Sherborne Choral Course 2019
About the course
Join promising young singers and musicians from across the country on the inaugural Sherborne Choral Course for a week in the beautiful Dorset town of Sherborne.
- Sing Choral Evensong in the historic Abbey, and receive expert tuition in a school renowned for its musical tradition, with access to first-rate facilities and three stunning organs.
- Work with composers and conductors John Rutter CBE and Bob Chilcott, refining your technique and enhancing your application for a university choral or organ scholarship.
The Sherborne Choral Course is an opportunity not to be missed. Open to anyone aged 15 to 18, it attracts some of the country’s finest young vocal talent.
Develop your talent and enhance your experience in choral singing
The Sherborne Choral Course offers a wonderful opportunity to sing evensong in an historic Abbey, working with some of the country’s leading composers and educationalists. Our programme is designed to nurture your talents, helping enhance your application for a university choral scholarship. Thanks to the residential nature of the course, you will learn from each other in a supportive yet stretching environment.
We’re attracting the very best young vocal talent in the country: people between the ages of 15 and 18 with a passion for music, a love of singing, and a desire to learn more about the Church’s choral tradition.
During the course of the week, you will:
- Sing Evensong and a Eucharist in Sherborne Abbey and daily Compline in the School Chapel
- Learn a new piece composed and conducted by John Rutter CBE
- Work with the composer Bob Chilcott and Sherborne’s Director of Music James Henderson, as well as a team of specialist tutors and instrumentalists
- Receive one-to-one singing tuition
- Participate in barbershop and opera chorus workshops
- Form friendships with your fellow singers, sharing tips and insights about applying for university choral scholarships
If you have a passion for music and a desire to take your singing further, the Sherborne Choral Course provides a wonderful experience that will live with you forever.
Visitors to Sherborne can’t fail to notice the beautiful Benedictine Abbey standing at the very heart of the town. In its shadow are the historic buildings of Sherborne School – a prestigious boys’ boarding school with a strong choral tradition, playing a full part in the liturgical life of the church.
That makes it the perfect setting for a summer choral school that develops the talents of boys and girls between the ages of 15 and 18. We attract a diverse group of attendees from a range of backgrounds, distinguished by their vocal excellence.
Sherborne is easily accessible by rail or road, with good links to London, the South West and the North of England. It is a town of modest proportions, but by no means lacking in vibrancy. Thanks to the presence of two high-profile boarding schools, it is a place of intellectual energy and cultural stimulation. Its pretty high street is close to the School campus, meaning ready access to cafés, shops and supermarkets.
Choral Course attendees stay in Sherborne School accommodation, with girls and boys in separate houses. Everyone eats in the excellent School refectory and enjoys access to our brilliant School facilities. A pastoral team is on hand throughout the week, providing care and support at every turn.
Sherborne is a wonderful home from home, boasting stunning architecture, a tangible sense of history, and a warm, friendly atmosphere. Along with the Abbey and our own School Chapel, there are few finer locations to expand your horizons and prepare for your future as a singer.
About our team
A high-profile team of professional musicians and educators delivers the Sherborne Choral Course. Here is a brief guide to the main tutors.
John Rutter CBE
John Rutter is one of the best-known English composers and conductors of his generation. His music is characterised by beautiful melodies that resonate with audiences around the world.
Longer compositions include Requiem, Gloria, Mass of the Children and The Gift of Life, while his shorter pieces are justifiably famous. Many will be familiar with anthems such as For the Beauty of the Earth, All Things Bright and Beautiful and The Lord Bless You and Keep You both from their extensive radio play and from performing them in concert.
John was Director of Music at Clare College, Cambridge, and leads the Cambridge Singers, who have made more than 50 recordings since the 1980s. He established the Collegium record label in 1983.
John will be sharing a new composition at the Sherborne Choral Course, leading the choir through rehearsals and conducting them during evensong in Sherborne Abbey.
Bob Chilcott has been described by The Observer as a “contemporary hero of choral music” – an epithet that neatly captures his contribution to the British choral tradition. Bob was a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge and performed with the highly popular King’s Singers for 12 years.
With a particular reputation for compositions that engage young people, Bob is renowned for his friendly style. His St John Passion, Salisbury Vespers and Requiem are well known to many, both as recordings and performance pieces. They speak of his immersion in the Church’s choral tradition, but Bob’s expertise does not end there. As Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Singers since 2002, he knows how to bring the best out of any choir, whether they are preparing for a great liturgical act or to perform a piece of secular music in concert.
As Director of Music at Sherborne School, James oversees the Sherborne Choral Course and is a lead tutor and conductor.
An experienced tutor on similar courses elsewhere in the country, James is steeped in the Church’s musical traditions. He regularly conducts Sherborne’s choir as it leads services in the Abbey, and works closely with the clergy and staff team to ensure that the music is of the very highest quality.
James came to Sherborne in 2005 having previously been involved with the music at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, and having been Director of Music at Portsmouth Grammar School where he worked with the London Mozart Players in the Portsmouth Festivities. Thanks in no small part to his visionary leadership of the department, Sherborne is widely recognised as one of the country’s foremost independent schools for Music. Indeed, The Week named the School ‘Best for Music’ in its Independent Schools Guide – a well-deserved accolade that underscores the credentials of its Choral Course.
Registration and fees
Visit the Sherborne Choral Course website to register online.
Places cost £650, including all accommodation and meals.
- Assistance with costs is available on application and is means tested.
- Book by 1st January 2019 for a 25% discount reducing the cost to £487.50.
- Timezone: America/New_York
- Date: Jul 21 - 28 2019
- Time: 03:00 - 12:00