residential singing workshops

"Superb course and a brilliant tutor. Chris is an inspiration and brought the group together and taught harmonies that we were able to sing with great joy and 'expertise'. I will certainly be attending his courses again."

singing weekends

Welcome to my website where you can find information about all the singing workshops I run. Below is a list of all my residential workshops for the rest of 2014 and on into 2015.

If you've never been on one of my singing weekends before, you might want to read the frequently asked questions.

You can also see what people are saying who've been on one of my workshops before and download my latest newsletter (summer 2014).

Singing Safari, Warwick Folk Festival 2010

Click to go on my mailing list and I'll email you details of one-day singing workshops in your area as well as the residential courses that I run.

You can unsubscribe at any time and I promise to never share your details with anybody else.

You can also check out my full website at any time to see if I'm running a course or one-day workshop that might interest you: chrisrowbury.com

"Wonderful! You are a great teacher – authoritative and full of praise.
I leave full of endorphins and a love of humanity."


October 2014

SING THE BEST OF THE BEE GEES — residential weekend

Friday 3 October 2014 6pm to Sunday 5 October 2014 2pm
Farncombe Courses
Broadway (Cotswolds) WR12 7LJ
Worcestershire

Book via the Farncombe Courses website, email enquiries@FarncombeCourses.co.uk, or phone 0333 456 8580

Farncombe Estate, Cotswolds The Gibb brothers got together 55 years ago to form the harmony singing group The Bee Gees. They wrote all of their own hits (as well as writing and producing several major hits for other artists), selling in excess of 200 million records worldwide, making them one of the most successful groups in history.

The Bee Gees had two distinct periods of exceptional success: as a pop act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and as a foremost act of the disco music era in the late 1970s. They also wrote many well-known hit songs for others, something that might come as a surprise.

On this fun and relaxed singing weekend you will learn some of The Bee Gees' best-known songs. All songs have been arranged especially for voice only and will be sung in harmony without instruments or backing tracks. Some harmony singing experience is advisable, but all songs will be taught by ear.

You'll be amazed at the wonderful sound we create together and a recording of the workshop will be made available free afterwards to remind you of the weekend. Book via the Farncombe Courses website.
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November 2014

TRADITIONAL SONGS FROM THE BRITISH ISLES

Friday 21 November 6pm to Sunday 23 November 2pm
Alison House
Intake Lane
Cromford (near Matlock) DE4 3RH
Derbyshire

SOLD OUT!


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February 2015

JERSEY BOYS: THE SONGS OF FRANKI VALLI AND THE FOUR SEASONS — residential weekend

Friday 27 February 2015 6pm to Sunday 1 March 2015 2pm
Farncombe Courses
Broadway (Cotswolds) WR12 7LJ
Worcestershire

Book via the Farncombe Courses website, email enquiries@FarncombeCourses.co.uk, or phone 0333 456 8580

Farncombe Estate, Cotswolds Seen the movie?

Watched the West End hit show?

Now come and learn the songs!

The Four Seasons, with Franki Valli as their frontman, had a massive 29 Top 40 hits throughout the 60s and 70s with songs such as Sherry, Big Girls Don't Cry, Walk Like A Man and Rag Doll. Valli also went on to have nine Top 40 hits as a solo artist including Can't Take My Eyes Off You and My Eyes Adored You.

On this fun and relaxed singing weekend you will learn a range of songs made famous by Valli and The Four Seasons all arranged especially for voice only (not an instrument or backing track in sight!) and all in glorious three- or four-part harmony. Some harmony singing experience is advisable, but all songs will be taught by ear.

You'll be amazed at the wonderful sound we create together and a recording of the workshop will be made available free afterwards to remind you of the weekend. Book via the Farncombe Courses website.
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April 2015

BETTER HARMONY SINGING — THE SMALL GROUP CHALLENGE

Friday 24 April 2015 5pm to Sunday 26 April 2015 2pm
The Claret Centre, Buckden Towers
High Street
Buckden
St. Neots PE19 5TA
Cambridgeshire

Cost: £190 (single occupancy of shared room)

The cost for the weekend includes full board, all tuition and teas/ coffees throughout.

Take your singing to the next level by working as a small ensemble over a whole weekend. This course will be strictly limited to a maximum of 16 singers so I can give more attention to individuals.

ONLY ONE PLACE LEFT FOR A FEMALE IN A SINGLE ROOM

You MUST have some harmony singing experience and be familiar and comfortable with singing a part on your own in a trio or quartet. If you have any doubts about your abilities, then you are probably not yet ready for this weekend.

Please note that when booking a shared twin, you must book with one other person. If you are just one person, you will need to book single occupancy.

Click to download a booking form as a Word document. You can fill this in electronically in Microsoft Word then email it (the grey boxes expand to accomodate your text).

If you can't do this for any reason (for example, if you don't have Word on your computer), then download the booking form as a PDF which you can then can print off, fill in and post. Make sure you read Chris's booking and cancellation policy.

Take your singing to the next level by working as a small ensemble over a whole weekend. There will be some training on breath, voice production, vocal qualities, etc. but most of the work will be done using harmony songs drawn from a range of traditions across the globe.

  • Claret Centre, Cambridgeshire improve your singing and harmonising skills
  • learn to get the best out of your voice
  • get feedback on your singing and harmony skills
  • relish a challenge and seize the chance to work in a small ensemble
  • be prepared to look and listen to yourself carefully
  • step up for a full-on weekend of hard, but rewarding work


This is your chance to explore your voice in a safe environment with a supportive bunch of like-minded singers, all of whom want to explore and stretch their harmony singing abilities. Serious work, but in a fun style! To get the most out of the weekend you will need experience of harmony singing, be able to hold a part on your own in a trio or quartet and be prepared to work in detail on some fairly complex songs.

Claret Centre The Claret Centre at Buckden Towers is a Victorian house set in a fifteen acre estate offering seclusion and tranquillity. A beautiful collection of buildings from diverse historical periods is surrounded by a variety of gardens and natural features including a Tudor knot garden, a lake, woodland walk, pasture and lawns. Buckden itself is a pleasant village which used to be an old coaching stop on the Great North Road in Huntingdonshire.

Claret Centre Accommodation is in twin rooms all with shared bathrooms (no en suites). We will have the entire main house to ourselves during the weekend. The weekend includes all meals, tuition and tea/ coffee breaks. Click to download a booking form in PDF format.

Comments from previous weekends at Buckden:

“Thank you so much for such a brilliant weekend. It was one of those rare magical weekends — as well as your superb teaching, developing our skills through such carefully thought out exercises and songs — it was wonderful to meet such lovely people there.”

“It was just right in terms of learning for me. I feel I will go away with a lot! Being with a group of more confident and able singers has been awesome. It was a great group of people to be with AND to sing with.”

“What an amazing weekend! I've returned initially exhausted but very definitely replenished and inspired by so many aspects of what you offered. It really is the case that you distilled somehow much of what the best people I've trained with have told me. It was a really brilliant injection of all that's possible with the voice and harmony singing.”
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June 2015

SONGS FROM THE BALKAN HEARTLANDS — residential weekend

Friday 19 June 2015 6pm to Sunday 21 June 2015 2pm
Farncombe Courses
Broadway (Cotswolds) WR12 7LJ
Worcestershire

Book via the Farncombe Courses website, email enquiries@FarncombeCourses.co.uk, or phone 0333 456 8580

Farncombe Estate, Cotswolds The harmony singing tradition of the Balkan peninsular stretches back thousands of years. Folk songs from this part of Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, etc.) are sung as part of everyday life by everyday people, not professional performers. The songs are characterised by unusual rhythms (which are usually danced), by delicious harmonies and by vocal styles and ornamentations which carry far across the mountains.

You will learn songs from a variety of different countries and singing traditions, all purely vocal (no instruments), most often in three-part harmony: mountain hollers, lullabies, love songs, songs of passion and joy.

Although the lyrics will be in the language of the country of origin, they are easily broken down into simple and singable syllables. You are not expected to know the languages!

Everything will be taught by ear in a fun, friendly and informal way. No previous experience needed — just bring yourself and have a go. You'll be amazed at the wonderful sound we create together whether you sing regularly in a choir or just in the privacy of your own bathroom. A recording of the workshop will be made available free afterwards to remind you of the weekend. Book via the Farncombe Courses website.
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July 2015

SING AFRICA! — residential weekend

Friday 24 July 2015 6pm to Sunday 26 July 2015 2pm
Brathay Hall
Ambleside LA22 0HP
Cumbria, Lake District

Cost: to be confirmed Booking forms available soon.

Click to download a booking form as a Word document. You can fill this in electronically in Microsoft Word then email it (the grey boxes expand to accommodate your text).

If you can't do this for any reason (for example, if you don't have Word on your computer), then download the booking form as a PDF which you can then can print off, fill in and post. Make sure you read Chris's booking and cancellation policy.

Or contact Chris for more information:

Chris Rowbury email address

or phone 01394 610486.

Brathay Hall, Lake District A weekend of glorious harmony singing from across Africa. An opportunity to sing and move to infectious African rhythms. No experience needed – just a love of singing!

Ambleside is in the very heart of the Lake District. Brathay Hall, a beautiful Georgian mansion, is set in 360 acres of mature woodland and rolling pasture at the head of Lake Windermere. The peace and tranquillity to be found on the estate, enjoyed by visitors such as Wordsworth, Coleridge and Constable, offers guests a unique sense of space. The weekend includes all meals, tuition and tea/ coffee breaks.

Scafell rooms, Brathay Hall Most twin room accommodation is in lodges at the side of Brathay Hall. The lodges have a commanding view of the surrounding Lake District and all rooms can be either twins or doubles (no single occupancy). All rooms offer a unique blend of comfort and contemporary design, with solid oak furniture, flat screen plasma TVs and wireless internet access in addition to the usual standard features. Each room has an en-suite shower and King-sized bed.

Typical Brathay Hall bedroom

Standard and single accomodation is in compact twin rooms mostly located on the second floor of Brathay Hall (please note there are no lifts!), with spectacular views of Windermere. Each room has a plasma screen TV, hot drinks facilities, hairdryer, desk, wardrobe, safe and radio alarms. Each room is en-suite.

As the old proverb from Zimbabwe says:

"If you can walk then you can dance; if you can talk then you can sing".

Full-bodied harmonies from South Africa; overlapping rhythms from West Africa; gentle lullabies from East Africa; haunting, exotic melodies from North Africa; haunting cries from Central Africa.

This weekend is open to all whether you just sing in the bath, or perform in public. All songs have been carefully chosen and arranged for voice only, and will be taught by ear. No previous experience needed, just bring your vocal cords and your enthusiasm! Whether you've only ever sung in the shower, or you're already in a choir, there will be something here for everyone – all in a fun, friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

You'll be amazed at the sound we create together and a recording of the workshop will be made available free afterwards to remind you of the weekend.

Feedback from previous weekends at Brathay:

"We came to the weekend with some trepidation as neither of us had done any singing (other than warbling in the shower) for many years, but we really enjoyed ourselves. Everyone was very kind and friendly and we thought the venue was super. We'll definitely be back for more."

"I thought the venue was fabulous, the rooms were lovely, the food was excellent and I thought we were a lovely group of people. So thanks to everyone who came – happy memories – I'm hoping to come back next year!"
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September 2015

ALL ABOARD THE GOSPEL TRAIN! — residential weekend

Friday 25 September 2015 6pm to Sunday 27 September 2015 2pm
Farncombe Courses
Broadway (Cotswolds) WR12 7LJ
Worcestershire

Book via the Farncombe Courses website, email enquiries@FarncombeCourses.co.uk, or phone 0333 456 8580

Farncombe Estate, Cotswolds
A fabulous weekend of gospel singing for people of all faiths and none. No modern R&B or evangelical sing-alongs, but back to the earthy basics of purely vocal gospel harmony singing.

Immerse yourself in the roots of the blues: southern gospel, Jubilee quartets, and spirituals from the slave plantations.

You don't have to be religious to enjoy the uplifting, passionate, exciting sounds of gospel music. In this liberating workshop you will sing African-American gospel songs from the 1920s and 1930s; spirituals from the slave plantations; and gospel songs from South Africa — all in glorious unaccompanied harmony (not an instrument or backing track in sight).

This weekend is open to all, whether you sing in a choir or never 'sung' outside the bathroom before! No experience is necessary and all songs will be taught by ear. You'll be amazed at the wonderful sound we create together whether you sing regularly in a choir or just in the privacy of your own bathroom. A recording of the workshop will be made available free afterwards to remind you of the weekend. Book via the Farncombe Courses website.
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