This weekend runs alongside the Simon Mayor Mandolin Weekend – click here for details.
Hilary James and Simon Mayor’s annual visit to the idyllic Halsway Manor has – for the third year – the added attraction of Hilary’s sister Janet Giraudo who will be travelling from the South of France to join us for the weekend. Janet left for France over thirty years ago but the sisters have recently started to sing together again, revisiting songs from early teenage forays into folk clubs.
Singers of all abilities are invited to join Hilary & Janet to enjoy the pleasure of group singing as you discover the potential of your own voice. Explore the wealth of songs within the British folk tradition and take a peek beyond: ballads, sea shanties, lullabies, comic songs and more. You’ll be working largely ‘by ear’ with simple improvised vocal harmony but, for the more experienced, written parts for some songs will be available. As well as singing acappella the group will join Simon Mayor’s mandolinists for some joint pieces.
Simon, Hilary and Janet will perform an informal concert on the Saturday evening.
Who’s It For?
Anyone with a desire to sing! You don’t have to have any previous experience for this course.
Hilary James’ ‘elegant singing’ (Daily Telegraph) has received much acclaim: quintessentially English but easily crossing the great musical divides from British folk ballads to blues and Berlioz. She’s famed too for an unlikely taste in bass instruments (she could turn up with her giant mandobass or slimline, semi-acoustic double bass). Her fine guitar accompaniments cross the genres from Vivaldi to bluegrass and she might even manage a step-dance if the wind is in the right direction.
Hilary James and Janet Giraudo were born in Stoke-on-Trent, the family later moving to Worcestershire. Hilary remembers: “ours wasn’t a musical family but I sang all the time… in the bath… at school… in the park… in the street. Janet and I only started to sing together in the year or so before she disappeared to France. I taught her a few songs but then she was gone”.
After spending 30 years and almost 1000 miles apart in England and the south of France, as ‘The Two Sisters’ Hilary and Janet have recorded their debut album Songs & Chansons with Simon’s input as multi-instrumentalist and producer.
Reviews of The Two Sisters CD ‘Songs & Chansons’:
“an elegant, classy delight.” fRoots
“diverse and delightful.” The Living Tradition
“uniformly eloquent and naturally accomplished” NetRhythms
“a refined release” Musician Magazine
“they are wonderful… their lilting soprano voices blend together like two rare types of coffee beans to make one delicious beverage” Rambles
“a gem, exquisite harmonies and interchanging solos impeccably accompanied” Salut! Live
“absolutely gorgeous debut… stunning, beautiful angel voices in heart-stopping harmony…” FolkWales
You can hear the Two Sisters at www.twosisters.eu