After the 10 hugely successful visits to the wonderful Milton Abbey, Choral Holidays returns again for our annual weekend of making music, in the most fantastic surroundings. Whether you are a regular or a first-timer, you will be made most welcome on our longest-running course.
This has proved an immensely popular course. From humble beginnings with 16 participants, it has grown year on year, and now attracts around 100 people.
With the help of our two wonderful organists, Jonathan Hope and Ben Saul, and led by our artistic director Jeff Stewart we will be exploring some of the greatest music in the choral repertoire.
We look to find a balance in the music that will challenge people and provide them with the opportunity to work on vocal and performance technique.
There is no actual requirement to learn the music before coming on the weekend, but it goes without saying that the more familiar everyone is with the music before arriving, the more we will achieve and the more fun everyone will have.
All we ask is that you arrive with a sense of adventure, prepared to be challenged but also to have a great deal of fun. We want you to leave feeling better equipped to express yourself through music and with new ideas on vocal technique and performance technique which will enrich not only your singing but life in general.
The Milton Abbey weekend promises, once again, to be a truly uplifting experience in this most wonderful of English locations.
The repertoire is yet to be decided but will include a selection of pieces to please all tastes and to inspire everyone to reach new levels of singing.
There is a lower limit on numbers. We have to have at least 45 people, so, if you are nervous about booking, fearing you might be exposed, don’t be! Assuming the numbers continue to rise, you will be part of a large crowd.
Who this course is for
This course is aimed at people of all levels. We are able to balance helping those who need help musically with challenging those who are more able to go further in terms of performance and vocal technique.
The less experienced participants tend to improve because they are near the stronger ones, but the stronger ones improve because we constantly challenge them to do things better technically and to use their understanding of the text to perform more fully.
We will begin the course at 11am on Friday 5 August 2022 and finish with an informal concert of the music on which we have worked, on the afternoon of Sunday 7 August. We will also have a service of plainsong Compline on the Friday evening, an organ recital from our splendid organists, and a recital from our musical director, Jeff Stewart with accompaniment from Ben Saul.
You will be staying in the school, where you will receive all your meals and will have access to the tennis courts, golf course and swimming pool. There will be the option to arrive on the previous evening on a bed and breakfast and evening meal basis.
About Milton Abbey
Deep in the beautiful Dorset countryside, set in a natural amphitheatre of wooded hills, stands the magnificent church of Milton Abbey. Originally established by King Athelstan in 933, the present building, with its extraordinary acoustic, dates from the 15th Century, with the building having been halted by King Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in 1539. The Abbey became a boys’ school in 1953.
For 10 years, we have experienced not only the beauty of the school and the setting, but also the thrill of having our own abbey in which to practise and perform. This makes it a great place for people with little experience to come and learn what it’s like to sing choral music – but it also provides a chance for more experienced singers to concentrate on learning better vocal technique and performance skills.
The accommodation is the school accommodation, but this is of a good standard. This does not mean dormitories.
The rooms are mostly twin, but we are easily able to accommodate those who wish to have a room to themselves. The rooms are not en-suite. The surroundings are stunning and the food sumptuous.
Your accommodation, food and all drinks at mealtimes are included in the price. If you would prefer to stay off-site, we have a daily rate available for lunch and dinner.
Covid-19 – safety
Of course, some people will have concerns about safety. We can only reassure you by saying that, owing to a huge investment on the part of the school into facial recognition, heat detectors and sanitising stations, Milton Abbey School has not had one single case of Covid 19. Added to this, our own precautions meant that we had no cases of Covid 19 as a result of people attending our 2021 course.