Summer School 2021

A week of intensive tuition for young organists during the Oundle International Festival.

The OfO Summer School, founded 36 years ago, is the perfect week for a young organist. Our renowned tutors will guide and inspire you; you’ll gain new insights into your playing every day. You’ll make friends and spend time with kindred spirits, and you’ll broaden your musical horizons by experiencing memorable performances in the Oundle International Festival.

When? 10.30am on Monday 12 July – 4pm on Sunday 18 July 2021

Where? Oundle and surrounding villages. Cambridge visits will be confirmed if Covid protocols change.

Who? Organists around the ages of 14 – 23, from roughly Grade 6* standard through diploma level. Students will be grouped according to their level of experience.

Tutors (see our featured tutors section for Tutor biographies):

  • Ann Elise Smoot (Director, OfO)
  • Katherine Dienes-Williams (Organist and Master of the Choristers, Guildford Cathedral)
  • Richard Hills (Organist of St Mary’s Bourne Street; equally at home in the classical and theatre organ genres)
  • Anna Lapwood (Director of Music, Pembroke College, Cambridge)
  • Richard Pinel (Director of Music, Jesus College, Cambridge)
  • William Whitehead (International recitalist and Curator of the Orgelbüchlein Project)
  • Mark Williams (Informator Choristarum, Magdalen College, Oxford)

All of our tutors have pursued wide-ranging careers and are performers and teachers who are not only of the highest calibre, but also friendly, approachable, and eager to help you become the best musician you can be. Their full biographies will be published here in the New Year.

Oundle for Organists reserves the right to alter course content, including tutors, should the need arise.

*Please contact us if you are unsure about your playing level but would like to come on the course.

Covid safety guidelines and hygiene procedures will be rigorously adhered to, and there will of necessity be some differences from previous Summer Schools, but the basic components of fun, intensive learning, and friendship will remain the same. As guidelines change, so too may the format of the course, but all being well we are looking forward to seeing students here in Oundle in July.

As of yet, we are uncertain as to how many students we will be able to house.  We are also uncertain as to whether or not we will be able to house them at Oundle School. The sooner we get applications in, the sooner this information will become clear!


The 2021 course fee is £675. Due to our booking process being so altered this year, we will be charging everyone at the same flat rate; there will be no discount available for early booking. This still represents a saving on the standard booking fee of last year (£690).

Please Note:

  • A non-refundable deposit of £200 will be asked for on 15 April or as soon as we have confirmed arrangements for the course, with payment due by 1 May at the earliest. In the event of non-payment of deposit, your place will be offered to someone on our waiting list. (For bursary applicants, the timeline and procedure on this will vary, and we will advise you about this; please do not be concerned.)
  • Deposits will only be refunded in specific circumstances, such as:
  • Cancellation of the course due to government restrictions
  • A student, or someone in his/her household testing positive for Covid within 14 days of the start of the course or being advised by a doctor or the NHS test and trace app to self-isolate. We will require written documentation to support this
  • A student being placed under any other government restrictions preventing travel to Oundle
  • In all other circumstances, refunds will only be issued at the discretion of the Director of OfO.
  • Payment of the full course fee will be required by 15 June. In the event of non-payment of the fee, the place will be offered to those on our waiting list. Again, this timeline may vary for bursary students, for example if the funding body providing the bursary has not yet released the funds to us.
  • Refunds for course fees will only be issued as for the deposits.

How to apply

N.B WE ARE NOW FULL, please join our waiting list by emailing:

The procedure for allocating places for the OfO Summer School is as follows:

Places will first be offered to those who booked onto our 2020 Summer School. In case of over-subscription from this group, places will be allocated in the order that applications for 2020 were received. We ask this group to indicate their intention to take up their priority place once full details of the course are published on 10 December 2020. If you were enrolled on our 2020 Summer School, and would like to take up your priority place, you will need to let us know of your intention to do so by 20 December.

Places will then be offered to those who have registered interest/applied (so please do so straight away!), again in the order that those expressions of interest and/or applications were received, and again with a deadline for responses. If you registered interest with us already, we have you on a list and you will receive priority treatment in this group; please do fill in an application form for us as we hope to be able to accommodate you!

Places will then be opened up to applications at large, should space permit.

‘My week at Oundle has been one of the most memorable of my life so far. Never before have I encountered so many young and like-minded people, and I have come away feeling that I have made some life-long friends.’ – 2019 Summer School Student

If you are interested in joining us, or in finding out more, it is vital that you register your interest with us as soon as possible on:

 As always, do not let finances stop you from applying. We can help you find funding, and in some cases can provide it ourselves. We have never turned a student away for financial reasons.