The course consists of intensive work in groups of varying sizes, with some one-to-one coaching and frequent performance opportunities in varied venues. There is no competitive element in the course whatsoever. Individuals, whether tutors or singers, attend in order to learn, to progress on their own journey, and to help each other. The result is a wonderfully supportive atmosphere which depends on and easily accommodates a very wide range of age and ability. You will work together with sixth-form, university and music college students, as well as medical professionals, teachers, retired individuals and young professional singers, all supporting each other with their mutual love of music and passion for singing.
There are frequent short masterclasses from our own tutors as well as guests. In recent courses we have welcomed Simon Keenlyside CBE, Diana Montague, Claire Rutter, Martin Bruns, David Rendall, Stephen Gadd and Jon Andrew.
The venue, whether the impressive scale of the Winchester College music block, or the more intimate modern music facility at Talbot Heath School in Bournemouth, is comfortable, attractive and conducive to the atmosphere we create.
You will be given a colourful time-table on arrival each day, which typically ends with a performance to which guests are warmly invited. You are welcome to arrive from 9.30 am. We will start work at 10 am, the final activity being an informal concert finishing either side of 6pm. Coffee and tea will be provided, and there will be a break of 45 minutes to an hour for lunch. You may of course leave early.
Please bring sellotaped copies, or originals for the pianist of music you wish to sing, as well as your own copy if required. It is up to you whether you wish to work at fewer items repeatedly or more items to get through plenty of repertoire. If you can sing at least some of your items by heart, there will be more workshop activities open to you. You should have quite a few (hopefully 4-6) opportunities to sing each day.
Please dress for comfort, and preferably bring layers to enable you to cope with as wide a range of temperature or activity (or sitting) as possible!
There will be some movement activities. Please take responsibility for your own continued well-being, and judge for yourself whether a particular activity is viable for you or not.