a course for choral singers led by Joanna Tomlinson, 16 to 22 June 2019

A course for experienced choral singers of all ages and nationalities in an Italian mediaeval abbey on a mountain top overlooking the Adriatic, now converted into a comfortable hotel with an excellent swimming pool and a reputation for the gastronomic specialities of the Marche. A group of up to thirty-six singers will rehearse a programme of unaccompanied music in the Romanesque church that still stands at its centre. The course will be held in English. The general aim is to create an intense musical experience in good company and a relaxed and convivial setting.

Josquin des Prez ~ Praeter rerum seriem
Cipriano de Rore ~ Missa Praeter rerum seriem
Heinrich Isaac ~ Virgo prudentissima
Ildebrando Pizzetti ~ Requiem
Gabriel Jackson ~ I gaze upon you

Joanna Tomlinson writes: ďI was delighted to be asked to direct the week in Monteconero. What a treat to spend a week in Italy and be able to programme such fabulous repertoire! Iím particularly fond of Josquin, so the pairing of his motet and the Cipriano mass modelled on it is absolutely up my street. I didnít know Isaacís Virgo prudentissima until Andrew suggested it, but Iíve fallen in love with the piece Ė itís just wonderful. Written in 1922, the Pizzetti Requiem is a perfect match with these gorgeous early pieces. Dark and mysterious with occasional shafts of light, the influences of Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony are apparent but they are combined with lush harmonies. Gabriel Jackson's sumptuous I Gaze Upon You is very special to me Ė I love Paul Eluardís text and this piece will be sung at my wedding in January!Ē

Joanna Tomlinson is a rising star among young choral directors, and like most Lacock conductors is herself also a singer, singing teacher and vocal coach. She trained at the Royal College of Music and now has a bursting portfolio of choral appointments: director of London-based Constanza Chorus and of the internationally award-winning Farnham Youth Choir, choral director at Reading University and associate music director of East London Chorus; she is also on the panel of tutors for the Association of British Choral Directors. With Constanza Chorus she has recently conducted Brahmsís Requiem with the London Mozart Players, Mendelssohnís  Elijah at the Cadogan Hall and mass at St Peterís Basilica in Rome. She has worked with Manchester Chamber Choir, London Symphony Chorus, Joyful Company of Singers, Royal College of Music Chorus, Excelsis Chamber Choir, The Whitehall Choir, Trinity Laban Junior College Choirs, and Wimbledon Choral Society. As a singer she works with professional choirs including BBC Singers, Gabrieli Consort, Sonoro and Britten Sinfonia Voices, and performs as an oratorio and recital soloist. This is her first course for Lacock.

This is a course for experienced and confident choral singers of all ages. You should be a good reader and be comfortable singing in a small section, have a blending voice with full dynamic range, be used to normal choral discipline and be able to respond quickly to direction Ė the aim being to combine professional pace of work with amateur enthusiasm. The atmosphere is relaxed and informal. All the public domain music will be printed in a booklet and sent to you in good time before the course.

The course takes place at the Hotel Monteconero, just south of Ancona. It began life as a mediaeval monastery and still has a Romanesque church at its centre, where we rehearse and perform. Set on a mountaintop on the very edge on the Adriatic, it has breathtaking views up and down the coast and inland across to the Appenines.

Patrizia and Augusto Melappioni, the third generation of owner-managers of the Hotel Monteconero, with receptionist Sabrina Marini (centre) in the courtyard of the hotel with the church in the background.

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