“Awesome, incredibly professional. Fantastic week,
wonderful people. Enjoyed singing very very much.
Wouldn’t have missed it for anything else... Thanks so much.”
Karl Martin Heissler, Germany
I have been thinking about our week together almost every day!! I have to be honest, I actually don't know how to begin my summary, because there are a lot of things I'd like to say and remember! First of all, I really appreciated the location of the summer school: the town, the college and the house were really beautiful! Our days were full of things to do, in particular singing (SO MUCH SINGING) and that was the best: I have felt that the best way to sing well is to keep training for hours, to work together, to live together and, I think, to be friends. All of us, Stephen as first, had the same aim: to prepare the concert the best possible, but, during the week, we have had fun, laughed, played, joked, walked, relaxed, eaten as little pigs (thanks John!!)...altogether! This allowed us to grow as a group even if in a little time, and it is really important in my opinion.What about the songs? So different from the music I am used to sing (almost only classical, baroque in particular), I have appreciated them all because they were very various, some funny, some sad, and so on; I already knew some of them - Bridge over troubled water and Signore delle cime of course, that tore my heart apart while singing - but I loved all of them... I can't actually choose my favourite.
I was really amazed by the way Stephen managed our rehearsals and his fantastic attitude when he was among us: it looked like he was happy even just sharing his time with us, not just because we were singing together and he was managing us - in my university choir, the director doesn't usually stay with his scholars! and it's a pity of course. Familiarity is the first step to work together! I think he is a really good person and one of the best musicians I have ever met.
At last, Annarita, our "mamma" (all of us needs one when we are far from home!), looked after us in every moment: she was luckily italian, this means so much!!
Dario Pettenon, Italy
It was a splendid week! Within a few days Stephen managed to transform a group of different people into a fantastic choir. I liked especially to meet so many wonderful people from various nations. We learned a lot and though the rehearsals had been very intensive, there was always time for some joking. We all enjoyed singing and had much fun together. Thank you very, very much for everything! I hope to see you all again next summer!
Hans Nuebel, Germany
Fantastic – I didn’t think I could learn so much, have so much fun and get so utterly exhausted at the same time! Stephen, you’ve managed to bring together an extraordinary group of people and to fit in so much terrifyingly hard work, making it fun at the same time. I loved the balance of the week and singing in great places and acoustics. It has been great fun and I feel like I’ve known all the great people here for years. Please do it again – it’s a great experience for anyone interested in singing – it ha s made my summer!”
Michael Dawson, England
IAS Singers write...
Also check the video reviews below!
“This course has been the highlight of my life – you think I’m kidding – I’m not. The joy, glee, ecstasy and happiness the singing and community has brought me this week is difficult to describe, but so easy to feel even just considering the memory. Our expert guide through the world of a cappella singing was saintly patient, but responsive enough that we actually improved immensely. I can’t imagine a better lead through the glorious week of constant singing, plus expeditions through the countryside. Thanks are inadequate for me to give. I only hope I can come again.”
Ryan Stickney, USA
“Brilliant – intense – High Level. Every single word, advice, correction etc when rehearsing will stay with me and my musical projects for ever. As I said in my “Birthday speech” this week has been one of the most happy weeks in my life. It is amazing to meet people from everywhere as crazy as I am about singing. Thanks for sharing with us all your knowledge and experience. I definitely will be here again ”
Camilo Menjura, Colombia
"Stephen! I know that if anyone can still teach me a load of things about A cappella – it would be you! I have an entire new bag of tricks to take home to my rehearsals! Exeter too proved to be the most beautiful place and I definitely have to return – Now I go back to Finland for a week of seep!”
Annti Hirvonen, Finland
“This experience was very beautiful and I am so happy to have been here with you. It is amazing how music can bring people together – it was a lovely week for us all. Stephen is a great Director, Singer and Person, so he was perfect and his teaching was brilliant. Thank you for making a choir out of us - We were people with different musical levels, different sounds, different knowledge of the English language etc. But you, Stephen, have got at the end of this week a perfect choir. Thank you Stephen for sharing with us all some of your great talent. Really wonderful"
Andrea Zanti, Italy
“Thanks for an awesomely fun week! The different nationalities was a brilliant idea and I loved meeting people from eight other countries and all of us singing together. One thing that I loved was that we all had fun whilst singing. Highlights have got to be all of Stephen’s amazing quotes - but I don’t think the Italians will ever be on time! This is definitely something I want to come back and do again next year.”
Hannah Deasy, England
“Quit your job as a King’s Singer... only kidding – I have had a fantastic time ...my heart is full of happiness.”
Carine Tinney, Scotland
“A bunch of personalities in one house, having one passion – just great! This was one of the most amazing weeks I ever had, filled with music and interesting people. Thank you all so much for it. I improved my English and my singing. I learned much and enjoyed this week so much. I hope we all meet next year and have so much fun as we has now. Let’s never forget it and let’s keep in touch!”
Julia Breier, Germany
This year’s course has been Amazing! As a choir, we have come farther than anyone expected! The choral work has been so much fun. We have, as Stephen said experienced the extremes of music, landscape and food... Thank you for the week and I hope to be back next year.
Drew Griffin, USA
“Thanks so much for this week; it’s been grand to be sure! I‘ve had a really good time. Hope you’ll have me again next year ...”
Carolyn Holt, Ireland
“I really enjoyed the course. It was challenging, but fun, with beautiful music. I really enjoyed the activities, the beach was my favourite and I enjoyed sing (loudly) in all the places we went!”
Anna Norman-Walker, England
“Thank you, thank you Stephen for sharing your wisdom and experience with us, and with good humour too! I loved to sing evensongs and to learn the English psalms and hymns. It gave us a purpose as an ensemble and it made us feel part of something wonderful. I enjoyed the trip to Dartmoor a lot!! It was Fantastic!! And we spent a lovely evening on the beach which helped us bond together. I got to play cricket too!! In short, I had a great time!”
Chiara Beltramo, Italy
“It’s been really great fun, and you have worked so hard to make us good. Thank you, and the best way of saying that is by singing like we have! Thank you”
Matt Smith, England
“What a fantastic week!! Lots of new people to sing with and a great teacher as a conductor!! We will never forget all the elations and experiences recollected during these few days. Thank you very much!”
Agnese and Chiara Beltramo, Italy
“We did “take Choral Singing to the next level...” The sound and dynamics clicked in that one week. It felt really good to feel the click and to realise it to happen. Thank you all!!”
If you love to sing and share your passion with a lot of beautiful people you are on the right course! A great time and a Bellissimo week. Soak up every moment as it will FLY by! Stephen- Thank you for the privilege of an inspiring week of music and great people.”
Katy Austin, England
“I’ve loved this camp... Thank you so much for this opportunity and for being so understanding. It’s been so much fun to sing under you. In addition to talking about things that no other conductor I’ve ever worked with has, you are slow to anger and you have an amazing sense of humour! “
Bjorn Hovland, USA
“Thank you for this wonderful week! It was great to meet so many new people from different countries and to sing with them”
Antonia and Elisabeth Albrecht, Austria
“Brilliant! I have had a very tiring but incredibly eye opening week. I loved the international aspect. The people have been amazing... and I have made some really close friends. Singing with all you guys has been a pleasure. Thank you so much!”
Ottilie Hankin, England
“Brilliant! Meeting people from so many different backgrounds and cultures with a shared interest, and making such good noises, was a fantastic opportunity and I’ve enjoyed every minute!”
Kate Appleby, Scotland
“Thank you for this week. I hope we will remember all the things we learned about singing together and the joy of making music. All the best for IAS”
Terhi Lehtola, Finland