The special nature of the Charles Wood Summer School and its importance in the musical calendar is apparent in the following selection of testimonials by participants:
In Ireland today, opportunities for female singers to sing the Great Cathedral repertoire are effectively limited to a couple of cathedrals. The Charles Wood Summer School is unique in that it allows adult female singers to get a glimpse of that wonderful world of music that is effectively out of bounds to many female singers. In 2006, my colleagues, Judith Gannon and Lynda Byrne from Christ Church Cathedral Dublin, were the first female singers from the South of Ireland to travel to Armagh to participate in the Charles Wood Summer School. The chance to meet and perform with fellow lay clerks from all over the UK and Ireland was therefore a unique opportunity for us.
CWSS offers the rare opportunity to work with maestro David Hill, a truly inspirational figure, not only for his incomparable musicality but the manner with which he manages singers, from burgeoning chorister to experienced professional. The performance at services, which I can only describe as reverent combined with a sense of elation, is something very special. The sense of ecumenicism throughout the week as the Singers move between the different cathedrals is clearly felt. Emphasis is not on difference but on the worship that can be achieved through first-class musical performance.
But believe it or not, the exceptional musical standard of the week is but one important component of the Charles Wood experience. As the singers arrive in Armagh at the beginning of the week, the sense of a reunion between lifelong friends is immediately apparent, and the welcome towards new singers is always warm and wholehearted. The wonderful memories I have of singing with the Charles Wood Summer School in Armagh therefore, are ones that I will always cherish.
The Charles Wood Summer School is a definite highlight of my year - I can't stop coming back for more. It's a great opportunity to meet other singers from all over and get fantastic coaching. I'd definitely recommend it.
Taking part in the Charles Wood Summer School is a deeply rewarding experience for anyone interested in choral music. You have the chance to sing some great music with a group of fantastic singers and the social side of the week is unforgettable!
Choral Scholar, York Minster
I would really recommend the Charles Wood Summer School to anyone who enjoys choral music. The Summer School offers an expansive, demanding repertoire and professional tuition in a friendly, sociable atmosphere. The week long course can be challenging but the resulting performance standard is more than a reward for all the hard work. In summary, Charles Wood is great music and great fun.
Soprano, Leeds University
The best combination of great fun and musical inspiration I've ever known to have been squeezed into a week.
Tenor, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin
The Charles Wood Summer School is a great way to get involved in choral music. The music is fantastic, it is led by top conductors and the contacts made will be both useful and long lasting.
It really challenged me musically at the same time as being really enjoyable. The program was fab and I always looked forward to the next rehearsal or performance! Also, it was the best craic ever and everyone was so lovely and so much fun!
Soprano, Trinity College Dublin
It's a fantastic opportunity to work with top class people like David Hill and Paul Farrington.
If you have benefited from a Charles Wood Summer School event and would like to leave a comment on your experience, please do so using the form below: