Monthly Archives: March 2013

“You are welcome in this place!” Harmony of Song & Dance

by Nils Fredland, Harmony program director

Harmony of Song & Dance
Pinewoods Camp, Plymouth, MA
July 27 – August 3, 2013

Watch a video from last year, shot by Camilla Streeter.

Nils Fredland leading a song, Harmony Week 2012; photo by Camilla Streeter

The Country Dance and Song Society celebrates and promotes participatory dance, music and song. There is no place where that celebration is as tangible as it is at 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 a week of singing, dancing and eating together. There is a space for YOU: no matter whether you have years of experience as a dancer, singer or both; or you are new to these activities and looking to build skills and find confidence; or you want a week 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 week’s theme 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 has deep roots in the song and dance traditions they are teaching, and their teaching reflects how these dynamic traditions are continuously evolving. They were 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!

Picture 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 for vocal warm-ups and—if needed—help in finding 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.

David Jones singing, Harmony Week 2012; photo by Suzanne Mrozak

The repertoire may include American country harmony, South African choral music, shape note and gospel, contemporary a cappella, and new arrangements of traditional songs. 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. 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, 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.

“Singing on the Porch,” pub-type chorus songs, wraps up lunch, followed by a potpourri of singing, instrumental music making and dancing—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.

Long Pond at night; photo by Stewart Dean

After dinner there is a concert—where staff perform solo or in small group collaboration that is always amazing, sometimes amusing—followed by the evening dance—contra, square, and English, ending the day as we began it—as whole camp community, and the dance ends with a closing song, bringing the day full circle.

Harmony of Song & Dance
Pinewoods Camp, Plymouth, MA
July 27 – August 3, 2013

Camp staff (click on “week” in the horizontal gray bar to sort by week name)

Class schedule

To register



Fundraising for your group or project

by Rima Dael, CDSS Executive Director

We have been getting many requests of how best to fundraise for a project or for a group. I’ve sent the resources below to a few members but I wanted to post this here for everyone to see.

First, let’s set the context in which you are fundraising. Eighty percent of all philanthropic dollars comes from individuals, 5% from corporations and 15% from foundations. But the Arts only receive 4% of all the philanthropic dollars donated. More information on giving statistics is available through Charity Navigator.

Here is a great tool from the Chronicle of Philanthropy to give you an overview of how individuals give in the US based on location:

For most groups and specific projects I recommend crowd source fundraising* and small project grants as a good way to build a solid donor base for a project. Individual donors are the best way to build sustainability for your group.

Here is a resource on how to cultivate donors:

Here is a link with some grants and funding leads:

And another one:

Here is a link and resource for crowd source fundraising:

And another one:

Once that is started and underway, going the more traditional route to build an annual fundraising plan which would include major donors, I suggest this article about individual donors:

I heartedly recommend signing up for a free account through Fractured Atlas, which is a partner to CDSS, for their free fundraising webinar courses; here is a link to those courses:

Happy Fundraising!

Rima :)

* Crowd source funding and fundraising is networking with people via the internet and word of mouth, to pool money together to support a project or organization. In other words, it’s when you invite your supporters to reach out to their contacts and spread the message, raising money on your behalf.


New Banner and “Callers-Moot”

The new CDSS banner will travel to events across the country!

Happy Friday CDSS Friends!

I have two things to share:

  1. Look at our beautiful new banner, recently unveiled at the Dance Flurry in Saratoga Springs, NY !  Thanks to all those Flurry-goers who came to chat about the CDSS Centennial.  Your great ideas are a huge help!
  2. This weekend I’m headed back to New York to participate in the the annual CNY Callers Gathering happening all day tomorrow in Fayetteville.  About twenty callers are converging for what some are referring to as a “callers-moot” (moot = J.R.R. Tolkein’s term for a gathering or council of like-minded beings).  There is no one workshop leader for the event; callers of all experience levels will collaborate to exchange ideas and advice and of course to dance together!  This year’s event is centered around David Smuckler and David Millstone’s book “Cracking Chestnuts.”  Smuckler is the main motivator behind the Callers Gathering.  Millstone will be filming many of the dance sequences as accompanying material for the book.  The day will culminate in a “Chestnuts Ball” open to the public where these traditional New England dances will be enjoyed by all!

Look for a full report next week.  I have to go study my chestnuts now!