About the Courses
We have welcomed children and young people to our choral courses for over 40 years and this year will be the 42nd. Throughout this time, the courses have been directed by Dr Ralph Allwood MBE, alongside many talented choral directors, singers and teachers.
We run Senior Choral Courses for young people aged 16-21 and, since 2011 Junior Choral Courses for children and young people aged 8-15. There are no auditions or particular requirements for courses – just enthusiasm and a desire to sing. We also run a generous bursary scheme, depending on family circumstances, to help with the fees.
The main focus of each Choral Course is the choir made up of all participants, which prepares for three main performances or choral evensongs. Preparation for choral scholarships and advice on singing beyond school is given a high priority and there are sessions in sight-reading, aural tests and performance, alongside vocal master-classes, a cappella workshops and sessions with visiting conductors.
Students receive individual singing lessons from experienced specialists. Lessons are also given in Alexander Technique which addresses posture in relation to good singing technique.
To achieve a balanced choir, spaces have to be limited to about 20 sopranos, 12 altos and counter-tenors, 12 tenors, and 16 baritones/basses. Mezzo-sopranos are asked to sing alto in the choir. If you play an instrument, there is also the course orchestra which plays in the informal concert at the end of the week. Click here to view a sample timetable of one of the courses from 2018.
The Choral Courses also provide a unique opportunity for organists to develop their accompanying experience by working with an excellent choir under expert guidance. Although the primary focus for all students attending courses (including organists) is full involvement in the singing, organists also have their own sessions on repertoire, improvisation and other keyboard skills, and gain valuable insight into singing techniques from the workshops and master-classes.
Course Directors: Ralph Allwood and Sarah Macdonald
Age range: You must be aged between 16 and 21 on 31 August 2022 to attend this course.