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. To mark the Queen’s Jubilee, our final concert includes a performance of Handel’s hugely uplifting Coronation Anthems (including ‘Zadok the Priest’), with orchestra.
Summer School for Singers, Conductors, and Vocal Leaders
£0.00 – £1,285.00
Saturday 13th (Thursday 18th for Choral Courses) to Sunday 21st August 2022 at Jesus College, Cambridge
SfP Summer School returns to Cambridge in 2022. 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 work with primary children. They are worth £400 towards the cost of the course and you can apply here before booking your place.
Please note, you can either pay in full upfront, pay by invoice, or pay in three equal installments (taken monthly). You can make this choice at checkout. If you choose to pay in installments, you will be taken to our ‘Paythen’ payment page, who manage SfP payment plans.
Start date: August 13, 2022
End date: August 21, 2022
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. If you are only able to attend by car, please contact us.
Saturday – Wednesday
Join tutor and musicals enthusiast, Louise Ellinson, as she 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 below).
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 Esther Jones, is for experienced singers and good sight readers who enjoy exploring challenging repertoire and singing in a small ensemble. Alternatively, if you would like to try your hand at singing a popular choral piece, then join choral specialist Brad Thornborough–Barlow as he leads you through highlights of Alexander L’Estrange’s vibrant and jazzy Zimbe! Come Sing the Songs of Africa.
The whole course combines forces from Thursday morning to perform a large choral work, accompanied by orchestra and conducted by our Advanced conducting students which this year is Handel’s uplifting Coronation Anthems. An alternative, informal series of workshops (exploring different genres and themes) will be provided for those who are happier 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.