Singing Songwriting

 International Retreats

Pete Churchill & Paola Vera

August 12 – August 19 2023: SOUTH WEST FRANCE

 

 

Open to all singers and songwriters, from Beginners to Professionals, all styles and genres: Pete Churchill and Paola Vera will be returning to coach on the esteemed  International Singing and Songwriting Retreat  in the South West of France. The course will centre on the following key skills:

  • the creative process, approaches for writing lyrics, melodies, chords etc.

  • How to accompany ourselves, learn simple to advanced arranging techniques.

  • how to craft a sound & communicate our requirements for other musicians.

  • vocal technique: in depth sessions.

  • guided co-writing opportunities, pushing you to explore new creative approaches

  • group feedback sessions after group meals - constructive feedback and support each day

  • ‘tools not rules’ - encouragement to stretch beyond the familiar 

  • ways to move from self- expression to effective communication

  • Recording facilities available onsite

  • Evening jam sessions and many opportunities to perform in front of others

Our retreats are flexible and designed to allow you to develop in your way at your pace. Space is provided for breaks, walks, naps, meals and whatever else is required for you to remain freshly engaged with the joy of the creative process. 

 

The retreat will primarily be held in English. We are also fluent in and welcome French and Spanish speakers.

SINGLE OCCUPANCY ROOM €1400

shared room (2 sharing) €1200 per person

YOUR RETREAT STAY WILL INCLUDE

  • CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER WITH LOCALLY PRODUCED WINE

  • alfresco style dining, catering available for Vegetarians, non gluten (please request).

  • Snacks & drinks throughout the day

  • all Accommodation - see below for options (Arrival sat 12th pm, departure sat 19th am)

  • Keyboards/Guitars and sound system available

  • oNSITE recording STUDIO FACILITIES WITH SOUND ENGINEER 

  • Access to student kitchens

  • FULL Access to swimming pool

  • Bed linen and bathroom towels are provided

  • PICK UP & DROP OFF FROM BERGERAC AIRPORT OR MARMANDE TRAIN STATION

  • full days of tuition

optional extras

  • € 650 non-participating Partner or friends not studying on the course, sharing the student's room.

  • limited offsite places available - €800 includes all food,tuition, use of facilities. 

Places are limited and frequently sell out. 

Book early to secure your place.

PETE CHURCHILL

Professor of Jazz Composition AND ARRANGING

Royal Academy of Music, LONDON

rOYAL CONSERVATOIRE OF MUSIC, BRUSSELS

Vocal Coach,composer,arranger, choral director, Singer-pianist

Pete Churchill is a Composer, Pianist, Singer and Teacher with over two decades of experience teaching at top institutions around the globe.

 

Originally trained in Canada, Pete has been based in England since 1985. After almost twenty years teaching at the esteemed Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Pete is now Professor of Jazz Composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London as well as Head of Jazz Voice at the Royal Conservatoire in Brussels. As an educator and choral director, Pete is in international demand, teaching regularly in Europe, Australia and the Far East (Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore).

Pete is recognised as being at the forefront of Jazz education in the U.K. In 2007 he received the Parliamentary Award for Services to Jazz Education and was nominated once again in 2012. He has also established a national reputation for his work with Primary School choirs across the country.

 

Pete directs his own professional choir ‘The London Vocal Project’. Previous collaborators include Bobby McFerrin, Kenny Wheeler and Norma Winstone MBE. The most recent collaboration was with Jon Hendricks, with his premiere performance of his lyricisation of the Miles Davis/Gil Evans masterpiece “Miles Ahead’ in New York.

 

Pete is renowned as a world-class accompanist, working for fifteen years with the great Mark Murphy and, more recently, Sheila Jordan. As a singer, Pete was also a member of both Kenny Wheeler’s and Abdullah Ibrahim’s Vocal projects whilst working for many years as the conductor of the Kenny Wheeler Big Band, culminating in the 80th birthday tour and the subsequent album, ‘The Long Waiting’.   

 

PAOLA VERA

Professor of Pop and Jazz Voice, Bordeaux Conservatoire,

ROYAL CONSERVATOIRE OF MUSIC bRUSSELS,

TRINITY COLLEGE OF MUSIC, LONDON

Vocal Coach/Voice & Singing Teacher, Singer-pianist

BMus (Hons), Mmus (RAM) , Estill master trainer

Professional singer, composer, arranger and accomplished pianist, Paola has a broad base of experience and works in several capacities as a performer and educator. She is an experienced teacher and vocal coach, currently working with a number of higher education institutions across Europe. She runs her own international teaching studio VocalProStudio and is the professor of pop and jazz voice at the Bordeaux Conservatoire, also working as a vocal tutor in the jazz department at the Royal Conservatoire of Music in Brussels. She also works as a tutor at Trinity College of Music, London, training students on the new BAMPI course (BA in Music Performance and Industry). She speaks fluently in English, French and Spanish and runs workshops in voice, songwriting, performance and improvisation.

Having worked on countless varied songwriting projects across educational and professional contexts, Paola is fully equipped to help you advance your songwriting goals. As a vocal technique specialist - and one of very few Estill Master Teachers in France, Paola will also be on hand to help you improve your vocal performances with individual feedback.

 

 

For more information and to reserve your place

please contact Paola directly.

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accommodation 

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Sainte Marthe is a beautifully appointed and cherished collection of stone properties nestling in 7 acres of private land; a wonderful French getaway nestled in a hamlet only 2.5km from the historic medieval bastide town of Eymet with its many restaurants, bars and shops and just 20 minutes from the market town of Bergerac with its popular airport. It’s the perfect location for those wanting to escape and unwind but if you fancy soaking up some culture, history and sight seeing there is plenty on offer.

There's a five bedroom stone family farmhouse plus two individual gîtes, one with two bedrooms the other with a one bedroom, plus a studio with a double bed. Set amidst 7 acres of stunning countryside, there’s more than enough room for you to find your private space to escape and unwind.

The outside area includes parkland, woodland and large gardens which can be used for a wide range of activities before retiring to either the garden or pool terraces for some al fresco dining.


 

TRAVEL

Our nearest airport is BERGERAC. A transfer service will be there to meet the main Saturday flights and will return you at the end of your stay. Flight prices can be low if you book early. We strongly suggest you book your tickets as soon as your place on the course is confirmed, and watch out for special offers.

BORDEAUX AIRPORT / TOULOUSE AIRPORT
If you choose to fly to Bordeaux or Toulouse you will have to find your own way to Marmande or Bergerac train station/ Retreat venue. Car hire is available.

There is a coach service ferrying travelers between Bordeaux airport and the railway station, Gare St Jean, from there you can take a local train (regular services throughout the day) to Bergerac or Marmande station, where we can meet you. There is a new tram service due to start in 2023!

 

*SATURDAY TRANSFERS ONLY*
We can only guarantee to pick up those who arrive on the arrival Saturday and return the following Saturday at Bergerac Airport or Marmande train station. We will do our best to collect students arriving at different times but our ability to do so outside the Saturday transfer days cannot be guaranteed.

 

Please give us information about your travel plans and we will do our best!