The course starts on Saturday evening with dinner and ends after breakfast on the final Sunday. Each day will begin with a vocal warm-up followed by a combined choral session, emphasising the place of singing at the heart of the organisation. The separate courses then follow their own programmes of workshop sessions, study periods and refreshment breaks during the day. After dinner each evening there is time to relax and participate in a varied programme of concerts and informal social activities. Our final concert includes John Rutter’s wonderful Magnificat, with orchestra.
Summer School for Singers, Conductors, and Vocal Leaders
Saturday 7th (Thursday 12th for Choral Courses) to Sunday 15th August 2021 at Jesus College, Cambridge
SfP Summer School is back in 2021! Ranging from the popular singers and choral courses, through Foundation and Intermediate choral conducting levels to the demands of the Advanced conducting course, there is something for every choral enthusiast. The sociable atmosphere of the week generates an extremely supportive learning environment, which in turn leads to a high level of achievement and enjoyment with many participants returning again and again.
Remember, SfP members receive £50 off the course cost (deducted at checkout – the prices quoted below are non-member prices). Membership is only £40 for the year, so sign up now to save and enjoy a year of free resources, discounts, and member events. Bursaries are available for conducting courses at this event if you are 16-26 or a Primary teacher. They are worth £400 towards the cost of the course and you can apply here before booking your place.
Start date: August 07, 2021
End date: August 15, 2021
Start time: 18:00
End time: 11:00
Venue: Jesus College, Cambridge
Located on the site of a twelfth-century Benedictine Nunnery, the prestigious Jesus College boasts some of the oldest buildings in Cambridge, together with modern award-winning architecture and beautiful grounds. Situated in the heart of Cambridge, its extensive and lush green spaces protect it from the noise and bustle of the town whilst making it easy to access via public transport.
Stylish and award-winning, the en-suite accommodation is less than five minutes’ walk from the main teaching and dining spaces. Relax and unwind in Roost Café Bar which even boasts its own on-site brewery.
Please note that Cambridge is a green city and participants are encouraged not to travel by car. The train station is less than 10 minutes by taxi and Stanstead Airport is just 35 minutes away by taxi. Parking will only be available for those unable to travel by public transport. Parking at the university is limited and must be booked at time of application at a cost of £50 for the full week, or £25 for the part week courses.
Saturday – Wednesday
New for 2021 is our ‘On Broadway’ singers’ course which explores classic show tunes along with more modern musical numbers. This course is suitable for people of all experience levels and the ability to read music is not required. The course begins every day with a warm-up session followed by a morning of practical and active sessions. As well as an end-of-course performance, there will be plenty of time for informal social singing. The course continues on to the choral courses (see next page).
Thursday – Sunday
Our popular, half-week choral courses start at 9.45am on Thursday morning and finish after breakfast on Sunday, with a performance on Saturday evening. The Consort Course, led by renowned conductor Sarah Tenant-Flowers, is for experienced singers and good sight readers who enjoy exploring challenging repertoire and singing in a small ensemble. Sing with Joy is for anyone wanting to explore uplifting and gospel-inspired music, led by community choir expert and composer, Stuart Overington. Alternatively, if you would like to try your hand at singing a popular choral classic, then join choral expert Suzzie Vango as she leads you through highlights of Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man. For more information about these courses, please visit our website.
The whole course combines forces from Thursday morning to perform a large choral work, accompanied by orchestra and conducted by our Advanced conducting students. An alternative, informal series of workshops (exploring different genres and themes) will be provided for those who are happier to remain singing in a smaller group.
For over 50 years SfP has provided high quality training for choral conductors and vocal leaders. In that time we have developed courses that allow conductors to acquire an initial repertoire of effective conducting gestures and techniques and then build on that in their individual ways and according to their varying experiences. Many of our previous students have gone on to win major national and international prizes with their choirs, and some of them now teach the courses that provided them with the skills that power their success.
The Foundation Course is for complete beginners or those keen to discover the basics of our approach. It is a particularly appropriate course for those wishing to lead singing in the classroom as well as for those working with adults, as it provides the key skills upon which further development can be built. Repertoire at this level is simple. Rounds and easy part songs allow every opportunity to work through most conducting challenges without being so complicated that they get in the way of learning the skills that participants need.
Participants with some experience of conducting and vocal leadership will benefit from this course. It builds on the skills developed at Foundation level and uses more challenging repertoire to stretch participants further. Repertoire at this level is more challenging than at Foundation level without being so demanding that it gets in the way of effective learning, and provides an excellent preparation for the demands of the Intermediate 2 Course.
The Foundation and Intermediate 1 Courses are delivered in two ways – technique sessions that include practical demonstration of all the key aspects of conducting and workshop sessions that allow all participants an enviable amount of podium time to put into practice what they have learnt in a comfortable learning environment. All members of the group sing for each other in workshop sessions, building a camaraderie and supportive atmosphere that is unparalleled. Participants will also observe members of the Intermediate 2 and Advanced Course at work and will be able to take advantage of the learning these sessions can provide through singing.
The Intermediate 2 Course enables participants to develop their skills further, using more challenging repertoire. Conductors are encouraged to broaden their range and complexity of gesture and idiom. This course is designed for those who have successfully completed previous SfP course levels and, occasionally, experienced conductors are accepted at this level at the discretion of the Head of Conductor Training. Repertoire at this level is more technically and musically challenging than at Intermediate 1 in a way that gives participants every opportunity to build on their existing skills. It provides an excellent preparation for the demands of the Advanced course.
The Intermediate 2 Course is delivered through technique sessions to broaden conducting skills and learn about the wider role of leading a choir, and practical workshop sessions with plenty of podium time to practice the techniques that have been introduced, alongside a range of optional sessions which may include choral arranging, vocal health, repertoire planning and an introduction to orchestral conducting technique. Participants will have opportunities to work with various forces including a larger group of singers, an accompanist and a small orchestra. They will also observe members of the Advanced Course at work and will be able to take advantage of the learning these sessions can provide through singing.
The Advanced Course enables participants to significantly develop their skills in a wide range of choral and orchestral situations. Conductors are encouraged to broaden their knowledge and application of complex musical ideas and idioms. This course is designed for those who have successfully completed previous SfP course levels and, occasionally, experienced conductors are accepted at this level at the discretion of the Head of Conductor Training. Repertoire at this level is more technically and musically challenging than at Intermediate 2 in a way that gives participants every opportunity to build on their existing skills.
The Advanced Course is delivered through practical workshop sessions with plenty of podium time to practice the techniques that are raised in each style of piece, and dedicated sessions teaching baton technique and orchestral conducting, alongside a range of informative sessions to broaden understanding of vocal health, choral arranging, recitative, historical styles and periods, organ registration, writing and presenting programme notes, and concert management. Participants will have opportunities to work with various forces including a small choir, larger groups of singers, a full orchestra, and the whole course during combined choral sessions.
Unfortunately, we are currently unable to accept applications from participants in countries on the UK red list.
Sing for Pleasure will work closely with Jesus College to create as Covid-secure an environment as possible. We will be adhering to guidelines set out by the government and by the university. If required, please be prepared to present (on arrival) proof of a negative Covid-19 test, taken within 48 hours of arriving. You might also be required to wear a mask whilst moving around indoors. Hand sanitising stations can be found in various locations, but you might also want to bring your own supply. A Covid-19 risk assessment and further details will be sent out with course documents, nearer the time.
If the course has to be cancelled due to Covid-19, you will receive a full refund.