a course for singers and instrumentalists led by Gabriel Crouch and David Hatcher
14 to 19 July 2019

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 intense musical experience in a relaxed and informal setting.

Thomas Tallis
~ Spem in alium
Alessandro Striggio ~ Ecce beatam lucem
anon. (c.1540) ~ Unum cole Deum

Spem in alium, Thomas Tallis’s tour de force of complex polyphony and shifting tone colours, has rightly become one of the best known musical works of the Renaissance. Taking part in a performance is a profound and moving experience, impossible to replicate as a mere listener, and one that every musician should try at least once in a lifetime. Alessandro Striggio’s Ecce beatam lucem was the earlier work and may have inspired Tallis to write his own 40-part piece. It was the central work in the very first Lacock summer school in 1986, when it was directed by Harry Christophers. We don’t know the composer of Unum cole Deum, an introspective and hypnotic canonical setting of the Ten Commandments. It was published in the Castilian university town of Alcalá de Henares in 1557 and seems to be the originator of the fashion for musical gigantismo.

 Singers should tell us on their application if they are happy to sing a line by themselves or would be happier with one or more other voices with them. There is scope for players of most Renaissance instruments, including strings, cornetts, sackbuts, curtals and recorders. Young singers are invited to apply for Lacock scholarships. 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. 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.