The pier at Kilcreggan looking towards Dunoon and Arran
Festival of song
June 6-10 2019
Celebrate mid-summer with a long weekend of singing at Kilcreggan House.
There will be world songs, new compositions and improvisation, plus a ceilidh on Friday night and time around the fire.
Led by Mairi Campbell, Kate Howard, Helen Chadwick and Ali Mills. See their biographies below.
August 16 - 18 2019
A weekend of singing, writing and composing.
Using improvisation and play, we plan to let song unfold itself from the collective experience of the group.
Mairi and Helen will return to guide us and bring structure to what should be a powerful and immersive weekend.
Big world, small group
Date to be confirmed
A weekend to unlock the harmonies and raw beauty of the Georgian soul with Anthony Johnston and Kate Howard.
Working with a small group of songs, we will explore the vocal techniques and ensemble singing needed to bring this beautiful music to life.
The Long Song
November 1 - 3 2019
A weekend for more experienced singers, where we tackle a longer, harmonically complex piece that participants work on prior to arrival.
There is also lots of time in front of the fire, with more familiar songs, old and new friends and fabulous food.
Booking details to follow.
About the song leaders
From singer, dance musician, visual artist to facilitator, Mairi is a multi-award winning musician at the cutting edge of the Scottish folk scene. She is renowned for extending the boundaries of the folk tradition in Scotland, bringing a powerful combination of deep craft, groundedness and spirit to her work.
Mairi was music director of Sangstream, an Edinburgh folk song choir for twelve years and has continuously developed her improvisational practice with mentors and study over thirty years.
During Mairi’s improvisation sessions she works with simple frameworks that support ‘making things up in the moment.’ Her dynamic approach and sense of fun help everyone join in a powerful and transformative creative experience.
Helen is a singer, songwriter, composer and recording artist, with a background in theatre. She creates unaccompanied songs and performances with Helen Chadwick Song Theatre, including site-specific works for choirs and soloists, involving local communities and responding to the places in which they are made.
Helen has been commissioned to create song theatre performances for among others the Royal Opera House, English Touring Opera, Greenwich, Salisbury and Norwich Festivals and has composed for the BBC, The Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.
Helen is the founder with Thames Festival of the mass choir charity project Sing For Water which has raised over a million pounds for water projects at Wateraid, through work led by choir leaders all over the UK, Europe and Australia.
Kate has developed a unique approach to working with the voice based on the union of body and breath and her knowledge of global singing traditions. She believes singing is a birthright and a powerful way for communities to express their emotions and sense of place.
Kate has an extensive knowledge of world music from South African, Gospel, Eastern European to English Folk, resulting in a fascinating collection of vocal material and songs from around the world. She specialises in using vocal techniques appropriate to the culture of the songs to create an authentic sound.
Kate has founded and worked with many choirs over the past 30 years. From Sheffield Socialist Choir, to Calder Valley Women’s Voices and her current choir, Cairn Chorus in her home village of Moniaive - Dumfries and Galloway.
Ali`s love of site specific singing combines song, designing spaces and being in nature, an approach inspired by her long career as a television set designer for the BBC and C4 and her love of the Scottish landscape.
Ali is particularly interested in the experience of singing in the moment, creating a soul space, often by candlelight, around a fire or outside on a beach or hill. She leads a singing group, Soulwind, in the village of Kilcreggan, teaching songs by ear from many different cultures in four part harmony.
Ali created a coast to coast Songline across Scotland from Dunbar to Helensburgh, to celebrate the opening of the John Muir Way. A group of singers carried songs inspired by John Muir through six powerful sites, sharing with singers from each community as the songs resonated across the country.