a course for choral singers led by Rory McCleery
21 to 26 March 2021

A week of seasonal music-making for choral singers in the Wiltshire town of Corsham, on the southern flanks of the Cotswolds. Daily morning and late afternoon sessions led by a leading specialist conductor combine work on vocal technique and rehearsal of an important area of the Lenten choral repertoire. We give a public performance at the end of the course. The general aim is to combine an intense musical experience with a convivial atmosphere to create a memorable week.

How lonely sits the city ~ English Lamentations

Thomas Tallis ~ Lamentations, Suscipe quaeso
Robert White ~ Ad te levavi
Osbert Parsley ~ Lamentations
Philip van Wilder ~ Aspice Domine
Clemens non Papa ~ Job tonso capite
Nathaniel Giles ~ Tibi soli peccavi

Rory McCleery writes: ‘Our programme draws on music from three important and deeply personal English manuscripts, the Sadler partbooks, the Baldwin partbooks and Commonplace book, named after their respective authors and including some of the most astounding works circulating in England in the late sixteenth century. The frequency with which composers of the late Renaissance set texts of lamentation, mourning and supplication speaks of the enormous artistic and expressive potential that these offered, and this is certainly true of our selection, embracing both well-known pieces by Thomas Tallis (his Lamentations and Suscipe quaeso) and rarer gems by Osbert Parsley, Nathaniel Giles, Clemens non Papa and Robert White.’

Rory McCleery began his musical career as a chorister at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh and later studied music at Oxford, as both an organ and an academic scholar. He is the founder and director of The Marian Consort, which has become renowned for its compelling interpretations of a wide range of repertoire, particularly the music of the Renaissance and early Baroque, but also of works by contemporary British composers. As a countertenor, Rory greatly enjoys performing as a soloist and consort singer in concert and recording with ensembles including The Dunedin Consort, Contrapunctus, The Monteverdi Choir, The Sixteen, The Gabrieli Consort, Le Concert d’Astrée, The Academy of Ancient Music, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and The Cardinall’s Musick. Recent solo performances have included Bach St John and St Matthew Passions; Handel Messiah, Dixit Dominus and Ode for the birthday of Queen Anne; Pärt Passio; Purcell Come ye sons of art, Ode to St Cecilia and Welcome to all the pleasures; Monteverdi Vespers of 1610; Rameau Grands motets; and Britten Abraham and Isaac in venues across the UK and Europe. He collaborates regularly with the Rose Consort of Viols and is a passionate believer in the importance of music education and singing for young people.

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