About the course
The Eton Choral Courses are week-long, residential summer courses for singers aged 16-20, which provide intensive, fun weeks of training in singing and choral music.
For 36 years, we have been at the forefront of choral scene for young singers in the UK and offer a unique opportunity to perform at the highest level with like-minded musicians.
Choral evensong at Windsor Castle
We are delighted to have been invited to nearby Windsor Castle to sing Choral Evensong in St George’s Chapel, for the second year running.
Guest Conductor David Hill
Widely known as one of the leading choral directors in the UK, David Hill‘s fine musicianship is recognised by his appointments as Chief Conductor of The BBC Singers, Musical Director of The Bach Choir, Music Director of the Southern Sinfonia, Music Director of the Leeds Philharmonic Society, Associate Guest Conductor of The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. From July 2013 he adds Principal Conductor of Yale Schola Cantorum to his appointments.
Vocal Masterclass with Emma Kirby
As a schoolteacher and amateur singer she was invited to perform professionally with pioneer groups; and long partnerships followed in Britain and abroad, with ensembles, individual players, and record companies, so that now Emma’s voice and style are recognized worldwide. Emma was awarded a DBE in 2007, and in 2011 the Queen’s Medal for Music. Amazed by all this, she is nevertheless glad of the recognition it implies, for a way of music-making that values ensemble, clarity and stillness above volume and display; above all she is delighted to see a new generation of singers and players bringing their skills to the endeavour.
Compline at Eton College Chapel
During the week, the students will also have the opportunity to sing the ancient office of Compline in Eton’s beautiful College Chapel, directed by Ralph Allwood. Compline is the final church office of the day in the Christian tradition of canonical hours, marking the ‘completion’ of the working day. The wonderful summer evening atmosphere in Chapel promises to be a very special experience or all.
During the week the full choir sings a wide range of music spanning the last five centuries up to the present day for the main course performances.
In your small CONSORTS you will sing a variety of music from madrigals to close-harmony and jazz arrangements.
You will be asked to bring some SOLO music to work on in your individual SINGING LESSONS and there will be a chance for you to perform any other music during an INFORMAL CONCERT.
Tutors and Presenters
Ralph Allwood, Course Director
Ralph Allwood MBE founded the Eton Choral Courses in 1980 and was Precentor and Director of Music at Eton College until 2011. He is Conductor of Inner Voices, Director of Rodolfus Choir and Director of Music at the Old Royal Naval Chapel, Greenwich. He is a choral advisor for Novello and the Voices Foundation, and adjudicates the Choir of the Year Competition and the Llangollen International Eisteddfod.
Carys Lane, Singing Teacher
On the concert platform, Carys Lane has performed for such conductors as Sir Roger Norrington, Iván Fischer, Roger Norrington. Carys combines this with regular opera work. Carys has recorded extensively, including with The Cardinall’s Musick who won Gramophone’s disc of the year in 2010. Carys is a vocal coach for the Choir of Merton College, Oxford, and is a long standing member of the Choral Course teaching staff.
David Lowe, Singing Teacher
David Lowe is a central pillar of the Choral Courses’ teaching faculty and has been teaching students in Cambridge for over 20 years. Formerly a professor of the Royal Academy of Music and now at the Royal Northern College of Music, David was also a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge and sung for many years in the Tallis Scholars and Collegium Musicum 90 under the late Richard Hickox.
Dan Ludford-Thomas, Singing Teacher
Dan is an established singing teacher and choral conductor based in London. He combines a busy schedule conducting professional choirs, choral societies and chambers choirs with his role as Head of Singing at Dulwich College and singing teaching post at Eton College. He is the conductor of the Senior Choir of the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain and enjoys a long association as a singing teacher on the Eton Choral Courses.
The courses have been based at Eton College since 1985 and we start the summer with two courses here, rehearsing every day in the stunning buildings of the College and making full use of the state-of-the-art music schools.
Students will stay in individual rooms in one of the school's boarding houses and enjoy three meals per day in the mediaeval College Hall.
Eton is across the river Thames from Windsor, near Slough and within easy reach of London, just outside the M25.