Q. When does the summer school start & finish and what dates does the accommodation cover?
A. 2016: Summer school begins at 10am on Tuesday July 19, 2016, and ends on the evening of Sunday 24th July.
Accommodation at Benbulben Suites is from July 18-24th inclusive.
Q. Where is the summer school?
A. This year we have moved to Sligo Institute of Technology, as St Edwards school is undergoing renovations.
Q. What international airport is the nearest to Sligo?
A. The nearest international airport is Knock – which serves UK and a handful of European destinations. For other European travellers, we recommend flying to Dublin or UK and connecting by train to Sligo station. It is also possible to reach Sligo via Shannon airport but connections are more difficult without a car.
Q. How far is Sligo from Dublin airport?
A. 2:30 hours by road. 3 hrs by train (www.irishrail.ie), 3:30 by bus (buseireann.ie) from Connolly station plus a short bus trip connection to/from Dublin airport.
Q. Is accommodation available, and if so, what type?
A. YES, in Benbulben Suites. All rooms are ensuite.
Q. How much is tuition?
A. €550 EUR (€450 Students) for the week, including admission to all concerts. We run an early bird discount each year, which applies to all who book and pay in full by the end of May. Accommodation is extra.
Q. How much does accommodation cost, and how is it done?
A. €190 EUR for a single ensuite or €260 EUR for a double/twin ensuite sharing an apartment.
Q. Does “Single” (or “Double”) Sharing Apartment mean you have a separate bedroom?
A. Yes, you just share a common kitchen with others. Your bedroom has a bathroom attached.
Q. Does Benbulben Suites supply towels and linen?
Q. If I can get to Knock, on what days will somebody be able to pick me up and drop me off at the airport? And is there a charge for this service?
A. We usually have several arriving to knock on the Monday prior to the summer school start. Knock is only served by some UK airports. We can not guarantee pickup at Knock but if there are several participants/tutors arriving on the same flight it is possible. Exclusive pickups can cost up to €30 depending on driver availability. Beware: Taxis from Knock – Sligo can cost up to €100. There is an irregular bus service from Knock to Sligo. Check www.buseireann.ie or Knock airport website for more info.
Q. I live outside of Ireland. Can I pay via Paypal or a credit card?
A. We accept paypal but not are not credit card-enabled as yet. There is an extra charge for paypal transactions. We recommend bank transfer, both for Irish and international participants. Bank details here, including international SWIFT and IBAN codes.
2. SUMMER SCHOOL – WORKSHOPS/LEVELS/GRADES etc
Q: I’m coming to the summer school and am a beginner/intermediate level player – what standards should I look at prior to the event?
A: Have a look at this website http://www.jazzstandards.com/compositions/index.htm – its a list of the most popular standards, so anything from this list is a good start! Don’t worry though as there will no doubt be new tunes introduced during the week, perhaps even some originals depending on tutor & level.
Q: I’m really a jazz beginner, will I learn anything or will it be over my head?
A: There’s no real answer, we do cater for jazz beginners, meaning someone who has decent chord knowledge and moderate playing technique but may not have played jazz before. Best thing is try to get your head (or voice/limbs!) around some jazz standards before you come, prepare as much as possible, and you will learn loads and have a lot of fun.
Q. Are there certain parts of the repertoire we should know in advance of the course?
A. It is good for jazz beginners to learn a few basic standards. Contact SJP for a list of these. However during the summer school, each tutor will decide on their repertoire, for ensembles and masterclass work.
Q. Can you advise what the format of the week is?
A. Click this link for SJP SUMMER SCHOOL SCHEDULE 2016. The Summer school runs 10am-4pm from Tuesday to Friday, with Saturday morning workshops and optional time off/practice time on Saturday afternoon, plus final rehearsal and participant performance Sunday morning & afternoon and a final “Wrap Party” Sunday night.
The mornings begin with special workshops, followed by ensemble classes. There is an in-house lunch followed by Masterclasses until 4pm. Ensembles can then rehearse until the school closes at 6pm. Student ensembles, directed by faculty members, will then perform the material they have rehearsed throughout the week in concert on the Sunday afternoon. There are evening (6pm) jam sessions in the RIVERSIDE HOTEL each day and at night from Weds to Saturday. Main festival concerts happen at 8pm each night. Admission to ALL festival concerts is included in the summer school fees (with the exception of Music Generation camp students, see organisers & this year’s forms for details).
Q. How do you decide on levels so as to assign students to combos, etc? Is there an audition?
A. There may be a brief assessment by your tutor on the first morning – but we rely on students to fill in their questionnaires in full on application forms prior to this, and use this info in assembling the basic ensembles.
Q. Are there evening events and jams?
A. Yes every evening, in various venues – and free festival concerts for all participants. Final programme is published in June, or check website for regular updates. See our programme download page
Q. Approximately how many people will be on the course?
A. Around 105
Q. Are meals separate?
A. No, lunch is included from Tues-Friday inclusive at Sligo IT’s O’Hehir’s Food Hall. Saturday and Sunday participants must fend for themselves as we run lunchtime events away from the school.
3. AGE LIMITS/YOUTH FAQ
Q. Are there age limits?
A. Not for the summer school. Our youngest student was 9 years old, our oldest 75. With regards the festival venues, there are age restrictions on some events but most venues are very cooperative.
Q. Can I send my child to the summer school unaccompanied?
A. No. Minors must be delivered/picked up by adults to/from the summer school, and accompanied in their accommodation, either by a parent, guardian or older sibling. The guardian must take charge of minors outside of workshops/masterclasses and accompany them to all concerts.
Q. What equipment (other than the instrument) should we bring?
A. If you are a guitarist or bassist living in Ireland, please bring your amp/combo if possible. There will be some amplifiers available, but those travelling from abroad without equipment will be given precedence. Likewise for electronic pianos and drum kits, please bring yours if it is convenient. Double bassists travelling to Ireland, who cannot bring theirs: we will have 2 double basses available for traveling students at the summer school (a small rental charge may
Q. Will there be amplification there?
A. As above. There will be a vocal monitor in each room and a limited amount of backline throughout the school.
Q. Is there a music shop close by?
A. There is a small music shop in the centre of Sligo (2Km from school) but with limited stock of strings etc. Bottom line: Bring everything you need, to be on the safe side!