Wind & Water 2023

Good news – our much-loved Skye course has just been confirmed for this year!!

7:15pm on Friday 20 October to c. 4pm on Sunday 22 October 2023 (non-residential)

at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Sleat, Isle of Skye, IV44 8RQ

This is a light-hearted weekend course for wind players whose enthusiasm perhaps outweighs their expertise!  Wind & Water 2023 offers an opportunity for improver and intermediate-level wind players to make music in a mixed group – a cross between a wind chamber orchestra and a small band – with music carefully tailored to participants’ ability and confidence levels.

About the Course

Wind & Water 2023 is open to players aged 18 – 80+ years on orchestral woodwind, saxophones or brass/brass band instruments.  The weekend is aimed primarily at players from ABRSM Grade 2 – 6 level.


Music is specially arranged to suit the ability and confidence levels of those taking part, so please don’t forget to provide details when you apply! As a result, we aren’t in a position to specify repertoire at this stage.  To give you an idea of the sort of material, here’s a list of some of the music from previous years:

  • Handel’s Water Music (extracts)
  • Sousa’s Hands Across the Sea
  • MacCunn’s Land of the Mountain and the Flood (abridged)
  • Mendelssohn The Hebrides
  • The Wellerman (Traditional)
  • Purcell’s Fairest Isle and Sailors Dance
  • Parry Sailor’s Chorus
  • A Life on the Ocean Wave (Traditional)

Course Cost, Booking and Applications

The course fee will be £185, 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 food.

Bed and breakfast accommodation at the college can be booked separately, through Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.  To enquire, tel: 01471 888000 or e-mail  Participants should be able to purchase meals from the college refectory on a pay-as-you-go basis

Alternatively, local Bed & Breakfast, hostel or hotel listings can be found on, which also describes many of the attractions of the island.

As Skye can be a popular tourist destination, we would recommend that you book accommodation before making your course payment (unless you happen to live locally or possess a camper van!)

To apply, e-mail us at giving the following information: name, address, telephone number, instrument and approximate playing standard.  Making an application does not guarantee you a place – we will let you know if your application has been successful and give you payment instructions at that stage.

The course is quite intensive, so if you are travelling from further afield, you might wish to consider arriving earlier in the week (or staying on afterwards), to give you time to explore the island.


In the event of the Wind & Water 2023 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 have to cancel after paying the full course fee, we would refund this, 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.

Should the college be obliged to re-introduce Covid precautions by the time the course takes place, players would be expected to conform to these, in the interests of everyone’s safety.

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 take place at ground floor level in the original Àrainn 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 Àrainn Chaluim Chille.  It is quite possible to drive from one to the other…or you could bring a flask and some sandwiches!