Our 2024 Choral Workshops are a rare and rewarding opportunity for keen amateur singers to explore a variety of music inspired by The Sixteen’s own Choral Pilgrimage.

Under the guidance of conductor Olivia Shotton and singer and practical scholar Sally Dunkley, workshops include advice on vocal technique (breathing technique, invigorating warm-ups, voice production) as well as performance interpretation and historical context.

This year’s Choral Pilgrimage, on which workshop pieces are based, celebrates the richly sensual choral music of Renaissance master Orlande de Lassus. Music that speaks of love earthly and divine, his motets, masses and madrigals were written over 300 years ago. But they still have the immediacy and intricacy to resonate with us today, especially when heard in the lofty surrounds of stunning chapels, churches and cathedrals.

Daringly designed and stitched in fine detail, they are in fact tailored from scraps of other music, whether Lassus’ own, the music of his revered predecessor Josquin or the monochrome beauty of plainchant. We will revive this imitation game by commissioning a new piece clothed in material borrowed from Lassus, and wrap it around two exquisite madrigals from Maddalena Casulana. An Italian lutenist and singer, she was the first female composer in the history of western music to have a whole book of her works printed. Something old, something new, something borrowed…

The Choral Pilgrimage 2024: Masters of Imitation

Find out more


  • Casulana

    Morir non puo ‘I mio core

  • Lassus

    Justorum animae

Music, plus supporting resources, will be sent out at least one month before the workshop date.

Venue details

Hexham Abbey

Beaumont St Hexham NE46 3NB

Hexham Abbey is a Grade I listed place of Christian worship dedicated to St Andrew, in the town of Hexham, Northumberland.

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