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Singing holidays run by singers for singers

Antwerp Early Music Week - 18 June to 25 June

Directed by David Skinner

The Alamire Scriptorium: Masterworks by Petrus & Josquin

This week is designed for more advanced singers who are comfortable singing in small chamber groups. The carefully selected repertoire highlights the best of the Early Flemish  choral tradition and most of it is in six or eight parts.The week will be directed by the internationally acclaimed musicologist and choral director Dr David Skinner, director of Alamire and co-founder of The Cardinall's Musick. This week provides a rare opportunity to sing Early Flemish music from manuscript facsimiles as well as pieces with more conventional notation. We hope to visit Mechelen and sing from the actual choirbook but, at time of writing, this is not confirmed.

Numbers will be capped at just 40 voices excluding Nick and those who help him so early application is strongly advised; however places will not be allocated purely on a first-come, first-served basis. David is keen to have the right balance of voices for this special study week and we ask you to be patient if you don't receive an answer as quickly as you would like. Everybody should have a response within two weeks of applying.

Our hotel is about 15 minutes walk from the market square, is very used to accommodating musicians and has a large bar. It is also within easy walking distance of the diamond museum, the railway station and most of the best shops, cafes and restaurants.


PETRUS DE LA RUE (including facsimile sessions)
Mass Movements  from the Mechelen Choirbook, selected from:
Missa Pascale
Missa Conceptio tua
Missa Ave Maria
Missa Alleluia
Ave Maria (SATB)
Absalon fili mi (SATB)
Inviolata integra et casta es Maria (SATBarB)
Salve regina a5 (SATTB)
Tu solus qui facis mirabilia (SATB)
Benedicta es, caelorum regina (SAATBB)

David Skinner

choral singing holidaysDavid Skinner is Fellow, Praelector, and Osborn Director of Music at Sidney Sussex College in the University of Cambridge where he teaches historical and practical topics from the medieval and renaissance periods, as well as directing the chapel choir.

He is also artistic director of the professional consort Alamire (, who recently received the 2015 Gramophone Award in Early Music for their recording of The Spy’s Choirbook (London, British Library, Royal 8.g.vii).

Their most recent CD, Anne Boleyn’s Songbook (London, Royal College of Music, MS 1070) has met with great critical acclaim, having received Australia’s Limelight Award and a nomination for a BBC Music Magazine Award read more...


Who is the course for?

This course is for experienced choral singers Participants should have good sight-reading ability and be prepared to study the music beforehand.  It also helps if you enjoy good food, good company and the occasional glass of wine. We all eat together most evenings in a selection of different restaurants where everyone will soon get to know each other. Our singing holidays have proved equally popular with people travelling on their own and singing couples.

We will rehearse together for approximately five hours each day with breaks for coffee and a long afternoon break. As usual, Thursday will be a half-day when people may choose to explore a little further afield.

What does it cost?

The course fee is payable in two stages - £195 on registration and a balance of £750 which will be invoiced approximately eight weeks before arrival in Belgium. This covers tuition, four evening meals and seven nights four-star B&B accomodation in a comfortable, centrally located, hotel. This price is based on two sharing so there is a single occupancy supplement is £30 a night. Non-singing partners, sharing a singer's room, pay a reduced fee of £495 but this is subject to availability. Music - which can be kept - will cost £25.00.
Transport is not included. 

Getting there

The nearest international airports is Brussels but many will prefer to travel to Antwerp by Eurostar. The return ticket to Brussels includes onward travel to any station in Belgium. The course starts with dinner on the Sunday evening and ends the following Saturday night when we finish our study week by performing our newly learned repertoire in a concert. Most people will choose to go home on the Sunday but if you wish to stay an extra night or arrive a day early, please let us know in good time so we can arrange it for you.

Travel and health insurance

Insurance is not included so we strongly recommend that all singers take out their own cover. You should also bring an EHIC card with you.

Any questions?

If you have any questions at all please contact Nick Couchman ( or Emma Ford ( or you can try ringing us during normal office hours on 01462 893972. The office is not always staffed but, if you leave a message, somebody will get back to you within a day or two.


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