Village Harmony Singing Intensive


Village Harmony Singing Intensive

June 11-12
June 11 9:00am Registration
June 12 4:00pm Closing

$75 - $200 with camping Adults Sliding Scale
$50 - $75 with camping Teens and Children (Please only bring kids mature enough to participate fully in the workshop) Sliding Scale
$65 Meal plan (Saturday lunch and dinner, Sunday breakfast and lunch - veg & gluten free options available)
Email events@mettabeefarm.com for local housing/B&B options

Come to two days of exhilarating singing from world harmony traditions, led by Village Harmony founder and director Larry Gordon and Village Harmony alumna and Northern Harmony veteran Isobel Arthen.  During the two days they will teach South African songs and dances; early New England and contemporary American shape-note songs and quartet gospel;  and traditional songs from Georgia, Corsica and the Balkans.  In their teaching they pay close attention to the distinctive authentic vocal timbres and body language associated with these various singing traditions.

South Africa has a particularly powerful and appealing folk harmony singing tradition, with a rich, resonant vocal sound, and wonderfully syncopated rhythm.  The singing is always accompanied by dancing, with the rhythm of the dance movements often in counterpoint to the song.  Georgia’s ancient three-part harmony singing tradition features a dark, sonorous vocal quality, and startling harmonies, unlike anything in European music. Traditional Corsican singing, passed down through oral tradition, features two highly ornamented upper voices over a more sustained harmonic bass.  The excitement for the listeners and singers both comes from the impassioned delivery, the surprising harmonic shifts which ripple from voice to voice, and the buzzing vocal timbre which creates an extremely powerful sound rich in overtones. 

Shape-note singing, one of Village Harmony's Harmony's trademarks, had its origins in the community singing schools of 18th century New England.  It is simultaneously a sacred and a social singing tradition, featuring stark, open harmonies, rhythmic, contrapuntal "fuging" sections, and the marvelous sacred poetry of the 18th century English hymn writer Isaac Watts and his followers.  Balkan music features the characteristic bright, "hard-voiced" Balkan vocal timbre, with dissonant harmonies frequently based on drones, and irregular dance meters in 7, 9 and 11.

Larry Gordon has been leading choirs and community music for over forty years, and has a vast repertoire of songs from many world traditions.  He founded Village Harmony in 1990 and has won a worldwide reputation through 17 European tours with Northern Harmony, his select ensemble of Village Harmony veterans. 
Isobel Arthen sang with Village Harmony beginning when she was 12 and is a veteran of three extended Northern Harmony tours.  She is particularly adept at teaching the sometimes elusive rhythms of South African songs.