Singing Retreats

Since 2007, Turtle Dove has been offering singing retreats throughout Europe and North America. Known for creating a safe and welcoming space for every voice, each Turtle Dove workshop brings together compelling leaders with different repertoire and a shared passion for community singing.

Upcoming retreats

August 29-September 5, 2020 Kathy Bullock, Bongani Magatyana, and Brendan Taaffe
at The Mill Retreat Centre, Aumale, Normandy, France
Registration live on N0v. 30.

Bringing together two of the most compelling song-leaders I’ve ever worked with in Kath Bullock and Bongani Magatyana, this will be a high-energy, uplifting week of songs from South Africa, the American Gospel tradition, and Brendan’s original compositions.

The week will begin with dinner and an evening session on Saturday, August 29. For the rest of time we will sing for about 6 hours a day (morning and afternoon sessions) with evenings free for socializing. We will probably have a cabaret evening on the Wednesday or Thursday evening and a free afternoon that day.

Cost: £1050

More about Singing Retreats

These retreats are for anybody who wants to spend their days singing with other people and creating harmony. All parts are taught by ear (sometimes with sheet music to reinforce the teaching) and enrollment is first-come, first-served. 

Generally we spend about 6 hours a day singing, with the evenings free. During a week-long retreat, there is usually a cabaret night and a free afternoon.

Short Term Chorus

Thursday evenings, 7:30—9:00 pm;  October 17 – November 21 at Putney Friends Meeting House with Brendan Taaffe
Register here.

Led by Brendan, the inaugural Turtle Dove Short Term Chorus will focus on African choral repertoire, drawing on his trips to Zimbabwe and knowledge of other sub-Saharn traditions. Joyful, uplifting material to sing (and dance)! Note—because of Halloween, we will meet on Wednesday, Oct. 30, with a social evening at Basin Farm.

Cost: $55 for 6 weeks.

Singing Intensives

Jan 17-20, 2020 at Basin Farm with Brendan
Register here.

This intensive will focus on Brendan’s original repertoire, with a recording day scheduled on the Monday. Recording technology can be a powerful learning tool, and we’ll use it with that intention, laying down some initial tracks and then listening back with a critical ear.

This intensive is limited to 14 singers. The cost is $200.

Details on the Singing Intensives

Modeled on the Bright Wings Chorus approach, these intensives are for more experienced singers who want to dig deep and work hard. 

What does it mean to be an “experienced” singer? My expectations are that:

  • you can hold a part on your own
  • you are comfortable with written music
  • you can keep up with quickly-paced rehearsals
  • you are excited about challenging yourself

Note that these are non-residential camps. We will have lunch and dinner together at Basin Farm (my home), but I don’t have housing for everybody.