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Wind and Water: Plunging back in!

7:15 pm Friday 15th Oct - 4pm Sunday 17th October 2021 (non-residential)

Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Sleat, Isle of Skye, IV44 8RQ       £150
Hooray!  We've finally been given the thumbs-up for a Skye wind weekend this October!

Sabhal Mor Ostaig requires that all visitors to campus take two lateral flow tests prior to their arrival,
3 days apart, plus a third on reaching the college.  If you are not happy about this, please don't apply!
Image of boats on the sea around Skye A light-hearted weekend course run by the Blow & Blast team, Wind and Water offers an opportunity for relatively inexperienced wind players to make music in a mixed group: a cross between a wind orchestra and a small band.

'Wind and Water: Plunging back in' is open to players aged 18 - 80+ years on orchestral woodwind, saxophones, or brass/wind band instruments.  The weekend is aimed primarily at players from ABRSM Grade 2 - 6 level. 

Award-winning tutors Tricia and Trona Melville-Mason specialise in working with adult learners and returners and are known for their patience, humour and encouragement.


As we've only just been given the go-ahead, we aren't able to specify repertoire at this stage.  Previous courses have included arrangements of the following:
  • Fairest Isle & Sailors' Dance (Purcell)
  • The Hebrides Overture (Mendelssohn)
  • Stormy Night on the Coast (Grieg)
  • Over the Waves (Rosas)
  • A Life on the Ocean Wave (Traditional)
  • Water Music - extracts (Handel)
  • Land of the Mountain & the Flood (MacCunn)
  • Hands across the Sea (Sousa)
  • Medley of Sea Shanties
  • Skye Boat Song

Depending on the number and ability level of players, and the distribution of instruments, we may revisit a few of these pieces - but we will also try to include some new items.

Course Applications

The course fee will be £150, which includes tuition and provision of practice parts for the principal pieces.  These will be e-mailed out in PDF form about a week before the course.

Please note that the course fee does NOT include accommodation or meals.

To apply, e-mail us at giving the following information: name, full contact details, instrument and approximate playing standard.

Unfortunately, making an application does not guarantee you a place.  To comply with Covid guidelines, numbers will have to be limited and, particularly at such short notice, we may have to control the balance of the different instruments.

We will let you know as soon as possible whether your application has been successful, at which point payment of the full course fee of £150 will be required to reserve your space.

Bed and Breakfast accommodation at the college can be booked separately, through Sabhal Mor Ostaig.  To enquire, tel: 01471 888000 or e-mail

Course participants should be able to purchase meals from the college refectory on a pay-as-you-go basis.

As Skye can be a popular tourist destination, we would recommend that you book accommodation before making your final payment (unless, of course, you live locally!)

The course is quite intensive, so those who are travelling from further afield might wish to consider arriving earlier in the week (or staying on afterwards) so that they can spend time exploring Skye. describes many of the attractions of the island, as well as including some alternative bed & breakfast or hotel accommodation listings.


In the event of the course being cancelled (with or without notice), any fees paid would be refunded in full.  However, Blow & Blast accepts no liability for other costs incurred.  Players should be aware that they make their applications on this basis.

Should a participant be obliged to pull out at the last minute due to a requirement to self-isolate, we would refund the course fee, less an administration charge of £25.

Instrument and Personal Safety

Applications should be made on the understanding that participants accept full responsibility for both their personal health and safety and that of their instrument throughout the weekend.

In the interests of everyone's safety, players will be expected to conform to the Sabhal Mor Ostaig Covid-19 Guidelines for Visitors, a full copy of which will be sent to applicants.  Essentially, this includes observing college requirements regarding lateral flow testing beforehand and on arrival, social distancing & wearing of face coverings indoors on campus, quarantine (if necessary), track and trace, etc.

Accessibility/Special Needs

If you have special accessibility or dietary requirements that are a 'make or break' concern, please check with the venue before confirming your booking on the course.

Most of the music-making will be held at ground floor level in the original Arainn Ostaig part of the campus, which has parking nearby.  However, it is a bit of a walk from there to the refectory, which is across the road in Arainn Chaluim Chille.  It is quite possible to drive from one to the other...or you could bring a flask and some sandwiches!

Approximate Timetable

Friday 15th October
7:15 - 9:15pm Session 1  
Saturday 16th October    
10am - 12 noon Session 2  
3pm - 5:30pm Session 3  
7:15 - 9:15pm Session 4 (Evening session optional -
sight-reading, NOT the set works)
Sunday 17th October  
10am - 12 noon Session 5  
2pm - c. 4pm Final play-through