a course for choral singers led by Will Carslake
28 December 2017 to 2 January 2018

A week of music-making for choral singers in the Lake District town of Ambleside, surrounded by England’s grandest scenery. We rehearse every day in the morning and late afternoon for a concert at the end of the course. The Winter School is a tradition dating back to 1990; in the early days it was held in Lacock itself: more recently at other places, such as the tiny village of Zennor on the Cornish coast near Land’s End, the bookshop town of Hay-on-Wye, and Ludlow. The aim is always to combine serious and dedicated singing with as much good cheer as possible.

Gardens of the Sublime
Gombert ~ Clemens ~ Lassus ~ Palestrina ~ de Rore ~ Carslake

Will Carslake writes: “Taking inspiration from Wordsworth’s Prelude and the writing of other Lakeland poets, we will explore the musical expression of gardens: biblical, allegorical, man-made and mountainous, culminating in the shepherds on the fells hearing of the birth of Christ. Focusing on renaissance Franco-Flemish composers such as Gombert, Clemens non Papa and Lassus we will also include Palestrina and Giovannelli plus As dewe, my own setting of the mediaeval ‘I singe of a maiden’ text, with its evocation of dew falling on grass. We will work at movements from Gombert’s Missa Quam pulchra es , while in the ‘flowers’ section we will explore Clemens non Papa’s Ego flos campi and O Maria vernans rosa with exquisite settings of Sicut lilium by both Brumel and Palestrina. Other highlights include Lassus’s, Levavi oculos meos in montes and Cipriano de Rore’s Quem vidistis pastores. We will round off with folk songs and carols local to the Lakes. I look forward to seeing you in the stunning setting of Ambleside!”

William Carslake is a composer-traveller. He trained as a conductor with Martyn Brabbins and Jorma Panula before embarking in 2011 on a career combining his twin passions of composing and the great outdoors. In 2012 he held a composing residency at The Banff Centre in the Rockies, Canada, where his mentor was Henk Guittart, founder of the Schoenberg Ensemble. His compositions and journeys often explore ecological themes and include orchestral, chamber and choral works. Recent projects include The Singing Glacier, commissioned by The Little Baroque Company and inspired by a climbing expedition to the glacier system east of Sermiligaq Fjord in Greenland in August 2016 with poet Helen Mort and film director Richard Jones.

William has led two very successful Lacock courses: in Jimena de la Frontera in southern Spain and last year’s winter school, which was held in Corsham. He was organ scholar of Pembroke College, Cambridge and studied singing with Peter Alexander Wilson at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He is Music Director of Elizabeth for the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House in  2016 and 2018 and is Music Director of the Imperial College Sinfonietta. He is a trustee of The Elgar Birthplace Museum in Broadheath in Worcestershire.

Further details of the timetable, travel, accommodation, fees and enrolment.