undefinedThe Marian Consort is a Gramophone Award-nominated vocal ensemble

Rory McCleery and Edmund Saddington of The Marian Consort lead a course exploring unconducted consort singing and the rich sacred vocal repertoire of late-sixteenth century England, introducing participants to reading and performing from mensural notation.


Resident: £295 Non-Resident: £215 Code: 20/227

What is the course about?

Join Rory McCleery, “a countertenor and academic as well as conductor … combining boyish geniality with quite startling erudition”, for this brand new course exploring the rich sacred vocal repertoire of late sixteenth-century England. Rory and fellow member of The Marian Consort Edmund Saddington will guide participants in a weekend of small ensemble singing, coaching participants in various aspects of unconducted consort performance, including ensemble, interpretation and vocal technique, working from modern scores. Our core repertoire will be the astonishing 1575 Cantiones Sacrae publication, containing seventeen pieces each by William Byrd and Thomas Tallis: there will also be scope to explore beyond this with music by both English and Continental composers found in contemporary English manuscript and printed sources. Rory will also introduce participants to reading and performing from mensural notation, working from facsimiles of the original manuscripts and publications and suggesting ways to develop and hone the skills required, as well as showing how this can inform both performance from, and the creation and editing of, modern scores. All voice-parts (particularly tenors and basses!) are most welcome.

Tutor website: www.marianconsort.co.uk

What will we cover?

Consort/unconducted small ensemble singing

English Renaissance (late sixteenth-century) sacred music

Reading and performing from original sources/mensural notation

What will we accomplish? By the end of this course you will be able to…

Sing with confidence and improved stylistic/ensemble awareness in an unconducted small ensemble/consort

Better understand and interpret late sixteenth-century mensural notation

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Upper intermediate/advanced

Ability to read modern score notation and some confidence/proficiency in holding a part by yourself in an acapella vocal ensemble

How will the course be taught, and will any preparation be required?

Participants will be taught in groups of varying size: for some smaller group work, this will mean that tutors will be present but participants will lead the sessions, giving and receiving peer feedback.

There may be a small written element, but the course will be largely practical. Participants can prepare by familiarising themselves with the core repertoire, scores of which will be available electronically in advance of the course.

Will music be provided in advance of the course?

Yes, it will be circulated by email in advance of the course dates.