International Singing Week 2023

Ávila, Spain

24 – 30 July  2023



Byrd 400th Anniversary


Directed by Rupert Damerell




David Skinner

In 2023 we mark the 400th anniversary of the death of the great English composer William Byrd. Considered by many to be the finest composer of the first Elizabethan age, we will examine his work for the underground Catholic church, and how it developed from earlier English music of composers such as Taverner, Tye or Tallis.

Pre-formed ensembles who wish to work together are very welcome.

For this our 10th course, we have the pleasure to welcome back Alamire as our faculty in 2023, to encourage students to develop tools and skills in singing in smaller groups and ensembles. They and their director David Skinner will also be working with pre-formed ensembles on their own repertoire


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The week includes various activities in the programme:

Individual vocal technique sessions. Each student should bring a prepared piece to work on applied vocal technique with the teachers on a one to one basis. Members of the pre-formed groups will have group sessions rather than individual classes.

Group vocal technique sessions. These are held with the various teachers, including warmups, posture considerations, breathing, relaxation techniques, etc.

Full choir sessions. The whole group rehearses the polyphonic music programme.

Small groups or “consort” sessions. So that the students become accustomed to singing alone or with just one or two singers per part, within a small group that will work on other works of the period, under the direction of the teachers.

Students that come as pre-formed groups will also be able to work in their own group.

Cultural activities: presentations, cultural visits, etc.

Formal and informal concerts. The group will perform the course repertoire in various settings, including some of the most important churches of Ávila and the region.



 Example of a typical day:

09.15 – 10.00  Warm up and group vocal technique

10.00 – 11.30  FULL CHOIR (during which there are individual lessons)

12.00 – 14.00  Consort Groups  (directed by members of  Alamire)

16.30 – 18.30  Consort Groups

19.00 – 20.30  FULL CHOIR

At the end of the course, there will be a public concerts

avila cathedral concert 2013

The first session will be Monday 24 July at 4.30 pm. The course ends on Sunday 30 July at 2:00 pm.

Participants may arrive the previous evening.

In addition to the concerts, the course will have approximately 35 teaching hours. Students with at least 80% attendance will receive a diploma on completion of the course.

The course will be held primarily in English. There will be translation into Spanish of the main points in rehearsals.

Student profile:

Choir directors, section leaders and choristers

Level – medium to advanced, with good reading skills

Scores will be sent in advance for prior study.

The course organisers reserve the right of admission to the course.

The course fee is €370.  This fee includes the tuition cost and the scores in digital format. It does not include board and lodging. See below for more information in this respect.

Alonso Lobo  “Kyrie de la Misa Maria Magdalene”. Curso 2017 dirigido por Rupert Damerell


The course will take place in Avila, at the Colegio Mayor Magistral Honcala,    very close to the historic city centre. A former Seminary, now it is used as a university hall of residence, boasting all the facilities – teaching rooms, dining room, wifi throughout, recently refurbished sleeping areas, parking, etc.

There is full board accommodation in the Hall for those course students who wish it. The grounds have fine gardens and shady areas also to enjoy in family if you would like to come accompanied. In addition, it is very close to the centre of the city, with the historic and cultural heritage that this city enjoys. Ávila boasts a wide variety of hotels and other accommodation available to participants.

The participants do not have to reserve the lodging in the residence directly, in the case of staying there. The organisation of the course already has a block booking of rooms to allocate to the students who would like them. The lodging is paid directly to the residence and the price for full board is 54,04 euros/ day per person in a single room, and 51,68 euros/ day per person sharing a double room

The dates for registration and matriculation are the following:

. Pre-Registration: From 1 November 2022

The pre-registrations received will be evaluated by the Musical Director and applicants will be informed of their admission to the project. The organisation may request an audition or a voice recording from candidates.

. Sending of scores. Once an application has been accepted, and deposit paid, scores will be sent digitally.

. There is a limit of places. The organisation reserves the right to admit students and the right to change or cancel the programme due to force majeur.

For any queries, please contact by email to


Please contact us at for more information


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