course2
  • Music

    During the week the full choir sings a wide range of music spanning the last five centuries up to the present day for the main course performances. In your small CONSORTS you will sing a variety of music from madrigals to close-harmony and jazz arrangements
    You will be asked to bring some SOLO music to work on in your individual SINGING LESSONS and there will be a chance for you to perform any other music during an INFORMAL CONCERT.

  • Organists

  • Venue

    The courses have been based at Eton College since 1985 and we start the summer with two courses here, and making full use of the state-of-the-art music schools.

    Students will stay in individual rooms in one of the school's boarding houses and enjoy three meals per day in the mediaeval College Hall.

    Eton is across the river Thames from Windsor, near Slough and within easy reach of London, just outside the M25.

    Eton College, Windsor, BERKS, SL4 6DW

  • Tutors



    Ralph Allwood

    course director

    Ralph Allwood MBE founded the Eton Choral Courses in 1980 and was Precentor and Director of Music at Eton College until 2011. Alongside positions as Conductor of Inner Voices, Director of Rodolfus Choir and Director of Music at the Old Royal Naval Chapel, Greenwich, Ralph is in high international demand for choral workshops and master-classes. He is a choral advisor for Novello and the Voices Foundation, and adjudicates the Choir of the Year Competition and the Llangollen International Eisteddfod.

    Ralph Allwood

    Samuel Evans

    Singing Teacher

    A recent addition to our roster, British baritone Samuel Evans studied as a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, the Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music. His already extensive operatic experience include Kilian (Der Freischütz) at Opéra Comique and the BBC Proms under Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Garibaldo (Rodelinda) in the London Handel Festival, as well as a tour of Britten’s Church Parable with Mahogany Opera and Roger Vignoles. Recent and upcoming work includes further concert performances with Gardiner, Thomas Zehetmair and Nicholas Kraemer. Samuel is Music Director of Riverside Opera and teaches singing at Eton College.

    Samuel Evans

    Carys Lane

    Singing Teacher

    On the concert platform, Carys Lane has performed for such conductors as Sir Roger Norrington, Iván Fischer, Roger Norrington. Carys combines this with regular opera work. Carys has recorded Mozart’s Requiem for Warner Classics, Purcell and Antonio Vivaldi for Naxos, and Ralph Vaughan Williams for Chandos. She recorded the role of First Witch in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas for the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for Chandos and has made over 90 discs with ensembles such as The Tallis Scholars, The Gabrieli Consort, The Sixteen, Oxford Camerata, The Clerks and The Cardinall’s Musick who won Gramophone’s disc of the year in 2010. Carys is a vocal coach for the Choir of Merton College, Oxford, and is a long standing member of the Choral Course teaching staff!

    Carys Lane

    Dan Ludford-Thomas

    Singing Teacher

    Dan is an established singing teacher and choral conductor based in London. He combines a busy schedule conducting professional choirs, choral societies and chambers choirs with his role as Head of Singing at Dulwich College and singing teaching post at Eton College. Dan has extensive experience in the development of young voices, regularly preparing young singers for solo roles at major Opera Houses, applications for choral awards at University and places at music conservatoires. He is the conductor of the Senior Choir of the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain and enjoys a long association as a singing teacher on the Eton Choral Courses.

    Dan Ludford-Thomas
  • Highlights



    VOCAL MASTERCLASS | LINDA HIRST

    Eton College -

    Linda Hirst was born and grew up in Huddersfield, and studied flute and singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Her career began during the early music revival of the early seventies, with Roger Norrington, John Eliot Gardiner and David Munrow. From 1974-78 she was a Swingle Singer, she then co-founded Electric Phoenix. With both groups she travelled the world, leading to work with many living composers, and a solo career of international renown, in particular for her performances and recordings of contemporary music.

    Her operatic roles have included Handel with Nicholas Kraemer, Berlioz with Roger Norrington, Ligeti for La Monnaie, Osborne and Knussen for Glyndebourne, Schoenberg for ROH and La Fenice, and in 2013 an improvised opera with Bruce McLean, and Lucie Treacher’s The Fisherman’s Brides for Tête-à-Tête. She has worked extensively with London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Recherché and Ensemble Intercontemporain, singing Ligeti, Berio, Henze, Knussen, Holt, Weir, Muldowney, Lachenmann among many European and American composers, in Festivals Edinburgh, Paris, Metz, Holland, Ars Musica and Proms, with conductors including Gielen, Nagano, Rattle, Howarth, Masson, Metzmacher and Harding.

    Linda’s many recordings include Atom Heart Mother with Pink Floyd, Globokar’s Les Emigres and Privilege with Ivor Cutler, as well as the solo album Songs Cathy Sang with Diego Masson, early music with Fretwork and Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione dio Poppea with Richard Hickox, and a recent release by Non-Classical of a live improv night with the Mercury Quartet.

    She has been Head of Vocal Studies at Trinity Laban for 20 years; is President of the Kathleen Ferrier Society, a trustee of the Hinrichsen Foundation, a Fellow of Dartington College of Arts and holds an Honourary Doctorate in Literature from Huddersfield University.

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    CONSORT WORKSHOP | CHRISTOPHER GABBITAS

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    Christopher is a current member of the King’s Singers. We look forward to welcoming him to Eton College during Course 2 for a Consort Workshop.

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    CHORAL EVENSONG | WINDSOR CASTLE

    St George's Chapel, Windsor - 20 July, 1715 - 1815

    We are delighted to have been invited to nearby Windsor Castle to sing Choral Evensong in St George’s Chapel. We are fortunate that this historic venue is only a short walk away from Eton College.

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    COMPLINE | DIRECTED BY MATTHEW MARTIN

    Eton College - 19 July, 2000 - 2045

    Matthew Martin read music at Magdalen College, Oxford and later studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London where he won all the major organ prizes and the DipRAM – the Academy’s Premiere Prix in performance. He is an award-winning composer and is currently Director of Music and a Fellow at Keble College, Oxford where he conducts the choir and teaches academic music within the College and University.

    Matthew’s music is rapidly gaining him an international reputation. His “spikily dynamic style of composition” (BBC Music Magazine) has led him to be commissioned to write for many prominent ensembles, most recently The Tallis Scholars, the choirs of Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, St John’s College and Clare College, Cambridge. In 2014, he was commissioned by The Genesis Foundation to write a new setting of the Stabat Mater for The Sixteen. He won the Liturgical category in the 2013 British Composer Awards and, in 2014, a disc of his choral music was released by the choir of Magdalen College, Oxford on the Opus Arte label. He recently had a new Trumpet Sonata commissioned by the 2015 Cheltenham Music Festival as well as a set of Lamentations premiered The Tallis Scholars and a cycle of Petrarch Sonnets for Marcus Farnsworth performed during the 2016 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester. Composition plans for 2017 include a large-scale work for the Gabrieli Consort, a re-imagining of Guerrero’s Ave Virgo sanctissima for Ora Singers and a Festival Anthem to mark opening of the new organ in Manchester Cathedral.
    His work is published by Faber Music.

    From 2001-2004, Matthew was a pupil of the late Marie-Claire Alain in Paris and in 2005 was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. Matthew has held positions at New College, Oxford, Canterbury Cathedral and Westminster Cathedral where he was the Assistant Master of Music from 2004-2010.

    Since 2001 he has been involved with the annual Edington Festival of Music within the Liturgy where he is director of the Nave Choir, and from 2000-2002 was Director of Music at the University Church, Oxford. More recently, he was of Organist at the London Oratory (2011-2015).

    Matthew is well known as a soloist and has performed at the Cheltenham, Spitalfields and South Bank festivals, as well as more recently further afield in Miami and Uppsala, Sweden. A regular organist for The Sixteen, his first solo recording on the historic Ralph Downes-designed organ of the London Oratory has been received with critical acclaim.

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    COURSE 2 RECITAL | TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE

    Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge - Jul 18: 1530 - 1645 (ALL WELCOME)

    Trinity College provides superb opportunities for prospective Choral Scholars, and we have always enjoyed visiting the College. We are delighted to be returning to Trinity this summer, where we will give a recital in the beautiful Chapel, directed by Ralph Allwood.

    Trinity Cambridge recital