Workshop themes

Chris offers a range of workshops on different themes

Lindors weekend in the Wye Valley, 2018

"You are such a natural teacher. Everybody had told me about how amazing you are and how unmissable your workshops are. But it was even better than that!"

Workshop themes available

Chris offers the following themed workshops. They are all available as half-day/ one-day workshops, or as weekend workshops. He can also design a specific workshop to suit your needs. Click on a workshop title for more information and to listen to sound clips of songs learnt in a single day.

Sing Africa!

African women singing Learn harmony songs from across Africa. An opportunity to sing and move to infectious African rhythms. 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 .

Listen to songs learnt at previous workshops:

Dithotonyana (South Africa)

Bele mama (Cameroon)

Vuma (South Africa)

Folk songs from the British Isles

English Morris dancers You don't have to be a 'folkie' to enjoy singing traditional songs in wonderful 4-part harmony! Learn songs from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Create gorgeous group harmonies to die for.

The British Isles have a rich singing tradition stretching back centuries. Popular songs of the 'folk' have passed down orally from generation to generation in a range of local dialects and languages. Many of us learnt traditional songs at school. Songs such as The Skye boat song, The Ash Grove, Widdicombe Fair, Blow the man down and Cockles and Mussels.

Learn traditional songs from the British Isles, all arranged for voice only in full glorious harmony. Some familiar, some unexpected; some in English, some not; some in new guises. But all guaranteed to delight and feed your musical soul! (click to find the next British folk song workshop)

Listen to songs learnt at previous workshops:

Bushes and briars (England)

Calon lan (Wales)

Auld lang syne (Scotland)

Nil sin na (Ireland)

Songs on the Eastern wind

Kakava Fire Festival, Turkey Learn songs from a range of Eastern European cultures and traditions: crunchy harmonies from the Balkans, Romanian lullabies, Czech gipsy passion, haunting chants from the Russian Orthodox church, gorgeous clashing harmonies from Georgia, mountain hollers from Macedonia and more. (click to find the next Eastern European song workshop)

Listen to songs learnt at previous workshops:

Sampler from Eastern European singing day, July 2014

Ej žito žela (Croatia)

Maliarka (Russian gypsy)

Ustat ću se rano ja (Dalmatia)

Gospodi (Russia)

Oj Savice (Croatia)

All aboard the gospel train

Gospel singers Who doesn't love to sing gospel? You don't have to be religious to enjoy the uplifting, passionate sounds of gospel music. In this liberating workshop we will sing African-American gospel songs from the 1930s (from the city, and from the country); spirituals from the slave plantations; and gospel songs from South Africa – all in glorious unaccompanied harmony! Good old-time gospel singing with no backing band, and no modern R&B flavas.

In the gospel church everyone participates, whether they have a 'beautiful' voice or not. All parts in the harmony are important. Every role is valued, and each person's contribution enriches the whole. Expression, not technique, is what is important.

Gospel music is spiritual in nature. It requires expression of feeling, using body, mind and spirit. We will sing the songs with the greatest respect, but there will be no preaching. Everyone can join in regardless of race, beliefs or ability. (click to find the next gospel workshop)

Listen to songs learnt at previous workshops:

There must be a heaven somewhere

No ways tired

Prodigal son

All my trials

Sacred songs to soothe the soul

Sacred light Experience the ancient art of unaccompanied sacred singing. Used by people throughout the world to bring joy, healing and inspiration to their lives. Enliven your spirit with a feast of harmonies. Learn songs from a range of cultures spanning the globe.

Sacred Song encompasses an amazing mix of musical diversity: from the Black gospel church and the slave plantations of rural Southern USA, to Jewish Sephardic singing from Spain; from South African protest songs to New Zealand Maori hymns; from Corsican polyphony to the lush harmonies of the Russian Orthodox church; from the chants of the Taizé community to medieval plainsong; from the Georgian church to the Shaker community; and much more in between. (click to find the next Sacred Songs workshop)

This workshop is open to people of all faiths and none.

Listen to songs learnt at previous workshops:

Gospodi (Russia)

Mojuba effe fe i ku (Yoruba)

Alleluya (Russia)

Choir in a day

Roaring lion In 2006 Chris built a choir completely from scratch to perform at the Warwick Folk Festival. In six weekly two-hour sessions, a disparate group of singers came together to learn up to 10 songs in full four-part harmony. The songs were then performed to an enthusiastic outdoor audience on the weekend of the festival. This was the first Singing Safari. He went on to create scratch choirs for the next five festivals before moving to Suffolk in 2010

Since 2011 Chris has led 20 Singing Safaris in Ipswich and Woodbridge. In October 2022 the last-ever project was a Beatle-themed one, ending in a sold-out concert in Ipswich. Chris has now decided not to do any more six-week projects, but is open to the idea of a choir in a day.

Chris is able to create beautiful harmony singing from a group of people in a short time. In 2013 Chris worked with almost 200 singers on London's Southbank to create a choir in a day. They then went on to a public performance on the same evening.

Why not book Chris to create a choir in a day for you? A typical day might run from 10am to 4pm, then after a break, the choir would then perform the songs that they've learnt.

Listen to a medley of songs from 2014's summer Singing Safari:
 


Listen to songs learnt at at the 2011 Singing Safari in Ipswich:

Haere Mai (New Zealand Maori)

Njetsvoda (Jos Wuytack)

Shosholoza (South Africa)

Sing out!

Happy singers An exhilarating session of harmony singing for anyone who wants to sing – whether you think you can or not! Enjoy games and warm-ups to develop confidence. Join in with songs from all around the world especially arranged for voice only, all 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!

Listen to songs learnt at previous workshops:

You are my sunshine

Hey Yana (native American)

Idonga se Jeriko (South Africa)

Songs from around the world

World map Over the years Chris has built up an impressive repertoire of over 700 harmony songs from more than 50 separate countries. This workshop gives a taster of the wide range of styles and moods of music found across the globe. The songs come from traditions and cultures where singing comes as naturally as walking or talking and is a vital part of everyday life. Many of the songs are from the oral tradition and have been passed on from generation to generation. All songs are taught by ear in the original language.

Listen to songs learnt at previous workshops:

Oj Dobricu (Croatia)

Ide were were (Yoruba)

Te arawa e (New Zealand Maori)

Next singing workshop

Happy singers
Saturday 29 April 2023

Harmony singing day Hursley, near Winchester

Theme to be announced in January 2023.


Join Chris's mailing list

Be the first to hear about one-day and half-day singing workshops near you as well as residential weekends.

Sign up here