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.
Alexander Technique with Kathy Henderson
Kathy has taught on the Courses for several years, and will lead two excellent days of Alexander Technique training during Course 6.
Guest Conductor David Skinner
David Skinner is a renowned scholar and choral director. He was co-founder of The Cardinall’s Musick in 1989, and has also worked with many other leading early music groups in the UK including The Tallis Scholars, The Sixteen, the Hilliard Ensemble and the King’s Singers. David founded Alamire in 2005 as an extension to his research and performance activities. The ensemble has already received critical acclaim for their performances and recordings and has released nine CDs on the Obsidian label, of which David is Artistic Director.
Choral Evensong at King’s College Chapel
We are delighted to be returning to King’s College to sing during Course 6. The world-famous Chapel is one of the great buildings of the world in which to make music – this promises to be a major highlight of the week.
Compline at Queen’s College Chapel
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 late-summer evening atmosphere in Queens’ College Chapel promises to be a very special experience or all.
Consort Workshop with Simon Carrington
Simon Carrington, Yale University professor emeritus, has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in music, performing as singer, double bass player and conductor, first in the UK where he was born, and latterly in the USA.
He now keeps up an active schedule as a freelance conductor and choral clinician, leading workshops and master classes round the world.
Recital at St John’s College
St John’s is our home for Course 6, and we look forward to performing in the wonderful College Chapel for our Course Recital.
Course Organ Recital at St John’s College
Course 6 is also for organists, who will be trained by Tom Winpenny throughout the week. The Course Organ Recital will be performed entirely by students from the course.
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.
Course 6 is also one of the specially designed organ courses, providing a unique opportunity for organists to develop accompanying experience by working with an excellent choir under expert guidance.
You will also have your own sessions on repertoire, improvisation, liturgy and other keyboard skills, and there will be more accompanied repertoire on the course, with individual coaching from experienced organist, Tom Winpenny.
You will also be able to take full part in the course as a singer and gain valuable insight into singing technique from the workshops and master-classes.
Tutors and Presenters
Kate Woolveridge, Singing Teacher
Kate is one of Wales’ most popular mezzo-sopranos. The rich, sumptuous beauty of her voice combined with an engaging personality has ensured her success on both the operatic and concert platform. She has won numerous awards, recorded regularly for television and has given hundreds of concerts and recitals across Great Britain. She teaches singing at the Royal Welsh College Of Music and Drama.
Tom Winpenny, Organ Director
Tom Winpenny is Assistant Master of the Music at St Albans Cathedral, where he also directs the Abbey Girls Choir. He studied as Organ Scholar at King’s College, Cambridge and was subsequently Sub-Organist at St Paul’s Cathedral. His solo recordings include music by Bingham, Stanford, and Berkeley and Liszt. He has performed in venues throughout the UK, and given recitals in the USA and Europe.
David Lowe, Singing Teacher
David Lowe is a central pillar of the Choral Courses’ teaching faculty, regularly teaching on the courses and visiting to give master-classes. 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.
Robert Price, Singing Teacher
Robert Rice is a concert baritone who regularly performs oratorios such as Carmina Burana, Verdi’s Requiem, Bach’s Passions et al.
Robert teaches singing regularly at Cambridge and Oxford Universities, for Lincoln Cathedral, and privately in London. He is in demand as a workshop leader; in recent times he has given workshops and master-classes for the Eton Choral Courses, The Sixteen, Christ’s Hospital and UCL Opera among others.
Simon Toyne, Course Director
Simon Toyne’s work as a choral director has included preparing choirs for the world’s most well known conductors. In September 2015, he took up the post of Executive Director of Music of the David Ross Education Trust (DRET) and Malcolm Arnold Academy, where he is responsible for the development of music across over 30 state primary and secondary schools in the East of England.
Cambridge University is as famous for its choirs as it is for its academic excellence. This beautiful setting and the vast number of beautiful buildings and chapels in the university are the reasons why we are thrilled once again to be holding a course there.
This year the Course is based at St John's College, one of Cambridge's largest colleges. We will rehearse in the College's Chapel, which boasts the tallest tower in the university, and the ideal acoustic for singing in every day. The course will eat all meals in St John's and stay in the college's many characterful courts. We will also be using the recently-refurbished Divinity School and its high-spec concert hall.
But during the week we will be spreading ourselves to many different colleges, holding recitals, services, concerts, workshops in their various college chapels.