Loading Events

‘Two Sisters’ Song Week

Monday 4 Jul 4pm — Friday 8 Jul 10am, 2022

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

Course Enquiry

  • Halsway Manor will not share your details with any third parties.


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

  • £380– single ensuite room
  • £350– sharing an ensuite room
  • £350– single non-ensuite room
  • £315 – sharing non-ensuite room

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

  • £230

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

  • £216

Grant help may be available: The Sarah Morgan Foundation is offering Grants of £500 for the promotion of English / Traditional Song. More info...

This week runs alongside the Simon Mayor Mandolin Week – click here for details, and Ben Walker’s Guitar Study Week – click here for details.

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.

Hilary James and Simon Mayor are annual visitors to the idyllic Halsway Manor with popular weekends in January. This year we are adding a week long for those wanting a deeper dive into singing.

Hilary’s sister Janet Giraudo will be travelling from the South of France to join us for the week. Janet left for France over thirty years ago but the sisters still sing together, revisiting songs from early teenage forays into folk clubs. Janet will not be able to join us for the January 2023 weekend so this is a good opportunity to work with her.

Ben, Simon, Hilary and Janet will perform an informal concert on the Thursday evening.

Who’s It For?

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

The Tutors

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 was 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”.

Janet Giraudo now lives in France as an artist, her French experience adds more interesting layers to The Two Sister’s collaborative works. 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