Choral Conducting Courses & Training

Various dates (note change of venue)

ABCD Leading the Singing and Foundation Course, Hall School, London

This replaces our previous Initial Level I/II course. Our new courses consist of four day sessions spread over four months and are designed for those who are either new to choral conducting or have conducted for a while and want to back up their experience with training. Tutor Jo McNally. Just a few spaces remaining. Click here to book online.

Leading the Singing and Foundation Course

Led by Jo McNally and supported by Peter Broadbent and Katie Thomas, this course takes place on 21st April, 19th May, 16th June and 14th July, in the Junior School building of The Hall School, 69 Belsize Park, London, NW3 4EH.

These courses replaces what was previously Initial I and II level courses in our former training structure. Find out more here.

Prices: £300 abcd members, £330 non-members. Online booking is available

Emerging/Progressive Course

Our new Emerging Course will run in parallel with our Progressive Course (previously Intermediate), giving participants the chance to learn from a wide range of tutors, including Amy Bebbington, Sarah Tenant-Flowers, Peter Broadbent, James Davey, Martin Seymour and Joanna Tomlinson.
The sessions will take place on the following dates at the following venues:

28th April - St Gabriel's Church, Warwick Square, London SW1V 2AD
29th April (Progressive only) - St John’s Church, 73 Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8TY
2nd June - St Gabriel's Church, Warwick Square, London SW1V 2AD
21st July - St John’s Church, 73 Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8TY
8th September - St Gabriel's Church, Warwick Square, London SW1V 2AD
13th October - St Gabriel's Church, Warwick Square, London SW1V 2AD
14th October - St John’s Church, 73 Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8TY

Find out more about the course

Emerging - £450 abcd members, £490 non-members
Progressive - £725 abcd members, £765 non-members

Booking for these courses is by application - download your application form
here and return as directed!

Observer places are available for all sessions, £30 abcd members, £40 non-members - these can be booked online


21 - 29 July 2018

Paul Spicer’s English Choral Experience Conducting Course - Integrating with the English Choral Experience Abbey Dore Choral Week, this course is for up to 10 emerging conductors, including two advanced conductors, comprising an SATB consort called the ECE Scholars. They will have the opportunity to work with conductor Paul Spicer in the idyllic surroundings of Abbey Dore (built 1147), Herefordshire. Each participant will receive generous ‘podium’ time, performance experience, and tuition from Paul Spicer and other tutors, in a collaborative workshop environment.  For more information and to apply:

20 - 21 October 2018

The LONDON INTERNATIONAL CHORAL CONDUCTING COMPETITION (LICCC), to be hosted at the Royal Academy of Music, will have its inaugural edition this autumn from 21st to 22nd October 2018. Curated by Chantage and Coro, two of London's premier chamber choirs, the biennial festival will turn the spotlight on the next generation of choral conductors and provide a new platform for collaboration in the choral community. This ground-breaking initiative will lend a significant boost to exceptional choral conductors in the early stages of their career, aged from 18 to 32 years old, and will attract entries from an international field. Celebrating the bright future of choral music and giving much-needed opportunities to talented and motivated conductors starting out in the profession, the competition will enrich the United Kingdom’s reputation as a centre for choral music.

Alongside the competitive element, the festival will feature conducting masterclasses and, on Saturday October 21st, a Gala Concert which will see the two resident choirs joined by this year’s international guest choir:
Chamber Choir FREIA, conducted by Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi.

Simon Halsey, Chorus Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, Chorus Director of the London Symphony Chorus, and Artistic Director of the Berlin Philharmonic Youth Choral Programme, commented: “This fantastic new conducting competition is long overdue for a country with such an immensely strong choral tradition. I am delighted that three such inspirational choirs and choral directors have taken the initiative to broaden the reach of choral music in the UK and reinforce its global reputation in the process."

The impetus for the foundation of the Competition is a shared desire to engender international co-operation in choral music. The founding committee includes Chantage director, James Davey, Coro director, Mark Griffiths, and Director of Training for the Association of British Choral Directors, Amy Bebbington. Between them they have conducted choirs of all abilities, coached conductors at different levels of experience, directed the Young Conductors' Course at the ABCD's annual Convention, and adjudicated choral competitions at international and national levels. The partner choirs themselves have garnered many prizes whilst representing London and the UK at international choral competitions.

The procedures of the competition are intended to be transparent and thorough: all applicants will be judged by an initial video round, after which the best six will be invited to compete over the course of the weekend. Those six competitors will take multiple rehearsals with Chantage, Coro and FREIA, conducting from a repertoire which has been carefully selected by the committee to challenge competitors and allow them to demonstrate their rounded musical personality. A Grand Final will take place on the evening of Sunday 22 October, in front of a public audience. The winner, chosen by a distinguished international jury and the choirs themselves, will receive a £5,000 cash prize and the opportunity to attend rehearsal observation sessions with Simon Halsey at the CBSC and LSC and with Ben Parry at the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. The runner-up receives £1,000 plus a weekend pass and accommodation at the ABCD’s annual convention at the Birmingham Conservatoire in 2019.

Applications open on 23 February 2018, closing on 25 May 2018. Click here for full competition rules.