23rd Mar 2021

Rescheduled dates for the postponed 2020 Sore Week

ng days: Sunday 24th to Thursday 28th October 2021

Arrivals Saturday 23rd after 15:00hrs and departures on Friday 29th October by 11.00hrs.

PLEASE NOTE: the Sunday -Thursday schedule is to accommodate the school’s logistics as the mid term break is shorter than the Easter one. Other then that, the daily schedule and the general programme remain unchanged.

Please email as soon as possible to let us know whether you can attend on the re-scheduled dates. We appeal to all of you to do your best to attend so that we can at last celebrate our COVID doomed 25th anniversary Sore Fingers Week.

If, due to professional or prior commitments etc, you find you cannot attend please let us know soonest and we’ll discuss options.
Latest COVID news

In view of HM Government’s COVID Recovery Road Map published recently setting June 21st for the complete lifting of all restrictions, we believe there is enough latitude in the schedule to allow us to run the postponed Easter 2020 Sore Fingers Week in October 2021.

You will have read in the news that the UK’s vaccination programme is proceeding swiftly and to date, about a third of the population have now received a first “jab”. It is our view that the vaccine is the only effective way to protect people at an event like Sore Fingers Week where close proximity of people can hardly be avoided.
Vaccine roll out in the USA is also progressing rapidly, helping to lift the current travel restrictions between North America and the UK. We know of several tutors who have already been vaccinated.

All Easter 2020 Bookings Remain Valid for October dates
If you have an active Easter 2020 booking it is valid for the October 2021 dates. You do not need to complete a new form.

We’re in contact with and hope be able to offer the same tutors as originally advertised. A lot will depend on student numbers and availability. We may need to make a few adjustments but where tutors are concerned, any necessary replacement will be of a similar standing.

We appeal to you to make every effort to attend even if it means a little begging with your employer for time off. They may well understand how this unprecedented period of disruption has knocked things about, and be amenable.

PLEASE NOTE: There were still places available on several of the courses for Easter 2020 and we are now accepting new bookings for the October 2021 dates. A revised booking form can be obtained from the website. No payments will be taken until we officially confirm the October week.

Looking Ahead to 2022
By mid-June, we should have certainty over the October dates and that will signal the advertising of the Easter 2022 Sore Fingers Week.

Most of you will know how hard the COVID crisis has affected the live music industry and although the Government have claimed to have done “everything they could” to support various sectors of industry, their response to the needs of the arts has been variable, more focussed on buildings and large established institutions rather than smaller concerns like Sore Fingers Summer Schools. Despite many attempts, SFSS, like many other similar ventures, have not qualified for any support in terms of grants. It has been a difficult financial year with continuing overheads to pay and no income to offset the outgoings.

However, we are well set for recuperation and hope you will consider booking up for Easter and October 2022 as we’ll need strong attendance at both events to ensure a sustained recovery.
Thank you for the patience and show of good will by all the students who booked for Easter 2020 which has enabled us to ring fence all fees and preserve survival of the event to run again into the future.

Future Developments, New Courses
We intend to promote a new series of courses to supplement those already on offer. We had already introduced the “Improvisation” Course at the October 2019 event and we are set to continue this theme with more courses linking music theory to those technical skills you have been learning at S.F. up to now. It’s a fascinating world so don’t be put off by the word “theory” because, when it’s taught in a practical way, it makes far more sense. Expect to see more classes on composition, arranging, etc.

Lockdown and the lack of gigs has encouraged many musicians to record video performances from home. For some, it has been a lifeline whether offering lessons or streamed gigs. These technologies were once restricted to high end studios and professionals but, today, it’s possible to set oneself up with good-quality facilities for less than the price of decent banjo! We intend therefore to offer some coaching on those subjects too - video and audio at home.

Final words
It’s been sad to hear of those festivals and venues closing their doors due to the pandemic. That could have been our fate too. We were fortunate to have built up strong commercial relationships with suppliers, Kingham Hill School and all of you, to ensure we had a fair chance of riding the storm. From the outset, we took the decision to focus on being back at the end of COVID and picking up where we left off. The prospects for success are good and we thank all those involved for their support.

The Pandemic wasn’t caused by people or government, it’s a natural phenomenon and there was no alternative to getting through the worst of it. Throwing in the towel wasn’t an option as it would have meant lots of people losing out and no Sore Fingers Week to come back to when times improved for the better. We’re nearly there now.

We reiterate our commitment to protecting everyone’s investments. All funds are safeguarded and, although the pandemic restricts our ability to trade at present, we should be able to generate some income soon and set off on the road to full recovery.

Best wishes
John & Moira

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