Improvise and explore your voice with Candy Verney and Rod Paton
3rd – 6th of April 2020
Cost €359 Early Bird €329 before Dec 1st
If you enjoy using your voice, and are up for some vocal adventures, then this weekend is for you. Sing and improvise, inspirational harmony songs and seriously enjoy yourself!
Led by Candy Verney with guest teacher Rod Paton.
There will also be time to immerse yourself in the deep peace of Donegal’s stunningly beautiful landscape
About Your Hosts
Candy Verney’s passion is to inspire and create, through singing, a sense of harmony which gives an experience beyond the ordinary. She has been building singing communities in different ways all her working life. She created and developed 6 community choirs in and around Bath for 20 years. She runs Community Choir Leader Trainings, seeding singing groups throughout UK and Germany. She initiated and directed The Trowbridge Song project, celebrating diversity through sharing traditional music, in a rural town in Wiltshire. She is now director of The Song House, a retreat centre in Co. Donegal, NW Ireland, where she also runs singing holidays and trainings. Recently she has collaborated with Lindsey Williams and together they have written a series of songs for choirs that are a joy to sing, whose lyrics inspire and comment on modern life: Songs for Life
“Hugely recommend- if you love singing and cannot get enough, come Singing on the Wild Side”. PB 2018
“Candy is a superb voice coach, the atmosphere was spot-on, truly delightful” MD 2017
Rod Paton, DPhil is the founder of the Lifemusic method and training programme and author of Lifemusic – Connecting People to Time. He is an experienced and versatile workshop leader whose expertise covers many aspects of song from traditional and classical roots through to blues, jazz, Eastern European, Scandinavian and Mongolian influences. Born in Wales he has worked as a horn player, composer, writer, music therapist and academic and now lives partly in Brecon and partly in Brno, capital of Moravia.
“Attending the Lifemusic training was so enjoyable, enriching, relaxing, exciting, experiential and moving. It was what real learning is and should be. (SS, musician and teacher)
“Participants are enabled to be themselves and to experience their own depth of feeling and to express that within the music.”
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.
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 historical interest 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.
The Song House has 3 twin bedrooms, 1 double, and 1 family room with a double bed, 2 bunk beds and 1 single.
There is also a B&B 100 yards up the road, which has single rooms.
*We are offering one place at half price to a young person who will act as housekeeper during the week.
Arrival and Departure Times
Arrive from 4-6pm on the first evening
Depart after breakfast on the final day
Total €359, Early Bird rate €329 before Dec 1st
Single room supplement: €60 pp
En-suite twin room supplement: €30 pp
Family rate: please contact Candy direct
€150 deposit required on completion to secure your place.
What to Bring
Bring clothes for all eventualities. Rain gear and walking shoes essential.
Midge repellant. (No midges in April, but they can be an issue in damp weather in the summer.)
Song House will provide all linen and towels, but if you like swimming, bring a swimming towel.
There is a guitar here you can use. Bring musical instruments, stories, games, poems to make our own entertainment in the evenings.
You can travel to Falcarragh easily by public transport.
• Daily Coaches from Dublin to Falcarragh (4 hours). The coach picks up at Dublin airport:
• Daily Coaches from Belfast to Falcarragh (2 ¾ hours). The coach doesn’t stop at Belfast International airport, but if you phone them, they’ll arrange for a taxi to drop you from the airport to meet the coach on the main road: http://www.gallagherscoaches.com/Map.htm
• Hourly minibus from Belfast airport to Derry: www.airporter.co.uk
• Local buses will get you from Derry to Letterkenny, then on to Falcarragh.
• Regular flights from Glasgow and Dublin to Donegal airport. 30 min drive from Song House. The car hire at Donegal airport is more expensive. Or get a taxi.
• To drive, Google maps reference is on our website
-Accommodation for three nights
-Meals – Breakfast three days, Lunch three days, Dinner 2 nights
-Harmony Singing tuition
What’s not included?
-Transport to and from the Song House. Guests will be expected to make their own way to the house. Full directions and transport options will be given.
-Any snack food outside of the three meals provided.
-One evening dinner which will be a group outing to a local restaurant.
Course starts: 5pm Friday 3rd April, Finishes: 10am Mon 6th April
We strongly advise you to arrange travel insurance to cover personal accident, cancellation of the holiday, loss of personal effects and personal liability.
In the event of your cancellation, for whatever reason, the following will apply:
• Cancellation 90 days and over before start of holiday – cost refunded less €40 admin charge
• Cancellation 46 to 89 days before start of holiday – 50% of total cost refunded, less €40 admin charge
• Cancellation 45 days before start of holiday– full cost of holiday will be charged, unless a replacement can be found. Then €40 admin charge.
Our public liability insurance covers you for injury due to our negligence during the holiday but it does not cover you for injury from other causes or for loss or damage to your property. We cannot accept responsibility for illness, injury or loss, other than that caused by our proven negligence.
“Fantastic – never thought I would be able to learn so quickly and be part of something which sounds so good.” – Trish Leeds UK 2016
“Loved the singing. Was great to be back to it. Filled up my singing tank. Candy you make it so easy to learn and enjoyable. You have a fantastic skill which makes singing accessible to everyone. Thank you for sharing it.” ZG Northern Ireland April 2018
My highlights? Candy’s leadership. And I loved being part of the creation process of a new song, by a local singer songwriter- ‘Spread your Wings’ DD June 2018
Teach na nAmhrán: The Song House, Clonbara, Falcarragh, Co Donegal F92 D4EX