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IDRS Reading Groups


General Information

Reading Groups are sight-reading sessions that have been a regular part of the IDRS Conference since 1999. They are also being planned for the 2024 conference at Kitt School of Music in Flagstaff, Arizona. The sessions are designed to be fun and stress-free, yet sufficiently challenging to be musically satisfying. We currently have a library of almost 900 double reed ensembles, each consisting of 2-16 different parts. There is music for almost every combination of double reed instruments, including music for bassoons only, for oboes and English horns only, and for mixed double reed ensembles. The library also contains works of varying difficulty. This allows us to form large or small groups of different ability levels, catering to the desires and abilities of the players who show up at each session. New works are added to the library each year.The sessions are run in a very informal atmosphere. We encourage you to attend as many or as few as you wish. Please arrive a few minutes early if possible, as this facilitates formation of appropriate groups of players. Ensembles of different sizes are playing simultaneously in different rooms at each session. When you arrive, it is helpful for you to tell the organizers approximately what your ability level is, and whether you prefer to be in a large or small ensemble. We also would like to know if you prefer to be reading in an ensemble with one on a part or if you would feel more comfortable if someone else is playing the same part. We can usually handle requests to participate in a group of a particular instrumentation. While the sessions are definitely not seen as a performance, observers can usually be allowed to watch in any of the rooms if space is adequate.

There will be many reading sessions scheduled over the 5 days of the conference. The tentative schedule will be listed below in the near future. The schedule and meeting room for the sessions will be posted in the program book and on the website before the conference. We hope to see you there.

Special requests for reading group sessions:

There are several ways we can usually accommodate special requests for reading group sessions. If you have one of these special requests, please contact Glenn Harman at the e-mail address below in advance of the session you wish to attend, so that space and instrumentation arrangements can be made:

  1. If you are a composer, arranger, or publisher who would like to have a new work tried out by a group, please let me know so that I can have the proper instrumentation available in one of our rooms. You can then either give me the piece in advance of the session or bring it to that session.
  2. If you have a pre-formed group and would like to spend a reading session reading together, let me know so that I can plan for a space for you. You will be free to read some of our music and/or some of your own that you bring along.
  3. If you have a special-interest situation that might be appropriate for a reading session, get in touch with me to arrange a time. An example: In Granada, one session had a group for bassoonists playing French bassoons. They read some of our ensembles for 6-8 bassoonists and some of their own music.

Conference registration is required:

Click here for the 2024 conference >>

Contact person for special requests and any other questions:

Glenn Harman,

We hope to see you there.

The Reading Group Committee
Glenn S. Harman, Chairman
Carolee Bowen
Christopher Nilo
Bruce Biggin
Melanie Nichols