Village Harmony

Lithuania Camp – July 13 – 27, 2020 – $1700/$1375 students

Date: July 13-27, 2020
Venue: Old Gegužinė Farmstead
Leaders: Artūras Sinkevičius, Will Thomas Rowan, Lynn Mahoney Rowan
Price: $1700/ $1375 students

img_5466We are hoping to make this and our other international camps more affordable for high school & college student participation by offering substantial youth discounts.

Village Harmony’s second camp in Lithuania will return to the beautiful riverside at Old Gegužinė farmstead. We will learn songs and dances from all of Lithuania’s ethnographic regions including the distinctive Sutartinės singing tradition.

Sutartinės singing, which was listed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010, is a challenging repertoire of two- and three-part polyphony which involves canonic imitation and close tuning of seconds.inija-trinkuniene1

During the first week of camp, we will be in residence at Gegužinė, learning an eclectic concert program of Lithuanian and other music from Artūras, Will, Lynn, and guest teachers from Lithuania’s various musical traditions. During this residential period, we will also cook meals for one another, relax in the sauna, and share our wishes for one another around the fire in the Lithuanian tradition of toasting.

During the second week we will make day trips and one or two overnights to give concerts and to meet and trade songs with traditional singers in their villages.

Village Harmony’s 2017 trip to Lithuania was received with warm hospitality, applause, and tears of joy at festivals and community centers across the country and on national television.

Our visit to the village of Žiūrai inspired the villagers to reinstate the once-famous Žiūrai folklore ensemble, which had been inactive for many years. In addition we visited natural, historical, and ethnographic sites, sang sutartinės in the forest, and hosted guest teachers and performers such as Inija Trinkūnienė (director of the Kūlgrinda ensemble, Loreta Sungalienė and her singing ensemble, Žemyna Trinkūnaitė (the most acclaimed player of the Lithuanian zither), and hosted the Gilė youth ensemble for an evening that ended in a dance party.

Village Harmony’s 2020 trip to Lithuania will be full of song, dance, nature, flavor, sights, and surprises.

Some online links to samples of Lithuanian singing:

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Artūras Sinkevičius

arturas-sinkevicius-croppedLithuanian singer-instrumentalist ARTURAS SINKEVIČIUS studied music education and folklore at the Kaunas Educational University and now teaches folk music and dance at the Kaunas High School for the arts. He is the organizer of the yearly Suklėgos International Folk Festival, and he also composes and performs original live soundtracks for plays at the Kaunas State Puppet Theater. As the director of Gilė, a student folk-rock fusion band and choir, he keeps his country’s folk tradition alive and gets young people interested and engaged with the living tradition that dates back before recorded history. He also performs and records his own arrangements with the Kūlgrinda Ritual Folklore Group, and plays in one of Lithuania’s most sought-after dance bands. In addition to being a singer with an exhaustive knowledge of Lithuanian folklore, Artūras plays and teaches a multitude of instruments, including bagpipes, fiddle, whistles, guitar, Lithuanian pan-pipes, wooden trumpets, kanklės (zither), didgeridoo, and double bass.





Will Thomas Rowan

WILL THOMAS ROWAN is a composer, conductor, and multi-instrumentalist who began singing with Village Harmony when he was 14. He performs with Windborne, a band made up of Village Harmony alumni, which has toured internationally as part of the State Department’s American Music Abroad program. He holds a masters in conducting from Bard Conservatory, and is also an award-winning composer who writes everything from ballads to symphonies. In his other musical endeavors Will has collaborated with Susan Cooper on a Scottish folk music-dance-fairytale at Revels North, sung in a Russian Orthodox Monastery choir, conducted a 25-piece orchestra with chorus at the Fisher Center at Bard, created West African/Anglo-Norse trance-fusion pieces with the Kidimandi percussion ensemble, and has performed covers of Lady Gaga on the banjo more than once. Will is an avid storyteller and delights audiences of all ages with his lively and tongue-in-cheek re-tellings of Norse Mythology. He is delighted to be bringing his friend and collaborator Artūras back to the US on the heels of their Village Harmony tour together in Lithuania last summer.



Lynn Mahoney Rowan

LYNN MAHONEY ROWAN grew up singing in Southern VT with the Amidons, Tony Barrand and other of the region’s pillars of folk music. Village Harmony introduced her to a love of world harmonies as a teenager and she continued to sing and teach with Northern Harmony and the Renewal chorus through college. She tours at home and abroad as a singer and percussionist with her band, Windborne. Lynn establishes and leads world-music choruses wherever she lands including a student-run ensemble at Marlboro College, a community chorus in Keene, NH, and a year-round teen ensemble with Revels North in Hanover, NH. In addition, she was the assistant choral director and appeared as a soloist in the Christmas Revels for six years, and coached many of the other soloists there. Lynn also composes, arranges, and directs music for theater and once developed and put on a folk opera in collaboration with Eric Bass.




Old Gegužinė Farmstead

2011-06-16-041Old Gegužinė Farmstead is in the center of Lithuania an hour from the medieval city of Kaunas. This log-built lodge was built in 2011 by our hosts the architects Rolandas and Neringa Bortkūnas on land that was restored to their family after it was seized by the Soviet government in 1941.

2011-06-16-100-150x150Behind the lodge, salmon and heron populate the river Neris, and the surrounding countryside of farmland and forests is great for hiking and mushroom-hunting.

The rooms in the lodge are decorated with art and exhibits by local artists and craftspeople. There is a spacious kitchen with a brick bread oven, and a sauna in the backyard next to the river.

There is somewhat limited space in the lodge, and many of the installed beds are for two people. We hope that a number of participants will be willing to share these double beds so that we can run the camp at full capacity.