Harmony of Song & Dance at Pinewoods
|7:45-8:15||Hot Breakfast served cafeteria style|
|8:15-8:45||Cold Breakfast Coffee/Tea available|
All-Camp Chorale: Singing Staff
Each day we will begin with a 75 minute singing session with the entire camp at which singing leaders will take turns leading harmony songs both by ear and from written music. We will all work on these songs each morning through the week until the final big sing on Friday morning. The repertoire will include traditional songs from the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, American shape note hymns, arrangements of ballads and folk songs, sea shanties, pub songs, gospel and civil rights songs, and songs written by folks steeped in traditional music.
This is a period of social dancing for all. Campers can choose among an intermediate English class, an intermediate contra class, and a class for beginning dancers that includes both contra and English.
Contra and English County Dancing for Beginners: Peter Amidon / Music by: Mary Alice Amidon, Mary Cay Brass -- We will learn the basic figures and styles of contra and English country dance by doing a progression of dances such that dancers need to learn only one new figure at a time.
English Country Dance: Brad Foster / Music by: Karen Axelrod, Ethan Hazzard-Watkins, Anna Patton --
Contra and Square Dance: Nils Fredland / Music by: Keith Murphy, Becky Tracy, Stefan Amidon --
|11:30-12:25||Swimming, Bookstore staffed|
Singing on the Porch: David Jones
Community Chorale: Mary Cay Brass
Here's an opportunity to explore a wide variety of harmony traditions -- from Scotland and England to some contemporary New England shape note and early gospel quartets. We will also travel to Eastern Europe and Caucasus Georgia for a look at some of their rich harmonic traditions. Songs are easily accessible and taught to a wide range of learning styles.
Harmony by Ear: Suzannah Park
Ah the sweet joy of singing in harmony. This class will be just that and super fun! We will sing in 2, 3 and 4 part harmony and spend time playing with how to create harmony and get comfortable with just jumping in.
Traditional Song Arranging: Keith Murphy
A class for singers and instrumentalists. We will review basic chord theory and work through alternate harmonizations of songs, consider the use of different instruments through a song, creating introductions, breaks and bridges and explore the shaping of a song with different rhythmic ideas. We will try to work through several songs both as a large group and by splitting into smaller ensembles. People will also be invited to bring songs to the class to arrange.
The Transcendental Old-Time Slow Jam: Stefan Amidon
Take a break from singing, unpack your instrument and we will play old-time tunes, and slowly! This is a great exercise even for those who can rip off a tune faster than a rocky mountain goat down a brushy run. We will play closer to the speed of granny's pacing horse. This may sound boring; in fact, it is trance-like. By the end of the week you will be able to play these tunes, as fast as you please, with a deeper understanding of the universe.
Pinewoods HSD Dance Band: Becky Tracy
Here is our opportunity to leave the singing behind for a period and play tunes together and work something up for dancing for the evening dances. We will vary the approaches and tune styles, learning by ear, reading and creating arrangements, to stretch ourselves all around.
Morris Dance: Gillian Stewart
Music by: Karen Axelrod
English country dancing and morris have existed side by side for centuries, slowly trading tunes and figures. Come speed up the process by using your favorite country dance as the inspiration for a new morris dance! The class will focus on choreography, creation of a style, and the role of music in dance writing. Beginners will learn footwork and style in a creative environment, while more experienced dancers can use their morris background to drive the creative engines. Bring sneakers, enthusiasm, and a passion for all dancing English.
The Fredland School of Song: Nils Fredland
Over the course of the week at camp, Nils will share a wide variety of material; from classical to jazz, contemporary pop to spoken word, South African choral, favorite rounds, and everything in between. It will be a week of glorious, full-throated singing, copious amounts of laughter, engaging leadership, and an opportunity to sing in harmony. Drawing from his time as a middle school chorus teacher, Nils will share some his experiences and successes in encouraging even the most reticent to sing.
Gospel/Spirituals: Kathy Bullock
Kathy will share songs both new and old from slave times and the underground railroad to contemporary gospel compositions. Songs will be taught primarily by ear. Kathy has a deep knowledge of the historical context for the old spirituals and is quite articulate on this topic as well as being connected to the exciting contemporary gospel scene.
Shape Note and Quartet Singing: Stefan Amidon, Arthur Davis
Stefan and Arthur will lead four part American shape note hymns and quartet singing from the quartet tradition. Both teachers have sung shape note music all their lives with their families and Village and Northern Harmony choirs. Arthur sings in a quartet called Washed Up Beulah Band and will share arrangements he has sung with that group.
Appalachian clogging: Suzannah Park
Music by: Ethan Hazzard-Watkins
Want some new foot work to spice up your life? This clogging class will cover basics as well as some of my favorite steps. But wait there's more. We will also learn how to put these step into square dance figures. By the end of the week we'll have a routine that combines solo free styling and the joy of Appalachian square dancing rolled into one.
Northern Tune Session: Mary Cay Brass
Come learn lyrical Irish jigs and reels, polkas and marches, Quebecois waltzes, a couple of New England chestnuts and even a Swedish tune or too! All tunes taught by ear, slowly. Bring any instrument!
Harmony Choral Singing: Mary Alice Amidon, Peter Amidon
A feast of harmony choral singing, from written music and by ear, of the Amidons’ favorite new and old arrangements of traditional folk songs, ballads, hymns and songs written by folks steeped in the oral tradition.
Harmony Songs: Kathy Bullock
Kathy will teach songs in the African American tradition which lend themselves to soaring and beautiful harmonies. Guaranteed to be a joyous experience, both moving and strong. Songs will be taught by ear.
Ballad Singing: Suzannah Park
This class will focus on ballad singing from the Appalachian Mountains as well and jumping over to the British Isles for a ballad or two. We will spend time focusing on singing style and ornamentation and the process of learning and personalizing a song while staying in the tradition. All songs will be taught by ear with the aid of word sheets and all levels of singers are welcome.
Fiddle Laboratory: Ethan Hazzard-Watkins
An opportunity for fiddlers to delve into repertoire and technique in various styles including: French Canadian, Irish, New England, English Country, and Swing. We'll learn a few tunes and explore how to play them with stylistically appropriate bowings, ornaments, and rhythm. We'll develop our sense of groove in pairs and trios and as a whole group, and learn how to lock in with other fiddlers to create that classic multiple fiddle sound. Intermediate through advanced fiddlers welcome.
Rapper Dance: Gillian Stewart
Music by: Becky Tracy
Rapper is an intricate, tight-knit, speedy type of sword dancing from the north of England. Ever marveled at the admired the precision and unity of a really fabulous rapper team? This is your chance to learn how to dance as a team – in just six days. All levels welcome – you will need the ability to count to eight, a little bit of patience, and passion for dancing in close proximity to others. Hard-soled shoes a plus. If we have time, we may even get a chance to work up a personalized calling-on song.
English Country Dance: Brad Foster
Music by: Karen Axelrod, Anna Patton
Come and join the members of the English Dance Leaders Course as they practice the craft of calling. Dances will include a wide range from old favorites to recent modern compositions, all with wonderful music.
|5:45-6:25||Swimming, Bookstore staffed|
|9:15||Evening Dance Party|
|11:00||Late Night Activities|
July 21 - 28, 2012
Is there still room?
For up-to-date info about availability and wait lists,
see our main Dance & Music Camps page.
For Singers Who Love to Dance and for Dancers Who Love to Sing
Singing on the porch after lunch. Photo by Bob Solosko 2011
Amy Sheon: I enjoyed Harmony camp so much that I wrote a piece about it that was just published in Making Music Magazine
You wake up in your cabin in the woods, walk through a wooded path between tall slender pines to another cabin for your shower and ablutions. You join your greater family of singers and dancers at the dining hall for a hearty breakfast and a cup of coffee. Then you climb over the wooded hill past a village of tiny cabins and down the other side to the C# Minor pavilion where the first singing master of the morning has already started vocal warm-ups. By 9:00 over a hundred singers are sitting on the benches and the daily 75-minute All Camp Chorale has started in earnest, with the singing staff taking turns leading songs, some by ear, some from written music, some a little of both. The repertoire includes English, Irish and Appalachian ballads, French Canadian call and response songs, African American gospel and spirituals, English pub carols, and songs composed by folks steeped in the oral tradition.
After a short break, the entire camp splits into three groups for an hour of social dancing: English country, contras and squares, and a session of English and contra dancing basics for beginners.
Then swimming in the lake and jamming on the porch. And we haven’t even had lunch yet.
As lunch is wrapping up David Jones leads “Singing on the Porch” with participants taking turns leading pub type chorus songs. After lunch classes include a potpourri of singing, music making and dancing including gospel, ballads, duo singing, harmony by ear, rapper, morris dancing, Appalachian clog dancing, song arranging, dance band class, old time slow jam, fiddle class, northern tune session, and a wind & percussion band.
After dinner there is a staff concert in the Camphouse followed by contras and English dancing for all.
The theme of the week is community music making, based on the foundation of the riches of traditional song and dance, and the understanding that new songs and dances grow out of the old. The staff have deep roots in the song and dance traditions they are teaching, and their teaching reflects how these dynamic traditions are continuously evolving.
Bring your instruments to accompany song and dance as well as for informal jamming; bring your voices; and be ready to dance!
Join us for this week of singing, dancing and music-making!
-- Peter and Mary Alice Amidon, Program Co-directors
Also offered during this week: English Dance Leaders Course (with program director Brad Foster). Separate registration is required.