Principal Conductor: Thomas Leech
Join us for this supportive and engaging course – designed to expand your repertoire, develop your sight-reading skills and inspire you with excellent technical advice from our conductor and section leaders, all professional singers and experienced educators. Some familiarity with notation is assumed, and our tutors are expert in working with a broad spectrum of experience. Sectional rehearsals help members to become familiar with the music and one-to-one sessions throughout the week provide the opportunity for you to work on specific areas or perhaps a favourite solo piece.
Our 2018 selection featured beautifully singable sacred music by Pergolesi and Vivaldi, plus music by Tallis, the Portugese composer Pedro de Cristo, and a sprinking of timeless Gregorian chant. This portion of our programme – accompanied by the string tutors on Baroque instruments – will recreate the atmosphere of the evening service of Vespers, for which all of the music was originally composed.
We also studied part-songs by the great masters Brahms and Elgar, exploring different vocal sonorities with the music ranging from the simple tenderness of Rosmarin to the miniature symphonic textures of Go, Song of Mine.
Finally we looked at a number of more secular pieces, including Morten Lauridsen’s Sure on this Shining Night, James MacMillan’s The Gallant Weaver and a show-stopping arrangement of Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango.
Plenty of time is included for singing through additional music, with repertoire from across the centuries. The course concert provides a wonderful opportunity to perform the repertoire, accompanied by the string tutors conducted by Tom Leech.
Members are also encouraged to join in the Open Choir session (which in 2017 featured “The Rio Grande” by Constant Lambert), the Open Vocal Ensemble sessions (with a huge range of repertoire from madrigals and catches to opera choruses), and are welcome to perform in the members’ concert.
This year we also inaugurated an Open Opera session, which featured Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas”. Members had the chance to join the opera chorus and work alongside professional singers and instrumentalists to experience this wonderful music.