LAKE DISTRICT AND SINGING HARMONY SINGING WORKSHOPS




SINGING IN THE LAKE DISTRICT 
 NEWS  Wednesday November 10 2014

We're all ready now for the Dent Folk Carols festival December 5-7 (with the option of an extra night's accommodation on Sunday), a day of Carols on the Settle Carlisle, and our Lake District Black Sail new year singing retreat - there are still places on all these if you want to join  us (details below.) Also a new choir Howgills Harmony in Sedbergh.

December 5-7 2014 Dent Folk Carols weekend - workshops, concerts, carols ceilidh, singing walk,   pub singing, music in advance, accommodation in cosy cottages in the village, Lucia's fabulous festive feasts, great venues for the singing, lift shares arranged....and more.

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Full weekend with accommodation and meals £145 - without accommodation but with all meals £95 - without accommodation and no meals - £65 - or individual morning or afternoon workshops and ceilidh £12.50 each - Friday concert £7.50. The weekend officially ends at 4pm on Sunday - but if you wish to stay on Sunday night as well this option is available for an extra £15 for bed and breakfast. No evening meal is provided on Sunday, but these can be ordered in the local pubs.  www.lakelandvoice.co.uk 


January 2-4, 2015  Black Sail new year singing retreat - join us in the centre of the Lake District mountains for a few days of harmony singing round the fire, and singing walks up into the high fells - surrounded by Pillar, Haystacks and Great Gable. Starts at 4pm on Friday January 2 - but you are welcome to join a public harmony singing workshop at 10am on Friday in Buttermere village hall, followed by a singing walk round the lake and over the Scarth Gap pass to the Black Sail hostel.


We can help with arranging lift shares from where you live, or there are trains and buses to Penrith, Whitehaven, Keswick and Cockermouth nearby. If driving you can park for free at Buttermere, or at the bottom of Ennerdale if arriving late. Includes all cooked meals, two nights accommodation, music sent in advance and workshops in Buttermere and in the hostel. £115 Click here for photos.


December 13, 2014 - Carols on the Settle Carlisle Railway. Join a folk carol workshop in Langwathby village hall (near Penrith) from 9am - and then just after noon we are off on the train singing to Ribblehead where we are meeting other choirs to sing on the station and in the pub. Then off to Settle for more singing on the station and in the pub. We'll get the last train back to Langwathby for a "jacobs join"  supper ("bring and share") in the village hall at 8pm - and a wee bit more singing and dancing! Bring a packed lunch and your wonderful voices. Must be booked in advance - £20 for the day - plus £15 group discount day return rail ticket from Langwathby to Settle. Written music, words of the carols and recordings can be sent in advance when booked. .


AUTUMN TERM WITH THE CHOIRS -  Howgills Harmony starts soon in Sedbergh's Information Centre on Mondays, 7.30pm - 9.30pm. Suitable for everyone. We will be learning carols and other songs for the Christmas Truce 1914 concert, and also preparing songs from Slovenia and the UK for next year's 10th anniversary of our twinning with the Slovenian town Zrece.We meet upstairs above the Information Centre in Sedbergh, 72 Main Street, from 7.30pm. Cost for what remains of this term is £25.

Also at 7.30pm, Lakeland Voices in Kendal on Tuesdays and Penrith Community Choir in the Penrith Parish Centre on Thursday evenings  There is a termly subscription of £49 (10-14 week term) and this allows you to sing in both or either choir as you wish. There are also some big discounts on weekend singing events for those who join for the term, and some extra free singing events too. You can come to our first session for free to see if you want to join us. We are currently learning folk carols and songs about the Christmas Truce of 1914 in preparation for concerts in December.

I am also now leading a choir at Cancer Care in Kendal on Wednesday afternoons 5.30-7pm open for all of those with cancer and their helpers - you can come anytime. Their address is CancerCare, Blackhall Rd, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 4BT Phone:01539 735800




All the choirs will be singing together at the Dent Folk Carols festival on Saturday December 6, in a Lake District candlelit cave on Tuesday December 9, on the Settle Carlisle railway on Saturday December 13, in the Strickland Arms on Tuesday December 16, in Accrington Football ground (alongside other singers from Lancashire) on Saturday December 20, and in Brigflatts Quaker Meeting House in Sedbergh on Saturday December 27. The Penrith Community Choir also has concerts in Lowther Castle on December 11, and Acorn Bank near Penrith at 2pm on Saturday December 14.


We also have a number of free pub singing events - including the George and Dragon (in Dent near Sedbergh) 9.30pm on Friday December 5 2014,  the Badger Bar 9.3-pm on Tuesday evening December 9, the Strickland Arms (At Sizergh near Kendal) at 8pm on Tuesday evening December 16, and  various pubs and stations on our Carolling the Settle Carlisle day on Saturday December 13 (starting with a morning workshop in Langwathby village hall and then lunchtime singing in the Station inn at Ribblehead and a late afternoon in Settle.)


There are links below to photos on Facebook, and learning videos where I sing the individual harmonies for the songs we sing on Youtube.  

For videos of me teaching the parts for many of the songs we sing click here
For more photos of singers click here
For photos of Dent click here
And for videos of previous singing events on our video channel click here





BACKGROUND 

Welcome - we hope your visit to the Lakeland Voice website is useful and inspiring.

Here you can find out about natural voice and harmony singing workshops based in South Lakeland in the North of England for groups and individuals.
The work is led by David Burbidge (pictured here leading an outdoor workshop in the Little Langdale valley) with guest teachers from around the world.

What is the Natural Voice?
We use the term 'natural voice' here to show that we express certain core beliefs in our way of working. These include that:

a) Singing is our birthright and should be accessible to everyone, whatever their musical training or experience.

b) The voice has its roots in the body and through releasing the breath and unnecessary tensions a more pleasurable experience of singing can be had as well as a richer and more authentic sound.

c) Harmony singing is a celebration of community and difference where the empowerment of the different parts creates a richer whole than when everyone is the same

d) And that musical terminology should be expressed in user friendly terms or explained sufficiently so as not to confuse or alienate those who sing naturally.

Lakeland Songlines
Many of these workshops use the beautiful landscape in our area especially during our short, singing walks when we take our songs out into the landscape, singing by waterfalls and rivers, in  caves, woods and fellside chapels and round the open fires of country inns.

video
Video of Lakeland Voice singers and Old Foster in a Dentdale wood

Some involve longer tours and will require more fitness such as 'Lakeland Songline' long Whitsun weekend with camping in the mountains of the central Lake District and 'The Singing Cyclists' tours.

Workshop Venues

Our workshops are mostly based in Sedbergh and Dent, small communities in an area overlapped by South Lakeland District and the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The area includes the beautiful, rounded hills of the Howgill Fells with the spectacular Cautley Spout waterfall, and the serenity of the wooded valleys with their ancient churches and cobbled villages.

We use comfortable village halls for our workshops, as well as my old stone cottage where the river Clough flows outside the window providing its unique accompaniment to our singing. Where possible we sing round open fires with informal singing sessions in remote country inns, and singing fireside suppers under the old oak beams of Dent's Stone Close cafe.

For our residential weekends and week-long retreats we hire old country cottages, and self catering hostels and country mansions in spectacular settings. We are often able to provide single, double and twin rooms. These venues range from Dentdale, Sedbergh and the Lake District to as far away as the Scottish island of Jura and our twin town Zrece in the Slovenian mountains.

Some of our workshops - on weekends or summer evenings - include singing walks using local caves, waterfalls and magnificent mountain scenery for a different acoustic and as a setting for our singing. These have included Cathedral Cavern in Little Langdale, Rydal Caves near Ambleside, Yordas cave near Ingleton, Tarn Hows, Martindale, Raisgill stone circle and 'Long Meg and her Daughters', through the Elysian Shades beech woods and the rapids of the Dee near Sedbergh, and singing cruises across the lakes at Coniston and Ulswater.
Our workshops in other parts of the country include mansions overlooking the sea on a Scottish island and a smugglers' cove in Cornwall.

What Do We Sing?
Songs are mostly drawn from cultures where people sing as naturally as they talk - folk songs from the UK,  Africa, Georgia and the Balkans. Songs in English are drawn from the American Shape note and British folk traditions as well as some jazz and sacred music.
As we teach mostly by ear our songs tend to come from cultures where music is passed on from one generation to the next by ear, as opposed to the complexities of written music found in Western classical music. We include rounds and simple harmony arrangements as well as two, three and four part harmonies.