Village Harmony

Berea, Kentucky Adult Camp – June 21 – 29, 2019 (9 days) – $825 / $700 without housing

Date: June 21 - 29, 2019
Venue: Russel Acton Folk Center
Leaders: Kathy Bullock, Mary Cay Brass, Peter and Mary Alice Amidon
Price: $825 with dormitory housing; $700 without

Village Harmony announces a new Village Harmony camp in Berea, Kentucky.

Cradled in the foothills of the beautiful Appalachian Mountains, Berea is known as the “Folk Arts and Crafts Capital” of Kentucky. A unique town rich in history and the arts, not only is Berea home to a thriving artisans, artists and musician population, it is also home to historic Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South.Berea has a longstanding tradition of diversity, social justice, environmental responsibility and community service. Both college and town are committed to the practice of sustainability and conservation.

The dynamic Dr. Kathy Bullock, longtime Village Harmony instructor, and professor of music at Berea College will be leading this landmark camp in her home town. Kathy will share  songs of joy and inspiration from gospel and spiritual traditions accompanied by her irresistible rocking gospel piano.

Kathy will be joined by veteran Village Harmony leader Mary Cay Brass, who will lead a set of soulful, thrilling songs from Bosnia, Macedonia and Croatia as well as traditional and contemporary shape note songs.

Peter and Mary Alice Amidon will be leading a fresh repertoire of arrangements of traditional American secular and sacred songs, spirituals, shape note songs from the Sacred Harp, songs written by folks steeped in the oral tradition and music from the Appalachians: some of their own arrangements and some classic Emily Miller arrangements.

Singing sessions will be held at the beautiful Russel Acton Folk Center in the midst of historic old town Berea. Housing options will include campus housing at Berea College and/or your choice of local B&Bs.

There will be two tiered pricing for this camp. The first includes campus dormitory housing in twin rooms 2 blocks from the folk center (all with AC) while the second is without housing if you’d prefer to find your own housing in a local bed and breakfast.

All meals will be prepared and eaten together at the Folk Center.

We will perform one final concert in Berea at the end of the week.

From the vibrant, artsy town of Berea to the surrounding natural wonders of waterfalls, mountains and lakes with scenic trails and breathtaking views, we will experience the beauty and charm of the region as we sing, sing, sing.

Apply Now!


Kathy Bullock

Kathy BullockKATHY BULLOCK has been a Professor of Music at Berea College in Kentucky for 23 years, where she chairs the department, teaches theory and ethnomusicology, and directs the Black Music Ensemble, a 70- voice choir that specializes in the performance of African-American sacred music. She is a member of the American Spiritual Ensemble and she performs, lectures, and leads workshops in the United States, Great Britain, Ghana, and Jamaica on music and culture of the African diaspora.




Mary Cay Brass

Mary Cay Brass of Athens, Vermont
directed her first Village Harmony camp 30 years ago. She directs two very popular “Village Harmony” style community choirs in Vermont and Massachusetts and is the co-musical director with Peter Amidon of the Hallowell Hospice Choir. Mary Cay is also a dynamic contra-dance keyboardist and accordion player. She spent two and a half years in the former Yugoslavia on a Fulbright Scholarship in ethnomusicology and has published two book/CD collections of music from that region. Mary Cay has  organized and led four Village Harmony trips to the Republic of Macedonia and four to Bosnia and co-led a Lithuania camp. She has helped organize two new Village Harmony camps for summer 2019 in Quebec and Kentucky! Her website is




Peter and Mary Alice Amidon

 have been a mainstay of choral singing at major traditional music festivals, choral singing weekends and summer traditional music and dance camps for the last twenty-five years. Peter is a co-choir director and Mary Alice a member of the Guilford (VT) Community Church UCC. Mary Alice is a member of, and Peter is a founder and co-music director (along with Mary Cay Brass) of Hallowell, an a cappella SATB hospice choir which has inspired, and helped form, over one hundred other a cappella SATB hospice choirs throughout the United States. The Amidons’ choral arrangements and compositions are being sung by choirs throughout the United States and the UK. The Amidons’ energy and warmth, their skills in teaching and directing and their gift for creating accessible and moving arrangements empower diverse groups of singers to have a rich and soulful singing experience.


Russel Acton Folk Center

The Russel Acton Folk Center in Berea, Kentucky, was built and owned by a group of volunteers, with the help of many generous donations, in the mid 1980’s. The dream of its namesake, Russel Acton, was to preserve the art of Folk Dancing in Appalachia. Contra Dances are held every fourth Saturday in addition to numerous other dance related workshops and activities.

This facility is now owned by the City of Berea and is available for private rental. Featuring 3,500-square feet of open space, a kitchen, bathroom facilities, deck area and a half acre of greenspace, this facility can be used for a number of events including: shows and demonstrations, weddings & receptions, showers, reunions, etc.