Harmony of Song & Dance at Pinewoods
July 27 - August 3, 2013
Is there still room?
For up-to-date info about availability and wait lists,
see our main Dance & Music Camps page.
Description of Classes: a 2 page description of the classes
Daily Schedule: a 1 page daily timetable
For accepted campers: Links to a few important pages and surveys.
The Country Dance and Song Society exists to celebrate and promote participatory dance, music, and song. There is no place where that celebration is as tangible as it is at The Harmony of Song and Dance. The magic of Pinewoods Camp – nestled between two ponds and amid the pines – serves as the backdrop for the remarkable community that forms through the experience of a week of singing, dancing, and eating together. There is a space for YOU at The Harmony of Song and Dance: no matter whether you have years of experience as a dancer, singer, or both; or you are new to these cherished activities, and are looking for an experience to build skills and find confidence; or you want a situation that will allow you to take risks, find support, and be inspired; or you want simply to relax in a beautiful place, surrounded by music and dance. In the words, sung by former HSD staff member Kathy Bullock; “You are welcome in this place.” The experience will be richer for all participants if you grace us with your presence.
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. Each staff member has deep roots in the song and dance traditions they are teaching, and their teaching reflects how these dynamic traditions are continuously evolving. Staff was all chosen for their expertise, but also for their ability to teach and nurture, as well as for their willingness to engage fully as members of the camp community.
Be part of the community at the Harmony of Song and Dance: engage, be inspired, feel supported; sing, dance, and make music!
YOUR FIRST DAY AT CAMP
You wake up in your cabin, walk along 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 or tea. Then you climb over the wooded hill past a village of tiny cabins and down the other side to the C# minor pavilion where your vocal coach, Debbie Grossman, is starting vocal warm-ups and – if needed – helping you find your vocal part. By 9:00 AM nearly one hundred and fifty singers are sitting on benches, and the daily 75-minute All Camp Chorale has begun.
During the Chorale, the singing staff take turns leading songs, some by ear, some from written music, some a little of both. The repertoire may include American country harmony, South African choral music, shape note and gospel, contemporary a cappella, and new arrangements of traditional songs. By the end of the week, we will share a common repertoire; you may find yourself in impromptu choir with some of your fellow campers, singing your way through your favorite All-Camp Chorale songs…perhaps on one of the tree-lined paths, or on the dock, or outside of the Dining Hall. The Chorale sets the mood for your day; be engaged by the diversity of repertoire, be inspired by the expertise of the staff song leaders, and be supported by your fellow participants and other staff members. It is the daily, all-inclusive opportunity to raise your voice, together with your fellow campers. Your abilities and comfort as a singer will be met with the support you need to participate fully in the experience.
After a short break, the entire camp splits into four groups for an hour of social dancing: English country; contras and squares; a chance to experience both English and contra in the Social Dance Sampler class – open to everyone, and particularly friendly for new dancers; and an addition to the morning dance classes this year – the traditional English ritual dance known as Morris dancing.
Then swimming in the lake, jamming on the porch, visiting the bookstore, and socializing with friends old and new. And we haven’t even had lunch yet.
As lunch is wrapping up, Val Mindel and John Roberts lead “Singing on the Porch” with participants taking turns leading pub type chorus songs. After lunch, classes include a potpourri of singing, instrumental music making, and dancing; choices include care of the voice, American country harmony, shape note and gospel, harmony by ear, a cappella band, two vocal arranging classes, a choral accompaniment class for pianists, rapper sword dancing, a dance band class, old time slow jam, tune session, community chorale, vocal swing and honky-tonk, and a late-afternoon open mic dance for musicians, callers, and dancers.
After dinner there is a concert in the cozy gathering place known as the Camphouse, where staff members perform solo, or in small group collaboration that is always amazing, sometimes amusing. The concert is followed by the evening dance – including contra, square, and English – at the C# Major pavilion, just a short walk down another lovely Pinewoods path.
The evening dance allows us to end our day as we began it – as whole camp community – this time to move together on the dance floor. Dance leaders David Millstone and Nils Fredland, supported by the stellar instrumental staff, take pride in their ability to create a diverse program of dances that will engage everyone, from the most novice to the most knowledgeable. Say yes, step onto the dance floor, and be swept up in the magic.
The dance ends with a closing song, bringing the day full circle.
Nils Fredland, Program Director
Printable Information for Accepted Campers
Acceptance Information: Details for getting to and being at camp
If you have not already, please do sign the Waiver.
To pay any camp Balance Due
|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 may include American country harmony, South African choral music, shape note and gospel, contemporary a cappella, and new arrangements of traditional songs from the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and beyond. A perfect way to start your day!
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.
E&A Sampler: David Smukler Music by: Naomi Morse, Debbie Grossman -- We'll start from the beginning and learn how to enjoy dancing with partners of any level of experience. The class will include a mix of English country, contra and square dancing. It will be very friendly to beginners, but perfect for anyone that wants to improve their understanding of the various dance forms and increase their enjoyment on the dance floor.
English Country Dance: David Millstone Music by: Anna Patton, Peter Barnes -- Aimed for folks with basic familiarity with ECD figures and styling, this session will explore the rich repertoire of English country dance, including dances old and new, well-known and less familiar, elegant and zesty.
American Dance: Nils Fredland Music by: Betsy Branch, Mark Douglass, Stefan Amidon -- Spend the week dancing your way through the broad and rich repertoire of traditional American social dancing. Contras -- from the classic "Chestunuts" to the most cutting-edge contemporary choreography; squares -- New England Quadrilles, fast-paced patter squares from the Southeast and West, and singing squares from all over; and some added spice with a dose of lesser-known formations -- triplets, 4 face 4, mixers, Tempests, and more. This class will assume a bit of prior experience with contra dance.
Morris: Gillian Stewart Music by: Arthur Davis -- Morris is an elegant form of spring ritual dance from the pastoral southeast of England. Come learn to jump around and make loud noises with sticks and bells! This is a class for all experience levels (although not recommended for those with knee problems), and we'll work with the grace, strength, and ridiculousness that is morris dancing. Wear sneakers.
|11:30-12:25||Swimming, Bookstore staffed|
Singing on the Porch: Val Mindel, John Roberts
Join us after lunch for a song session on the porch of the Dining Hall. Bring your favorite songs to sing, or let others entertain you.
Care of the Voice: Dan Schumacher
Learn that you have more voice than you ever thought you had. More power, more range, more textures. Learn exercises to start to explore how the voice works. With good technique, anyone can sing any style of music your ear can hear, and sing it safely to ensure vocal health and longevity.
ABCs of Country Harmony (Beg/Int): Val Mindel
This class is aimed at singing and creating tight harmonies that are at the core of American traditional music. The emphasis is on learning the basics, which Val teaches in a step-wise fashion using songs that are really fun to sing and that lend themselves to the buzzy close-harmony experience. It's hands-on with lots (and lots) of singing. You'll learn one to two songs each class, with new songs each day ... all by ear, but with wordsheets.
Traditional Song Arranging: Betsy Branch
Over the course of the week, we will select a traditional song to arrange as a group. Any arrangement is contingent on who is in the group, and what gifts they bring. We will also develop skills for arranging, and I will send you home with ideas for continuing to grow as a music arranger. By the end of camp, we will have a beautiful arrangement (or two!) that we can share with the camp, and that you can bring home with you. This workshop is open to singers and instrumentalists.
Dance Band Class: Peter Barnes, Anna Patton
This workshop will be a hands-on investigation of the many tools available to spice up, tighten, vary, arrange, improvise, harmonize and generally have fun with contra and English dance music in a group setting. All levels of players are welcome. We’re likely to focus on beginnings and endings, dynamics, phrasing and harmony.
Songs for Pub Sings: John Roberts
"Pub Sings," generally a capella sessions in a convivial surrounding, are springing up all over the place. We'll sing a bunch of songs that fit in this setting, and think a bit about why they work.
Harmony By Ear: Betsy Branch
This class will focus on gaining confidence as harmony singers by ear. We will play around with a variety of songs, and I will teach tools for how to continue to develop your harmony singing skills at home. There will be plenty of experimentation, and mistakes are not only welcome, but are an expected part of the process. Our goal will be to demystify harmony singing and discover the joy of harmonizing as a group.
Shape Note and Gospel: Arthur Davis
Arthur will lead four-part American shape note hymns and quartet singing from the jubilee radio-quartet tradition from the 30s and 40s. He has sung shape note music all his life with his family, and with the Vermont-based, internationally touring choirs Village and Northern Harmony. Arthur also sings in the quartet The Washed Up Beulah Band, and will share arrangements from that group's repertoire. We will start each day singing shape note songs from The Sacred Harp and other shape note songs from different sources. Although we will use written music, shape note music is very accessible and no music reading experience is necessary (although it might help a bit). For the quartet pieces, we will learn by ear.
A Cappella Band: Dan Schumacher
Rules aren't rules, they're just points of departure. Leave your comfort zone at the door, and let's help each other make some noises. After all, an A Cappella band is still a band, just with different instrumentation. Here, we will explore a wide variety of sounds and how they can fit within the context of a song. We will improvise, so no safety net is needed. Leave that at the door along with your comfort zone.
English Folk Song Repertoire: John Roberts
A rambling discussion/demonstration of the nature and range of English folk music, agricultural, labor, seasonal, political songs, Child ballads and so forth, probably with a few Irish, Scottish, American, Canadian, or Australian songs thrown into the mix.
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.
Rapper: Gillian Stewart
Music by: Naomi Morse
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.
Vocal Arranging: Dan Schumacher
How does one pick a song to arrange? What do you have to work with? What musical elements are essential to represent in the song? We may take a bit of a music theory approach, but written, or by rote, we will make ourselves get creative. And of course, we will sing.
Community Chorale: Nils Fredland, Arthur Davis
Nils and Arthur will lead a mix of songs from a variety of community singing traditions. Expect a sampling of repertoire from traditional to contemporary, South African to Appalachian, a cappella to accompanied, and raucous to refined. There will be a mix of learning by ear and from written music, with a goal of offering an experience that will be fun, exciting, and satisfying for all. Add your voice to the chorale!
Early Country Duets and Trios (Exp): Val Mindel
This class will focus on learning and singing a range of must-know songs from various American early-country traditions, with opportunities to work on the songs in small groups. We'll talk about blend and vocal production as well as how to create the tight harmony sound. This is a great class for people who like to sing knee-to-knee at informal gatherings, or for anyone interested in honing their harmony skills. Val will lead the class assuming that participants can hold a part by themselves. Everything is taught by ear, with wordsheets.
Bright Lights and Bar Fights: Swing and Western Harmony Singing: Stefan Amidon, Anna Patton
Sing close harmony arrangements of swinging American songs from tin pan alley, jug bands, the barbershop, and the old west. We will take a look at the chord progressions underlying the arrangements, and work on the aural skills that go into close harmony singing. Recommended for singers who have experience holding their own harmony part.
Tune Exchange: Naomi Morse
Bring your instruments and bring your tunes to share. We'll play 'em fast, we'll play 'em slow, whatever tickles your fancy. We'll play mostly by ear, but if you prefer to bring music, we won't be checking it in at the door. I will lead the session with a tune (or two) every day from various genres, including Irish, French Canadian, Old-time, and maybe even Swedish. Who knows what else might happen... you'll have to come to find out!
|5:45-6:25||Swimming, Bookstore staffed|
|9:15||Evening Dance Party|
|11:00||Late Night Activities|