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 my residential singing weekends for January to June 2018.

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 (autumn 2017).

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."


timetable for the year

I run five general singing weekends each year, plus two specialist weekends for more experienced singers. They run from the end of March until early October roughly every two months. Here is an idea of the pattern each year:

  • late March/ early April Felden Lodge, near Hemel Hempstead 13–15 April 2018 THE PAUL SIMON SONGBOOK
  • late May Lindors Country House Hotel, Wye Valley) 25–27 May 2018 HARMONY SINGING WEEKEND
  • late July Brathay Hall, Ambleside, Lake District 20–22 July 2018 FOLK SONGS FROM THE BRITISH ISLES
  • late September Holiday Inn, Ferry Meadows, near Peterborough 20–21 September 2018 ALL ABOARD THE GOSPEL TRAIN
  • early October Willersley Castle, Cromford, Derbyshire 6–5 October 2018 SING AFRICA!

And in April and November each year I run a weekend for just 16 singers who want to hone their harmony singing skills in a small group: The Small Group Challenge which takes place at the Claret Centre, Buckden, Cambridgeshire.

I will cycle through the main themes that I offer (African, Eastern European, gospel, British folk, songs from around the world) so that I do a different theme at each venue each year.

My singing weekends get booked up very quickly, so make sure you sign up to my mailing list to be informed of the details and when booking opens.
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April 2018

BETTER HARMONY SINGING — THE SMALL GROUP CHALLENGE

Friday 6 April 2018 5pm to Sunday 8 April 2018 2pm
The Claret Centre, Buckden Towers
High Street
Buckden
St. Neots PE19 5TA
Cambridgeshire

Cost: £150 (shared twin)/ £200 (single occupancy of twin) PER PERSON
if booked and fully paid for by 12 January 2018, otherwise £20 per person more

SOLD OUT

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.


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 and be prepared to work in detail on some fairly complex songs.

As a rough guide, you'll need to feel comfortable holding a harmony part entirely on your own. For example, in a three-part harmony song with just two other singers.

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.

Contact Chris before booking. Priority is being given to men to fill the last two places.

Comments from 2016's weekend:

“I loved the wonderful warm ups which lead us so gently and cleverly by stages into singing in small groups.”

“I feel as though the structure of the workshop has helped my confidence and the small groups weren't as scary as I expected!”

“Really well-paced and lively. I found the work on voice quality particularly useful.”
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THE PAUL SIMON SONGBOOK — residential weekend

Friday 13 April 2018 5pm to Sunday 15 April 2018 2pm
Felden Lodge
Felden Lane
Hemel Hempstead HP3 0BL (SatNav users: HP3 0BB)
Hertfordshire

Cost: £180 (shared twin), £200 (single occupancy) PER PERSON
if booked and fully paid for by 19 January 2018, otherwise £20 per person more

SOLD OUT


Learn a range of Paul Simon's best-known songs all arranged for voice only. A weekend of singing not too far from London with lovely country walks nearby.

Felden Lodge, Hertfordshire

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 Paul Simon has been writing songs for six decades, covering many different styles and genres. In this fun and relaxed workshop you will learn a song from each of his distinct phases of work.

Hard to believe, but 2017 is the 60th anniversary of Paul Simon's first recorded song Hey Schoolgirl. His song writing career has spanned six decades and many different genres and in 2016 he released his 13th solo album Stranger to Stranger. Paul Simon will be 76 on October 13th 2017! As well as learning some great songs, 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. 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.

Comments from 2017's singing weekend at Felden Lodge:

“I found the weekend particularly enjoyable – helped, of course, by the sunshine. I felt the group gelled well, the rehearsal room was one of the best I've experienced, and I really enjoyed the simplicity of the bedrooms and the lovely food. ” Jacki

“It was my first time at one of your workshops, but it certainly won't be the last. I will be very keen to go to Felden Lodge again, the setting is beautiful and the accommodation fine for me. The food was good and I liked their habit of producing cakes at any opportunity!” Frances

“Thanks for a brilliant weekend and for sending the song recordings through, they do sound pretty good. I thought you were on great form and that it was a lovely group of people who gelled well together.” Kath

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HARMONY SINGING WEEKEND — residential weekend

Friday 25 May 2018 5pm to Sunday 27 May 2018 2pm
Lindors Country House Hotel
The Fence
St. Briavels
Lydney GL15 6RB
Wye Valley, Gloucestershire

Cost: £200 (shared twin), £220 (superior twin); £220 (single occupancy) PER PERSON
if booked and fully paid for by 23 February 2018, otherwise £20 per person more

No single rooms left — Plenty of twins/double available.

There is limited scope for a fully accessible room. Please enquire for more details.


A fun weekend of fabulous harmony singing in the beautiful Wye Valley. Learn songs from across the globe all arranged for voice only.

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.

Lindors Country House Hotel,Wye Valley

Lindors Country House Hotel is set in nine acres of grounds in a grand 19th-century country house. The hotel is three miles from Clearwell Caves and just over three miles from Puzzlewood ancient woodland site.

 

Lindors Country House Hotel bedroom
The warmly decorated rooms (some with garden views) include en suite bathrooms, plus CD players, and tea and coffee making facilities. There is stair access only. The weekend includes all meals, tuition and tea/ coffee breaks.

Lindors Country House Hotel 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.

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.

Lindors Country House Hotel lounge 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.

Lindors Country House Hotel garden Comments from previous harmony singing weekends:

“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 – we'll definitely be back for more” Gill

“Fears, goose-bumps, and absolute joy to be singing in a group. You did that, Chris! and for that, thank you.” Val

“Thank you for all the energy and enthusiasm you put into the weekend. I loved the songs and had a wonderful time listening to the harmonies and other voices in the room. You have a clear and skilful way of teaching songs that I very much appreciate, having experienced other leaders who do not give such clear and accurate direction!” Mark

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