Summer Singing Retreat 2012, Stubton Hall

In August 2012, we took over the splendid setting of Stubton Hall, near Newark, for a week-long retreat. The week was filled was singing, laughter and camaraderie, with the social side being just as memorable as the workshops. This was our first experience of working with the inspirational workshop leader David Grant, who mesmerised us all with his charisma, whilst bringing a new level of sensitivity to our Gospel singing. We also worked on bringing the meaning out of the song with guest workshop leader Alastair Brookshaw, and on unleashing our inner rock gods and goddesses with our other guest workshop leader, Dylan Axup. Tim led a number of sessions, on everything from vocal technique to singing classical music, and there were opportunities for people to have one-to-one tuition with Tim, Dylan and Alastair too.

Below are some pictures taken during the week, and a selection of comments written in the "memory book" we took with us.

What a super day! Just shows that even after years of singing, you can always learn new things. - Jean Bland

Absolutely riveting session with Alastair on Monday afternoon. I really enjoyed it, and everything he told us made sense. - Caro Fountain

Placement, breathing, words, punctuation, musicality... so much to experience, remember, achieve and enjoy. I feel like my brain is growing! Utterly, utterly fabulous, thank you so much. P.S. I am possibly in love a bit with David Grant. Me and the rest of the room! - Jennifer Connolly

What a start to the week - and it's only Tuesday! What talented people you have leading these workshops. Alastair was so in touch with us, and got the best out of us when it came to putting emotions into the song. David was spellbinding and exciting. As he said, being with such a wonderful uplifting group reminds me why I enjoy singing! - Roz Bexon

I can't explain how much some of the singing this week has touched me - finding meaning in songs I'm new to, and the sheer joy and excitement of a childhood favourite. Genuine hair-standing-on-end moments. Priceless. - David Wilson

Thank you so, so much for organising this retreat. It's been so relaxing, and being taught by other singers has given me another perspective on things, as well as reinforcing what Tim already says. The sessions have been inspiring, but for me the friendliness of everyone, hearing about people's lives and singing together in the evenings has been priceless. I didn't realise I needed it beforehand, but I feel I have really found myself again this week. Worth every penny. - Lynda Simms

It has been the most memorable week. I can't believe I've got to Thursday night and I'm still looking forward to Friday! It delivered all I expected it to and more. Thanks for such a fabulous opportunity - looking forward to next year! - Dotty Watkins