Summer School concert in All Saints’ Church, Leamington Spa: altos and timps

1–6 August 2023
All Saints’ Church, Leamington Spa

Our 2023 Summer School focused on both the familiar and the unfamiliar: Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise and Clive Osgood’s Dixit Dominus. We returned this year to Warwick University’s welcoming campus, coached by the familiar musical team of Brian Kay (musical director) and Chris Finch (repetiteur). Their patience, encouragement and musicianship combined to create an excellent choir in a very short space of time, so that our final performance in All Saints’ Church, Leamington Spa was a huge success.

Our soloists for the Mendelssohn (such tunes!) were sopranos Georgie Malcolm and Harriet Burns and tenor Richard Dowling. The orchestra was the English Symphony Orchestra (led superbly by Stephen Bryant) and, after the first realisation that Chris was not there to bolster any uncertain entries, we relished the additional colours provided by the orchestral instruments. Brian Kay commented: ‘This was another hugely enjoyable and satisfying week. The concert worked really well, and everyone (particularly me!) was uplifted by such outstanding orchestral playing. The choir clearly enjoyed the whole package – which is exactly as it should be.’

We also enjoyed choral technique workshops with Chris Finch, a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon to see the RSC’s production of As You Like It, and a fascinating evening with Brian Kay in conversation with Manvinder Rattan, choral and orchestral conductor, and CEO of the Voices Foundation.

Click here to view photos taken during the week (opens in a new tab/window).

Clive Peacock, critic for Leamington’s Courier & Weekly News, referred to the concert as ‘. . . one of the most accomplished classical music events in recent months.’ Read his complete review here.

Our singers also enjoyed themselves:

A huge thank you again for the wonderful week of singing. It genuinely is the highlight of my year.’ (Katie D.)
Thank you for all that you did to give us that splendid week at Warwick. It all runs so smoothly, and you do it with such kindness and efficiency – two things that don’t always go together! (Rosie U.)

Details of our 2024 Summer School, resident at Keble College, Oxford and featuring Bach’s B Minor Mass, will be uploaded shortly.

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