Village Harmony

Corsica Camp – June 16 – July 4, 2020 – $1900 / $1500 students

Date: June 16 - July 4, 2020
Venue: I Fioretti, Canari, Cap Corse, Corsica
Leaders: Jean Etienne Langianni, Patty Cuyler, Dato Shugliashvili, Mollie Stone, Frederic Vesperini
Price: $1700/ $1400 students


This camp is intended for experienced older high school and college students and adults who are confident enough to tackle the challenges of learning Corsican traditional music–with its elaborate ornamentation and precise intonation–by ear, and to sing one on a part in a small ensemble.

It is above all a study tour, with emphasis placed on working with local singers and learning about the culture of the island.

We are privileged to once again work with two great traditional Corsican singers, Jean-Etienne Langianni and Frederic Vesperini, who will come separately to join the group and teach during our rehearsal period.

Teaching songs from the Republic of Georgia will be  Dato Shugliashvili, a founding member of the famed Anchiskhati Ensemble based in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Village Harmony co-director Patty Cuyler will teach American shape note songs and Mollie Stone will teach the group a set of traditional South African choral arrangements to round out our concert program.

Participants will fly or take a ferry to Bastia on Cap Corse and then drive to the village of Canari on the west coast of the cape, with its old confrerie and ancient paths winding up the mountainside.

We will be based in Canari in rooms and apartments in I Fioretti, a renovated 18th-century convent turned gite, and rehearse in the beautiful old attached church. Even though we will be working hard during the early days of the program, there will be ample opportunities to go for short hikes in the hills or dash down to the coastal beaches during our rehearsal breaks.

After this initial rehearsal week we will hit the road to workshop with traditional singers and to give a series of concerts of our own in some of Corsica’s beautiful village churches.

During one four-day stretch we will head south first to visit singers in the small village of Giussani, who have invited us for a workshop and concert. After an overnight stay in the Balaigne region, we will head to Ajaccio to collaborate with Ensemble Spartimu with a workshop, concert and social-singing evening. We will spend two nights in the village of Olvese, with a day free to explore the mountains. The fourth day will we will meander through the island as we make our way back up to Cap Corse for a final series of performances.

In residence at I Fioretti, Canari, Cap Corse, Corsica.


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Jean Etienne Langianni

Jean-Etienne-LangianniJEAN ETIENNE LANGIANNI is a well-known singer, composer and teacher across Europe, is at home as much with contemporary popular music and all periods of European classical chant as he is with the traditional folk and sacred polyphony of his native Corsica. He leads workshops of Corsican singing both in Corsica and throughout western Europe. A member of Tavagna (the Corsican folk music group) and Organum (the ancient music ensemble led by Marcel Peres), he is a talented composer whose works reveal a deep understanding of Corsican folk and sacred music.


Patty Cuyler

Patty Cuyler photoPATTY CUYLER, born in California, educated at Princeton University, long-time resident of Vermont and currently living in Chicago, IL, is an energetic, dynamic workshop leader and choral director and is internationally-renowned for her expertise in teaching Corsican, Georgian and South African music. She has been co-director of Village Harmony since 1995 and over the years spear-headed the expansion of the organization’s reach into the four corners of the globe.

Patty co-leads the community world music choir Boston Harmony (which she founded in 2005) as well as the Brooklyn World Music Chorus (since 2012)—both of which she commutes by air to conduct—and the Chicago World Music Chorus (2013) closer to home.










Dato Shugliashvili

DAVID (DATO) SHUGLIASHVILI is an ethno-musicologist and professor at the Tbilisi Conservatory. An internationally-recognized specialist in Georgian church music, Dato is a founding member and the current director of the renowned Anchiskhati Ensemble and the head of the musical department of the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia. An alumnus of the Tbilisi State Conservatoire, he has published over forty scientific works and has authored several notated collections of Georgian chants and folk songs. Together with Anchiskhati, Dato has released fifteen CDs of folk songs and chants.

Mollie Stone

Mollie Stone

MOLLIE STONE is a Chicago native internationally renowned for her workshops on black South African choral music. Mollie has served as a conductor at Chicago Children’s Choir since 2005 and at the University of Chicago since 2011. Mollie earned her master’s degree in classical choral conducting from Westminster Choir College and her conducting doctorate from Northwestern University. In 2001, she received a grant from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation to create a DVD, Vela, Vela, to help educators learn and teach black South African choral music in the oral tradition. In 2006, Mollie received another grant to study how South Africans are using choral music in the struggle against HIV, which became the topic of her highly-acclaimed doctoral thesis. Mollie has been teaching with Village Harmony since 2009.

Frederic Vesperini

Frederic VesperiniSpartimu EnsembleFREDERIC VESPERINI of Ajaccio, Corsica is a long-time member (and currently director) of Ensemble Spartimu. Specializing in the traditional folk and sacred polyphony of Corsica, the ensemble is regularly invited to in prestigious international festivals, most recently including trips to Sardinia, to Poland and to Tbilisi, Georgia. Over the past decade the ensemble has have added brilliant performances of music from the Republic of Georgia to their repertoire. Spartimu has recorded two CDs. Village Harmony has met to share music with Spartimu in Ajaccio on nearly every trip we have made to Corsica since 2004, and we will do so again this summer. This will be the second time that Frederic has also traveled up to Canari to teach during our Corsica rehearsal week.



I Fioretti, Canari, Cap Corse, Corsica

corsica_canaricoastWe will use as our base the rural gite I Fioretti, an 18th-century convent renovated with three multi-room apartments and eight ensuite rooms for tourist use, in the village of Canari just inland from the Meditterranean on the western Cap Corse—the 40-km long peninsula on the island’s far northeast with mountains that plunge straight down to the sea. Rehearsals will be in the adjoining church, still used for services on Sundays. Canari is a delightful village of several hundred located in great hiking territory.