a course for singers and instrumentalists led by Justin Doyle,
David Hatcher and Greg Skidmore
12 to 17 August 2018

The Ludlow Summer School is a combination of specialist coaching, informal festival and musical holiday. It is open to experienced choral singers and early instrumentalists of all ages and nationalities. This week of intensive training with leading tutors will end with a public performance. The general aim is to create an intensive musical experience in a relaxed and informal setting.

Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli ~ Croce ~ Monteverdi ~ Grandi ~ Cavalli

The body of works composed for the office of Vespers, centred on settings of psalms and the Magnificat, is one of the great achievements of western art; no age and city has surpassed the contributions of Venice in the time of Monteverdi. Although her political and economic tide continued to ebb, in the arts La Serenissima still held supreme. In music, not only performance and composition, but also publishing and the design and making of instruments all flourished. Musicians came there from all over Italy and beyond. It was the place to be. The Gabrielis, Croce, Monteverdi, Grandi and Cavalli were all either maestro di cappella or organist at the great basilica of San Marco, where at their disposal was an ensemble of up to twenty virtuoso instrumentalists and thirty singers. These sumptuous forces and the building itself encouraged the use of cori spezzati, with the performers divided into several groups, and the search for contrasts of sonority. From the works of these composers we will draw our own compilation of Vespers music, interspersed with smaller-scale pieces for voices and instruments, leaving the final choice of pieces until we know the exact make-up of our ensemble of voices and instruments.

 There are parts for choral and solo singers of all voice types. Young singers are invited to apply for Lacock scholarships. There are parts for strings, cornetts, sackbuts, curtals and recorders, and scope for continuo instruments of all types. The pitch will be A 440 Hz.

This is a course for experienced and confident choral singers and instrumentalists of all ages. You should be a good reader, have a blending voice with full dynamic range, be used to normal choral discipline and be able to respond quickly to direction – the aim being to combine professional pace of work with amateur enthusiasm. In the performance some choral sections may be sung by a smaller selected group and by the Lacock Scholars. Instrumentalists should have an assured technique and be accustomed to public performance. The tutors are experienced at working with amateur musicians and will be very supportive. The atmosphere is relaxed and informal.

Ludlow is justly famed as one of England’s most attractive small towns, dramatically situated on the River Teme near the Welsh border. It is surrounded by splendid walking country and has mediaeval walls, a castle and around five hundred other listed buildings. The course will take place in the imposing parish church of St Laurence, known as the cathedral of the Marches, which has its own flourishing musical life under the director Shaun Ward.

Further details of the course, tutors, travel, accommodation, fees and enrolment.