July 22 - 29, 2017
Come learn, dance, relax, and raise the rafters in song at Harmony of Song and Dance. The theme of the week is community dance and music making, rooted in the riches of American and English traditions of song and dance and embracing the creative outgrowth of those traditions. Some of the week's offerings include harmony singing by ear, choral singing, traditional singing, vocal technique, instrumental classes, English Country, Contra, Morris, and partner dancing.
Camp participants come together from near and far bringing their songs, talents and curiosity. This year's excellent and intergenerational teaching staff offers their deep knowledge and rigorous commitment to their craft while setting a supportive, friendly tone, meeting learners wherever they are in their learning process. The program offers inspiration and support for all levels of experience and a wide range of interests.
Mornings begin with vocal warmups and the All Camp Chorale where the entire camp sings together in harmony, building a common repertoire throughout the week. The singing staff take turns leading songs, some by ear, some from written music, some a little of both. A chorale practice session will be offered in the afternoon for those who want extra practice on the material, which may include English chorus songs, Spirituals, Shape-note songs, Early Music, African choral music, and newly-written songs.
After the Chorale we give our limbs a good stretch and go dancing. Our dancing leaders offer English Country, Contra, and a beginner-friendly session. Participants from Peter Amidon's Traditional Dance for Music Teachers & Community Leaders for community dance leaders will infuse extra energy into the social dancing.
In the afternoons there is a cornucopia of opportunities to sing, dance, and play instruments. A few suggestions:
- Take up ukulele – the mild-mannered little instrument that can be an extraordinarily empowering tool for singers who want to be able to play chords.
- For some personalized tips on the physicality of singing, sign up for a mini-voice lesson on your own or with a couple of friends with Cristi Catt. Cristi will also offer her approach to singing technique grounded in movement in a class combining yoga with vocalization.
- Eden Macadam-Somer will share her passion for the tradition of Yiddish song from its folk roots in Eastern Europe to musical theater in New York. Nicholas Williams will lead rousing harmony singing from around the world entirely by ear. And you can explore finding your own harmonies in singing English folk songs with John Roberts.
- Take a partner dance class: Tresne Hernandez's approach to blues and other partner dances gets down to fundamental skills of moving to music and responding to a dance partner, sharpening kinesthetic and musical awareness in a way that will also increase your enjoyment of contras and other kinds of dance.
- Take a break! Drink in the beauty of Pinewoods. Sit on a dock and rest your feet, voice, and brain!
After a delicious dinner there is a short, intimate staff concert, often featuring new collaborations between staff members. Following the concert, we make our way to the C# pavilion for a social dance party for the whole community: Contra and English Country Dance, with a few ceilidh, square, and partner dances in the mix too.
The dance ends with a closing song, bringing the day full circle. For the nocturnally inclined, merriment often continues with more music, dance, games, or other hanging out in the camphouse.
The fun and full days of singing, dancing, and playing together are packed with so many kinds of connections – from the magical moments when a hundred or more of us lock into a rhythm to informal music-making where you discover a fellow camper who shares your obsession with a favorite song or tune. Take pleasure in the beauty of participating in the forms of music and dance you already know. Take a risk and try something new, knowing that the program's diverse offerings include something that is new to every person there. Network, share knowledge, meet new people, laugh, be moved. Shut down your computer and take a week in the woods for your musical and dancing nourishment!
~ Anna Patton, Program Director