forthcoming singing workshops

"Thank you so much for all the fun. It's so rare to find teachers who can really make you want to learn, but also do it with playfulness."


If you've never been on one of Chris's singing days or courses before, you might like to check out some frequently asked questions.


SINGING DAYS

JUNE 2018

2nd Harmony singing day Kenilworth

8th Harmony Singing day Inverness

9th All aboard the gospel train! Inverness

16th Sing Out Saturdays Hadleigh, Suffolk

16th SingWiv! Wivenhoe

JULY 2018

2nd Choir in a morning! Woodbridge

SEPTEMBER 2018

29th Songs from around the world Winchester

OCTOBER 2018

27th Harmony singing day London

SINGING COURSES

MAY 2018

30th Singing Safari Colchester

JULY

20th Folk songs of the British Isles Lake District

SEPTEMBER

21st All aboard the gospel train! near Peterborough

OCTOBER

5th Sing Africa! Willersley Castle, Derbyshire

NOVEMBER

2nd Harmony singing for experienced singers Cambridgeshire


May 2018

Chris in action at singing workshop COLCHESTER SINGING SAFARI — six week choir from scratch

Six Wednesday evenings started 23 May 7.30pm to 9.30pm
Last chance to join us is
Wednesday 30 May

The Daniel Room
Kingsland Community Centre (above Aldi)
86 London Road
Colchester CO3 9DW
(free car park with 22 spaces on London Road towards Colchester, opp. Essex Fire & Rescue)

Cost: £35 for six two-hour sessions plus rehearsal and performance on Sunday 8 July as part of Colchester's Big Sunday.

The venue is accessible to wheelchair users (there is a lift and disabled toilets).

NOTE THAT THERE IS NO REHEARSAL ON WEDNESDAY 20 JUNE

There is unlikely to be any parking space at Aldi (the church has a few spaces allocated to them at the back of the car park) as there is a gospel choir and Slimming World on the same night. Please park in the public car park on London Road. It's only a two minute walk!

If you love to sing, come and join our summer Singing Safari to create a singing group from scratch in just six weeks.

If you've not done a Singing Safari before, then you can try the first session for free (to see if you like it!) before paying your £35. Contact Chris to book, places strictly limited.

If you have done a Safari before and prefer to pay in advance you can pay here with a credit/debit card (you don't need a PayPal account – select "Check out as guest" when you come to pay). If you prefer to pay by bank transfer or cheque then contact Chris for details.

Summer Singing Safari, Ipswich 2017 The summer Singing Safari will perform a half hour free concert as part of Colchester's Big Sunday.

This is an opportunity to sing songs from cultures and traditions around the world all in glorious unaccompanied harmony. On our Singing Safari we will be visiting Africa, America, Eastern Europe, the South Seas and beyond!

The Singing Safari is open to anyone from 16 to 80. There are no auditions and you won't be asked to sing solo. No experience is required as all songs will be taught by ear in the traditional way. Please spread the news, and let's get Colchester singing – the more the merrier!

Don't worry if you can't make all six sessions or if you choose not to do the final performance. You can jump on board the safari at any time during the first two sessions. Unfortunately no reductions can be made for those people who can't attend all six rehearsals.

If you can't make the summer Singing Safari, don't worry, Chris will be running one in Ipswich in the autumn to perform at St. Peter's by the Waterfront in November.

You can hear recordings of some of the songs we sang on past Safaris here: past Singing Safari recordings.
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June 2018

HARMONY SINGING DAY

Saturday 2 June 2018 10.30 to 4.30
St Nicholas Hall (formerly Parochial Hall)
28 High Street
Kenilworth CV8 1LZ

Cost: £20 in advance (£25 on the door) bring lunch to share

You can buy tickets here and pay with a credit/debit card (you don't need a PayPal account). Print off your receipt and bring it to the workshop with you. If you prefer to pay by bank transfer or cheque then contact Chris for details.

This will be Chris's seventh annual singing day in Kenilworth since he moved to Suffolk and every year except one (shame!) the singing has brought the sun out. Join Chris for another fantastic sun-filled day of singing taught in his inimitable style with lashings of humour, oodles of fun and a firm, but gentle hand on the steering wheel.

Learn a range of songs from around the world, in the original languages, in glorious harmony: African, gospel, Eastern European, New Zealand Maori and more. All songs have been arranged especially for voice only: not an instrument or backing track in sight.

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.
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HARMONY SINGING DAY

Friday 8 June 2018 10.30 to 3.30
Merkinch Community Centre
Coronation Park
Inverness IV3 8AD

Cost: £25 in advance (£30 on the door)
lunch & refreshments included in price

Please book in advance if possible so we know numbers for catering.

You can buy tickets at Merkinch Community Centre or email enquiries.merkinch@btconnect.com for other ways to pay.


Discover the joys of singing harmony with others — for anyone who loves to sing, no experience necessary.

This will be Chris's first visit to Scotland to lead a singing workshop! He will be leading two completely self-contained singing days. Book for either or both – there will be completely different songs each day. Friday is Harmony Singing day and Saturday is All aboard the gospel train!

Learn songs from a range of cultures and traditions across the globe, all arranged especially for voice only.

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.
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ALL ABOARD THE GOSPEL TRAIN!

Saturday 9 June 2018 10.30 to 3.30
Merkinch Community Centre
Coronation Park
Inverness IV3 8AD

Cost: £25 in advance (£30 on the door)
lunch & refreshments included in price

Please book in advance if possible so we know numbers for catering.

You can buy tickets at Merkinch Community Centre or email enquiries.merkinch@btconnect.com for other ways to pay.


A fabulous day of gospel singing for people of all faiths and none — for anyone who loves to sing, no experience necessary.

This will be Chris's first visit to Scotland to lead a singing workshop! He will be leading two completely self-contained singing days. Book for either or both – there will be completely different songs each day. Friday is a day of Harmony Singing and Saturday is All aboard the gospel train!

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.

This gospel day 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. All songs have been specially arranged for voices only: not an instrument or backing track in sight.

Click to hear recordings from previous gospel singing workshops that Chris has run.
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SING OUT SATURDAYS

Saturday 16 June 2018
10.30pm to 1pm
(afternoons in Wivenhoe 2pm to 4.30pm)
Ansell Community Centre
Hadleigh IP7 5DL

See the Sing Out Saturdays website for directions to the venue.

Cost: £8 (refreshments provided)


Sing Out Saturdays are for everyone who loves to sing. Enter a stress-free zone and make some beautiful music with like-minded souls.

Sing Out Saturdays are on the third Saturday of the month. These monthly singing sessions in Suffolk and Essex are open to all — come and join us this month and see what all the fun is about!

Sing Out Saturdays

These drop-in sessions are self-contained, with brand new songs each month. Morning sessions are in Hadleigh, Suffolk and afternoons in Wivenhoe (near Colchester) (see SingWiv below).

No experience necessary, all welcome. The sessions are self-contained and will cover different songs so you can come to either or both. You also get a free recording of all the songs learnt in each session.

Learn songs from around the world, in the original languages, in glorious unaccompanied harmony in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. A relaxed, informal, challenging and rewarding morning of singing with like-minded souls, liberally laced with humour!

Brand new songs each month and no need to have attended previously. Harmony songs from Africa, Eastern Europe, New Zealand, gospel, and much, much more. Open to everyone and no need to read music as all songs are taught by ear.

If you want to know more about the songs we sing and what some of them sound like, you can hear some clips on our website: singoutsaturdays.co.uk

We are taking a break over the summer but will be back in September. Autumn dates are 15 September, 20 October, 17 November and 15 December.

Put the dates in your diary and make sure you're on Chris's mailing list to be kept informed.
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COME AND SINGWIV US!

Saturday 16 June 2018
2pm to 4.30pm
Scout Hall
High Street (behind Town Council office)
Wivenhoe CO7 9AB

See the Sing Out Saturdays website for directions to the venue.

Cost: £8 (tea, biscuits, coffee 50p)


Sing Out Saturdays are for everyone who loves to sing. Enter a stress-free zone and make some beautiful music with like-minded souls.

Contact Christine Pettman for more information: 07840 883651 or email singwivenhoe@gmail.com

Come and join us this month to see how many singers we can squeeze into the Scout Hall! Men are particularly welcome. You also get a free recording of all the songs learnt in each session.

One of Chris's regular monthly Sing Out Saturdays in Wivenhoe. More information on the Sing Wivenhoe blog where you can also hear sound clips from previous workshops.

Learn songs from around the world, in the original languages, in glorious unaccompanied harmony in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. A relaxed, informal, challenging and rewarding afternoon of singing with like-minded souls, liberally laced with humour!

Brand new songs each month and no need to have attended previously. Harmony songs from Africa, Eastern Europe, New Zealand, gospel, and much, much more. Open to everyone, no experience necessary and no need to read music (all songs taught by ear).

We are taking a break over the summer but will be back in September. Autumn dates are 15 September, 20 October, 17 November and 15 December.

Put the dates in your diary and make sure you're on Chris's mailing list to be kept informed.
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July 2018

CHOIR IN A MORNING!

Saturday 14 July 2018 9.30 to 12.30 (time tbc)
Melton Primary School
Melton Road
Melton
Woodbridge IP12 1PG

Cost: £10

Come and help build a choir from scratch in just one morning (!) then perform at Melton Village Fete on the same afternoon.

Like a mini Singing Safari you will learn 3 or 4 songs, all in glorious unaccompanied harmony, and then head for Melton Playing Fields to perform a short set as part of the Village Fete (time to be confirmed).

Full details nearer the time. The fete usually runs from 11am to 3pm and we will be on near the end.

As always, everything will be taught by ear (no need to read music). No previous experience needed — just bring yourself and have a go. It'll be fun!
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SING FOLK SONGS OF THE BRITISH ISLES — residential weekend

Friday 20 July 2018 5pm to Sunday 22 July 2018 2pm
Brathay Hall
Ambleside LA22 0HP
Cumbria, Lake District

Cost: £190 (superior twin/ double)/ £200 (single) PER PERSON
if booked and fully paid for by 20 April 2018, otherwise £20 per person more

SOLD OUT


Learn folk songs from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland all arranged specially for voice only — for anyone who loves to sing, no experience necessary.

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.

Brathay Hall, Lake District

Superior 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.

Scafell rooms, Brathay Hall

Remaining single accommodation is in Loughrigg rooms located at the rear of the main house. Each room is en suite and has hot drinks facilities, hairdryer, desk and wardrobe.

Loughrigg bedroom

The weekend will draw on songs from across the British Isles. Singing sessions 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.

Many well-known folk groups sing in unaccompanied harmony and draw on a repertoire of traditional songs from across the British Isles: Waterson:Carthy, The Copper Family, Coope Boyes and Simpson, The Poozies and The Voice Squad to name but a few. This is your chance to enjoy singing traditional British folk songs arranged especially for voices only. Not an instrument or backing track in sight!

We will learn and sing a variety of traditional folk songs from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales arranged in 3- and 4-part harmony: rousing drinking songs, yearning love songs, robust sea shanties, spooky ballads, songs of the countryside – something for everyone!

Typical Brathay Hall view 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 a recording of the workshop will be made available free afterwards to remind you of the weekend

Feedback from 2017's weekend at Brathay:

"Chris has a wonderful way of making you feel included and able to participate. As absolute novices we were encouraged and welcomed by the whole group. We loved every minute of it!"

"The harmonies were amazing. It was wonderful to be part of something that created such beauty. The people were lovely and welcoming."

"The singing was great and the venue and location were gorgeous. Chris teaches so firmly, clearly and sensitively."
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September 2018

ALL ABOARD THE GOSPEL TRAIN! — residential weekend

Friday 21 September 2018 5pm to Sunday 23 September 2018 2pm
Holiday Inn, Peterborough West
Thorpe Wood
Peterborough PE3 6SG

Cost: £205 (shared twin/ double), £230 (single occupancy) PER PERSON
if booked and fully paid for by 22 June 2018, otherwise £20 per person more


A fabulous weekend of gospel singing for people of all faiths and none in this luxury venue in the Nene Valley.

Click to complete a booking form online.

If you can't do this for any reason then contact Chris:

Chris Rowbury email address

or phone 01394 610486.

Make sure you read Chris's booking and cancellation policy.

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 Singing sessions will consist of warm-ups and simple songs leading 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 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).

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.

Click to complete a booking form online.

Feedback from 2017's weekend at Peterborough Holiday Inn:

"Thank you so much for a wonderful weekend of music and the opportunity to meet so many lovely people. I thought your arrangements were excellent and I loved the challenges and what we achieved. Feeling simultaneously exhausted and energised!"

"What a good weekend that was and so thrilling to hear the songs played back. Thanks again Chris for making these things possible. Three years ago I wouldn't have dreamed I could be part of something like that. I so love to sing, even though they're not always the right notes, and the way you work suits me perfectly. Already looking forward to another weekend."

"What a wonderful weekend. It was so lovely to learn new songs and hear the harmonies produced. Lovely people too. Will be looking out for more weekends Thank you so much for all the hard work you must have put in to prepare and the fun way you delivered it all."

Click to hear recordings from previous gospel singing workshops that Chris has run.
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SONGS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Saturday 29 September 2018 10am to 4pm
Hursley Parish Hall
Main Road
Hursley
Winchester SO21 2JW

Cost: to be confirmed

Booking via the Sing Winchester website later in the year.

Learn songs from around the world, in the original languages, in glorious unaccompanied harmony in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. A relaxed, informal, challenging, rewarding day of singing with like-minded souls, liberally laced with humour!

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.
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October 2018

SING AFRICA! — residential weekend

Friday 5 October 2018 6pm to Sunday 7 October 2018 2pm
Willersley Castle Hotel
Cromford DE4 5JH
Matlock
Derbyshire

Cost: £210 (superior twin/double)/ £200 (standard twin/double/single) PER PERSON
if booked and fully paid for by 6 July 2018, otherwise £20 per person more

SOLD OUT


Learn harmony songs from across the African continent. No experience needed – just a love of singing! An opportunity to sing and move to infectious African rhythms.

Cromford, Autumn 2014

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 superior rooms all 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 This weekend is an opportunity to sing and move to infectious African rhythms in a safe and friendly environment. As the old proverb from Zimbabwe says: "If you can walk then you can dance; if you can talk then you can sing"

Learn full-bodied harmonies from South Africa; overlapping rhythms from West Africa; gentle lullabies from East Africa; exotic melodies from North Africa; haunting cries from Central Africa. The weekend is open to anyone – no experience is necessary and all songs will be taught by ear. There will also be opportunities to explore the local area and relax.

Cromford, autumn 2014 All songs have been chosen carefully and arranged especially for voices only. 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.

Feedback from 2017's weekend at Willersley Castle:

"Absolutely brilliant to hear the songs again. It was a wonderful weekend of singing despite so many of us having colds/coughs. It's amazing how you build the songs up and how they all seem to magically come together in the end!"

"Thanks very much for a great weekend at Willersley Castle, up to your usual high standard of entertainment! I really enjoyed all the songs."

"Thank you for a great weekend, we really enjoyed ourselves, and are aware of how hard you worked."

Click to hear recordings from previous African singing workshops that Chris has run.
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HARMONY SINGING DAY

Saturday 27 October 2018 11am to 5pm
Church on the Corner
64 Barnsbury Road
London N1 0ES

Cost: £20 in advance (£25 on the door) (bring lunch to share)

You can buy tickets here and pay with a credit/debit card (you don't need a PayPal account – select "Check out as guest" when you come to pay). If you prefer to pay by bank transfer or cheque then contact Chris for details.

Come for a fun-filled day of harmony singing taught in Chris's inimitable style with lashings of humour, oodles of fun and a firm, but gentle hand on the steering wheel.

The Church on the Corner is a light and airy venue just 8 minutes walk from Angel tube station.

We'll be learning songs from a range of cultures and traditions across the globe, all arranged especially for voice only.

As always, 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.
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November 2018

HARMONY SINGING FOR EXPERIENCED SINGERS — residential weekend

Friday 2 November 2018 5pm to Sunday 4 November 2018 2pm
The Claret Centre, Buckden Towers
High Street
Buckden
St. Neots PE19 5TA
Cambridgeshire

Cost: £150 (shared twin)/ £200 (single) PER PERSON
if booked and fully paid for by 3 August 2018, otherwise £20 per person more

SOLD OUT

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.


Work as a small ensemble over a whole weekend with one voice to each part. A chance to hold a part on your own with like-minded singers. Strictly limited to 16 experienced harmony singers.

You'll need to be able to hold a harmony part on your own and have done so regularly in the past to be eligible for this weekend.

Take your singing to the next level by working as a small ensemble over a whole weekend. Unlike the Better harmony singing: the small group challenge weekends, there will be less emphasis on vocal training and more on just singing together with one voice on a part.

This weekend course will be strictly limited to a maximum of 16 singers. You must have extensive harmony singing experience and have sung with just one voice on each harmony part. You also need to be flexible vocally and be able to pick up new songs fairly quickly.


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!

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.

Comments from 2017's Better harmony singing weekend:

"I loved the singing of course: great songs, technical work and listening to each other. It was a lovely quiet venue and a nice group of people. The free time on the Saturday afternoon and socialising in the lounge upstairs in the evening made for a good balance."

"I like that we spent long enough learning some challenging material so that we could sing it well enough and get the sense of satisfaction. It was also good to learn vocal techniques in the context of actual songs."

"I liked the way everyone concentrates and personalities do not matter, only the singing. Critical comments (which are essential) were pitched at exactly the right level."
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Latest news

Last chance to join the Colchester Singing Safari is Wednesday 30 May. Help build a choir from scratch in six rehearsals.

Please read my new Privacy Policy regarding my mailing list and website which adheres to the new GDPR regulations.

All aboard the gospel train! near Peterborough 21-23 September is the only residential weekend which still has places. All the others are sold out.

June edition of my monthly music roundup is out next week! Sign up to get it by email and see past issues too.

If you want to book me to run a singing workshop I only have 30 Jun/ 1 Jul and 8/ 9 Dec weekends left.

On Twitter? Why not follow me: @ChrisRowbury

Hear workshop songs

You can now listen to clips of recordings made at some of Chris's recent workshops. For example, Sing Africa!, Songs on the Eastern Wind, Good-time Gospel, Sacred Songs to Soothe the Soul, Sing Out!, and World Songs. More on the workshop themes page.

Mailing list

Join Chris's mailing list to make sure you are kept informed of future singing workshops