The Harrogate Festival Choral Course has been held in North Yorkshire since 2008. The first courses were held in and around Harrogate and York but, three years ago, HFCC moved to Ryedale. The course brings singers together from across the country and introduces many to this beautiful part of the world for the first time. It is little wonder that many delegates return year after year, both for the singing and the scenery.
Lynn Hudson and Thom Meredith, Choral Directors, are delighted to return for their tenth course, in August 2017 (20th – 25th), to Ampleforth College which is located on the edge of the beautiful North York Moors National Park, four miles from Helmsley and twelve from Thirsk. The participants will form the Harrogate Festival Chorus to perform, Ola Gjeilo's Sunrise Mass and Benjamin Britten's The Company of Heaven in the Abbey Church of Ampleforth Abbey on Thursday 24th August.
The course will provide a full range of choral and performing opportunities, including rehearsals (both as a full SATB choir and in chamber groups) and vocal master classes, as well as two main concerts.
Our range of social events includes the ‘Think and Drink’ quiz evening and, due to its continuing popularity with course members, our highly entertaining talent show, ‘Ample Talent’.
We have some exciting soloists, including Nicholas Watts from Opera North, joining us for our performance in the Abbey Church on the Thursday night, and our regular staff team will be performing at our unique concert ‘Flora and Fauna at The Windmill' and coaching at our vocal master classes. Chris Pulleyn will support Beryl Pankhurst, our resident répétiteur, as an additional accompanist throughout the course.
The timetable will allow participants plenty of opportunity to enjoy the delights of the surrounding area which include the abbeys of Rievaulx, Byland and Rosedale, the market towns of Helmsley, Thirsk, Kirkbymoorside, Pickering and Malton, the historic City of York and the coastal town of Scarborough: and, for the more adventurous, the many walks around Sutton Bank, the Hambleton Hills, Ryedale and the North York Moors.
Delegates, however, may not even feel the need to leave the confines of Ampleforth College and the Abbey. Ampleforth Abbey has been home to a Community of Benedictine monks since 1820 and is set in extensive grounds which include beautiful lakes, trails and woodlands. The Abbey Church is open to visitors as is the Shop, the Tea Room, the Orchard and the Visitor Centre. A full range of sporting activities, including swimming, is also provided on site at the St Alban’s Sports Centre.