Singing on the Wild Side Donegal September 2020
September 4 - September 11
With Candy Verney and Lindsey Williams
Have you been singing in choirs for a few years now, and want to challenge yourself?
We are very delighted to tell you that we are now planning our first singing gettogether since the Covid-19 lockdown. We have been working towards getting The Song House Covid-19 ready over the last number of weeks, and it is almost time to resume our residential courses with your safety in mind.
- Single attendees will get a private room of their own at the same price
- Smaller Group sizes with a minimum of 6 and maximum of 10 people
- Flexible Covid cancellation and refund policy *in case of another lockdown or re-restrictions wherever you are
- Stay at the beautiful Song House, in the Gaeltacht of NW Donegal
- Enjoy stunning sunsets or take a walk on the beautiful beach seen below, just a walk away
- Sing Together in Celebration of what we have come through
I am very excited to introduce you to Lindsey Williams who will be co-teaching some of our songs with me for this holiday. Lindsey and I have collaborated over many years, in writing songs together. She is a very talented song writer and playwright. I makechoral arrangements of her songs, and we have had great success teaching them to groups around Europe. We wrote a book together in 2017, you can hear some of the songs here.
This singing holiday will be for singers with some experience: here’s your opportunity to challenge yourself, to really work on some pieces, and improve your choral sound too. We will be singing several of Lindsey’s songs. They are gorgeous!
You still don’t have to read music-still a relaxed atmosphere. We will learn by ear, but I will also supply music for those who prefer this.
Singing on the Wild Sideis about the singing, but much more too. Over the week, our own little community will build, seed new friendships, connect to local people, explore the natural vibrant beauty surrounding us. So if you like singing, wilderness, a sense of adventure, meeting other interesting folk and returning home feeling refreshed, invigorated and in tune, then join us here.
The Song House/ Teach na nAmhrán
After running singing holidays in wild places successfully for many years, 5 years ago the chance came my way to put down roots and establish a centre in Donegal. The Song House is a centre for singing and other activities, which fit with the guiding principles of community, harmony and valuing the natural world.
Formerly known as the Poets’ House, the centre was well-known in literary circles, with Seamus Heaney a frequent visitor. Now, in its new incarnation as The Song House, I am delighted that the creative spirit of the house will be continued and enhanced.
Why Donegal? In short, the landscape, the people, the music. The landscape here on the Wild Atlantic Way is quite stunning, constantly changing in response to shifts in the light, miles of empty sandy beaches as well as the iconic mountains of Errigal and Muckish as a backdrop to every view. All bedrooms in the Song House, as well as the spacious singing room, look out onto Muckish mountain, arising majestically from the sweeping boglands. Falcarragh lies within the Gaeltacht, the Irish speaking areas of Ireland, so you are likely to hear Irish being spoken by many local residents. There are weekly music sessions in many local pubs.
Things to Do in the Area
The area of Donegal around Falcarragh is steeped in archaeological and historicalinterest and Celtic spirituality, as well as a unique concentration of spectacular sandy beaches and mountains. It is a walker’s paradise. Ards Forest Park with its many stunning nature trails, Glenveagh National park, Muckish mountain (Irish for hog’s back) are all close by. It is in the Gaeltacht so Irish is regularly spoken. There are 5 expansive sandy beaches within 7 miles drive of The Song House, and you can hire surfing equipment, or bicycles nearby.
Hill walking, golf, kayaking, swimming, rock climbing, cycling, hiking are all available in the surrounding area.
What Songs will we Sing?
Great songs! Songs from Ireland, the British Isles, the rich vein of traditional music from USA, and songs from many World music traditions. And always a new song by Candy, in collaboration with a local singer/songwriter, or with Lindsey Williams (togetherwe have written a book of songs for choirs: Songs from Life). We will learn music by ear, no reading of music necessary, though I’m happy to provide written music to those who want it for more difficult pieces. We’ll go to sing in special places nearby -in an old church, out in nature. Sometimes we experiment with improvisation and singing games.
Pattern of the Day
We sing for 3 hours every morning. The middle of each day will be free time to explore, do your own thing.
Most evenings we’ll eat together,then after a communal clear up (with more singing of course), we either have a visiting speaker or singer, or we sing, and create our own entertainment by sharing songs and making space for those who wish to share their talents, be they musical, storytelling or games.
Traditional culture in this area of Donegal is wonderfully vibrant, and we often invite local singers, poets, history or archeology experts to give us a session. There are several videos of Diane Cannon and Noeleen ní Cholla, both wonderful‘seán-nós’ singers, singing at the Song House on our Facebook page.
Travel Restrictions & Pandemic Considerations
We understand that travel restrictions still in place will make it very difficult for many to consider joining us in September. These restrictions have been easing however and here in Ireland it continues to. Just yesterday our Government announced that there will be further softening of the self distancing guidelines for travellers into Ireland, from certain countries. With this news, we hope those of you from over seas who feel safe to do so, will consider joining us, if not this September then soon.
Please see the link below for official and regular updates on travel into Ireland guidelines.
Also, with safety in mind, we have been participating in Covid-19 training and awareness programmes to ensure that we are up to date with and well informed about how to minimise any risk associated with the spread of Covid-19.
Please send email to http://info@thesonghouseireland if you would like to receive a copy of The Song House Risk Assessment and Covid Safety Policy Document.
Be assured that we have many strategies in place to enhance safety and minimise the potential spread of Covid – 19, all of which can be read in our Covid Safety & Policy & documents.
We believe it is both possible and important to do both – to sing and to stay safe, together.