Our harmony singing camps are a testament to the extraordinary things ordinary people can achieve when they come together. They are also a lot of fun, and there is nothing quite like singing in harmony with others. People come to our programs with a broad range of musical experience, from novice singers to experienced choir leaders. Wherever you fit in that spectrum, you are encouraged to join us.
During our week-long summer programs, everyone stays together at the retreat center: we eat communally and share a lot of time together. Often we are asked to help with clean up after meals, and see this as another opportunity to work together. Each day, we spend 6 hours singing as a full group, with the leaders taking turns to present material. Each leader brings their individual focus and expertise, making the musical blend of each camp unique. In addition the singing, there is time during the week to walk and play and explore. Evenings are free, but we usually put on a cabaret one night during the week.
Weekend retreats begin on Friday with dinner and run through Sunday lunch. We sing for two hours on Friday evening, about 8 on Saturday, and another two hours on Sunday before heading home.
A word about food:
We believe that good food is an essential part of a good life, and strive to work with venues and caterers that provide healthy, satisfying meals. We are also aware that many people have dietary restrictions. We work to accommodate these needs, but—as balancing the many restrictions of a large group can be a challenge for the kitchen crew—we cannot promise that every need will be met. If you have severe or extensive dietary restrictions, you may wish to bring supplemental food. More importantly, we'd like to think of the meals—indeed, of the whole camp—as a collaboration between us rather than as a service provided to you. If we work together, everyone can get what they need at the table.
Please visit us at facebook, where we have pictures of past programs.
Summer Singing Week on the Isle of Skye
with Ali Burns, John Harrison, and Brendan Taaffe
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Turtle Dove Harmony Weeks, we will spend a week on the northeastern coast of Skye immersed in beautiful harmonies and stunning scenery.
In these ten years of singing, the leaders that I have learned the most from are, without a doubt, Ali and John. It is a pleasure to bring them together for the first time. Ali is one of Scotlandís most loved singing leaders and has never ceased to amaze me with the deep heart of her original works. I first came to know John through his work with traditional American gospel, which is fiery and uplifting. In the time Iíve known him, his original pieces have come more to the fore, balancing that fieriness with a tender spirit. I am so looking forward to a week in which we all offer a mix of originals and songs from our different traditions.
Dun Flodigarry Hostel is set by the sea and has wonderful views across to Flodigarry Island, Gairloch and the Torridon mountains on the mainland. Flodigarry was once the home of the Jacobite heroine Flora MacDonald, and the area is famous for the distinctive cliffs and rock formations of the Quiraing which towers above the hostel. When you are out and about you may see, amongst other wildlife, otters, basking sharks, whales and both golden and white-tailed eagles. There are also many orchids and other rare flora in the area. Singers will share rooms in the hostel. There are no singles available. The week will be catered by Fallain Foods. We will help with washing dishes after the meals.
The price of the week is £640. There will also be a cost option in US dollars, but because of the current volatility of global currency, I will set that price in March based on the exchange rate on March 15, 2017.
To register, fill out a registration form. A non-refundable deposit of £/$150 will hold your place. You can either pay a deposit in sterling to Ali Burns (details upon request) or send a check in US$ made out to Brendan Taaffe (with the ultimate balance to be worked out against the March 2017 exchange rate).
© Brendan Taaffe, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.