Composition Summer School and Composer’s Retreat

The OCA has once again teamed up with leading contemporary music ensemble, rarescale, to provide subsidised places on a composition summer school and composers’ retreat this summer. This opportunity is open to ALL OCA registered students, irrespective of the course of study, and may be suitable for Creative Arts students interested in exploring sound design, as well as those studying formal composition courses.

The summer school takes place from 3-8 August 2015 at Harlaxton Manor, near Grantham in Lincolnshire. Participants can choose between residential (staying in the Manor itself) and non-residential, and the composition courses are held alongside an intensive course for flute players, providing opportunities for collaboration with performers.


The taught composition course allows a focus on either electroacoustic or acoustic composition, taught by Michael Oliva, rarescale’s composer in residence and a professor at the Royal College of Music in London. Students are set a project to compose a piece of music during the week, which will be performed in an informal concert at the end, in conjunction with members of the flute course. For those wishing to focus on acoustic composition, this is a perfect opportunity to work under supervision on music for a solo instrument (suitable for Composition 1 assignment 2), with access to performers who can give immediate feedback on practical issues. For those wishing to explore electroacoustic music, the course includes field recording, using software to manipulate sounds, and the techniques of electronic composition. Student numbers are kept small to allow for a flexible week of new ideas, musical risk taking and compositional creativity in a friendly, supportive environment.

For students enrolled on the OCA’s Composing Music 3 course, rarescale offers the opportunity to attend the Composers’ Retreat. Here you can work uninterrupted on your major compositional project, in the inspirational setting of Harlaxton Manor, with course tutors Michael Oliva and Carla Rees on hand to offer advice when required. This is the perfect opportunity to focus on your coursework, while also having access to other composers and performers with whom you can discuss ideas and share networking opportunities.

Further information about the summer school can be found here

There is a fee for attending the Summer School/Composers’ Retreat, but OCA students get a reduced rate of £350 (residential) or £200 (non residential).

To book, or for more information, please email and we will put you in touch with OCA tutor Carla Rees.

Similar Articles...

1 comment for “Composition Summer School and Composer’s Retreat

  1. Rotraut Hard
    17 April 2015 at 4:05 pm

    It would be great to have a summer school for fine art students. What I miss most in the creative (rather than academic) part of my course is the face-to-face exchange of ideas/information/discussion of work etc. It feels very lonely out here some times!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *