Village Harmony

UK Camp – August 8 – 22 (15 days) – $900-$1200

Date: August 8 - August 22, 2016
Venue: Seahouses Hostel, Northumberland, UK
Leaders: Larry Gordon, David Oliver, Caroline Price
Price: Youth (up to 25) - $900 (approx. £600) or ; older adults: $1200 (approx. £785)

Note: This camp is filling up fast.  For the remaining spaces we will give priority to men, UK singers and some older adults. (posted 15 Nov.)

This traveling camp is open primarily to youth ages 16-25, with a few spaces for older adults.  This camp will feature both world music singing styles and traditional instrumental dance music, so we are looking for good instrumentalists (and dancers) as well as singers.  The camp begins with a week in residence at the Seahouses hostel on the scenic coast north of Newcastle. The following seven day tour will include Northumberland, southwest Scotland and the Lake District and will culminate with a workshop and performance at the Whitby Folk Festival, one of the biggest UK folk festivals. Camp participants will have the option of staying on in Whitby for the remaining five days of that festival. 

During the rehearsal week we will have morning and evening dance sessions – including contras, English country and ceilidh dances, and some Balkan dancing – and on tour we will present some contra and ceilidh dances as well as purely concert performances.  The singing will include South African songs and dances, American shape-note singing, Balkan songs, and English traditional and political songs.  David Oliver is one of northern England’s foremost dance musicians and callers.  A wonderful accordionist, he has a vast repertoire of traditional  tunes, and years of experience leading ceilidh bands of varied composition.  Caroline Price is the music teacher at Elmfield Steiner School in Stourbridge and has collaborated regularly with Village Harmony for 20 years.  Her wonderful school-community choir Stream of Sound often features her harmony arrangements of English traditional songs and ballads.  Larry Gordon is the founder of Village Harmony and a choir leader with decades of experience, with particular expertise in shape-note, Balkan, South African and early music.  He will also lead much of the dancing.

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Larry Gordon

Village Harmony founder and director LARRY GORDON has been making community music in Vermont since the early 1970s. He founded Village Harmony in 1989, and his patient and relaxed, yet demanding, teaching style and his collaborative approach have shaped the welcoming atmosphere of the Village Harmony community since the beginning. Though his first love was medieval and renaissance music, he is a vital figure in New England shape-note singing, and he is the music editor of the popular Northern Harmony shape-note songbook. Larry is an inspired organizer with an unerring eye for good repertoire and a unique knack of pulling together interesting combinations of singers and letting them shine.  Larry has led Onion River Chorus in Montpelier since the late 1970s, and is well known across the US and internationally for leading stunning periodic ad hoc incarnations of Northern Harmony, a semi-professional tour group made up largely of veteran Village Harmony singers.  Recently he has been devoting increasing time to teaching Balkan folk dancing.


David Oliver

DavidOliverA former high school principal, DAVID OLIVER was also for many years the education director of Folkworks.   A wonderful accordionist, band leader and singing leader, his pub sessions are immensely popular and his ceilidh band, The Hedgehog’s Skin, is in regular demand. David lectures on folk music education at the Universities of Newcastle and Durham, and he has authored a collection of choir arrangements of English traditional and political songs. Over the years he has hosted and organized a number of Village Harmony and Northern Harmony visits to the Hexham-Newcastle area, including collaborations with his community choir.


Caroline Price

Caroline PriceIn her decades of teaching, Caroline Price has built a wonderful singing culture at Elmfield School in Stourbridge.  She has hosted Village Harmony and Northern Harmony there since our first visit in the early 90’s, and working with her eager singers is always a highlight of our UK tours.  Her Stream of Sound choir performs a wide range of world music, including many of her own excellent harmonized arrangements.


Seahouses Hostel, Northumberland, UK

hostelstreetviewIn North Sunderland, approximately 50 miles north of Newcastle upon Tyne and 25 miles south of Berwick upon Tweed in Northumberland, UK, the Hostel provides self-catering residential accommodation for groups of young people, children and their leaders (from Early Years to Key Stages 1-5 and beyond).

The Hostel is run by a Christian foundation, and welcomes groups of all faiths and none.

Standing beside St Paul’s Church, the Hostel was converted in 1989 from a girls’ school and the farm outbuildings of a former vicarage.

(Source: Seahouses Hostel)