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Hilary James’ Spring Sing!

Monday 17 Feb 4pm — Friday 21 Feb 10am, 2025

To make a booking enquiry please complete the form below. We will contact you to confirm availability and complete your booking.


Full board per person (tuition, activities, all meals & accommodation):

£460 – single occupancy ensuite room/cabin
£420 – sharing an ensuite room/cabin
£420 – single occupancy non-ensuite room
£380 – sharing non-ensuite room

Camping per person (tuition, activities, all meals):


Non Resident (tuition, activities, all meals except breakfast):


Singers of all abilities are invited to join Hilary James this Spring and enjoy the pleasure of group singing as you discover the potential of your own voice. Explore the wealth of songs within the British folk traditions and beyond: from ballads to blues, sea songs to lullabies, comic ditties and more.

You’ll be working largely ‘by ear’ with simple improvised vocal harmonies but for the more experienced, written parts for some songs will be available. As well as singing acappella, there will be the opportunity to work with mandolin-backing from Simon Mayor’s Spring Mandolins.

Workshops will take place each morning, with afternoons free for personal practice, exploring the local area, delving into the library, or impromptu ensemble work.

Halsway Manor will be hosting this workshop alongside Simon Mayor’s mandolin course. Click here for further details of that course.

Who is it for?

Anyone with a desire to sing! You don’t have to have any previous experience for this course.

The Tutor

Hilary James’ first became entranced by folk music in primary school. The school, in the middle of a large council estate, was incredibly fortunate to have a music teacher who introduced the children to The Oxford Book of English Folk Song as well as the songs of Vaughan Williams and Thomas Arne.  Discovering folk clubs in her early teens, Hilary went on to run the Reading University Folk Club alongside singing with the University Big Band and taking lessons with the late Margaret Field-Hyde, one of the greatest singers of Purcell and Vaughan Williams of her generation.

Hilary has recorded six critically acclaimed solo song albums including English Sketches, which appeared in the Sunday Times Ten Best World Music Albums of the Year. Her voice is quintessentially English but easily crosses the great musical divides from British folk song to blues and Berlioz.  A multi-instrumentalist she is renowned for an unlikely taste in bass instruments (including her amazing giant mandobass).  A fine guitarist, she accompanies Simon Mayor on everything from a Brazilian Tango to a Vivaldi concerto.  She tours and records regularly with Simon, their mandolin quartet The Mandolinquents and with Slim Panatella and the Mellow Virginians, (western swing and American traditional music).

Quotes:  choose any to suit

‘One of Britain’s finest voices’ BBC Radio 4

‘Hilary James’ vocal radiates light and beauty’ Living Tradition

‘Songs were never sung as exquisitely’  FRoots

‘A voice like an angel’ Folk North West

‘As a singer of folk songs, Hilary James has no peer ’R2 Magazine

You can find Hilary at hilaryjames.com