Festival Schedule

the workshops

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

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

Exmouth Day One
2019-09-28
Exmouth Community College
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
Monmouth Day One
2019-10-26
Monmouth School for Girls
Monmouth Day Two
2019-10-27
Monmouth School for Girls
Exmouth Community College
St Albans High School for Girls
St Albans High School for Girls
Monmouth School for Girls
Monmouth 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.

The Vocal Workout with Charles MacDougall image
10:00 - 11:00
The Vocal Workout with Charles MacDougall

The Vocal Workout

Award-winning singer and vocal coach Charles MacDougall will give you a full vocal work out addressing the core and satellite components of good singing technique. Jam-packed with technical advice all delivered through fun, energetic and engaging activities, this session will significantly increase your awareness and control of your instrument, providing tools for vocal development of the individual singer and ideas for effective vocal warm-ups for choirs and singers of all abilities. Charles will show that everyone, no matter their level of ability, can get to grips with the key elements behind classical training and improve their individual sound and the overall sound of their choirs.

The Vocal Workout with Charles MacDougall image
Charles MacDougall
Award Winning Tenor, Choral Animateur & Vocal Coach
Morning Break image
11:00 - 11:30
Morning Break
Engage: Approaches for New and Old Repertoire with Jamie Wright image
11:30 - 12:30
Engage: Approaches for New and Old Repertoire with Jamie Wright
Any new piece of music comes with challenges, but so do ones we have sung before. Learn how to approach a programme of familiar or unfamiliar repertoire in different ways that will not only make you more comfortable in your own voice, but also communicate your enthusiasm and energy to the audience.
In this workshop, singer and conductor Jamie Wright will show you ways to breath new life into pieces you already know, break new music down to learn and rehearse more efficiently, and create an engaging performance to bring the music off the page.
Engage: Approaches for New and Old Repertoire with Jamie Wright image
Jamie Wright
Singer, Vocal Coach & Conductor
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 Gospel Session with Colin Vassell image
14:10 - 15:10
The Gospel Session with Colin Vassell

The workshop has a friendly relaxed supportive learning atmosphere, while still challenging the singers, no reading skills are required as all songs are taught by call and response and by memory. The aim is to produce to Gospel songs learnt to a high standard. The session is very hands on but very enjoyable and helps the participants to work outside of their normal choir setting. We will create a beautiful sound in song in three part harmony with strong rhythms.

The Gospel Session with Colin Vassell image
Colin Vassell
Singer, Vocal Coach & Choir Director
Mid-Afternoon Break image
15:10 - 15:30
Mid-Afternoon Break
Interpretation of a Pop Song with Rachel Mason image
15:30 - 16:30
Interpretation of a Pop Song with Rachel Mason

Understanding a pop song helps you create a memorable and honest performance. During the workshop we’ll create stories behind a range of songs to interpret them, looking at lyrics for clues.

We will then look at how we can tell the story through facial expressions and body language, using mirroring in pairs and wordless story-telling.

Finally we will look at different vocal techniques to add the correct emotion to the melody line of the song, for example sob, twang, different onsets. By the end of the workshop you’ll have discovered how to give a memorable and honest performance of your song.

Interpretation of a Pop Song with Rachel Mason image
Rachel Mason
Songwriter, Arranger & Vocal Coach
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.

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

more info to follow shortly.

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.

Podium Time with Katie Thomas image
10:00 - 11:00
Podium Time with Katie Thomas

Podium time!

Ever wondered what your Musical Director is actually trying to do up there?!

Here’s a chance for your whole choir to learn some basic conducting skills in order to help you decode your MD’s gestures.

Katie will show you how to improve your skills in coordination (of body and breath), explore non-verbal communication, discover the importance of postural alignment, and refine your ‘radar’ as an ensemble musician.

By the end of the session your choir will have honed its ‘telepathic’ powers and will hold potential for more instinctive music-making in its future performances.

Podium Time with Katie Thomas image
Katie Thomas
Conductor & Workshop Leader
Morning Break image
11:00 - 11:30
Morning Break
Interpretation of a Pop Song with Rachel Mason image
11:30 - 12:30
Interpretation of a Pop Song with Rachel Mason

Understanding a pop song helps you create a memorable and honest performance. During the workshop we’ll create stories behind a range of songs to interpret them, looking at lyrics for clues.

We will then look at how we can tell the story through facial expressions and body language, using mirroring in pairs and wordless story-telling.

Finally we will look at different vocal techniques to add the correct emotion to the melody line of the song, for example sob, twang, different onsets. By the end of the workshop you’ll have discovered how to give a memorable and honest performance of your song.

Interpretation of a Pop Song with Rachel Mason image
Rachel Mason
Songwriter, Arranger & Vocal Coach
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
Off the Page, Onto the Stage! with Lucy Griffiths image
14:10 - 15:10
Off the Page, Onto the Stage! with Lucy Griffiths

How do we translate dots on a page into dazzling choral performances? What makes the music magic? What moves us as singers and makes our audiences sit up and listen? In this fun and interactive workshop, conductor Lucy Griffiths will offer lots of ideas on how to “sparklify” your choir and pep up your performances. With tips and techniques for musical directors and singers alike, you’ll have an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of how we create beauty in vocal music. This will cover everything from warm ups to performance skills, and technique to musical expression. Come ready for anything!

Off the Page, Onto the Stage! with Lucy Griffiths image
Lucy Griffiths
Conductor and Animateur
Mid-Afternoon Break image
15:10 - 15:30
Mid-Afternoon Break
When Gospel meets RnB with Rebecca Thomas image
15:30 - 16:30
When Gospel meets RnB with Rebecca Thomas

The R&B / Gospel workshop with Becky Thomas is where you’ll learn about being creative with harmonies and arrangements.

Taking vocal stylings from traditional Gospel and adding them to Popular R&B  songs from the 90s to give them a choir twist.

Be prepared to Laugh Dance and Do your GOOD Singing!!

When Gospel meets RnB with Rebecca Thomas image
Rebecca Thomas
Vocalist & Choir 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 Vocal Workout with Charles MacDougall image
10:00 - 11:00
The Vocal Workout with Charles MacDougall

The Vocal Workout

Award-winning singer and vocal coach Charles MacDougall will give you a full vocal work out addressing the core and satellite components of good singing technique. Jam-packed with technical advice all delivered through fun, energetic and engaging activities, this session will significantly increase your awareness and control of your instrument, providing tools for vocal development of the individual singer and ideas for effective vocal warm-ups for choirs and singers of all abilities. Charles will show that everyone, no matter their level of ability, can get to grips with the key elements behind classical training and improve their individual sound and the overall sound of their choirs.

The Vocal Workout with Charles MacDougall image
Charles MacDougall
Award Winning Tenor, Choral Animateur & Vocal Coach
Morning Break image
11:00 - 11:30
Morning Break
Sing From Your Soul with Mat Wright image
11:30 - 12:30
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
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 A Cappella Orchestra with Emily Dickens image
14:10 - 15:10
The A Cappella Orchestra with Emily Dickens

Explore the different vocal colours, techniques and instrumental sounds fundamental in creating exciting a cappella in this workshop with versatile soprano and musical director Emily Dickens. Learn how to underpin the ensemble as the bass, establish a groove, approach stylistic vocal percussion and harmonise with beautiful blend through interesting, challenging and fun arrangements. Expect to walk away singing!

The A Cappella Orchestra with Emily Dickens image
Emily Dickens
Conductor and Choral Director
Mid-Afternoon Break image
15:10 - 15:30
Mid-Afternoon Break
Performing Contemporary Rock & Pop Music with Craig Lees image
15:30 - 16:30
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
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.