Just a heads up for those looking to come to Wellington for the oboe summer school, and who are interested in attending as an "advanced participant", please contact us and complete the booking form before sending us any funds for the course. The course is almost full and we don't want to have to refund money if possible, especially for international transfers. There are places still for "enthusiast", the "high school programme" and "professional development".


I am pleased to announce that Philippe Rigoutat will be making his first ever visit to New Zealand to display his oboes and cor anglais at the oboe summer school. It is excellent news for those already playing Rigoutat instruments in this part of the world, as Philippe will be able to check over your instrument and perform some service as required. Also, for those people interested in buying a new oboe, it will be a great chance to try and compare several oboes at once. A rare opportunity in this part of the world.

Also, Kexun Ge of KGE Reeds is planning to attend and bring KGE machines and oboes. This is great opportunity for those interested in buying a machine to try reeds made from his 4 different euro templates and 4 x US style templates and choose and buy a machine set up to your personal liking. Also, Kexun will be able to service machines from existing customers while he is at the course.

RIOSS 2013 - a resounding success

April 11, 2013

The Second Ruapehu International Oboe Summer School was a resounding success in every way, including the weather! Without sponsorship, we would not have been able to make this unique event in the Southern Hemisphere happen. We would like to thank Marigaux, KGE Reeds, Howarth and ABRSM once again, for their generous support.

Below are copies of two articles written by participants, for publication in the Australasian Double Reed Society journal, “Reeding Matter”. From these you will be able to get an idea of the content of the summer school and see how much it was enjoyed.

From Joshua Oates, Adelaide, Australia: Advanced Class

The turn of the New Year saw the running of the second Ruapehu International Oboe Summer School on beautiful Mount Ruapehu in the Tongariro National Park on New Zealand’s North Island.


We were fortunate to have extremely talented international artists David Walter, Gordon Hunt and Kexun – generously sponsored by Marigaux, Howarths and KGE reeds respectively. Our third primary artist Robert Orr came from our hosts, New Zealand, along with our associate artists Martin Lee (also sponsored by KGE reeds), and accompanists Ya-Ting Liou and Dr Blas Gonzalez. The school’s last associate artist was our very own Eve Newsome. Additional sponsorship was also provided by ABRSM (Exam Board of the Royal Schools of Music). All of this was brought together by the incredibly hard working Alison Jepson and her team of very helpful colleagues.


With some travelling from as far a field as London and Johannesburg, our week began with travel around the beautiful mountains of the National Park, arriving for registration alongside the beautiful lake Taupo on Tuesday. Here we were warmly greeted by Alison and then treated to an exquisite concert by the artists including Britten’s Temporal Variations (Robert Orr) the Saint-Saens Sonata (Gordon Hunt), a beautiful Ravel piano Sonatine arranged by David Walter and a Bach Prelude and Fuge as a collaboration with Martin and Gordon Skinner (bassoon). We then all travelled into the mountains to the Chateau and completed the day with rehearsals for our chamber works and a small Masterclass, all topped off with a beautiful BBQ dinner at the nearby Tussock Tavern.


The rest of the week consisted of daily Reed classes, led by Martin and Kexun, individual lessons with the artists, Masterclasses – each of the three main artists did a solo and an accompanied Masterclass – and sessions that were devoted to either chamber music tutorials and rehearsals, other workshops or free time. Each period was separated by the delicious morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea supplied by the Chateau. The feedback from the Masterclasses was inspiring and very insightful with some wonderfully different views on lots of aspects of performance. A few of the consistent focus points made throughout were keeping a strong and steady air stream, incorporating your vibrato into your sound without it overpowering the notes and that as oboists (as most of us already know) we need to work extra hard to produce contrasts in sound and dynamic range to really keep our playing alive and interesting.


On the Wednesday we were spoilt again with a concert from the three main artists, each of them playing one of the Schumann Romances as a publiec concert in the lounge of the Chateau, all three performances incredibly different and each just as inspirational as the last. On the Thursday we also had time set aside to visit the hot pools, a great way to have an hour or so to relax in the middle of an amazing, full on week. On Friday night the advanced participants performed our chamber works as another public concert in the foyer of the hotel. Three groups performed, two playing Bach Brandenburg Concerto’s and the third playing a Ravel Paraphrase. On the final day, Saturday, we participated in the long note competition to see if anyone could beat the previous NZ record of 1:10 mins. Broken it was, by Alison Dunlop of NZ! We concluded the week with another concert of the Enthusiast Chamber groups and performances of the Advanced Class participants’ favourite piece from their Masterclass. It really was an amazing, fun filled week packed with so much to learn from some of the best oboists in the world. A real gem of the oboe community that I’m grateful I was part of and I hope continues for many years to come!



From Margaret Dewse, Auckland, New Zealand: Enthusiast’s Class

Chateau Tongariro nestling at the foot of the mountains was the superb setting for the Second Ruapehu International Oboe Summer School. The charm of the old building and the constant presence of magnificent peaks enhanced the experience of the 26 ‘advanced’ and ‘enthusiast’ participants.


Feedback from the enthusiast stream of the 2011 Summer School had requested more opportunities to play. These were offered this year and all the participants found the daily tutored chamber music sessions immensely valuable. Alison Jepson, Eve Newsome, Martin Lee and Robert Orr rotated between the groups. To have input from a different tutor each day provided a wealth of insight and help. Ranging from basic assistance in the art of playing together as an ensemble to exploring nuances of interpretation and performance, the benefits of these times were evident on the final day, when each of the groups performed the works in the final concert. Finding spaces for eight different groups to practice while private lessons were also being held was sometimes something of a challenge but this inventive group of people always managed to find somewhere for that extra bit of practice.

Master classes for the advanced students are always an opportunity to learn. As a player from the enthusiast group, it was by turns both comforting and daunting to realise that so many of the issues we face, are common to most oboe players. It was refreshing to hear the often similar solutions presented in the unique style of each of the principal tutors. David Walter possesses the talent to both teach and entertain in a way that made his master classes memorable and none of us will forget his use of dance-like antics to underscore the importance of movement in the musical line. Being coached by him for the ensemble playing of a Bach Prelude was an intense, exhilarating experience which resulted in a performance of the work, that in the beginning, most of could not have imagined would be possible.

The Cor Anglais workshop held by Robert Orr and Martin Lee gave many insights into the unique challenges of this instrument and practical suggestions to overcome them. Often these difficulties are compounded for players who must play both instruments in the course of a single piece. It was good to hear of the solutions and how the importance of sourcing the correct bocal for the instrument is critical. The master class that followed clearly demonstrated the points that had been made.

On the final morning Eve Newsome facilitated a workshop entitled Go with the Flow. In it she offered techniques for increasing optimal experience in practice and performance. These focused on integrated body movement stressing the importance of being in touch with the sensations of playing and attending fully to the sounds being produced. A brave volunteer from the audience was used to demonstrate the difference that could be achieved with these skills.

Throughout the week Kexun Ge of K Ge Reeds generously produced a steady stream of custom made reeds to help participants adjust to the challenges of playing at the higher altitude. Many thanks Kexun many of us are extremely grateful.

A personal benefit from attending the master classes was the exposure to some new and unfamiliar repertoire. I returned home eager to explore some of these works and have already sourced and begun some of these challenges!

The opening BBQ, meal times and the opportunity to socialise at the end of the day, often beneath a Mt Ngaruahoe washed rosy by the setting sun, were great times to catch up with players I had met two years ago at the First Summer School, to make new friends who share this passion for the oboe and to meet the tutors in ‘relaxed’ mode.

Congratulations and thanks to Alison Jepson and Martin Lee for the preparation and organisation that resulted in this excellent event. You are both truly amazing and all who attended are indebted to you.           



Free public concerts

January 8, 2013

PUBLIC CONCERTS (free admission)     

Bayview Chateau Tongariro



6.30pm         Wednesday 9 January

Three Romances for oboe and piano, Op. 94                        Robert Schumann

1.     Nicht schnell                                                Robert Orr (NZ)

2.     Einfach, innig                                               Gordon Hunt (UK)

3.     Nicht schnell                                                David Walter (France)


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RIOSS 2013

December 10, 2012
Only 4 weeks to go! The Advanced Class has been full for almost two months with participants coming from NZ, Australia, UK and S. Africa. There is only one space left in the Enthusiast's Class! Day Observers are most welcome and the first five to register and pay will receive a participants bag. A special rate of $165 per night, with a free upgrade to a premium room if available is being offered by the Chateau. Our opening concert in Taupo at 12.30pm on Tuesday 8 January will feature music by...
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The Ruapehu International Oboe Summer School was an overwhelming success!

January 18, 2011
The five days flew past with concerts given by artists and participants, master classes, reed classes, chamber music, private lessons and presentations at a glorious venue (Chateau Tongariro) in a stunning location (Tongariro National Park). Diana Doherty (Au), Gordon Hunt (UK) and Martin Lee (NZ) were outstanding as performers, teachers and as people. The participants came from all over the world and many new friendships were forged. Everyone learnt a huge amount and will be inspired for man...
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Daily Observers: come and enjoy the summer school and the beautiful surroundings for a day or two!

December 14, 2010
Now that our programme is online, you may like to consider coming along to RIOSS for a day or two as an observer. The cost for Day 1 Tuesday 11 January, is $50 for adults and $30 for students and school aged children. This will include your ticket for the opening concert in Taupo and drinks and a simple dinner in the evening. For Day 2, 3, 4, and 5, the daily cost is $150 for adults and $100 for students and school aged children. This includes use of venue, attendance at all talks, classes, a...
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Our daily programme is now online.

December 13, 2010
If you are considering coming to RIOSS for a day or two as an observer, you can now see what events and activities are scheduled for each day. Please bear in mind that the programme is still subject to change but that the opening and closing details will remain the same.

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Reminder re Skotel bookings

October 28, 2010
Several people have experienced difficulties booking accommodation at the Skotel. Remember to email info@skotel.co.nz and quote oboessnz for a quote. Do NOT use the online booking form. Good luck!

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ABRSM Sponsorship of Opening Public Concert in Taupo

October 27, 2010
Yesterday we heard that ABRSM (Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music), will be covering the cost of the hire of the theatre in Taupo for our opening concert, a most generous sponsorship. Many of you will have sat ABRSM exams and in doing so, lifted the standard of your own playing whilst being able to compare yourself to an internationally regarded standard. Many thanks to Heather Gummer, the Auckland representative.

Ruapehu International Oboe Summer School    Opening Concert
12.30pm ...
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Please contact us before depositing money

October 18, 2010
Please contact us to confirm there is a place for you before depositing money into our bank account. The Summer School is almost full for participants but there are still places for observers. Many thanks, Alison.

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The Deadline for 10% Discount Expires on Monday 11 October

October 7, 2010
We have had a fantastic response for RIOSS and there are only a few places left on both the "Advanced Student" and "Oboe Enthusiast" options. Book (and pay) by Monday 11 October to take advantage of the 10% discount offer. This also applies to the "Observer"option.

Alison Jepson in mid July, with Mt Ruapehu in the distance and ChateauTongariro
 to the right of my left shoulder(for those of you with good eyes).

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