Riga Cathedral Girls Choir

31st Annual Convention, 26-28 August 2016
University of Winchester

Inspiration and support for everyone leading singing

Click here to go to our microsite, with all the latest Convention details.

Click here to book online, or download our brochure and booking form and return it by post or email.

Click here to download the latest timetable.

Winchester welcomes the choral world - click here for an introduction to this year's Convention from Andrew Potter, Leslie East and Amy Bebbington.

Click here for a message from Mavis Fletcher, Artistic Director, Convention 2015

Themes and highlights

Convention 2016 offers a broad range of wonderful choices for choral leaders of all kinds, with presenters and choirs from the UK, USA, Canada and Latvia. Besides the usual sessions on technique, repertoire, and the voice, two key threads run through a total of 30 options: our interaction with the broader choral 'world' and women as choral leaders. Just a few of the sessions on offer include:

Vocal and conducting technique


  • An expanded number of repertoire sessions, covering an even wider range of music - sessions for SAB, upper voices, SATB, sacred music, composer-published music
  • Final plenary session with international conductor Sian Edwards on the Fauré Requiem
  • Christmas comes early! Jo McNally and Jonathan Willcocks lead the Friday night plenary on carols old and new, including a tribute to our late President, Sir David Willcocks
  • Canadian composer Sarah Quartel introduces her music for upper voices
  • John Dickson illustrates the vital influence of text and style on choral tone, with examples sung by his LSU A Cappella Choir

The wider choral world

  • The importance of Pop (and how to get it right) with Helen Hampton, leader of Popchoir
  • Mark Smith on beat stress: do less, achieve more!
  • Gospel truths with composer Mike Sheppard
  • Explore music of different faiths and cultures with Jeremy Haneman
  • Advice on making a recording with your choir from Ken Blair

Working with young singers

  • David and Gillian Victor-Smith tell the story of Farnham Youth Choir, with help from their singers, along with insights into the secrets and challenges of running young choirs today
  • Len Tyler shows easy ways to use Kodály with Early Years and Primary aged children
  • Good vocal practice with Jo Tomlinson
  • Lots of repertoire for young singers
  • Workshop with Riga Cathedral Girls' Choir

Discussion sessions


Ever expanding, our exhibition is open all weekend, with new music, specialist choral equipment, tour agents, recording companies and more. It's worth coming to Convention just for this! Exhibitors currently booked include:

Our choirs

Louisiana State University A Cappella Choir

We're delighted to welcome back John Dickson from the USA. John is now Professor of Choral Music at Louisiana State University and will be bringing his internationally acclaimed a cappella chamber choir from the university over with him.

Riga Cathedral Girls' Choir

This prize-winning choir, winner of Radio 3's Let The Peoples Sing competition among many others, is based in Riga Cathedral Choir School and performs regularly as part of the worship at the 800-year old Cathedral. The choir's repertoire is extremely broad, covering Latvian folk songs, sacred and secular, classical, romantic and contemporary music, and it has a particular focus on collaborating with today's Latvian composers.

Young Conductors' Course, 26-28 August

Led by Amy Bebbington and Mark Griffiths

A practical, hands-on course, in parallel with Convention, open to all aged 18 to 25 who do not currently earn their living from conducting.
Click here for more information.

Pre-Convention Conducting Course, 25-26 August

Led by Peter Broadbent and Jo McNally

A practical course looking at rehearsal and conducting techniques for all kinds of choir leader.
Click here for more information.

30th annual Convention, 28-30 August 2015, Royal Northern College of Music

Click here for the session notes from "Technology - the choral directors new ally".

28th Annual Convention, 23-25 August 2013, Oxford Brookes University

Click here to download Therees Tkach Hibbard's handout from Let the body sing.

27th Annual Convention, 2012, Leeds Metropolitan University

Click here to download Jenevora Williams' paper on good vocal health and click here to download her paper on singing technique for young voices.

2012 Convention Video

With thanks to John Butterworth, One Cam Video Production

2010 Convention Video

abcd convention video

With thanks to Fergus Meiklejohn from RedRoof Production. Click here to find out more about their work.

RedRoof Productions