Course leaders: Mary King and Jeremy Limb
Location: Parador de Monforte de Lemos
Dates: 28 August - 4 September 2021
Secular Choral Course
in Galicia, Spain
Book now £1395 per person Secular Choral Course in Galcia, Spain

Rescheduled from August 2020

We are delighted to be running this course at the spectacular Parador de Monforte de Lemos in Galicia, Spain. A former Benedictine monastery originating from the 9th century, the Parador is built around a stunning Neo-classical cloister and is set above the typical Spanish town of Monforte de Lemos, an ideal base for discovering this region. 

As with all our course venues, the Parador has excellent accommodation, a swimming pool, and is the ideal setting for a great week of music-making, relaxation and discovering the best that this fantastic region has to offer. A healthy combination of music, delicious food and wine and an active social schedule will guarantee a memorable holiday.

This course will be led by renowned singer, broadcaster and vocal coach Mary King. The musical programme will be made up of a range of classical, folk, jazz, musical theatre and popular music written or arranged for mixed voice choir, and will build up towards a public performance at the end of the week in a local venue.

The aim of the course is to raise choral singing skills. Rehearsals focus on vocal technique, and during the sessions we work on aspects of tone, blending, breathing and intonation as well as musical interpretation. We also encourage participants to bring material for smaller groups (e.g. madrigals or barbershop) and coaching is offered to individuals and small groups. At the end of the week an informal al fresco evening provides an opportunity for these items to be performed to the rest of the group.

All participants are offered a one-to-one singing lesson with Mary during the week.

Music is made available in advance of the course via printable downloads and audio files. A rehearsal will be held in central London a few weeks before the course to give participants the opportunity to meet one another and sing some of the music. More details about this rehearsal will follow after registration.

As well as providing a rewarding singing experience, we aim to give participants the opportunity to enjoy a truly memorable holiday. A typical day will include a morning rehearsal followed by a buffet lunch, after which there will be individual voice sessions. Afternoon excursions usually depart at around 3pm and return in time for dinner, with the exception of the excursion to Santiago de Compostela which will return at around 10pm.

On the penultimate evening there is an al fresco dinner with informal performances by participants (optional!) and our final concert is held in a local venue on the last evening.

This region is a treasure trove of historic towns, award-winning wineries and beautiful countryside – not to mention local gastronomic delights. The centre of Monforte de Lemos, a short walk from the Parador, is typical of the Galician region with a friendly local atmosphere. As well as a number of museums and other places of interest, the town has a lively social scene with a variety of small shops, restaurants and bars.

During the week, excursions are planned alongside the musical schedule. We have selected some highlights which we hope will give a taste of the history and culture of this great region.

  • Afternoon and evening to discover the iconic UNESCO World Heritage city of Santiago de Compostela
  • Opportunity to explore the historic thermal spa city of Ourense, “La Cuidad De Agua”, one of Galicia’s best-kept secrets
  • Tour and tasting at the Regina Viarum winery, perched on the edge of the spectacular Canyon de Sil in the Ribeira Sacra

All of the above excursions are included in the price of the course.

Bodega Regina Viarum, in the Canyon de Sil

The Paradors of Spain offer outstanding standards of accommodation, and the Parador de Monforte de Lemos is no exception. Formerly a medieval Benedictine monastery, the hotel is renowned for its combination of luxury and beautifully preserved history and culture.

Located on top of a hill with commanding views, the Parador is within walking distance of the centre of Monforte de Lemos and its amenities.

Accommodation is in well-appointed twin and double bedrooms, all with ensuite bathrooms, and is allocated on a room-share basis. If you are coming with a friend, or wish to share a room with someone in particular, please let us know. A limited number of single occupancy rooms (double or twin ensuite) are available for a supplement of £350; if you wish to reserve one, please check with us before booking.

All meals (except evening meal in Santiago de Compostela) will be prepared by the hotel’s excellent chefs and will comprise an extensive buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, and three-course evening meal. The Parador’s restaurant is renowned for its gourmet cuisine and delicious local specialities.

We are able to cater for most special dietary requirements; please let us know of any on your booking form.

The total cost of the course is £1395 and includes everything except your return flight to Spain.

What’s included?

  • Seven nights full-board ensuite accommodation
  • All meals (except evening meal in Santiago de Compostela)
  • Excursions and activities
  • Transfer from Santiago de Compostela airport and local transportation (for organised excursions)
  • Tuition and all other course costs
  • Individual singing tutorial

Participants are required to book their own travel to Santiago de Compostela airport, where a coach will collect the group. Airline schedules for August 2021 are not yet published, but we will add recommended flights to this page when they are available.

Monforte de Lemos can be reached via train from Santiago (changing in Ourense) or from many other destinations in Spain (see www.renfe.com). It is around 4.5 hours’ drive from the ferry at Santander.

If you wish to bring your own car, parking is available on site. Please let us know in advance and we will supply directions.

To reserve your place, please complete the online booking form and send your deposit to us (£275 per person) within seven days. Your booking confirmation will follow. The balance is required eight weeks before the start of the course.

More information on the booking process, along with payment details, is available here.

Any questions?

Please refer to the Find out more section for booking details, terms and conditions and frequently-asked questions.

We’d love to hear from you, so do contact us or you can request a ringback and we’ll call you as soon as possible.

Mary’s career has encompassed a wide range of roles, including that of performer, teacher, coach and most recently broadcaster and writer. Read more...

Jeremy read music at Queen’s College, Oxford, then studied piano at the Royal College of Music. Read more...

Testimonials

“It was a fabulous week, in a fabulous place. The singing was great fun, and we were privileged to be working with Mary and Jeremy. The week was very well organised, with a great group of people. I have no hesitation in recommending it.”
“I loved the music mix, and feel it was really well chosen to match the ability of the singers.”​
“Excellent tuition – professional and supportive, and fun”​
“Mary King is superb!”

Find out more

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