A MOTHER and daughter team have combined their twin passions for music and Italy to launch a new business called Umbria in Harmony.

Ali and Emily Barden are inviting folk to come out and join them in Castiglione del Lago, in the ‘Green Heart’ of Italy, for week-long singing holidays that will run twice next year.

Ali and her artist husband Dave Barden have spent many times at the house they own there. “It’s in a fantastic location, half-way between Rome and Florence,” said Ali, “so you can get to the most magical places.

“The idea for Umbria in Harmony came about because when we’re there, we’re not on holiday, we’re living there, and one of things that wasn’t happening, for me, was the singing - I love to sing!”

Back in Old Blighty, the retired headteacher of Corbridge First School is a member of the Hex Pistols a cappella group and a member of Charlie’s Choir, run by musician Charlie Buchanan.

Meanwhile, Ali’s daughter, Emily, a past pupil of Hexham’s Queen Elizabeth High School, gained a music degree at Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute of the Performing Arts and is currently making a successful living as a singer-songwriter and choral leader.

During the Umbria in Harmony holidays, Emily and Charlie Buchanan will lead the singing workshops each day in a magnificent old palazzo, culminating in a relaxed house concert hosted by opera singer Chiara Vesti at the end of the week. Full details can be found on www.umbriainharmony.com