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Singing holidays run by singers for singers

Cambridge Summer School - 16 August to 23 August 2020

Directed by Anton Armstrong


Cambridge Summer School - with Anton Armstrong!


We have recruited a celebrity conductor from the US to direct this residential week based in Downing College Cambridge. Nick had the privilege of watching this man conduct the massed choirs of St Olaf College - a highly regarded Liberal Arts College in Minnesota - in a programme of Christmas music that is as important to American music lovers as the Carols from Kings  service is on this side of the Atlantic.

Emmy Award winning Anton Armstrong will direct a mixed programme of American and British Church Music - including gospel. Our home for the week will be the hallowed grounds of Downing College - in the centre of Cambridge City - a few minutes walk from Kings College, the Cam and the Market Square. When we are not singing we will do a spot of punting and maybe indulge in a cream tea.  Our concert will take place in the Chapel of Trinity College Cambridge assisted by a large piano and a little light percussion.. 

Who is the course for?

This week is for singers looking to take on a new musical challenge working on a programme of American and British church music with an upbeat tempo - inspired by gospel, spirituals  and other folk-derived repertoire. You may even be required to move a little. 
Basing the event in Cambridge allows a fusion of cultures and offers an opportunity for participants to live like a Cambridge undergraduate for a week as we eat, sleep and practice in the hallowed grounds of Downing College. This is not a course for beginners - it is aimed at experienced singers and participants are expected to prepare the music in advance.

choral singing holidays

Musical Director

Anton Armstrong, Tosdal Professor of Music at St. Olaf College, became the fourth conductor of the St. Olaf Choir in 1990 after ten years in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he served on the faculty of Calvin College and led the Calvin College Alumni Choir, the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus and the St. Cecilia Youth Chorale.   He is a graduate of St. Olaf College and earned advanced degrees at the University of Illinois (MM) and Michigan State University (DMA).  Read more...


  • O How Amiable--Vaughan Williams 
    If ye love me--Philip Wilby
    Lux Aurumque--Eric Whitacre
    For the Beauty of the Earth--John Rutter
    Pie Jesu (Requiem)--Kim André Arnesen
    Ubi Caritas--Ola Gjello

    When Memory Fades--Jayne Southwick Cool/arr. Eric Nelson 
    It is Well with My Soul--arr. Yu-Shan Tsai
    Thou Gracious God, Whose Mercy Lends--arr. Mack Wilberg
    Be Thou a Smooth Way--Ralph M. Johnson

    Lord of the Dance--arr. John Ferguson
    The Road Home--Stephen Paulus
    Amazing Grace--arr. Keith McCutchen
    My Good Lord's Done Been Here--arr. André J. Thomas 

Where to stay?


We will use the student accommodation in Downing College Cambridge. The rooms we have chosen (all en suite) are in the main college buildings set in landscaped grounds with immaculate English lawns. Downing has a bar, a Dining Hall, and a particularly elegant recital room for our rehearsals. The sights of Cambridge are all just a short stroll from our Porters Lodge. 

Getting there


This bit is up to you and is not included in the price. Cambridge benefits from fast regular train connections from London, Travelling time is just over an hour.

What does it cost?


The course fee is payable in two stages - £195 on registration and a further £795 no later than eight weeks before arrival in Cambridge. (Email for Dollar prices) This covers tuition, the concert, seven nights accommodation with breakfast at the university, and five group meals. This price is based on two people sharing so there will be a single occupancy supplement of £35 per night. Music - which can be kept - will cost £25 and is sent out six-eight weeks in advance.


Travel and health insurance

Insurance is not included so we strongly recommend that all singers take out their own cover. 

Any questions?

If you have any questions at all please contact Nick Couchman ( or Emma Ford ( or ring Nick during office hours on 01462 893972. The office is not always occupied so please do leave a message and we will get back to you.