Songs from the Balkan heartlands

Learn songs from different Balkan cultures and traditions. A fantastic opportunity to discover songs from harmony singing traditions that go back thousands of years, all in this luxury venue in the Nene Valley.

Mostar, Bosnia-Herzogovenia

"I think we did amazingly well to learn so many songs to the level we did and to have such fun doing it! Thank you for your relaxed, good humoured teaching and a great selection of songs." Participant on 2023's Eastern European singing weekend

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Friday 14 June 2024 5pm to Sunday 16 June 2024 2pm
Holiday Inn, Peterborough West
Thorpe Wood
Peterborough PE3 6SG

Click here for venue accessibility information.

Cost: £240 (shared twin/double) | £265 (single occupancy) PER PERSON
if booked and paid for by 15 March 2024, otherwise £20 per person more


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Holiday Inn, Peterborough West Peterborough West Holiday Inn is set in pretty landscaped gardens, 2.5 miles from the city centre and close to the A1. The hotel is opposite Nene Park, a country park stretching six miles along the River Nene.

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. Across the road are plenty of scenic and pleasant walks by the Nene river. Guests will also have free use of the hotel leisure facilities: swimming pool, sauna and steam room. There will be free time on the Saturday afternoon to explore the area.

Holiday Inn swimming pool 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.

Ferry Meadows Country Park 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.

Holiday Inn dining room 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. Chris will make a recording of the workshop available free afterwards. This will remind you of the weekend and impress you with the sound we create together!

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Feedback from 2023's Eastern European singing weekend:

"This was the first natural voice workshop that either of us have been to. We very much appreciated your expert and enthusiastic leadership. The choice of songs from different countries and in different styles was excellent. It was exciting to be surrounded by so many more experienced singers and we learned a lot."

"Many thanks for another joyous weekend of singing. Absolutely wonderful."

"Thank you for a great weekend which I really enjoyed and I must say for the miracle of being able to sing all those songs I did not know at the beginning! I don't sing regularly so it was all a bit daunting but you made it fun."

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