Summer School

The King’s Singers Summer Schools have welcomed 350 singers from over 30 countries across the four courses to date. The inaugural King’s Singers Summer School took place in July 2013 at Royal Holloway, University of London to where it has returned on two occasions since that point. In June 2017, the Summer School crossed the Atlantic for the first time to DePauw University, Indiana. The core of the Summer School is focussed on intimate workshops with the KS to work upon the art of Ensemble Singing. Alongside this, during each School, the KS have invited good friends and esteemed colleagues to take individual workshop sessions; these include Bob Chilcott, Eric Whitacre, Dr. Stephen Darlington, Christopher Robinson and Alexander L’Estrange.

The Summer Schools have not only encouraged strong friendships to form, created social occasions with tears of laughter, but most importantly offered the opportunity to work alongside the KS in a unique environment, pursuing the skills to make music and sing within an ensemble to the highest level.

Royal Holloway, July 2017

The 2017 UK School welcomed the largest number of singers to date – over 125 talented musicians from the world over. By kind permission of the Chapter of St George’s Chapel, we were honoured to be invited to perform the age-old service Evensong at St. George’s Chapel set within the grandeur of Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and one of the official residences of Her Majesty the Queen.

DePauw University, June 2017

The KS were thrilled to be joined by their good friend, and former King’s Singer, Bob Chilcott – one of the most inspiring composers, conductors, clinicians and workshop leaders of our day – who led sessions and workshops during the Summer School.  Bob shared wisdom garnered from years of composing, singing and working with ensembles, guiding us through some of his most extraordinary ensemble pieces.

This inaugural U.S. Summer School took place at DePauw University, Indiana. The thriving music department is deeply committed to reshaping modern music education, which is reflected in the facilities it offers. One of the first Schools of Music in the United States, in June 2015 the campus was host to the first-ever Global Musician Workshop, led by the phenomenal cellist Yo Yo Ma and members of his renowned Silk Road Ensemble.

Royal Holloway, July 2015

The KS welcomed esteemed conductor Dr. Stephen Darlington who spoke informatively and eloquently on extracts from the Eton Choirbook.  This was a rare opportunity to get to know some of the music and its variety from a distinguished professor, focussing on composers Robert Wylkynson, John Hampton and Richard Fawkyner.  Stephen bought along a copy of the manuscript for participants to study and he spoke of the historical context and musical complexities of the music.  Breaking the music down (as it often split into 10 parts!) and slowly rebuilding, the final performance of the extracts which formed Compline in the RHUL Chapel, was a particularly special moment.  Many of the participants had never taken part in such a service, and the sense of accomplishment in performing demanding yet sublime repertoire was quite overwhelming for some.

Composer and conductor Eric Whitacre led a workshop on two of his most popular pieces – Sleep and The Seal Lullaby. In the grandeur and calm setting of the Picture Gallery, Eric worked with the group on the subtle intricacies, musical patience and atmospheric performance that this repertoire demands. The final run-through of Sleep left a profound silence in the room as the emotion and intensity of ensemble singing that had been achieved was realised.

Royal Holloway, July 2013

The occasion of The King’s Singers premier Summer School was shared by 93 singers, ranging in age from 14 – 67, travelling from over 20 different countries from Europe, North America and Australasia.

The KS were delighted to invite composer and arranger Alexander L’Estrange to work with participants at the Summer School.   His workshop – You can Sing, but can you Swing! – encouraged and trained singers in the art of groove, swing, click, clap, jazz and pop.   Exuding extraordinary musical skills, energy and a love of life, Alexander hosted a fun-packed session that unlocked and encouraged the art of Swing.

 
 

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 “A winning format”

“The whole week was unforgettable, I gained so much energy from The King’s Singers and the other participants…singing together all the time…that is my most precious experience.”

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