July 20 - 27, 2019
Songs! We need them more than ever – to sing to each other and with each other. Come learn, dance, relax, and raise the rafters in song at Harmony of Song & Dance. The themes of the week are community dance and music making, and the goals are to learn from each other, have fun, and create beauty together.
The 2019 program staff are extraordinarily talented and caring teachers and performers who are excited to come share their songs, tunes, dances, and techniques. Their classes build in-depth knowledge, provide space to practice skills, and encourage you to engage creatively. 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. Expect folk songs, swing harmonies, polyphonic choral music from around the world, traditional chorus songs, and more.
After chorale we give our limbs a good stretch and go dancing. Our dance leaders offer English country, contra, and a beginner-friendly session that is a mix of both, all with top-notch dance music.
In the afternoons there is a cornucopia of opportunities to sing, dance, and play instruments. Classes in the first two afternoon periods will build on skills and material all week, while the third afternoon period gives you the option of choosing different classes on different days. On Wednesday, this late afternoon class period will be replaced with a Camper Concert: and opportunity for you to perform a song, sonata, or stunt; recite a poem; or jump into an improv game.
Here are just a few of your options:
- Sing in a one-on-a-part duet or trio tutored by Rani Arbo, or sign up for a vocal mini-lesson with her.
- Learn tunes from fiddler Lissa Schneckenburger and dig into the art of playing for dancing with Julie Vallimont.
- Jam on a ukulele with Katie Martucci, or join her for Swing Harmony Singing
- Love choral singing? There are choral sessions both for readers and ear-learners, including Suzannah Park's World Music Harmony and Matt Norman's arrangements of English folk songs.
- Learn more about specific singing traditions by joining Bob Walser for Sea Songs, or Suzannah for Ballads.
- Dance to Anna Patton's Couple Dance Dream Band in the late afternoons. Drop in for waltzes and other theme-of-the-day dance forms with friendly and minimal dance teaching from staff guests.
- Tell a story in song. Laurel Swift will lead a class about her process of writing new songs from old folk tales. Also, if you have any inclination towards morris dance, you won't want to miss Laurel's Morris Class.
- Spend some time working up a song for the Wednesday afternoon campers' concert or the late-night Swing Dance Party.
- Are you a teacher of music or dance? Thoughtful and creative pedagogy abounds among the teaching staff. Find inspiration, ideas, and material to bring to your own teaching.
- Take a break! Swim. Nap. Drink in the botanical beauty of Pinewoods on plant walks with Aaron Marcus. Or sit on a dock and rest your feet, voice, and brain!
After dinner, served family-style, there is a short, intimate staff concert, often featuring new collaborations between staff members. Following the concert, we make our way to C# pavilion for a social dance party for the whole community: contra and English country dance, plus ceilidh dances and waltzes.
The dance ends with a closing song, bringing the day full circle. For the nocturnally inclined, merriment often continues with more music, dance, games, and hanging out in the camphouse! Late night activities will include a pub sing and the aforementioned swing dance night!
So, my friends, that's what I know about the week, which covers the classes and staff, but this week is really about the campers. I am very much looking forward to being there with each of you and seeing what you bring to it. Music and dance feed my soul, and, if you're like me, we will nourish ourselves and maybe even stuff ourselves silly at Harmony of Song and Dance. Come sing us your favorite song. Build connections and friendships. Dig deeper into a kind of music or dance you know and love, and shake yourself up by remembering what it's like to learn something completely new. Pack your curiosity and sense of humor; your appetites for learning and fun.
~ Anna Patton, Program Director