July 23 - 30, 2016
Harmony of Song & Dance offers an incredible diversity of music and dance experiences. The day begins with the all camp sing, a powerful harmony singing experience involving a combination of learning by ear as well as written music. Different staff lead the camp through a wide ranging repertoire of rousing and inspiring harmony singing, accommodating all forms and levels of experience. This is followed by a period dedicated to dancing, again with something for everyone - a class specifically for those with little to no dance experience as well as more challenging classes in contra and English with the finest in dance music and dance instruction.
The afternoon program offers shorter workshops on a range of themes in traditional singing, harmony singing, instrumental playing, English ritual dancing and more social dancing. In the evening, there are inspiring staff concerts, followed by a full dance program of both English country and contra dance.
The days are packed with learning opportunities but set in an atmosphere of great conviviality. Instrumental jam sessions and rollicking pub sings set in the incomparable peace and beauty of Pinewoods make this week a haven for lovers of both song and dance.
~ Keith Murphy & Becky Tracy, Program Directors
|7:45-8:15||Hot Breakfast served cafeteria style|
|8:15-8:45||Cold Breakfast Coffee/Tea available|
|9:00-10:15||All-Camp Chorale||Keith Murphy and the singing staff|
|10:30-11:45||Contras and Squares||Lisa Greenleaf|
|English Dance||Susan Kevra|
|Intro to American & English Dance||Peter Amidon|
|11:50-12:25||Swimming, Bookstore staffed|
|1:15||Singing on the Porch||Alistair Brown|
|1:30-3:15||(Pre-registration) Contra Dance Callers Course||Lisa Greenleaf|
|2:00-2:50||Singing with Rhythm||Rani Arbo, Scott Kessel|
|Harmony of Song and Dance in 3/4 Time||Keith Murphy, Becky Tracy|
|Harmony Singing – Roots to Reinterpretations||Peter Amidon, Mary Alice Amidon|
|Morris Dance||Alistair Brown|
|French Canadian Songs||Pascal Gemme|
|Classic Country Duet Singing||Emily Miller, Jesse Milnes|
|3:00-3:50||Small Group Harmony||Rani Arbo|
|Sea Songs||John Roberts|
|Collaborative Choral Arranging||Peter Amidon, Emily Miller|
|Rapper Sword Dance||Alistair Brown|
|Singing Squares Chorale||Susan Kevra|
|French Canadian Dance Tunes||Pascal Gemme|
|4:00-5:00||Social Songs||Alistair Brown, John Roberts|
|The Delights of Playing English Country Dance Music||Shira Kammen|
|Repertoire from the Great Appalachian Women Singers||Emily Miller|
|Tune into Your Voice||Rani Arbo|
|Contra Caller Course Dance Party||Lisa Greenleaf and Course Callers|
|French Canadian Jam||Pascal Gemme|
|7:30||Evening Gathering and Staff Concert|
|8:30||Evening Dance Party|
Keith Murphy has been immersed in music and dance since his childhood days in Newfoundland. His distinctive rhythmic sound on guitar, mandolin, piano and foot percussion has helped drive several great contra dance bands including Nightingale, Wild Asparagus and Assembly. Having performed at many dance events throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as overseas, he brings a wealth of experience and sophistication to his playing.
Becky Tracy grew up dancing to her father's calling and scratchy 78s of Don Messer's fiddle playing. She has fiddled with the bands Nightingale and Wild Asparagus for the last 15 years and has played in many, many lovely places including Hawaii and France. Becky has a distinctive clarity of tone, a rhythmic attack owing much to French-Canadian playing and the melodic quality of Irish music. Her unmistakable sound has made her a defining presence among dance musicians.
* Mary Alice Amidon
Mary Alice Amidon is a warm and engaging music educator who is passionate and dedicated to song, dance and storytelling with young children. She is a multi-instrumentalist, an accomplished singer of traditional song, and a composer of new songs. As a performer she is gifted in forging a bridge between story, music and listener. As a song leader she inspires open-hearted, full throttle participation.
* Peter Amidon
Peter Amidon fell into the world of traditional music in 1975 and has never turned back. He is thrilled to now be able to make a living as a freelance musician/educator/publisher: telling stories to all age groups, leading harmony singing with adults and teaching and leading dance with children, teachers and families. Peter Amidon, a founding member of New England Dancing Masters, publishers of books, CDs and DVDs of traditional dance for children and community dancing, leads workshops on leading dance with children and communities throughout the United States, often headlining (with Mary Alice Amidon) at state and national music teacher conferences. His choral arrangements are being sung by community, church and hospice choirs throughout the U.S. and the UK. He has led dancing and singing with children and adults at CDSS Camps for thirty-five years.
Rani Arbo has been singing with and for others since she joined a cathedral choir in 3rd grade. In the last 20 years, she's toured North America with a four-piece string band, singing lead and harmony, playing fiddle and guitar, writing and arranging songs, and interpreting music from sources as diverse as Fiddlin’ John Carson, Bessie Jones, and Leonard Cohen. She has an abiding interest in (and not nearly enough time to devote to) arts in medicine and hospice work.
Karen Axelrod is highly regarded for her creative piano playing at English, American and Scottish dance events around the country. She is in the band Foxfire, Alchemy with Eric Martin and Rachel Bell, and Peregrine Road with Rachel Bell. Karen plays accordion with 3rd String Trio, a band that plays old world cafe music. She also plays accordion for Orion Longsword. She loves the ensemble aspect of playing for dancing, as well as the close connection between what the musicians do and what the dancers do. When not playing music, Karen spends her time coming in last in marathons.
Lisa Greenleaf has been treating dancers across the country to her high spirited, witty calling for many years, and is known for precise walk-throughs of zesty and flowing dances. Whether she is presenting cool contras, hot squares, or focused callers' workshops, Lisa engages the crowd with her humor and community spirit.
Shira Kammen has spent well over half her life exploring the worlds of early and traditional music as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. A member for many years of Ensembles Alcatraz, Project Ars Nova and Medieval Strings, she has also worked with Sequentia, Hesperion XX, the Boston Camerata and the King's Noyse, and is the founder of Class V Music, an ensemble dedicated to performance on river rafting trips. She has performed and taught in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Israel, Morocco, Latvia, Russia, Japan and on the Colorado and Rogue rivers. Shira happily collaborated with singer/storyteller John Fleagle for 15 years and performs now with a diversity of collaborators, including storyteller Patrick Ball, the English country dance band Roguery, medieval ensembles Fortune's Wheel and Tapestry, and the California Revels, among many others. She occasionally has played on movie and television soundtracks, when weird medieval instruments are called for.
Scott Kessel began drumming in preschool and grew up to study with jazz legend Ed Blackwell, to immerse himself in West African drumming and to tour with groups playing everything from reggae to honkytonk to zydeco to original rock. For the last 15 years, he has been harmony singer and percussionist for the folk/roots quartet Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem, playing the “Drumship Enterprise” -- a recycled drum kit comprised of cardboard and wooden boxes, cat food tins and a vinyl suitcase. When not on tour, he teaches workshops in Mindfulness and is the lead artist at Kidcity Children's Museum in Middletown, CT.
Susan Kevra is a dance caller, musician, and singer who makes her home in Nashville, TN. She travels across the country and occasionally, around the globe to teach contra, square dances, English Country dancing and French dancing. She is an accomplished clarinetist and a member of the band, Old World Charm School, who perform French café music and English Country dance tunes. Inspired by tunes by her bandmate, Rachel Bell, she has choreographed a dozen English dances and counting, including Trip to Provence and Moonflower which are making their way onto dance floors and ball programs in the US and England. She is also a professor of French and American Studies at Vanderbilt University, where she teaches a class, American Social History through Dance.
Emily Miller was born in Kansas and raised in Hong Kong, where her family band performed traditional American music on television shows and in shopping malls throughout the city. Her main musical role these days is as singer in a honky tonk country band the Sweetback Sisters, which tours regularly around the U.S. and the world. When she's off the road, she plays fiddle for her local square dance in her new home of Elkins, WV.
Jesse Milnes learned to play the fiddle from his father, folklorist Gerry Milnes. Growing up in central West Virginia, he was exposed to the music of masters like Melvin Wine, Sarah Singleton and Woody Simmons. He plays a variety of fiddle styles from old-time to country, and also performs his own brand of fingerpicking on guitar. From 2008 to 2013 he toured with neo-traditional honky-tonk band the Sweetback Sisters, traveling across the U.S. and several European countries. Now, he performs as a duo with his wife, Emily Miller, and as a fiddler for square dances throughout West Virginia. When not playing music he repairs fiddles at Smakula Fretted Instruments near Elkins, WV.
John Roberts has been singing English folk songs since the early 1960s, when he joined a local folk club in his native Worcestershire. Coming to the U.S. as a graduate student in 1968, he soon joined with Tony Barrand to form a duo which has lasted ever since. While continuing to work with Tony, and with the seasonal performances of Nowell Sing We Clear, John has continued to work as a solo performer, accompanying a broad repertoire of British Isles songs on concertina and banjo.
* ADVISORS, PLUS