further details of the course in Tobago for choral singers
led by Justin Doyle and Sarah Latto
16 to 22 February 2020

Justin Doyle has recently taken up the highly prestigious role of Principal Conductor of the Berlin Radio Choir. For Lacock he directed the very successful first Singing in Castara in 2016 and the return visit in January 2018. Before that he had made Lacock appearances at the Corsham Winter School in 2013 and the Trogir Music Week in 2015. He was born in Lancaster and is now once again based in the north-west of England, where he has conducted the Orchestra of Opera North, Northern Sinfonia, Hallé Orchestra and the Manchester Chamber Choir. He was a chorister at Westminster Cathedral and was a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge. He has been a prizewinner in the prestigious Cadaqués Orchestra Conducting Competition and was awarded the first Conductor Fellowship with the BBC Singers.

Justin will be assisted by Sarah Latto, who has been a scholar on several Lacock courses and has sung with The Lacock Scholars in London. She is currently working with Ex Cathedra as its first associate conductor. Sarah read music at Cambridge University, where she held a choral scholarship at Sidney Sussex College. In 2015 she received a conducting fellowship to the Norfolk Chamber Music Course at Yale University. Sarah was appointed conducting scholar with Genesis Sixteen in 2015-16, a young artists scheme run by The Sixteen designed to nurture the next generation of talented ensemble singers. She received mentoring and tuition from Harry Christophers and Eamonn Dougan and conducted the group in concert and in broadcasts on BBC Radio 3. Sarah is artistic director of young professional ensemble Echo, who made their St John’s, Smith Square debut in July 2017. They have performed at Queen Elizabeth Hall alongside the London Philharmonic Orchestra and collaborated with artist Polly Apfelbaum at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham. Alongside conducting, Sarah is a keen accompanist and orchestrator, and runs a composer collective called The Coveryard.

The course is designed for choral singers with a taste for adventure. You should be a competent sight-reader, have a straight, blending voice with full dynamic range, be used to normal choral discipline and be able to respond quickly to direction. Participants are of all ages and nationalities and come alone, with a friend or partner, or in a group. Justin Doyle and Sarah Latto are experienced at working with amateur musicians and the atmosphere is relaxed and informal. We will finally confirm the repertoire when we have an idea of the size and balance of the group. Our plan will be to meet in time for supper in one of the beach restaurants on Sunday 16 February 2020. Then on the following five days rehearse all morning (say from 9.30am to 1.00pm, with a break) in the Anglican church, then take an indulgent four-hour lunch break – to rest the voice as much as anything else – and then put in another couple of hours of singing before supper. We will also take any opportunities that present themselves to collaborate with local musicians. Throughout the week we’ll all eat together at different restaurants in the evening. We will give a public performance in the evening of Friday 21 February. The group will play a leading part in the Castara Song Harvest, a one-day festival involving Tobagonian musicians on Saturday 22 February.

British Airways (Mondays and Fridays) and Virgin Atlantic (Wednesdays and Sundays) both fly to Tobago from London Gatwick. At the moment (May) BA are charging £544 for a return ticket on the early-in-the-week flights next February. Your accommodation will be able to arrange a taxi to collect your from the airport for a fare in the region of £25 for two people. The places to stay are typically rooms in small guest houses, and apartments. You arrange your own accommodation. We will act as a clearing house for people wanting to get together to share apartments and on registration will send comments on the various establishments from people who have attended the course in previous years . Here are direct links to some of the places to stay in Castara, in no particular order:
Blue Mango Cottages
Sea Level Guesthouse
Castara Retreats
Angel Retreat
Sea Scape
Alibaba’s Sea Breeze
Castara Coffee House
Hidden Cottage
Castara Cottage
The Beach House
Porridge’s Place
Naturalist Beach Resort
Carpe Diem Villa

The fee for the course is £510, paid in two parts: a deposit of £250 or the equivalent in euros on registration and £260 by 1 January. The deposit may be credited to another course if you have to withdraw and we are able to allocate your place to another singer.The fee includes payment for the music booklet, which will be sent to you in advance, with all the music for the course, but not meals, travel or accommodation. To enrol, just email us and include the information listed below, or if we already know it just let us know that you would like to come. We will then send you details of how you may pay the deposit.

      o your name
      o address (to send you the music booklet)
      o telephone number(s)
      o preferred email address
      o voice (soprano – mean/mezzo – alto – tenor – baritone – bass)