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Learn, discover and enjoy Renaissance music in Florence

The Florence International Singing Programme aims to provide exceptional music teaching and a pathway into the world of Renaissance Polyphony. Many academics merit Florence as the birthplace of the Renaissance and the epicentre of the surge in art, science, literacy and, of course, music!

 

This year's course focuses on the world-renowned English tradition. In our optional short seminars, we will explore how the Reformation changed the whole English musical/choral tradition and how it affected the compositional style of composers such as Tallis and Byrd.

 

The break from Rome changed the landscape of music and with the Reformation came newly formed services which were now in English, a stark contrast from the Latin polyphony which preceded it.  Along with the reforms came the need to form allegiances to different monarchs which meant that composers had to adapt their music constantly. Together, with the optional seminars, we enable this music to be explored in its social context and then performed in an authentic environment.

 

Please note: the venues we will be rehearsing and performing in are places of worship. As such, we ask that participants respect them, regardless of personal faith.

 

Our exceptional staff will ensure you can explore this exciting repertoire in fantastic detail. With several years of Cathedral and Oxbridge chapel experience behind them, they have worked with groups (either as singers, accompanists or conductors) including The Gabrieli Consort, The Armonico Consort, Cambridge & Oxford Singing School, Cambridge University Music Society, Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra, European Union Chamber Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and many more.

 

See more about our staff below and some testimonials from people who have worked with us.

Our Dedicated Staff

Caius Lee

Music Director and Founder

Caius is currently the Neville Burston Organ Scholar at St Catharine's College, Cambridge reading Music. He plays a full role in the musical life throughout the college, conducting and playing for both the girls and undergraduate choir as well as repetiteur work. He is Co-President of the Music Society and has hosted 'Come and Sing' events for the Cambridge community and further afield. More recently, he was appointed as a choral tutor on the early music Historically Informed Summer School in 2018, and the prestigious Oxford and Cambridge singing school in 2019.


Caius began his musical journey at eleven as a chorister at Bradford Cathedral and is a product of their outreach programme. After retiring as their Head Chorister, he went on to become the Cathedral's Organ Scholar.


A mostly self-taught pianist, Caius began to receive formal tuition from Sheila Moulds at 15, thanks to a substantial grant from Future Heroes and subsequent awards from Awards for Young Musicians (AYM). Following on from this, he featured as part of AYM's 20/20 Alumni series, and in September 2019, joined the AYM board as their youngest Trustee.


Caius joined Leeds Cathedral in 2016 as a sixth form scholar and held both the Organ and Idlewild Choral Conducting Scholar positions. He remained there for his gap year, where he taught students in both the Organists Training Programme and their internationally-acclaimed Schools' Singing Programme encompassing over 4000 children per year in its outreach work.


Since his own recruitment as a chorister, Caius has strongly believed in outreach work. As a result, he has been involved in projects with numerous primary schools starting with a series of organ and singing workshops in Great Ayton in 2016, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, alongside Professor David Baker. Following its success, they were invited to lead a similar project in Cornwall, which has now resulted in the Cornwall Organ and Choral Academy (COCA). In September 2019, Caius led singing workshops for over 500 children in West Cornwall, with a fundraising concert for the bursary fund.


Caius honed his conducting skills on the Erasmus funded ADDUP programme in a series of choral exchanges throughout 2017/18, featuring choral masterclasses from distinguished choral tutors drawn from France, Poland, Italy and the UK.


When not involved in musical pursuits, Caius has been known to frequent the athletics track; this stems from his formative years competing in athletic competitions both regionally and nationally in Discus and Combined Events, where he represented Yorkshire at the national English Schools Championships.

Anthony Gray

Assistant Musical Director

www.anthony-gray.co.uk

Anthony is an organist, choir director and composer based in Yorkshire where he has been the Director of Music at St Wilfrid’s Church, Harrogate since September 2019. Here, he directs and accompanies the church’s choir as well as being responsible for all musical aspects of the church’s life. He is the Musical Director of the Fairfax Singers, a 40-strong amateur choir based in Burley in Wharfedale, and an Organ Tutor for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leeds, teaching in schools throughout North and West Yorkshire.

Between 2018-19, he was Organ Scholar at Southwell Minster where he accompanied and directed the Cathedral’s three choirs, as well as training the younger members of the music foundation. Here he also directed the re-formed West Trent Choir. In July 2018, he graduated with a BA in Music from Robinson College Cambridge where held the Basil Shone Organ Scholarship. He was also the organist for St. John’s Voices and the accompanist for the Cambridgeshire Choral Society. 

 

He undertook a number of major tours with Robinson College Choir, St. John’s Voices and The Robinson Consort, a group of 16 singers focussing on contemporary repertoire which he co-founded and directed, to destinations including East Asia, Switzerland, Portugal and the Opera Festival in St-Remy-En-Provence, as well as a number of domestic locations and Cathedrals. 

 

As well as his work with choirs, Anthony has also taken on Musical Director roles for a variety of theatre productions in Cambridge including Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi, Lloyd-Webber’s Joseph and his own co-authored show A Very Brexit Musical both in Cambridge and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival throughout the summer of 2018. Prior to Cambridge, held the organ scholarship at Bradford Cathedral for two and a half years and achieved the ABRSMDip in organ performance in 2014. 

 

He has played organ and harpsichord continuo for a number of major works including Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and, in 2017, Handel’s Messiah across a number of major concert halls and venues in Cambridge, Hong Kong and Singapore. In December 2019, Anthony was shortlisted in the final of the BBC Radio 3 Carol Competition with his setting of Imtiaz Dharker's Go To The Child. His music is widely performed across the country, including most recently his setting of the Preces and Responses.

Adam McKie

Head of Marketing and Public Relations

Testimonials

Don't just believe us, this is what others have had to say about us:

Caius is an exceptional individual. A gifted musician, he is able to work with people of all ages, standards and backgrounds. He has a particular gift for leading children in music-making, getting them to realise their potential and more, whether or not they are beginners or accomplished musicians already. He has already had significant success in choral workshops up and down the country and been instrumental in the completion of the HLF-funded organ project in Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, and the setting up of the Cornwall Organ and Choral Academy (COCA) in St Just. It is a pleasure and a privilege to work with him.

Professor David Baker

(Royal College of Organists and Halifax Organ Academy)

While not from a musical background, Adam plays a crucial role in the organising and day to day management of our Summer Programme. He is currently studying law at the University of Liverpool, although for the last year he has been living and studying in the city of Bologna funded by the Erasmus programme. It is here he holds a prestigious place at the University of Bologna, one of the most coveted exchange degrees with a foundation steeped in historical interest being the oldest `university in western civilisation’. He has always shared a passion for Italy and the Italian language; it is here he has fused both those interests and honed his conversational skills. This has allowed him to organise both our authentic Florentine tours and the amazing buildings that we will have the opportunity to sing at. He is a frequent visitor to Florence and maintains regular contact with our many partners. Adam has established himself at the forefront of the hospitality industry whilst in the UK, working at Liverpool Football Club in both the coveted ‘New balance box’ and the Chairman’s box. He has also worked in a variety of high-end restaurants as a cocktail tender, so enjoy some cocktails one evening on us. No matter the problem you’ll be in great hands, and he will try and make your stay with us the best it can possibly be! At the Florence International Singing Programme, we pride ourselves on the little extra’s we offer to make our course the ultimate union of tourism with first-rate singing tuition in the magnificent buildings the city has to offer. 

 

In his free time, Adam loves sport! If you see him, he’ll either be watching or playing some sport, whether it be Tennis, football or badminton. If you’d like to watch a sporting event whilst in Italy, do not hesitate to contact us so we can arrange this. We aim to make the Florence International Singing Programme, the best Choral holiday for those who love singing whilst visiting a city. If there is anything else you would like to do whilst in Florence, please do not hesitate to tell him so he can arrange this in advance.

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