"I have attended virtually every program for conducting study in this country. The Choral Music Institute at Oxford is better than all of them combined! The experience of this place and this choir and this faculty has changed my life." 2013 Choral Music Institute at Oxford Conductor and College Professor
"This program has reminded me of what it is to be an artist. I have been building choral "Ikea Furniture" with my choir for the past five years. I rehearsed the music, and put it together like I had instructions and I forgot all the real things that make people sing. I've forgotten about the artistry. This Institute made me experience artistry again as a conductor." 2013 Choral Music Institute at Oxford Conductor and Church Musician
Program Dates: July 8-17, 2014
James Jordan and James Whitbourn, Co-Directors
and featuring GRAMMY-nominated Westminster Williamson Voices
A unique partnership with St Stephen's House, one of the halls of Oxford University, and Westminster Choir College, proudly offer a unique Choral Institute in the vibrant and beautiful city of Oxford, England. The Institute is designed to provide instruction to all levels of conductors within a fully residential Oxford college.
The Choral Institute at Oxford is a residential course with meals taken in the college's dining room and accommodation provided in the former monastic buildings of the 19th-century Cowley Fathers, now occupied by St Stephen's House and much loved by C.S. Lewis, a former Fellow of nearby Magdalen College.
Participants will experience first hand an educational experience that is unique to Oxford University. That experience, one of total immersion in a residential college, will expose participants to an intense and exciting educational atmosphere. In addition to studying conducting and aspects of the choral art that will build musicianship in each participant regardless of prior experience levels, participants will become immersed in a community of musicians and faculty.
Contributing Areas of Study within The Choral Institute at Oxford: Sacred Music and Music Education
In addition to immersive study of choral conducting and choral artistry that are hallmarks of the Choral Institute at Oxford, participants are also have the singularly unique opportunity to visit and study at New College, Oxford; Magdalen College Oxford and Christ Church Oxford. At each site, participants will study unique topics by the resident faculty, Edward Higginbottom, Daniel Hyde and Stephen Darlington.
But equally as important are the connections that participants are made to discover through the lectures and small group seminars led by Westminster faculty: Dr. Steve Pilkington (Scared Music) and Dr. Al Holcomb (Chair of the Music Education Department). Both Pilkington and Holcomb will offer their unique perspective, analysis and applications that directly apply to both sacred music and music education. The enrichment of these lectures and discussions deepens the understandings for each participant and makes applications to their situations both easier and practical.
A CIO Inside Journey: Annelies: James Whitbourn
This year, The Choral Institute at Oxford will feature a live performance of the work by The GRAMMY-nominated Williamson Voices conducted by the composer. This is a unique opportunity to learn, experience and study the work firsthand that has garnered worldwide attention. Lectures that contribute to the understanding of this work are a part of this years Choral Institute at Oxford.
A CIO Inside Journey: Discovering Chant
James Jordan, James Whitbourn and Isabella Burns have completed an extensive book entitled Discovering Chant to be released by GIA in June, 2014. Both James Whitbourn and James Jordan will share details of the book through plainsong sessions with both Williamson Voices and participants. This groundbreaking text approaches the use of plainchant as a new pedagogy for teaching both musical skill and phrasing to ensembles at all levels. This exciting new pedagogy will give all praticipants new and innovative teaching tools for their own choirs that are based upon their own experience singing, performing and living with those sounds the remarkable acoustic that is St. Stephen’s.