September 5, 2020
  • 10:00 a. Voice for Life

    The Royal School of Church Music’s practical resource for choir directors, trainers and teachers, the Voice for Life, is already well-established as a rich source of repertoire and guidance especially for ecclesiastical choirs. Now, the latest addition to the series, the Guide to Choir Training, provides an invaluable manual dedicated to the theory and practice of choir training, based on the experience of a wide range of practitioners. Hugh Morris, Chief Executive of RSCM, Anthony Marks, project developer, and conductor Ian Assersohn introduce the Guide and demonstrate how the resource will help all choral leaders, whether sacred or secular.

  • 10:00 b. Vocal shape-up

    New and familiar warm-ups for all ages with Suzzie Vango. Why do we do wake up slaps or pretend to blow bubbles? What's the point? Find out the answers in this webinar!

  • 11:00 Break
  • 12:00 a. Understanding and performing Messiah

    What do conductors of amateur choirs need to know about performing Handel’s masterpiece? This session explores aspects of Messiah that many directors may be unaware of. Andrew Gant, author of The Making of Handel’s Messiah, explains how different variants and versions of the oratorio can enhance a choir’s approach, musicologist Malcolm Bruno talks about different editions, and Director of the London Handel Festival, Samir Savant, and conductors John Butt and Nicholas Cleobury discuss what is missing from the score such as dynamics and articulation, and what kind of orchestra amateur choirs should strive for.

  • 12:00 b. Class teaching - the new normal

    Over the last few months music educators have adapted rapidly as covid-19 has required us to radically change our usual teaching. As we begin a new academic year, teachers are grappling with ever updating education guidance as well as considering the research and guidelines around singing together. Whilst we remain at a distance, whether that be socially distancing in person or continuing to deliver virtually, what strategies can we use in order to continue to provide high quality musical learning experiences? The presenters at this session will provide practical suggestions for how to provide excellent and accessible musical experiences during these unprecedented times. Presenters include Margaret O’Shea (Ark Music), Tom Leech (Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme), Esther Hargittai and Bea Hubble (Drake Music).

  • 13:00 Break
  • 14:00 a. Singing in foreign languages - don't be put off!

    Many UK choirs and conductors shy away from languages other than French, German and Latin. Choral repertoire in Russian and Spanish provides exciting opportunities to extend your choir’s experiences. Rather than singing in often ill-fitting English translations, why not try Rachmaninov’s Vespers with guidance from Irina Walters? Or how is your Spanish? Mark Sproson will provide invaluable advice on how English-speaking conductors can tackle a work like Morton Lauridsen’s Soneto de la noche.

  • 14:00 b. Songs and games from the Southeast Asia region

    A hands-on Kodaly workshop where the participants will learn musical game songs from the Southeast Asia region, and the associated games with them. With Susanna Saw, Vice-President for the International Kodály Society and Lecturer and Choir Director at the Faculty of Music at University of Malaya.

  • 15:00 Break
  • 16:00 a. Meet the composer - stories and songs with Sarah Quartel

    Canadian composer Sarah Quartel joins us live from across the Atlantic to share recordings of some of her pieces and the background to them, along with videos of virtual premieres during lockdown, plus a chance to ask her questions.  Sarah is an OUP-signed composer and educator known for her fresh and exciting approach to choral music. Sarah’s choral works are performed by children, youth, and adults throughout the world and her work as an educator connects exciting musical experiences with meaningful classroom learning.

  • 16:00 b. Signed song with Paul Whittaker

    Join Paul Whittaker to find out more about using British Sign Language to perform songs. He will be using pieces from the Friday Afternoons repertoire and exploring some of the new resources by Russell Hepplewhite with lyrics by Michael Rosen. Profoundly deaf, Paul is a pianist and organist and has worked for 30 years to raise both awareness and standards of signed song and educating (and entertaining!) people about music and deafness.

  • 17:00 Postcard from Latvia

    Our Saturday festival programme ends with a very special ‘postcard from Latvia’. Latvian Voices were due to travel to Birmingham for our live convention in August but this fabulous vocal ensemble will now round off our day of webinars with a message from Riga followed by their performances of two folksong arrangements, one in Estonian and one in Latvian.

  • 19:00 Festival Concert

    In place of our gala concert we’re delighted to be able to include one of the Live from London choral concerts in our timetable, a performance from VOCES8.
    You can either buy a separate ticket for the concert as part of your festival package, or why not buy a season ticket now for all ten concerts? By buying your ticket through abcd, you are actively helping to raise funds for us.