Diary and Bookings

Welcome to the Diary and Bookings page. You can discover more about my approach under workshops, and if you’d like to ask any questions or find out more, please get in touch.

Turtle Dove Week, Isle of Skye

unknownTHIS WEEK IS NOW FULLY BOOKED. A Similar event in Scotland from 24th - 31st August will be advertised on this Diary page shortly.

It's 10 years since Brendan Taaffe began his Turtle Dove singing workshops and this special birthday celebration will take place at Dun Flodigary on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Join the fantastic John Harrison, Ali Burns and Brendan Taaffe all teaching their own speciality for a really special week of singing. Alternatively email brendan@brendantaaffe.com


Price: £0.00

Date: July 2, 2017

Growing Harmony, near Biggar, Scottish Borders

End of June update: No bed spaces left in the house but 5 shared (with one other) cabin spaces and room for for campers and day visitors.

This weekend has grown out the wonderful and long standing Harmony Week curated by Kate Howard. The format will be similar - Kate will be running her legendary warm-ups and bringing some extraordinary vocal music to share. I'll be bringing some newly written material. And we're delighted that we'll be joined by Caroline Price - see below. We'll gather for dinner on Thursday evening and sing our way through the weekend finishing after lunch on Monday. Expect lots of singing and fun!

Accommodation at Wiston Lodge is basic but big hearted! There's always a warm welcome from the team who are happy to help everyone feel at home. Nearer the time we'll gather information about dietary needs. And if you have any questions or you'd like to pay in instalments please don't hesitate to get in touch with our domestic organiser Lyssa Clayton:  lyssaclayton12@gmail.com

Kate Howard began studying classical singing at a very early age. She went on to blend her classical training with political activism and this became the force behind starting many of the UK’s first community choirs throughout the North of England. She also founded Harmony Week and Women’s Singing Week at Laurieston Hall and both events continue to this day. For a number of years Kate lived in the US, touring as a singer with Larry Gordon’s Vermont based choir Northern Harmony and teaching on their youth based programme Village Harmony. She is now sought after as a voice specialist using Werbeck techniques to free voices in a natural way.

Caroline Price comes from a long line of musicians, and has been singing in and directing choirs for as long as she can remember. She runs a busy music department in a Waldorf School, and is a founder of Stream of Sound, which is now in its twentieth year. Her arrangements for the choir have been used on stage, CD and radio. Although conversant with many styles of world music and early music, her passion is bringing songs from our wealth of folk traditions to choirs, and in particular, music of the midlands.

Alison Burns  is a songwriter and arranger who loves to write for community choirs – songs with lush, beautiful harmonies and simple, profound text that are easy enough to learn by ear but satisfying and special to sing. Many of her songs have found their way into the repertoire - and hearts - of singers across the UK, and increasingly the USA and Australia.  Her songs are published by Faber, Signalong and Oxford University Press. “Her workshops are a harbour in a changing and troubled world .... her songs a powerful reminder that we need each other’s friendship and support to survive."

End of June update: No bed spaces left in the house but 5 shared (with one other) cabin spaces and room for for campers and day visitors.

Price: £60.00

Date: August 17, 2017

Available Spaces: 37

Residential Singing Weekend Monymusk, Aberdeenshire

Hold the date - more details to follow!  This Residential Weekend will be held at the Sir Arthur Grant Centre, an outdoor centre close to the village of Monymusk, Inverurie.  Prices and other information coming soon.

Price: £0.00

Date: September 1, 2017

Harmony Singing workshop Forfar, Angus

A full day workshop with Angus Folk, price £16.  More details from angusfolk.wordpress.com   or      infoangusfolk@gmail.com         telephone   0795 197 3285

Price: £0.00

Date: September 9, 2017

Writing For Voices, near Knighton, Powys, Wales

A 3 day intensive Songwriting course with Ali Burns and Helen Chadwick

THIS HAS NOW SOLD OUT. However, if you'd like to be put on the waiting list or register interest for another similar course please email: info@aliburns.co.uk

4pm Friday 29th September to 4pm Monday 2nd October 2017

Between them Ali Burns and Helen Chadwick have a wealth of experience of creating profound and beautiful songs from the simplest of ideas: for theatre, installations, choirs and solo performance. In this intensive workshop they will share that experience and bring new ideas to creating and crafting songs for choirs and solo singers or performers.

Each day the group will spend time exploring components of song: writing lyrics, working with found text, crafting melody, incorporating rhythm and harmony and looking at form and genre.  The course is aimed at those with some experience of songwriting or song leading.  It is not necessary to read music to take part but participants are responsible for capturing / recording their own ideas.

The workshop will be held at the beautiful and remote venue Hill Cottage Retreat Centre, located in the Marches of mid-Wales, near Knighton in Powys.  Set in ten acres of land it includes an independent market garden, young orchard and woodland, natural swimming pond, gardens for contemplation and wildflower pastures bordered by a meandering brook.

The accommodation is made up of simple Scandinavian-style cabins with a choice of sharing a twin room (£250 per person) or single room (£280 per person). There is also an option to join in as a non-residential participant (£180 per person) - this price includes all meals but not sleeping accommodation.  If you would like to negotiate a working place price, please talk to us!

To book a place please send a non–returnable deposit of £40.  The balance must be paid by 15th September 2017.

THIS HAS NOW SOLD OUT. However, if you'd like to be put on the waiting list or register interest for another similar course please email: info@aliburns.co.uk

Price: £40.00

Date: September 29, 2017

Available Spaces: 10