Siena Trip: Spring 2020

Villa Le Tolfe

Str. delle Tolfe, Siena,


Book Here

Course Description


We’re thrilled to have secured exclusive use of an historic villa nestling in the hills above the beautiful city of Siena in Italy, from 15-19 April 2020, for a special trip to suit experienced singers. Villa Le Tolfe is situated in its own vineyards and olive groves; it has good rehearsal facilities and an excellent wood-fired pizza oven. It is within easy reach of Siena, where attendees will perform a concert in the University Chapel on the Saturday night accompanied by a period ensemble from the city. Directed by our CEO, Manvinder Rattan, this trip is designed for singers who have extensive choral experience and very good notation reading ability; repertoire will include Handel’s Dixit Dominus – a particularly challenging piece – and Buxtehude’s Der Herr ist mit mir. There will be a mixture of rehearsal and leisure time, too.

The package includes:

  • Bed & breakfast accommodation in a combination of single/twin/double rooms, although single rooms are very limited
  • Three lunches, all day tea and coffee, plus a plentiful supply of homemade cake!
  • Opportunities for guided tours of the vineyards, historic villa and olive groves

We have opted to ask participants to make their own flight and transfer arrangements, to allow them maximum flexibility on flight destination (Pisa, Florence or Bologna), and because coaches do not cope well with the roads approaching the villa. This will probably involve hiring a car from your chosen airport and hopefully sharing the costs with other members of the group arriving with you; we’ll help you team up if you’re travelling alone. It also gives you the chance to explore the beautiful environs of Siena in your leisure time. All participants must take out their own travel insurance.



Morning: Travel to Siena
1.00pm: Lunch on arrival
2.00pm: Rehearse
4.00pm: Tea and leisure
8.00pm: Dinner at the villa


7.30-9.30am: Breakfast is served
9.30am: Rehearsal
11.00am: Coffee
11.30am: Rehearsal
1.00pm: Lunch
(Afternoon at leisure)
8.00pm: Optional group dinner in Siena


7.30-9.30am: Breakfast is served
9.30am: Rehearsal
11.00am: Coffee
11.30am: Rehearsal
1.00pm: Lunch
(Afternoon at leisure)
6.00pm: Dress rehearsal at the Chiesa di San Vigilio
8.30pm: Optional group dinner in Siena


(All day at leisure)
8.00pm: Sound check at the church
9.00pm: Concert
10.30pm: Return to villa for jollification


This trip will suit experienced singers with good sight-reading ability and good vocal skills. There may be some opportunities for solos; please indicate your preference on the application form.  The trip will be oversubscribed and places will be allocated as fairly as possible taking into account the balance of voices. * PLEASE NOTE: * a few places have been re-released and can be booked online; basses and tenors are especially welcome, and there is still time to book good-value flights. If you cancel your booking after your place has been confirmed, you may be liable for the full cost of your place if it cannot be sold on.


  • Manvinder Rattan - Director
  • Suzzie Vango - Vocal coach
  • Mark Jordan - Accompanist

Who Should Attend?

  • Experienced Singers

Contact Details

Please contact Manvinder Rattan if you have a question which is not answered by the information above.

Fees and Application form

The cost of the trip, excluding flights and transfers to/from the villa, is £525 per person for members (with a £40 supplement for non-members). Once we have confirmed your place, we require a £100 deposit, with the balance payable before travelling.

Annual membership offers a host of benefits and discounts for just £40 (£15 for under-26s) - consider becoming a member.

Apply here


You can pay via the SfP online shop

You can also pay by bank transfer:

Account name: Sing for Pleasure

Sort code: 08-90-04 Account number: 65013498

In order to identify your payment please reference your transaction with your surname and course (e.g. Smith London18)

More Information

Manvinder Rattan – Director

An expert choral and orchestral conductor, Manvinder Rattan is CEO & Head of Conductor Training for Sing for Pleasure, leading a team of tutors who teach around 300 conductors a year. The accredited programme is a graded scheme that has the capacity to take conductors from their very first downbeat all the way through to advanced work with a substantial choir and orchestra, using its renowned teaching syllabus and supportive, pro-active teaching style.

Manvinder has also been Musical Director of the John Lewis Partnership Music Society since 1995. Having inherited one choir, the society now has over fifteen. It also has an orchestra and Music Tuition Service on two sites; they gave over twenty-five performances last year.

In addition, he is Musical Director of Serafine Chamber Choir and Sinfonia, with whom he has released the critically-acclaimed recording of Oliver Tarney’s Magnificat. He has an extensive freelance career, conducting, adjudicating and lecturing around the world. In 2012, Manvinder appeared as a judge on BBC2's The Choir programme and in 2016, was awarded and honorary doctorate by his alma mater, York St John University in recognition of his musical achievements.

Suzzie Vango - Vocal coach

Passionate about the arts and education, Suzzie’s high-energy vocal workshops have gained her an international reputation as a vocal leader, working with singers of all ages around the world. In demand as a chorus master, director and voice coach she conducts the National Children’s Choir, Orchestra of the Swan Chamber Choir, and Ex Cathedra Girls Academy; she has been a guest conductor for Ex Cathedra Chamber Choir, Manchester Chamber Choir and the CBSO Children’s Chorus.

An established soprano, she has performed and recorded with some of the UK’s finest choirs including Tenebrae, Polyphony, Ex Cathedra and The Eric Whitacre Singers. Suzzie directs critically the acclaimed female a cappella quintet Papagena who featured on BBC Radio 3 In Tune and BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour this Christmas, with their debut album, The Darkest Midnight, reaching #6 in the UK Classical Charts.

Suzzie is Head of Vocal Studies at Bromsgrove School, Schools Programme Leader for Music of Life Foundation working with children with disabilities, choir leader for Workplace Choir Company, vocal coach for Schumacher College, Dartington and a vocal tutor for Ex Cathedra Education, regularly contributing her own compositions to their set of music education resources, “SingMaker”. Recent international highlights include trips to America, Uganda, Singapore, China and Thailand. In addition to her work for the Middle East Choir of the Year, Suzzie has just returned from Dubai where she was leading choral workshops.

Mark Jordan - Accompanist

Mark is the Musical Director of Oxford Pro Musica Singers and Milton Keynes Chorale, and guest conductor of the award-winning choir Canzonetta and the Cathedral Singers of Christ Church, Oxford.

Described as ‘dynamic’, ‘energetic’ and ‘fun to work with’, he was recently chorus master for Karl Jenkins’ 75th Birthday Concert Tour and is a member of the choral conducting team at the Chester Choral Week (the UK’s largest single-week choral course), as well as undertaking many freelance conducting engagements throughout the UK. In addition to his highly-regarded choral conducting, he is passionate about teaching the next generation of choral conductors and is a respected conducting tutor for both Sing for Pleasure and the Association of British Choral Directors.

Mark also works as an accompanist and has held positions with many choirs over the years. He is also a highly-experienced choral singer having worked with several award-winning amateur and semi-professional choirs.

What Next

We arrange day and residential courses, workshops, training days and bespoke events for singers, choirs, schools and teachers in the UK and abroad. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Sing for Pleasure conductor training is at four levels; Foundation, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2 and Advanced. Students move through the levels according to their experience and progress. Please visit our Conductor Training page for more details.

We publish a range of song collections containing a wide variety of enjoyable songs and arrangements from a broad selection of musical traditions. Please visit our Publication for Adults and Publications for Children pages for details, or go directly to our online shop to purchase songbooks.

We also have access to a variety of bursaries and scholarships. Please visit our Scholarship & Bursary Information page for more details.