Singing with Rachel Hore

by Delia on August 7, 2009

A recent guest at Daku Resort writes to tempt you to a Singing Workshop in Paradise…

Are you thinking about attending a Singing Workshop as one of the Paradise Courses at Daku Resort? This brief note could help you to decide “Yes, this is my sort of thing.”

I am Eric Conley and, with my wife Rose, attended the Singing in Paradise with Rachel Hore workshop in May 2009. It  was our second visit to Daku, only six months after the first workshop with Tony Backhouse in late 2008. So you can see we were impressed. We knew what to expect in terms of hospitality, friendliness and accommodation. And we looked forward to Rachel’s approach to the music.
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Let me focus on the musical aspects. You know the questions you ask yourself when you are trying to decide: “Is it for me? Is it my sort of singing?  I’m not a good singer, will I fit in?”

Well, in brief, the answers for a wide range of people will be “yes, yes and yes.”

The singing experiences of the two groups we joined ranged from several who claimed “I can’t sing” (but they can now) upwards. Most were experienced to some degree in church choirs or local choral groups. They included all ages and were the sort of people who can work together in fun and harmony.

What style of singing? Well ,mostly gospel or cultural songs in relatively simple four part harmony. At that point you may have guessed the next challenge. There were at least twice as many women as men. Well, we all know that real men neither sing nor eat quiche!

So, we had ladies sing the soprano, alto and tenor parts with most men in bass. Works well (one lone male tenor seemed to enjoy it eh, Andrew?)   And Rachel takes care to set the keys and song ranges to suit. No high soprano stuff and no lower than the soles of your boots for the basses. If you are not sure – don’t worry – you will reach the notes.
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The musical structure of the week is broadly workshop sessions each morning leading up to a concert performance on the final evening. That concert held informally in the dining area with a couple of dozen invited guests, friends, locals as the audience.

Highlights through the week included visits to local village communities. Vivili village has a long association with Daku and members of that community entertained us at Daku early in the week. Yaroi church choir also acted as hosts and gave us a presentation of songs.

The format of the week is well described if you follow this link to Rachel Hore’s page at Paradise Courses. And I see I am past my 200 words budget so I will leave it to readers to check out all the accommodation, hospitality and “logistic” aspects.

Eric Conley

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