepared to play. Tutors are asked to keep these classes informal so it's really not that scary, and it's a good chance to practise performing with a pianist in a low-pressure setting. We leave it up to the individual tutors to decide how to run their classes. Some may decide to let four people play for half an hour each, others may let everyone play for ten minutes. If you don't get the chance to play, don't underestimate how much can be learnt by listening and watching other people play.
Do I need an accompanist?
No. All Performance Classes will have an accompanist. Don't forget to bring music for them, though!
My parents want to come and watch all my workshops. Is that ok?
Unfortunately some of the rooms at Guildhall are quite small so there may not be space for parents to watch. Ultimately it is up to the tutor on the day. If accompanying adults have a CRB or DBS check from the last two years they can help us by sitting in on classes with some tutors.
All parents and guardians are welcome to come and watch the two concerts at the end of the day.
Who looks after me in the breaks?
We can't be responsible for any participants outside of official class time. It's up to parents and guardians whether they leave you on your own all day, or hang around to keep you company in the breaks. There are a few seating areas available.
When do I get my music for the massed ensemble performance?
You'll receive this after the deadline has passed. We do our best to accommodate the hundreds of individual players attending each year, and that means some people may receive a part that's too easy for them. The concerts at the end of the day are about ensemble playing and having fun, not about playing to the limit of your ability. In fact you may learn more if you're not worrying about notes and rhythms in your parts! For this reason, and to keep the balance across all parts, we're afraid we won't swap any parts in advance of the event unless they're too hard.
What are your Covid-19 policies?
We are asking all participants and accompanying adults to take a lateral flow test within the 24 hours preceeding the event, and to stay away in the event of a positive result or any new symptoms of Covid-19. We will not be asking for proof but are trusting everyone to do this in order to protect each other and our staff as best we can.
We are also requesting that everyone wears a mask outside of class situations, except when eating and drinking.