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.

Printable information

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.

Program Description

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!


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

Class Questionnaire: Please give us an idea of the classes you will take. New version available online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/hsdpw13a

Rides: Do you need or can you offer a ride? Also available online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PWrides13

Special Diet: Please let us know if you have dietary concerns. Also available online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PWDiets

If you have not already, please do sign the Waiver.

To pay any camp Balance Due

Tentative Schedule

7:45-8:15 Hot Breakfast served cafeteria style
8:15-8:45 Cold Breakfast Coffee/Tea available
8:45-9:00 Vocal Warm-ups
11:30-12:25 Swimming, Bookstore staffed
12:30 Lunch
4:15-4:45 Tea
5:45-6:25 Swimming, Bookstore staffed
6:30 Dinner
8:00 Staff Concert
9:15 Evening Dance Party
11:00 Late Night Activities