The Harrogate Festival Choral Course, run by choral directors Thom Meredith and Lynn Hudson, was held in North Yorkshire from 2008 - 2019. The early courses were held in and around Harrogate and York but, in 2012, HFCC moved to Ryedale. The course brought singers together from across the country and introduced many to this beautiful part of the world for the first time. It is little wonder that many delegates returned year after year, both for the singing and the scenery.
The course provided 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.
The range of social events included the ‘Think and Drink’ quiz evening and, due to its continuing popularity with course members, the highly entertaining talent show, ‘Ample Talent’.
Performances of major choral works were given in the Abbey Church and the talented staff team gave themed concerts at The Windmill, coaching at the vocal master classes and served as resident répétiteurs throughout the course.
The timetable allowed 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, often stayed within the wonderful 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 and the Visitor Centre. A full range of sporting activities, including swimming, is also provided on site at the St Alban’s Sports Centre.