Village Harmony

Welcome

Village Harmony is the umbrella organization for a diverse range of choral, world music and harmony singing activities under the direction of Larry Gordon and Patty Cuyler.

During the 2020-21 academic year we put together numerous specialized workshops and courses uniting choral organizations and universities across the United States with colleagues from all over the world. We expect to continue to some degree running similar virtual workshop series in 2021-22.

This past year’s programs included the Village Harmony Cross-Countries Choir, a marathon two-day Winter Weekend Festival in late February, a number of different quarantine incarnations of our alumni touring ensemble Northern Harmony, a full summer of online weekend workshops and three online specialty weeks—all led by world music experts beaming in from North America and abroad—and two reduced-size in-person singing New England singing camps, one for adults and one for teenagers.

The virtual and modified in-person programming Village Harmony began in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in mid-2020 has been successful beyond imagination, bringing people from radically different parts of the world together in an unexpectedly-satisfying way to create and share both music and new friendships.

“Just in case I don’t gush enough during the zoom, I want to thank you for this workshop series. I’ve been doing various online musics all during the pandemic, but have really enjoyed the variety of traditions here. And you’ve done a great job with all the materials made available to us, wrangling the technology, etc.” 


Boston Harmony Community Choir 2021-2022 Season


It is thrilling to be able to invite you to join us as Boston Harmony returns in person under the joint direction of Larry Gordon, Sinead O’Mahoney and Patty Cuyler.

We plan to resume our one-weekend-a-month rehearsal model, starting the weekend of September 25-26. Our ultimate plan is to go back to our previous format of two days of long, live singing days complete with potluck meals, but we hope that you are willing to go with the flow with us as we feel our way through the fall.

Our schedule this year: September 25-26 – October 23-24 – November 13-14 – December 11-12 – January 8-9 – February 12-13 – March 12-13 – April 9-10 – End-of-year concerts TBA

We will start the season off this month with a hybrid zoom/in-person rehearsal weekend (details below). Then starting with our October weekend both days will be in person. For the time being, Saturday rehearsals will be 2-4:30pm and Sundays will be 12:30-3pm. We will not be sharing meals yet. We will meet as before in our old rehearsal space in the beautiful big hall at the Concord, MA Masonic Lodge with its great acoustics, and where there is ample room for everyone to spread out comfortably.

REPERTOIRE
Our repertoire will be chosen from the global smorgasbord of traditions for which Village Harmony is renowned: from American songs from the shape-note, Appalachian and gospel traditions to authentic, exciting (and sometimes quite challenging) choral arrangements from South Africa, Georgia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Iran, Cuba, Nigeria and other countries.

Register for Boston Harmony

We are starting with a hybrid online/in-person rehearsal weekend this month. On Saturday September 25 from 2-3:30pm ET we will hold an opening meeting via Zoom, to let everyone introduce themselves, to discuss health protocols and our plans for the year, and to go over voice parts of a select group of songs.

We will then meet for our first in-person rehearsal on Sunday September 26, from 12:30-2:30pm. But don’t plan on leaving right away! The Sunday rehearsal will be followed at 3pm by a free on-site concert by the local trio Culomba

COVID PROTOCOLS
The pandemic continues to present us with a shifting landscape. We definitely want to make sure that as we resume regular rehearsals we are doing so safely.

  • We ask that everyone planning to attend in-person rehearsals be fully vaccinated. We will be asking all registrants to upload proof of vaccination prior to the first rehearsal.
  • Singers must remain masked during our indoor rehearsals. As weather permits we hope to also go outside to sing unmasked.
  • For our first in-person rehearsal on Sunday, September 26, we ask that all singers present a negative covid test taken no more than 72 hours prior to the rehearsal.
  • Any singer not feeling well, who may have been exposed to someone with covid, or who has recently traveled to a high-risk area should stay home instead of coming to rehearsal. We will be providing everyone with access to an online learning platform where sample performance recordings and parts recordings for all songs introduced at each rehearsal, for practice at home.

As the season progresses, we will follow CDC guidelines and up-to-date advice from experts regarding masking and other health protocols.

TUITION
Adult tuition is $250 for the year. Tuition is $200 for teenaged singers, and we have a self-selected reduced tuition of $175 for those who need it. You may also sign up online to join us at the first rehearsal weekend (with no advance payment) on a trial basis.

Please join us this year for Boston Harmony—in song, solidarity and community!

If you are planning on coming from a distance for the September rehearsal and need to be hosted overnight, let us know ASAP and we will match you with a host ahead of time so that guests and hosts can communicate about comfort levels. If you are local to Boston and are interested in being a host, let us know.

Register for Boston Harmony


YouTube videos

We have posted new videos and recordings of both Northern Harmony and Village Harmony ensembles on YouTube.

Follow these links:
VH Teen II Ensemble 2019
Northern Harmony 2017
Northern Harmony in Chicago 2019
Northern Harmony Sextet 2020


Support Village Harmony Programs

Village Harmony is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and all contributions are fully tax-deductible.

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Village Harmony Updates

  • Village Harmony Zoom Programs for university, high school and community choirs

    Expand your choir’s repertoire during the Zoom era

    Village Harmony has developed an ever-expanding online teaching resource library for choir directors looking to collaborate via zoom with expert teachers across the globe.

    Our aim is dual-fold. The project provides much-needed income to our teachers. And the program provides a valuable interface for singers of all levels to learn songs directly and authentically from musician experts in many of the worlds greatest non-Western choral traditions: from South Africa, the Republic of Georgia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Corsica, Cuba and the American Appalachian and African-American communities.

    Using Village Harmony’s online learning platform, resources provided to participating choirs include digital rehearsal material—audio or video individual voice part recordings and performance tracks, scores /wordsheets/translations, pronunciation tracks, background resources. These back-up teaching files compliment a live zoom lesson that we set up for your choir with a tradition bearer, who will introduce and teach the voice parts directly to your students, model authenticity and provide essential historical and personal background about the song.

    We can offer your choir a tailor-made one-off workshop, multi-week or semester-long program, or even a year-long series of guest teachers.

    Contact Mollie Stone at molliestone@uchicago.edu to what we might offer for your own choir and to set up a private zoom meeting for a tour of our programs.