Harmony of Song & Dance at Pinewoods
July 26 - August 2, 2014
Is there still room?
For up-to-date info about
availability and wait lists,
see our Dance & Music Camps page.
Program Description: a 1 page version of this page
Daily Schedule: a 1 page daily timetable
Description of Classes: a 3 page description of the classes
For accepted campers: Links to a few important pages and surveys.
For Singers Who Love to Dance and for Dancers Who Love to Sing
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 & 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 & 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 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 & 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 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 three groups for an hour of social dancing: English country; contras and squares; and 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, there is “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.
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# 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 Michael Cicone 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
You can log in to access your registration information including any balance due. If you don't remember your user name or password, follow the Log In directions. Please email us with any updates, corrections or questions.
Here are links to further details:
The Program: one page Program Description
- Daily Schedule
- Class Descriptions
- Class Questionnaire: Please give us an idea of the classes you will take. Also available online.
Getting Ready: Details for being at camp.
Getting to Camp: Driving Directions
- [Public Transportation] Coming soon
- Van seats between Boston's Logan Airport and Pinewoods [available at $30 each] - Contact us!
- [Rides]: Do you need or can you offer a ride? Coming Soon
|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.
English Country Dance (for All): Michael Cicone Music by: Daron Douglas, Karen Axelrod -- Wake up your body, your brain, your spirit, and your senses with a varied assortment of elegant, energetic, heart-stirring, and wacky English Country dances. All levels of experience welcome!
American Dance (for All): Nils Fredland Music by: Noah VanNorstrand, Andrew VanNorstrand -- 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. Nils will make sure that everyone - from the newest to the most nimble - feels welcome on the dance floor, and engaged by the selection of dances.
Rapper Dance: Gillian Stewart Music by: Jaige Trudel -- Rapper is a fast-paced, physical, percussive sword dance from the north of England. Originally danced in pubs, in sets of five or six dancers, rapper is a great way to get up close and personal with your neighbors. This class is open to all levels - new dancers will work on the basics of stepping and figures, more experienced dancers will learn how to design choreography, incorporate a fool, and deepen the dancer/musician relationship. Please bring hard soled shoes and a smile!
|11:50-12:25||Swimming, Bookstore staffed|
Singing on the Porch: Ellen Epstein
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.
Percussive Dance and Vocal Jam: Gillian Stewart
Music by: Noah VanNorstrand, Nicole Singer
As you drive away from a contra dance with a brand spankin' new CD from that night's hot band, are you unable to keep from drumming on the steering wheel? Do you automatically walk in rhythm with whatever music is playing? Are you that person on the subway shuffling your feet along to the magic tunes coming through your headphones? My friend, you are not alone! This class is for you. We'll be taking foot and body percussion from a variety of different traditions, and figuring out new and exciting ways to play them against each other, as solo pieces, and to our two fabulous musicians. In most stepdancing traditions, dancers are accompanied by melody instruments. In this class, we'll dance to a fiddler, to traditional percussion instruments, unaccompanied, and, most excitingly, to the human voice. Bring hard soled shoes of any variety, cowboy boots preferable to taps. Featuring the talents of multi-instrumentalist Noah VanNorstrand, and Nicole Singer: Human Jukebox.
A Lonesome Sound: Andrew VanNorstrand
This is close look at the structure of early country, bluegrass and western swing music. We'll explore the connections between melody, chords and lyrics as well as techniques for singing and playing this music with more depth. This class is not instrument specific and open to anyone who loves a good sad song.
Shape-Note Songs, Old and New: Brendan Taaffe
Shape-note singing is a New England tradition that dates from the early 1800s: its robust vocal style, stark harmonies, and driving rhythm make it incredibly fun to sing. In this class, we'll look at songs from the early days of the tradition as well as contemporary pieces: there has been an incredible flowering of new compositions in recent years and I'm excited to introduce you to some of these pieces, including my own. We'll unravel the mystery of the shapes for those new to this kind of singing and everybody will get a chance to lead songs from inside the "hollow square".
Finding Your Own Voice: English Traditional Solo Singing: Adam Broome
The object of this class is to prepare and develop solo singing skills. Over the week we will learn some traditional English songs, obscure and familiar, evolve group and partner exercises to build ease and confidence, overcome obstacles and explore ‘personalization’ and ‘embodiment’ of text and melody. Our goal will be to find and free our own unique voices, enabling us to sing aloud in public or simply alone for our own enjoyment.
Harmony By Ear: Cindy Kallet, Grey Larsen
Using a variety of games, exercises and songs, we'll explore, through trial and error (errors most especially welcome!) the magical and sometimes mysterious world of harmony. You'll gain confidence in your ability to identify scales, chords and intervals, and use these tools to help you find harmonies, both conventional and surprising.
Band Lab: Betsy Branch
Need a break from singing? Pull out your instruments and come jam along with Betsy. She will teach a variety of dance tunes and we will arrange them as a group. Any instruments welcome, any level of experience welcome. Betsy will teach some techniques so that more beginner players can still play along with tunes that are at dance tempo. Class members will have the opportunity to play for a dance during the week.
Blues Dance, Roots and Branches: Nicole Singer
Music by: Andrew VanNorstrand, Noah VanNorstrand
We will explore Blues dancing, a partnered dance that combines connection with the music, connection with your partner, and individual expression. We will focus on the dance techniques while learning a bit about the history, impact, and variety of Blues music, from the roots of the Blues to the Blues-infused crossover genres that are gaining popularity in today's Blues dance scene.
Arranging for Vocal Ensemble: Michael Cicone, Cindy Kallet, Ellen Epstein
Join Cindy Kallet, Ellen Epstein and Michael Cicone as they demonstrate and guide the class through arrangements already composed by them, as well as arrangements yet to be created -- by you! We'll play around with songs that the trio has recorded, as well as with others that will be new to everyone. We'll work in both small and large groups. No music-reading skills necessary.
Afrolacia, The Imaginary Kingdom: Brendan Taaffe
Come join me where Mt. Airy meets Mt. Kilimanjaro, a beautiful land. With my band The New Line, I've been exploring ways to bring together my love of Appalachian ballads with my love of African (and specifically Zimbabwean) music. This class will be sequential, so please plan on coming for the full time. We'll start by looking at traditional pieces from each place. In 2011, I spent some time in Zimbabwe working with local choirs and I'm excited to share some of those pieces with you. As class progresses, we'll work with different ways to bring these traditions together in vocal arrangements that range from southern ballads with an mbira feel to original pieces that capture the cyclical feeling of Shona vocal music. If you want to get a sense of how these things can fit together before the class, you can listen to The New Line at brendantaaffe.bandcamp.com. You can also check out 'The Wheel' on the Bright Wings album Signs and Wonders.
Body Awareness for Singers and Instrumentalists: Jaige Trudel
As a vocalist, one's musical instrument is the body itself; likewise, instrumentalists are completely reliant on their bodies to perform well. All too often, we develop physical issues which prevent us from singing or playing comfortably. All too often, the root cause is an incomplete awareness of the body’s mechanical tendencies and requirements, and thus, inadvertent and habitual misuse of our own intricate systems. This class is an invitation: to explore how you move and how you approach making music; to acquire a deeper understanding of your Self in movement based on the principles and work of F.M. Alexander; to learn about good use as a path to functioning (musically and otherwise) with ease and spontaneity. Bring a towel, blanket or yoga mat if you can.
Music Theory for Anyone: Betsy Branch
If you have ever felt intimidated by music theory, but have a desire to understand the basics, this class is for you. We will learn about keys, modes and chords. We will learn why certain chords work in certain keys. We will use that information to look at harmonies, and try our hand at writing a few. You'll go home with handouts and worksheets that cover the basic principles. Betsy has spent years bringing music theory out of the clouds and down to earth for her fiddle students.
Old-time Fiddle Traditions of Brown and Monroe Counties, Indiana: Grey Larsen
Grey studied intensively with fiddler Joe Dawson (1928-2012) during the final twelve years of Joe's life. We'll explore Joe's repertoire of traditional Appalachian-based fiddle music from the adjacent southern Indiana counties of Brown and Monroe, delving deeply into their melodies, bowings and unusual fingerings. Music notation will be available for some of the tunes, but the ability to read music is not necessary. Bring a recording device if you wish, and get ready to dig deep.
Tune Session/Exchange: Daron Douglas
A get-together for instrumentalists. Come sit a spell to learn, swap, enjoy tunes. All levels and listeners welcome.
Advanced Dance Potpourri: Michael Cicone, Nils Fredland
Music by: Jaige Trudel, Karen Axelrod, Adam Broome
We'll enjoy more challenging dances from the English and American repertoire, as well as explore ways to take dances of any complexity to a deeper, higher, and even more satisfying place. Nils and Michael will share the calling responsibilities, so there will be dances from both sides of the pond each afternoon.
Community Chorale: Brendan Taaffe
This will be a fun and uplifting chance to sing together. I'll bring songs from a grab-bag of different traditions—expect songs in English and songs from other places, expect to learn by ear and to learn from music, expect to move as you sing and to try new things.
Songwriting: Cindy Kallet
Irish Session Repertoire for All Instruments: Grey Larsen
Come gather to learn, by ear, traditional Irish tunes that you can play in Irish sessions. We'll play well-known tunes as well as some that are not as wide-spread. Reels, jigs and hornpipes will predominate, but we'll explore other dance forms as well. We'll discuss the background of many of the tunes, and often learn versions that are drawn from recordings of revered Irish masters such as Michael Coleman, Paddy Canny, Willie Clancy, Mary Bergin, Matt Molloy, Paddy Killoran and others. All the tunes we learn are included in Grey's recent book, "300 Gems of Irish Music for All Instruments", copies of which will be available. Feel free to bring a recording device.
Ballad Swap: Daron Douglas
A sister in the ocean, a knight in the road, a rose vine in the churchyard. Daron's family has a ballad tradition from western North Carolina. Here's a chance to hear the songs her great-grandmother sang for Cecil Sharp. Bring along the songs passed down in your family (even if the tradition begins with you). Come to sing and share. We'll begin in the southern Appalachians and song travel where the stories take us.
Maritime Music: Nicole Singer
This class will focus on maritime worksongs or chanteys, with a sprinkle of foc'sle songs and other maritime tunes: songs of maritime trades, longshore work, inland waterways, and songs that traveled between genres and eventually onto boats. We will learn about where the songs come from, which chanteys are used for different shipboard tasks, and which parts of the ship we're singing about. We will also discuss some of the issues - and adventures - that shape historic and modern chantey-singing contexts...and of course, we'll sing a lot!
|5:45-6:25||Swimming, Bookstore staffed|
|9:15||Evening Dance Party|
|11:00||Late Night Activities|