£650.00 (or £150 deposit, with the outstanding balance payable at the booking deadline specifed below). Short Course bursaries are available – find out more here.
4 October 2021
There is also a weekend version of this course – click here for further details.
About this course
How many of us have dreamed of standing on a stage and expressing ourselves through song? Yet how many of us were told ‘you just can’t sing’? Or perhaps you suspected there was a beautiful voice within, only to doubt it?
Join us for a weekend of uplifting connection via the natural power of your own voice. This course offers an opportunity to develop your personal technique and style, improve your breath control and your ability to project your voice, and to experience the heartfelt joy of sharing song with others.
In this course you will explore different singing styles including Indian vedic chanting, gospel call and response and Baltic mediterrean folk music; you will sing outside in the beautiful surroundings of Schumacher College as we turn to nature for inspiration, observing how animals communicate; you will develop a greater confidence in the power of your own voice and body; you will be able to perform for family, friends and the wider Schumacher learning community at the end of the course.
The course is led by Ruairi Edwards – one of the UK’s most sought-after choral conductors who has performed at Carnegie Hall, sung with Glyndebourne Youth Opera and worked alongside Gareth Malone on the BBC’s BAFTA award-winning television series The Choir. Ruairi will be using the inspirational setting of Schumacher College to aid us in raising consciousness, improving mental wellbeing, and most importantly – empowering you to find your inner voice, your source, your strength.
Suzzie Vango will join the group to provide individual vocal support and guidance to participants. Whatever your specific concerns, challenges or questions, Suzzie will spend dedicated time with you and will expertly support you in the process of further discovering and developing your natural voice. You will finish your time with Suzzie with a deep and practical understanding of what is important to you, the way you express yourself, and where to go next. And above all, you will further connect with the deep joy and wisdom that your voice – and its expression – holds for you.
This course offers you the space and time to realise that dream in the supportive environment of a learning community.
What previous participants have said
“My body and cells are still buzzing and I’m not able to share how blown away in gratitude I am.”
“Ruairi – a beautiful bubble of energy fizzing through our lives for the weekend.”
“Ruairi is an extremely genererous teacher. His love for choral singing is infectious… unforgettable.”
Singing is humanity’s deepest source of connection and vitality. It is hard-wired into our evolution and one of the most powerful forms of group-bonding. No human group on the planet – tribe, society or civilization – has been able to flourish without it.
On this Short Course you will:
- Be guided gently and expertly by experienced professionals in voice work;
- Discover – at your own pace – how to naturally access your voice in an authentic and safe way;
- Learn about the huge benefits of singing to individual and collective wellbeing;
- Explore various bodywork practices which allow you to find your voice;
- Learn about ways of singing in community;
- Explore various folk and indigenous traditions which still retain a strong connection to singing;
- Spend time out in the beautiful natural grounds of Schumacher College, listening to the sounds of nature;
- Come together with your fellow course participants to create a unique choir, tailor-made to the individual requirements and passions of your specific group.
Ruairi is a nationally sought-after conductor, pianist and vocal coach whose approach to music – and to singing especially – is to empower and uplift people into discovering within themselves and others a deep source of joy and connection.
Originally coming from a prestigious academic background in Economics, Ruairi established a career as a professional musician aged 21, and quickly developed a national reputation within the choral music world. Having rapidly gained apprenticeships with several of the UK’s leading choral conductors – including David Lawrence, Dan Ludford-Thomas and Paul McGrath – Ruairi became sought-after for his ability to work with a huge range of different groups, from children’s choirs to choral societies, gospel choirs to business organisations.
Working with groups and people is Ruairi’s greatest passion. Far from sticking to conventional methods of choral conducting, Ruairi developed techniques and approaches which enabled him to work with people of hugely diverse backgrounds and in different settings. He has had enormous success in working with people and organisations who believe they “cannot sing”, and of creating ways of allowing people to access their voice – and their bodies – joyfully.
From 2012-2013, Ruairi worked alongside Gareth Malone on the BBC’s BAFTA award-winning television series The Choir. In this role, he was engaged to work within various business organisations as a vocal coach and pianist, working with people who had never sung before and creating choirs which ultimately performed on national television. With one of these organisations – Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service – his work was so successful that he was appointed permanent Music Director to the Fire Service. With this choir he went on to perform around the country and internationally, including at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
As a Vocal Tutor in Ex Cathedra’s nationally award-winning Education Team, Ruairi works up and down the country working with young people in schools, hospitals and choirs. In 2016 he went to Bangkok, Thailand, to lead massed choirs and worked with over 1000 children in a week.
Between 2011-2016 Ruairi was appointed Associate Artist at the Warwick Arts Centre, where he founded and directed an unprecedented International Music Festival, culminating in an annual event called Warwick Fused. This event ultimately featured over 250 musicians from around the world performing on stage together. This success of this festival led to its official coronation as the Lord Mayor of Coventry’s annual Charity Event.
As a student at Schumacher College between 2017-18, Ruairi has already used his music extensively with people from around the world who have come to visit. Working on several Short Courses with Jenny MacKewn and Satish Kumar, Ruairi has created choirs and performances with people who thought they could never sing, and who have reported that doing so had been one of the highlights of their experience here.
Passionate about the arts and education, Suzzie’s high-energy vocal workshops have gained her an international reputation as a choral leader, working with children and adults on vocal projects across Asia, the USA, the UAE and Africa. She is highly experienced and skilled in directing, devising and delivering big sings, whole school singing days and teacher-training, which she does for national organisations including the BBC, Sing Up, St David’s and Lichfield Music Festivals, UK Choir Festival and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Recent international highlights include trips to Uganda, Singapore and Thailand and an invitation to Dubai for the Middle East Choir of the Year Competition.
Suzzie is Head of Vocal Studies at Bromsgrove School, conductor for: the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain, Orchestra of the Swan Chamber Choir, Ex Cathedra Girls Academy and a guest conductor for Manchester Chamber Choir and the CBSO Children’s Chorus (2018). She is Schools Programme Leader for Music of Life Foundation working with children with disabilities and a vocal tutor for Ex Cathedra Education, recently contributing her own compositions to their new set of music education resources, “SingMaker”.
As an established soprano, in addition to her work as a soloist she has performed and recorded with some of the UK’s finest choirs including Tenebrae, Polyphony, Ex Cathedra and The Eric Whitacre Singers. She has been featured numerous times live on BBC Radio 3 & 4 and on Classic FM, recordings and live performances. Suzzie directs and performs with her own professional, female, a cappella ensemble Papagena who were recently BBC Radio 4 “Pick of the Week” for their live performance on BBC Radio 3 “International Women’s Day Concert”.
*The booking deadline (see above) gives us an accurate idea of course participant numbers at approximately 6 weeks before the course is due to run, at which point we either confirm the course; add additional time for people to book; or cancel the course. We encourage people to register early for courses as places are limited.
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