JULY 25 - AUGUST 1, 2015
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 & 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 Harmony of Song & Dance: no matter whether you have years of experience as a dancer, singer, or both; or you are new to one or more of these cherished activities, and are looking for an experience to build skills and find confidence. Here, you can take risks, find support, and be inspired; or simply relax in a beautiful place, surrounded by music and dance.
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 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 C# minor, the pavilion where your vocal coach is starting vocal warm-ups and – if needed – helping you find your vocal part. By 9:00 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 English, Canadian and Appalachian ballads; pub songs; sea shanties; gospel; and American shape note hymnody both old and new. 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 groups for an hour of social dancing including English country, contras and squares, and a special, separate introductory session for those who are new to the dance scene.
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 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 C#, another 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, 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
-- Keith Murphy and Becky Tracy, Program Co-Directors