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Singing holidays run by singers for singers

Assisi Summer School - 4 August to 11 August 2024

Directed by Rory McCleery


Assisi Summer School


Perched on a hilltop overlooking the plains of Umbria, Assisi - the city of Giotto and St Francis - is a place of picturesque alleyways, steps, churches, bells and pilgrims. It has a unique spiritual tranquility which is part of the reason for our returning year after year. To us, it almost feels like a second home

This summer, the Run by Singers Assisi Summer School will be directed by Rory Mc Cleery. This course is for more advanced singer so numbers will be capped at around 40 and singers will need to submit rather more information about their singing experience. 

The Assisi course runs from Sunday evening, when we meet for a welcome drink and dinner, to the following Saturday evening where we perform our new repertoire at a concert in the Basilica of St Francis. We will sing for approximately five hours each day with breaks for coffee and a long afternoon break. Thursday will be a half-day when people may choose to explore a little further afield. 

Who is the course for?

Participants should have good sight-reading ability and must 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. Assisi is a beautifully preserved UNESCO site but it is hilly, there are steps everywhere and precious few ramps. it is likely to tax anyone who finds walking, climbing and standing difficult.

choral singing holidays

Musical Director

Rory McCleery, director of the award-winning Marian Consort, began his musical career as a chorister at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh under Timothy Byram-Wigfield and Matthew Owens. He gained a double first in music at Oxford University as both Organ and Domus Academic scholar of St Peter’s College, subsequently completing an MSt in Musicology with Distinction. As a countertenor, Rory greatly enjoys working as a soloist and consort singer in concert and recording with ensembles including The Dunedin Consort, The Monteverdi Choir, Ludus Baroque, The Sixteen,  Read more...


"Our 2024 Assisi programme explores the ties that bind the music of four European immigrants to Italy, beginning with the iconic opening four notes of the Salve Regina plainchant. Travelling chronologically, we see how Gregorian chant influenced the Frenchman Josquin Desprez's exquisite five-voice setting of the Salve Regina, and how this in turn would inspire masterpieces by two Spanish composers working in Rome in successive generations, Cristobal de Morales and Tomas Luis de Victoria. Interspersed among these are a double-choir Mass based on the Salve Regina chant by Victoria and Marian motets by Morales, Victoria and Josquin's French contemporary Jean Mouton, whose music was particularly prominent in the Sistine Chapel repertoire under Pope Leo X"          Rory McCleery

Plainchant Salve Regina 
Josquin Salve Regina SAAAB 
Victoria Missa Salve SSAB SATB Kyrie, Gloria 
Mouton Ave Virgo caeli porta SATB 
Morales Exaltata est SSAATB (Assumption motet – prima pars only) 
Victoria Missa Salve SSAB SATB Sanctus & Benedictus, Agnus Dei 
Morales Ave Maria SAATB 
Morales Salve Regina SAATB 
Mouton Corde et animo SATB 
Victoria Salve Regina a6 SSAATB 

Where to stay?


There is a wide choice of accommodation available in Assisi from the campsite to convenient three star hotels - with dozens of one and two-star hotels in between. We have been coming here every year since 2003 so we have discovered that most people like to stay in the same two or three hotels nearest to the rehearsal room; we will send you an annotated accommodation list of those hotels on registration. Assisi is a hilltop town so please bear this in mind when deciding where to stay. The rehearsal venue is near the Piazza Commune, the main square of Assisi.

Getting there


This bit is up to you and is not included in the course fee. The nearest international airports are Perugia, Rome and Ancona. Although it is no longer the nearest airport, there is an excellent direct rail link from Rome to Assisi so some participants will favour this route - often spending a day or two in Rome. Assisi is accessible by road but the town centre is a car-free zone. Please check Assisi Online for more information about traffic restrictions.

What does it cost?


The course fee is payable in two stages - £195 on registration and a balance of £565 which will be invoiced approximately ten weeks before arrival in Italy. This covers tuition and four evening meals (with wine)  but not transport or accommodation. Music - which can be kept - will cost £35.00 for everything you need and will be mailed to you six-eight weeks in advance. You will also need to organise your own travel and health insurance. Non-singers are welcome to join us - subject to availability - and pay just £190 to cover their meals.

Travel and health insurance

All singers are required to take out appropriate travel insurance and supply their policy details to us before the course begins. You should also bring an EHIC or GHIC card with you.

Any questions?

If you have any questions at all please contact Nick Couchman ([email protected]) or Emma Ford ([email protected]) . You can also ring us on 01462 372702 but please bear in mind that we are often out of the office.

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