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 2015 and on into 2016.

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 2015).

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.

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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."


July 2015

SING AFRICA! — residential weekend

Friday 24 July 2015 5pm to Sunday 26 July 2015 2pm
Brathay Hall
Ambleside LA22 0HP
Cumbria, Lake District

Cost: £210 (superior twin/ double)/ £180 (single)/ £95 (non-residential)
PER PERSON

SOLD OUT

NEXT YEAR'S DATES: 22 – 24 July 2016

Contact Chris to book:

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.

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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November 2015

MEN'S HARMONY SINGING IMPROVERS WEEKEND — take your singing to the next level

Friday 13 November 2015 5pm to Sunday 15 November 2015 2pm
The Claret Centre, Buckden Towers
High Street
Buckden
St. Neots PE19 5TA
Cambridgeshire

Cost: £140 (shared twin)/ £190 (single occupancy)

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. Sing with other like-minded men in peaceful surroundings. With just 12 to 16 singers 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!

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.

  • 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 weekend course will be strictly limited to a maximum of 16 singers so I can give more attention to individuals. 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.

Away from the demands of family, work, choirs, performances and mixed voices, this is a chance to work in detail on men's voices, harmony singing and generally having fun and making a wonderful sound in a safe and relaxed space. To get the most out of the weekend you will need experience of harmony singing and be prepared to work in detail on some fairly complex songs. You may have been singing in a choir for some time and now want to try your hand at singing in a smaller group.

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.
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CELEBRATE WINTER IN SONG — residential weekend

Friday 27 November 2015 6pm to Sunday 29 November 2015 2pm
Willersley Castle Hotel
Cromford DE4 5JH
Matlock
Derbyshire

Cost: £190 (superior twin/ double), £180 (standard twin/ double) PER PERSON
if booked by 28 August 2015, £20 extra per person thereafter

There are several non ensuite twins/ singles available at £165 per person.

A few NON EN SUITE SINGLE rooms now available

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.

Willersley Castle, Derbyshire

A weekend of glorious harmony singing to celebrate winter. Come and learn songs from across the globe which evoke the natural beauty and joyfulness of this magical time of year. Songs to stir the soul, warm the heart and revive the spirits.

Willersley Castle was commissioned by Sir Richard Arkwright, the great industrialist, in the 1790s. Many of the original features can still be seen today. The Castle overlooks the Derwent Valley world Heritage site with plenty of excellent walks in the area. The main hotel has 30 bedrooms, extensive grounds and a heated indoor swimming pool. You can go on a virtual tour of the hotel, rooms and grounds on the Willersley Castle website.

bedroom, Willersley Castle

The majority of rooms are en suite, but there are a few, cheaper non-ensuite rooms available (please enquire for more information). Some of the superior rooms have fantastic views over the Derwent Valley. All the bedrooms at Willersley Castle include tea and coffee making facilities and a hairdryer. There is also a lift in the castle serving both first and second floor bedrooms.

Willersley Castle oval stairwell Learn traditional, secular songs from all over the world to celebrate the season, all in 3- and 4-part harmony. Songs of frost and candlelight, log fires, changing seasons, darkness and light, warmth and steaming breath. A weekend of companionship and community to ward off the cold and dark.

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.
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April 2016

SINGING FOR ALL: A WEEKEND IN HARMONY — residential weekend

Friday 22 April 2016 5pm to Sunday 24 April 2016 2pm
Felden Lodge
Felden Lane
Hemel Hempstead HP3 0BL (SatNav users: HP3 0BB)
Hertfordshire

Cost: £175 (shared twin), £195 (single occupancy) PER PERSON
if booked by 22 January 2016, £20 extra per person thereafter

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.

Felden Lodge, Hertfordshire

A weekend of glorious harmony singing, fun and laughter. No experience needed – just a love of singing! Felden Lodge is set in 32 acres of peaceful grounds on the rural outskirts of Hemel Hempstead, just 35 minutes by train from central London. Felden Lodge is on the edge of the Chiltern Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty, and there are plenty of country walks nearby.

Felden Lodge bedroom
All bedrooms are twin en suite and there is a newly refurbished relaxing lounge area and conservatory style dining room. The weekend includes all meals, tuition and tea/ coffee breaks.

Felden Lodge dining room The weekend will draw on songs from a wide range of sources from across the globe. The workshop will consist of warm-ups, simple songs that bring instant rewards and also more complex songs in several parts that offer the rewarding challenges. There will also be opportunities to explore the local area and relax.

Felden Lodge coffee lounge All songs have been chosen carefully and arranged especially for voices only. Lose yourself in thrilling rhythmic songs from Africa, rich dark harmonies from Eastern Europe, uplifting African American Gospel and the sweet sounds of the Pacific.

Everything will be taught by ear (no need to read music!). No previous experience needed – just bring yourself and have a go. 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.
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June 2016

HARMONY SINGING WEEKEND — residential weekend

Friday 3 June 2016 5pm to Sunday 5 June 2016 2pm
Holiday Inn, Peterborough West
Thorpe Wood
Peterborough PE3 6SG

Cost: £200 (shared twin/ double), £215 (single occupancy) PER PERSON
if booked by 4 March 2016, £20 extra per person thereafter

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.

Holiday Inn, Peterborough West A weekend of glorious harmony singing, fun and laughter. No experience needed – just a love of singing! Peterborough West Holiday Inn is set in pretty landscaped gardens, opposite Ferry Meadows Country Park, just 2.5 miles from the city centre and close to the A1.

Holiday Inn bedroom
All bedrooms are twin or double en suite and all furnished to a very high standard. The weekend includes all meals, tuition and tea/ coffee breaks. As well as the many facilities offered by the hotel, just across the road are plenty of scenic and pleasant walks by the Nene river and the lakes of Ferry Meadows Country Park.

Holiday Inn swimming pool The weekend will draw on songs from a wide range of sources from across the globe. The workshop will consist of warm-ups, simple songs that bring instant rewards and also more complex songs in several parts that offer the rewarding challenges. There will also be opportunities to explore the local area and relax. Guests will also have free use of the hotel leisure facilities: swimming pool, sauna and steam room.

Ferry Meadows Country Park All songs have been chosen carefully and arranged especially for voices only in 3- and 4-part harmony. Lose yourself in thrilling rhythmic songs from Africa, rich dark harmonies from Eastern Europe, uplifting African American Gospel and the sweet sounds of the Pacific.

Holiday Inn dining room Everything will be taught by ear (no need to read music!). No previous experience needed – just bring yourself and have a go. 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.
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