Festival Schedule

the workshops

The 2019/20 festival features great workshops, lots of singing and
unrivalled learning from some of the best workshop leaders in the UK.

Chichester – Manchester – York – Exmouth – St Albans

UPCOMING EVENTS

Schedules for each event are shown below.  Please scroll across the events to see more events if available.

St Albans Day One
2019-10-19
St Albans High School for Girls
St Albans Day Two
2019-10-20
St Albans High School for Girls
Manchester Day One
2020-02-08
Manchester High School for Girls
St Albans High School for Girls
St Albans High School for Girls
Manchester High School for Girls
Registration image
09:00
Registration
Welcome / Introduction image
09:30
Welcome / Introduction
The Warm Up image
09:45 - 10:00
The Warm Up

The day kicks off with a stimulating mental and physical warm up given by one of our workshop leaders of the day.

Exploring the Techniques of A Cappella Singing with Richard Eteson image
10:00 - 11:00
Exploring the Techniques of A Cappella Singing with Richard Eteson

What makes an a cappella or close harmony group stand out from a choral ensemble or choir?  Learn the tricks of the trade with former King’s College Choir and Swingle Singer Richard Eteson.  In this immersive workshop we will explore how a cappella singers refine and perfect the basic choral skills of time and tuning to make the music ring true. Know your place: the function of your part/vocal line; your note in the chord; balance, ensemble and teamwork. The sounds of a cappella: basslines, backing vocals and vocal percussion. Performance, engagement and having fun!

Exploring the Techniques of A Cappella Singing with Richard Eteson image
Richard Eteson
Singer & Workshop Leader
Morning Break image
11:00 - 11:30
Morning Break
Jambo Afrika! With Steve Cook image
11:30 - 12:30
Jambo Afrika! With Steve Cook

Jambo Afrika!

Jambo Afrika! promises to get your feet tapping, heart pumping and voices jamming to some infectious African rhythms, chants and big harmonies.

Steve will introduce you to some exciting yet accessible African songs with driving beats, riotous rhythms, funky, syncopated syllables and crazy canons!

Add into the musical mix some ‘choirography’ in the form of South African ‘gumboot’ grooves and body percussion and you have a truly immersive experience!

Jambo Afrika! With Steve Cook image
Steve Cook
Teacher & Workshop Leader
Lunch Break & Performance Rehearsal image
12:30 - 14:00
Lunch Break & Performance Rehearsal

A long lunch break to recharge and take on board the morning’s wealth of knowledge. Plus an opportunity for choirs to warm up and rehearse for their performance later in the day.

The Drop In image
12:45 - 13:30
The Drop In

Attendees are welcome to drop in on our esteemed panel of workshop leaders to ask them any questions in an informal and personal environment.  Whether it be a simple vocal question or something more technical, our expert panel are here to chat.  Availability is limited to first come first served.

Post-Lunch Warm-Up with Russell Scott image
14:00 - 14:10
Post-Lunch Warm-Up with Russell Scott
Post-Lunch Warm-Up with Russell Scott image
Russell Scott
Producer, Performance Coach & Musical Director
The Vocal Health Workshop with the British Voice Association image
14:10 - 15:10
The Vocal Health Workshop with the British Voice Association

Join two representatives from the British Voice Association (BVA) for an interactive workshop on vocal care and how to keep your voice flexible and well maintained pre and post singing. Do’s and don’ts and common pitfalls that lead to vocal issues. Workshop to include…

– Practical advice on staying health as a singer (diet, hydration, exercise etc.)
– Application of simple voice exercises designed to warm up the vocal anatomy prior to more technical singing specific scale work.
– Introduction of Semi Occluded Vocal Tract (SOVT) exercises to set up optimal vocal gestures for singing.
– Application of SOVT in pitch flexibility exercises and how to apply these on the fly when learning repertoire.
– Finally, practical advice on what to do if you run into vocal difficulties and where to go if you require specialist help or assessment.

The Vocal Health Workshop with the British Voice Association image
British Voice Association
Mid-Afternoon Break image
15:10 - 15:30
Mid-Afternoon Break
Sing From Your Soul with Mat Wright image
15:30 - 16:30
Sing From Your Soul with Mat Wright

Sing From Your Soul

A lively, fun and interactive workshop that will feature lots of useful information and usable ideas that will help singers and choirs improve and develop. We will look first at preparation and warm-ups and how we can use the Kodaly system to support better intonation and colour. During the workshop there will be opportunities to try lots of interesting ways of warming up in a fun but focused way. We will not only look at vocal warm-ups but look at physical and mental preparation before performances and discuss how important this is.

The workshop will look at the genre of popular choral music – one that is often misunderstood and undervalued. We will use a simple piece as a focus for the workshop and discuss how choirs can perform this music in an exciting way and produce an interesting interpretation. We will focus on communication – with one another and, crucially, with an audience. Honest expression is key when we perform and we will discuss and learn about how we can ‘sing from our souls’. Getting the balance right between technical accuracy and communicative expression is key. Audiences will always forgive a wrong note – they will never forgive a lack of energy, passion and commitment!

Sing From Your Soul with Mat Wright image
Mat Wright
Teacher, Conductor, Composer and Arranger
Performance Session image
16:45 - 18:00
Performance Session

The opportunity to perform in front of each other and our amazing panel of workshop leaders in a non-competitive, supportive environment.  If performing, written constructive critique from the panel will be handed to the choir leaders at the end of the day.  Whether performing or not, this invaluable session is a great chance to watch and learn from other choirs.

Close / Platinum Sessions image
18:00 - 19:00
Close / Platinum Sessions

The end of the festival day. Those choirs with Platinum tickets will now have their opportunity of a 15 minute 1-2-1 Q & A session with the workshop leaders.

Registration image
09:00
Registration
Welcome / Introduction image
09:30
Welcome / Introduction
The Warm Up image
09:45 - 10:00
The Warm Up

The day kicks off with a stimulating mental and physical warm up given by one of our workshop leaders of the day.

Changing Choral Colour with James Davey image
10:00 - 11:00
Changing Choral Colour with James Davey

Changing Choral Colour

Every note we sing is unique and colourful and contributes to a magnificent palette of sound when we sing together.
‘Changing Choral Colour’ explores how sound is produced, how we can refine our individual sound, and what we need to do with it to improve the blend of our choir.
With the help of some festival volunteers, the session will highlight solutions for creating beautiful harmonies and articulating text appropriately. We’ll also learn about the technique of voice-matching and other advanced methods for balancing and blending a choir.
Changing Choral Colour with James Davey image
James Davey
Morning Break image
11:00 - 11:30
Morning Break
Singing Against The Clock with Pete Churchill image
11:30 - 12:30
Singing Against The Clock with Pete Churchill

This is a chance to work with renowned Singer/Pianist, Composer/Arranger and Choir Director Pete Churchill. His session will be delivered entirely by ear and will be a masterclass in how to develop groove repertoire quickly and efficiently for small and large vocal groups.

Focussing on styles that range from Gospel through Soul and Reggae and beyond, this promises to be a high energy workshop that will be both inspirational and informative.

You will be amazed at how much music can be made from scratch in such a short time.

Singing Against The Clock with Pete Churchill image
Pete Churchill
Educator & Choral Director
Lunch Break & Performance Rehearsal image
12:30
Lunch Break & Performance Rehearsal

A long lunch break to recharge and take on board the morning’s wealth of knowledge. Plus an opportunity for choirs to warm up and rehearse for their performance later in the day.

The Drop In image
12:45 - 13:30
The Drop In

Attendees are welcome to drop in on our esteemed panel of workshop leaders to ask them any questions in an informal and personal environment.  Whether it be a simple vocal question or something more technical, our expert panel are here to chat.  Availability is limited to first come first served.

Post-Lunch Warm-Up with Russell Scott image
14:00 - 14:10
Post-Lunch Warm-Up with Russell Scott
Post-Lunch Warm-Up with Russell Scott image
Russell Scott
Producer, Performance Coach & Musical Director
Purely Vocal with Ben Sawyer image
14:10 - 15:10
Purely Vocal with Ben Sawyer

Purely Vocal

With shows like ‘Sing: Ultimate A Cappella’ and ‘Pitch Battle’, and a wealth of material on YouTube, a cappella singing has seen a major surge in popularity in recent years, stripping down songs of all styles and genres so that they are purely vocal.

This session introduces singers to some of the techniques your choir can use to enhance your a cappella singing. With nowhere to hide, every member has a role in creating the fantastically blended, well-balanced sound your choir strives for and Ben will be teaching you some of these basics so that your choir can confidently sing a cappella.

Today’s session will focus particularly on different ways to accompany solo singers.

Purely Vocal with Ben Sawyer image
Ben Sawyer
Trainer & Choral Director
Mid-Afternoon Break image
15:10 - 15:30
Mid-Afternoon Break
The Gospel Sound with Daniel Thomas image
15:30 - 16:30
The Gospel Sound with Daniel Thomas

Each singer will be taken through a very intense hour of original soul-stirring vocal warm ups / exercises, aimed at opening up each participant by the way of fully engaging the diaphragm. Next, they will be taken through some phonetic exercises that will hopefully enable each singer to ‘sound’ more gospel in their approach to song. Finally – all of the above will be put to practical use in a specially chosen piece. Not to mention, physical movement will also be demonstrated and expected!

The Gospel Sound with Daniel Thomas image
Daniel Thomas
Singer Songwriter, Vocal Coach & Choral Director
Performance Session image
16:45 - 18:00
Performance Session

The opportunity to perform in front of each other and our amazing panel of workshop leaders in a non-competitive, supportive environment.  If performing, written constructive critique from the panel will be handed to the choir leaders at the end of the day.  Whether performing or not, this invaluable session is a great chance to watch and learn from other choirs.

Close / Platinum Sessions image
18:00 - 19:00
Close / Platinum Sessions

The end of the festival day. Those choirs with Platinum tickets will now have their opportunity of a 15 minute 1-2-1 Q & A session with the workshop leaders.

Registration image
09:00
Registration
Welcome / Introduction image
09:30
Welcome / Introduction
The Warm Up image
09:45 - 10:00
The Warm Up

The day kicks off with a stimulating mental and physical warm up given by one of our workshop leaders of the day.

The Essential Toolkit for a Singer with Dan Ludford-Thomas image
10:00 - 11:00
The Essential Toolkit for a Singer with Dan Ludford-Thomas

Aural Skills and Sight-Reading – The Essential Toolkit for a Singer

For any singer, aural skills are vital, the very basic way we can sing a song is by listening and repeating. Through this workshop we will work on exercises and games to strengthen the ear and help to translate this into reading at sight. Whether you are a ‘non-reader’ or a confident sight-singer, Dan will lead you through a class designed to get you started, or further develop your ear. Giving the less confident a boost and the confident strategies to develop further.

The Essential Toolkit for a Singer with Dan Ludford-Thomas image
Dan Ludford-Thomas
Conductor, Chorus Master & Singing Teacher
Morning Break image
11:00 - 11:30
Morning Break
Choir Energisers with Ula Weber image
11:30 - 12:30
Choir Energisers with Ula Weber

Bored of doing breathing exercises and singing scales? Choir Energisers can be a fun and important addition to your choir rehearsal. Pick up new ideas for using rounds, layering songs and repertoire that develops independent singing as well as warming up the voice. Have a go at harmonising simple songs that can easily become great concert openers and choir favourites for years to come.

Choir Energisers with Ula Weber image
Ula Weber
Conductor, Teacher Trainer and Workshop Leader
The Drop In image
12:30 - 13:30
The Drop In

Attendees are welcome to drop in on our esteemed panel of workshop leaders to ask them any questions in an informal and personal environment.  Whether it be a simple vocal question or something more technical, our expert panel are here to chat.  Availability is limited to first come first served.

Lunch Break & Performance Rehearsal image
12:30 - 14:00
Lunch Break & Performance Rehearsal

A long lunch break to recharge and take on board the morning’s wealth of knowledge. Plus an opportunity for choirs to warm up and rehearse for their performance later in the day.

Post-Lunch Warm-Up with Russell Scott image
14:00 - 14:10
Post-Lunch Warm-Up with Russell Scott
Post-Lunch Warm-Up with Russell Scott image
Russell Scott
Producer, Performance Coach & Musical Director
Performing Contemporary Rock & Pop Music with Craig Lees image
14:10 - 15:10
Performing Contemporary Rock & Pop Music with Craig Lees

Join choral director and arranger Craig Lees for an inspiring workshop, exploring contemporary rock and pop choral singing. Discover new techniques for singing and performing, try out new arrangement devices and take a deep dive into song interpretation, all whilst whilst enjoying a fresh arrangement of an uplifting song in a relaxed group atmosphere. This session is open to all – a passion and love for singing is all that is required!

Performing Contemporary Rock & Pop Music with Craig Lees image
Craig Lees
Vocal Coach, Choral Leader & Arranger
Mid-Afternoon Break image
15:10 - 15:30
Mid-Afternoon Break
The Gospel Session with Audrey Mattis image
15:30 - 16:30
The Gospel Session with Audrey Mattis

In this workshop you’ll learn about the history of the gospel choir sound as you sing authentic gospel songs. The workshop will be filled with opportunities to try out gospel specific vocal techniques that you can take away with you and continue to use back home with your choir.
The songs chosen will be exciting and motivational, encouraging all skill levels to join in using 3 part harmonies and hopefully even feature a couple of solos.

The Gospel Session with Audrey Mattis image
Audrey Mattis
Gospel Performer, Choir DIrector & Producer
Performance Session image
16:45 - 18:00
Performance Session

The opportunity to perform in front of each other and our amazing panel of workshop leaders in a non-competitive, supportive environment.  If performing, written constructive critique from the panel will be handed to the choir leaders at the end of the day.  Whether performing or not, this invaluable session is a great chance to watch and learn from other choirs.

Close / Platinum Sessions image
18:00 - 19:00
Close / Platinum Sessions

The end of the festival day. Those choirs with Platinum tickets will now have their opportunity of a 15 minute 1-2-1 Q & A session with the workshop leaders.

Select date to see events.

Exact time of closing is dependent on final numbers of choir performing.  Times can vary from day to day.
Workshop leaders and timetable subject to change.