The Rodolfus Foundation


Choral Course Testimonials

‘My course in 2015 was by far the most transformative choral experience that I’ve had in my life. I would lie awake at night buzzing with what had happened during the day. For anyone who wants to know what it’s like to sing intensively in a top-class choir for a week, I cannot recommend the ECCs enough!’ Edward Walters, Staines

'Before going on a choral course, I had never thought that singing any further than a school choir standard would be for me. Now, with the support of the singing teachers on the courses and gaining the experience of being a in a professional standard choir, I recognise that I have the potential to extend my love of choral singing into my further education. I have done two courses now, and they were some of the most fun and intense weeks of my life!' Amelia Schroeter, Framlington, Suffolk.

‘Prior to the two Eton Choral Courses I attended, I had singing experience at school and in a church Youth Choir but nothing extensive. I would not be where I am now without the Choral courses and continue to work on them year after year to show my thanks and also because they are such wonderful weeks!’ Zoe Silkstone, London

‘I have always had a passion for music and singing, and this was developed through my school choir. It was through my director of music that I learned about the choral courses, I was instantly intrigued, however I was put off by the cost. I won a bursary with the choral society connected to my school, which funded part of the course, and the rest was funded by the Rodolfus Foundation, so, to my upmost surprise and excitement, I was able to go free of cost. I have never had the opportunity to attend anything of this magnitude before, and simply being amongst so many like-minded talented musicians was a great honour. There was great contrast between the size of the groups you would sing in, from solo opportunities, to small consorts, to singing with the 70+ strong choir, and they kept every day varied and interesting. Everyone was so immensely supportive and people of all abilities were inspired and challenged. All of the staff were inclusive, welcoming and understanding of any issues that occurred during the week. The Choral Course hugely boosted my confidence in myself as a singer, motivated me to apply and win a choral scholarship at Oxford university, and introduced me to some of my now favourite composers and pieces. I am still in touch with the wonderful people I became friends with on the course, and the memories of that week, along with the lessons I learned, are ones which I'll cherish forever.’ Rebecca Russell, Horsham, Surrey

‘Although I had had quite a lot of of choral experience prior to the course, it was still a great benefit. I enjoyed it not only because I formed several strong and lasting friendships, but also because it granted access to a number of singers within my age group through whom I have already had several opportunities to take part in high level concerts.’ Ben McDonnell, London

‘Before the Eton Choral Courses, my choral experience was limited. After going, it was as if someone had switched something on inside of me, or perhaps brought to the surface an undiscovered part of my being. The brilliance of the final chord of an anthem ringing out across the chapel, the meditative peace of Anglican chant, the moment that your part creates the perfect dissonance in a consort. All of these things began to thrill me, excite me, and comfort me. Choral singing is now an intrinsic part of my life, and I am forever indebted to this experience.’ Meg Webb, Reading.

‘Before I attended my first Eton Choral Course, I had never sung an evensong, a psalm, I hadn’t experienced singing in a church choir whatsoever. Eton Choral Courses have broadened my musical understanding, my openness to new concepts both musically and socially as well as expanding my knowledge of the Choral repertoire. I have improved my general listening and attention to detail which apply to all musical traditions. The courses have inspired me to pursue a career in Music- I will be starting on the Vocal Course at the Royal College of Music, this coming September. The courses have also allowed me to make friends for life with likeminded individuals.’ Angelina Dorlin-Barlow, Southport.

‘I went on my first choral course this summer, and it was without a doubt the best week of my life! I made my best friend there, and enjoyed the boarding experience so much that I actually ended up moving schools on GCSE results day out of the blue to change from my all-girls day school to a co-ed boarding school. The opportunity to sing in a mixed choir all the time was such an exciting prospect following the course after really only having sung SSA before. Obviously since joining Rods after the courses so many doors have been opened to me, and I have since decided that I would like to pursue a career in choral singing after previously thinking it was completely out of my reach.’ Lizzie Williams, Windsor

‘I had no experience singing in church settings and religious contexts prior to an Eton Choral Course. Psalms were alien to me! The Eton Choral Course opened up a whole new world of singing that I didn't know existed. It was the foundation for my singing that I then did throughout University and still do to this day. It was an invaluable experience that I will always remember. It gave me skills I will be able to use forever.’  Rachel Newell, London

‘Eton Choral courses will always remain a pivotal moment in my life; it was there I realised that I wanted to pursue music professionally and also where I met several of my closest friends and colleagues. We are very much part of each other’s musical and personal lives and for this I will always be grateful. Ralph has created a legacy which can’t help but enthuse and encourage young and aspiring musicians.’  Sophie Gallagher, Salisbury

‘Prior to my first ECC in 2015 I could barely sightread, and had just dropped out of university with the aim to get good enough to audition for conservatoires as a classical singer. I was pretty lost and unsure of myself and over the week I not only gained a lot more confidence sightreading but also a lot more confidence in myself and my decision to audition for conservatoires. I am now in my third year at RNCM and loving life as a penniless music student.’ Ophelia Appleby, Carlisle

‘Before coming on ECC (Course 5, 2017 and Course 5, 2018) I had only one year of choral singing experience. Being in an environment with more experienced people helped me quickly develop my sight-reading and singing, and I met people who gave me invaluable advice. Working with professionals in the industry, from the singing teachers to the masterclasses, helped me to develop my singing technique and I was able to learn a wider range of repertoire. Also through the courses I came to the conclusion that I wanted to study music at university. The social aspect of the course is also wonderful; you meet people with similar interests to you, and I made good friends I will have for the rest of my life!’  Robin Huber, Shropshire

‘I took part in an Eton Choral Course having had no choral experience other than singing in a local children's choir for a few years. I started the week with next to no knowledge of choral repertoire and barely developed sight reading skills, but by the end of the week my love affair with choral singing had well and truly begun. The detailed and analytical rehearsal time leads to a really exciting level of personal and group improvement. Since the course, choral singing has become a huge part of my life, as I've managed to fill an entire gap year with wonderful choral opportunities. I'm even grappling currently with the idea of pursuing it as a career. You'll never find a more stimulating and friendly singing environment.’  Ellie Stamp, Aylesbury

‘An Eton Choral Course is borderline otherworldly. 70 young adults with a universal interest but a diverse range of choral backgrounds. Before my first course, I had never heard of preces and responses, a dorian mode, or even been introduced to a countertenor. Now, two years later, I’ve been exposed to almost every Magnificat and Nunc dimittis setting, worked with the most well known directors, and have been given the opportunity to meet the next generation of choral musicians. There is nothing that I’ve valued more than how many doors these courses have opened.’  Holly Gowen, Rugby