Choral Workshop at Ogontz

July 23 – 29, 2017

Now in its 28th season, the Ogontz Choral Workshop offers extraordinary opportunities for singers, church musicians, and choral conductors to work on repertoire and choral interpretation with some of the world’s leading choral directors.  Registration is open to anyone and no auditions are required (registration and tuition payment is required).  Past participants have come from across North America and have included singers and musicians of all backgrounds.  Along with the featured guest artists, they learn together, rehearse, relax, and sing for a glorious week in the intimate rustic retreat in the White Mountains of New Hampshire known as Ogontz Camp.

Choral Masterworks Series

Each year the choral workshop will showcase a masterwork carefully selected to exemplify what makes a piece endure through time and become one of the famed classics we have come to love and respect. Participants will develop insight through a deeper look into the composition of these masterpieces and the historical context in which they were composed.

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Choral Conductor’s Seminar

This seminar will offer an opportunity to explore what it’s like on the podium and to learn what conducting is about. It is probably the most mercurial of all the arts. There is no sound, no visible picture and, yet, in the right hands, there is an incredible result which is difficult to analyze. What must conductors be able to do and manage? Over the course of a few sessions, and with the help of willing candidates, we can discover together what is emerging, along with willing singers!  This class will have a separate sign-up for participation in addition to the main workshop offerings but may be audited by all workshop participants.

  • College students are eligible for a special discount.
  • Graduate credits can be arranges through the University of Rhode Island.
  • If you are a teacher, the workshop may qualify for Professional Development credit.

About the 2017 Session

David Hill Choral Workshop

Sunday, July 23 to Saturday, July 29

Other Faculty
George Kent, Artistic Director of The Ogontz Arts Foundation
Paula Rockwell, voice faculty, Acadia University

The 2017 session will be Sunday, July 23 to Saturday, July 29 and will be led by David Hill (director of the Bach Choir, London, BBC Singers, Yale University, and other posts). The session also includes opportunities to work with a specialized voice faculty member (Paula Rockwell, Acadia University).

Individuals may choose one of the following registration options:

  • RESIDENT participant – staying at Ogontz – tuition, meals, special events, lodging included
  • NON-RESIDENT participant – not staying overnight at Ogontz – tuition, meals, special events included
  • STUDENT participant – a special rate available to individuals currently enrolled in a full time college program
  • RESIDENT NON-PARTICIPANTS “Camp Followers” – family members or friends who want to stay at camp but not participate in the sessions can also attend.

Works to be studied include:


Edward Elgar (1857-1934) – The Dream of Gerontius – Edward Elgar was born at Lower Broadheath, on 2nd June 1857, within sight of the Malvern Hills and the tower of Worcester Cathedral, features that meant much to him throughout his creative life. In boyhood, he showed a precocious gift for keyboard improvisation; later, he became a competent organist, an outstanding violinist and a conductor of nervous energy and much flexibility, proving notably successful in recordings of his own music.

Op. 38, is a work for voices and orchestra in two parts composed by Sir Edward Elgar in 1900, to text from the poem by John Henry Newman. It relates the journey of a pious man’s soul from his deathbed to his judgment before God and settling into Purgatory. Elgar disapproved of the use of the term “oratorio” for the work, though his wishes are not always followed. The piece is widely regarded as Elgar’s finest choral work, and some consider it his masterpiece.

The work was composed for the Birmingham Music Festival of 1900; the first performance took place on 3 October 1900, in Birmingham Town Hall. It was badly performed at the premiere, but later performances in Germany revealed its stature. In the first decade after its premiere, the Roman Catholic dogma in Newman’s poem caused difficulties in getting the work performed in Anglican cathedrals, and a revised text was used for performances at the Three Choirs Festival until 1910.

Other Repertoire:

European Sacred Music – Oxford Choral Classics – is a collection of over 50 of the finest examples of sacred choral music from continental Europe, ranging from the sixteenth to twentieth centuries. John Rutter has prepared completely new editions of all the pre-twentieth-century items, going back to the earliest and most reliable manuscript or printed sources. New English singing translations are provided for most pieces, and playable keyboard reductions.

Book Contents:

Allegri: Miserere
Anerio (F.): Christus factus est
Arensky: The Lord’s Prayer
Bach: O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht, BWV 118
Brahms: Ach, arme Welt, Op. 110 no.2
Brahms: Geistliches Lied, Op. 30
Brahms: Warum ist das Licht, Op. 74 no.1
Bruckner: Ave Maria
Bruckner: Christus factus est
Bruckner: Locus iste
Bruckner: Os justi
Buxtehude: Magnificat
Casals: O vos omnes
Fauré: Cantique de Jean Racine
Franck: Panis angelicus
Gabrieli (G): Jubilate Deo a 8
Gesualdo: O vos omnes
Glinka: The Cherubic Hymn
Grieg: Ave maris stella
Guerrero: Ave Virgo sanctissima
Handl (Gallus): Pater noster
Hassler: Dixit Maria
John IV of Portugal: Crux fidelis
Josquin Desprez: Ave Maria
Lassus: Adoramus te, Christe
Lassus: Ave verum Corpus
Lassus: Timor et tremor
Lotti: Crucifixus a 8
Mendelssohn: Verleih uns Frieden
Mendelssohn: Psalm 43 (Richte mich, Gott)
Monteverdi: Beatus vir
Monteverdi: Cantate Domino
Monteverdi: Christe, adoramus te
Mozart: Ave verum Corpus
Palestrina: Exsultate Deo
Palestrina: Sicut cervus
Palestrina: Tu es Petrus and Quodcumque ligaveris
Poulenc: Salve Regina
Rachmaninov: Ave Maria
Rheinberger: Abendlied, Op. 69 no. 3
Reger: Unser lieben Frauen Traum
Rossini: O salutaris Hostia
Schubert: Psalm 23
Schütz: Psalm 100
Schütz: Selig sind die Toten
Stravinsky: Ave Maria
Sweelinck: Laudate Dominum
Tchaikovsky: Hymn to the Virgin
Verdi: Ave Maria
Viadana: Exsultate justi
Victoria: Ave Maria a 4
Victoria: Jesu, dulcis memoria
Victoria: O quam gloriosum
Victoria: O vos omnes

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About the Artists

David Hill                                         
Renowned for his fine musicianship, David Hill is widely respected as both a choral and orchestral conductor. His talent has been recognized by his appointments as Chief Conductor of The BBC Singers, Musical Director of The Bach Choir, Music Director of Southern Sinfonia, Music Director of Leeds Philharmonic Society and Associate Guest conductor of The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate by the University of Southampton in 2002 in recognition of his Services to Music.Born in Carlisle in 1957 and educated at Chetham’s School of Music, where he is now a Govenor, he was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists at the tender age of 17. He took an organ scholarship to St John’s College, Cambridge under the direction of Dr George Guest and returned to the college as Director of Music from 2003-2007. David Hill’s previous posts have included Master of the Music at Winchester Cathedral (1987-2002), Music Director of The Waynflete Singers (1987-2002) Master of the Music at Westminster Cathedral, Musical Director of the Alexandra Choir (1980-87) and Associate Conductor and then Artistic Director of the Philharmonia Chorus (1986-1997).  He is in great demand for choral training workshops worldwide and his handbook on the subject Giving Voice was published in 1995. He is a choral advisor to music publishers Novello, for whom he has edited a number of publications. As an organist, David Hill has given recitals in most of the major venues in the UK and has toured extensively abroad.David Hill’s broad-ranging discography of over 70 recordings, including many award-winners, can be found on the for Decca/Argo, Hyperion, Naxos and Virgin Classics labels. The discs span repertoire from the renaissance to the present day. With The Bach Choir David Hill has contributed to the film sound tracks of Kingdom of Heaven, The Chronicles of Narnia and Shrek the Third. He is engaged in a series of recordings of major English choral composers with The Bach Choir and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for Naxos.  David Hill has appeared as guest conductor with the London Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Zagreb Philharmonic, Ulster Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, English Chamber Orchestra, The BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Sinfonia 21, the Northern Sinfonia, BBC Symphony Orchestra, RTE National Symphony Orchestra, The Minnesota Orchestra and the Orchestre Philharmonqiue de Strasbourg as well as the Netherlands Radio Choir and RIAS Kammerchor, Berlin.

Paula Rockwell
Since returning to Nova Scotia, after completing her graduate studies at University of Toronto, Paula Rockwell has been steeped in musical projects, performances and music festivals in her home province, Canada and the US. She teaches Voice, Diction for Singers, Scene Studies and the Singing Actor at her alma mater Acadia University and creates productions for Acadia’s Singing Theatre Ensemble where she is the artistic director. She has been featured on several recordings and co-produced her debut CD entitled “Fleeting Melodies”, a collection of 20th century art songs and arias.Paula has taken on several operatic roles since graduating from University of Toronto working with the Canadian Opera Company, Toronto’s Opera in Concert, Vancouver Opera, Tidal Opera, Orchestre Baroque de Montreal, Opera Nova Scotia and Maritime Concert Opera.

Her recent performances include the role of Baba the Turk in Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress” with Opera Nova Scotia. She sang the role of Dulcinea in ONS’s Informoperal in Massenet’s Don Quichotte as well as Donna Elvira with Maritime Concert Opera’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Second Lady in Die Zauferflöte. She has performed with Symphony Nova Scotia, Chorus of Westerly, RI, North York Philharmonic, ON, Symphony New Brunswick, Peterborough Singers, The Music Room Chamber Series in Halifax as well as for many fundraisers, including Music for Haiti, Women Only at Pier 21 and ONS’s Opera Valentine.

Paula is heard every summer giving masterclasses, vocal warm-up morning sessions and a recital in Lyman, New Hampshire at The Ogontz Choral Symposium. This will be her 21st year!

Recent projects include directing Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, scenes from Street Scenes by Kurt Weill and an opera excerpt show entitled The B Boys of Opera for Acadia’s Singing Theatre Ensemble, soloist with Acadia University’s Choral production of Mozart’s “Coronation Mass” and Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy”, ONS’s Opera Valentine Fundraiser. She also was the vocal coach for Halifax Summer Opera Workshop productions of Bizet’s “Carmen” and Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro”. She performed Beethoven’s Symphony #9 with Symphony New Brunswick in May 2014.
George Kent
George Kent has consistently devoted his life to raising the artistic standards not only of his home community Westerly but also of Rhode Island (and New England) as a whole. The Chorus of Westerly, which he founded in 1959, is now widely known as a Rhode Island performing organization of reliable artistic excellence. George Kent has always believed in the ability of young children to learn the great choral scores of music literature and since 1959 he has been teaching to youngsters age eight and over such works as the Bach B minor Mass, Handel’s Messiah, Benjamin Britten’s Spring Symphony, and Brahms’ incomparable Requiem.

Generations of children have, with George Kent’s training, developed a lasting love of music.During his tenure with the Chorus he directed over 2,500 singers spanning the ages of eight to eighty-eight, toured with the Chorus twice in Britain (1981 and 1995) and once in Italy (1987) and has performed in Providence and in Westerly.

Mr. Kent has taught music at Rhode Island colleges and universities for over forty years. He served as Assistant Music Director and, in 1986, as Acting Music Director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic and during that tenure performed the orchestra’s Young Person’s Concerts as well as the regular scheduled classical and Pops concerts.

In September, 1988, Mr. Kent was awarded one of Rhode Island’s coveted Governor’s Arts Awards. In 1995 the Chorus of Westerly earned the A&BC’s Jabez Gorham Award for excellence in the arts. He has also received the Award for Excellence in Music from the South County Center for the Arts (1998), the Lifetime Achievement Award from Choral Arts, New England (1999) and the History Maker’s Salute Award from the R.I. Historical Society (2001). Mr. Kent received the Arts & Business Council of Rhode Island’s Award for Individual Achievement (2004) and was named a distinguished alumnus by New England Conservatory (2003). In May 2006, Mr. Kent received the prestigious Pell Award. The Pell Awards honor Senator Claiborne Pell and recognize artistic excellence both in Rhode Island and nationally.

With the Chorus of Westerly George Kent has presented ten first United States performances of major 20th Century British works for chorus and orchestra. On three occasions the Chorus brought the composers of those works (in 1984, William Mathias, Lux Aeterna, and in 1990 Paul Patterson, Mass of the Sea and again in 2001, his Millennium Mass) to lecture on their music both in Westerly and at Brown University and the University of Rhode Island.George Kent has also brought Britain’s most famous choral conductor, Sir David Willcocks, to the states and collaborated with him from 1990-2010 on the annual Choral Symposium held each summer at his music camp facility, Camp Ogontz, in Lyman, New Hampshire. This summer program has also included other sessions with Richard Marlow, Herbert Bock, James Litton, and, currently, David Hill.

George Kent has been Organist/Choirmaster at Christ Church, Westerly, since 1956 and, in May 1996, was awarded an honorary doctorate from New York’s General Theological Seminary for his outstanding contribution to church music in America.

2017 Participation Types and Rates

Register early and save!


Early Bird Rate: Register by 3/15/17 for $50 off the registration price

Includes accommodations at Ogontz, meals at Ogontz, recreation, tuition/singing sessions, special events, and NH State Rooms & Meals taxes. Score expenses are not included.  Register early for the best price!


Early Bird Rate: Register by 3/15/17 for $50 off the registration price

Includes your meals at Ogontz, recreation, tuition/singing sessions, special events, and NH State Rooms & Meals taxes. Score expenses are not included.  Register early for the best price!


Participants must be an enrolled college student to receive special rate. – No Early Bird Fees Apply

Includes accommodations at Ogontz, meals at Ogontz, recreation, tuition/singing sessions, special events, and NH State Rooms & Meals taxes. Score expenses are not included.


Non-participants do not/cannot participate in singing sessions including rehearsals, master classes, and warm-ups. This is the category for spouses, family, and friends coming with you who are not going to sing. – No Early Bird Fees Apply

Includes your meals at Ogontz, recreation, special events, and NH State Rooms & Meals taxes.

Please note: For additional information, please contact Claire Mead at 215-962-2998 or

Register Now!

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Refund and Cancellation Policy
Prior to 4/1/17 – 100% of fees are refundable minus a $25 cancellation service charge
Prior to 5/1/17 – 75% of fees are refundable minus a $25 cancellation service charge
Prior to 5/15/17 – 50% of fees are refundable minus a $25 cancellation service charge
After 5/15/17, refunds for fees paid are no longer possible for new or existing registrants.

More About Ogontz

A Typical Choral Workshop Day at Ogontz
8 am – Breakfast
9:15 am – Morning Warm-ups
10:30 am – Morning Sing
12:30 pm – Lunch
2 pm – Afternoon Master Class
3:15 pm – Afternoon Sing
4:30 pm – Free time
6:30 pm – Dinner
8 pm – Evening Sing or Night Activity (Recitals, etc)
Schedule varies on a given day. All activities are optional.

Camp Ogontz is a magnificent 300-acre facility in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The camp overlooks Lake Ogontz, a small, semi-private lake with a spectacular view of the mountains beyond. Ogontz is owned and operated by Lynn and George Kent (Professor of Music, University of RI), and is home to a variety of short, week-long, arts related summer camps and workshops throughout the summer. There are over a hundred buildings on the premises including a large rehearsal hall, a boathouse, and a fabulous dining hall. Visit this link for info on Ogontz facilities.


Living space at Ogontz varies from several medium sized indoor log cabins (with indoor plumbing and enclosed bedrooms), to about 45 Adirondack style cabins (with three open sides, roll down heavy flaps, tables, personal cubbies, beds, chairs, electricity) that are all close to shower rooms and toilet facilities. These Adirondack cabins are a little bit more rustic, but recent renovations have drastically improved their quality and comfort. All cabins are shared by one to four people depending on your preferences (during the Choral Workshops, these cabins rarely have more than two people and solo cabins are possible). During the registration process you will be asked for your housing preference. Visit this link for info on accommodations at Ogontz.


David Hill participants are treated to full and delicious meals three times a day. The food at Ogontz is prepared daily in the camp’s large kitchen and the Ogontz chefs are legendary. Ogontz strives to provide the freshest ingredients from local sources, some foods even grown and raised on the property. The Dining Hall can seat about 150 people at a time and has a warm rustic charm to it with wooden floors and large windows looking out over the facility from three different sides.
For warm afternoons and evenings where an outdoor meal is planned, there is a large wrap around deck connected to the Dining Hall that can accommodate the entire camp. Also outside the deck is a special grill and smoker. On occasion during the sessions, meals may be held at other camp locations such as on a hill or next to one of camp’s beautiful waterfalls.

The Ogontz onsite bakery prepares bread, desserts, and other tasty items daily, ranging from the famed Ogontz Chocolate Chip Cookies to daily loaves of house made bread.

Menus are set by the Ogontz team. A main dish is always featured and a vegetarian option is always available. At this time, Ogontz is not able to accommodate special dietary concerns, but the kitchen staff is always willing to talk with participants about ingredients in that particular days meals. There is a large refrigerator in the dining room that guest can place their own food items and beverages in.

The Ogontz General Store has snacks and goodies available for purchase. A Shaw’s Grocery Store and Walmart are also located about fifteen minutes away in Littleton.

Both Resident and Non-Resident Participants (and Non-Participants) have all meals provided as part of their costs/tuition.


During your time at the Hill week, outside of singing, you have a lot of optional time to rest, relax, have fun, or explore.

Ogontz Recreational Features:

  • Over 350 acres of New England Forests, Pastures, and Wildlife
  • Private Lake
  • Acres of mountain trails to explore
  • Private Swim area with dock and floating raft
  • Four Tennis Courts
  • Volleyball Court
  • Boathouse containing Canoes, Sailboats, Row Boats, & Kayaks
  • “Green Chairs” relaxing social area
  • Arts & Crafts House
  • Costume House

Ogontz is secluded in the woods but a short drive to Littleton where guests are able to find:

  • A fully equipped gym (affordable daily and weekly rates)
  • Historic town with many interesting shops
  • Nationally acclaimed Littleton Bookstore
  • Franconia Notch State Park
  • Pharmacies
  • Superstores such as Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Shaw’s

Register Now!

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