Village Harmony

New England Teen Traveling Camp I, 2022 (June 28 – July 16) ($1450)

Date: June 28-July 16, 2022
Venue: Stump Sprouts Retreat Center
Leaders: Scott Sexton, Sinead O’Mahoney, Bongani Magatyana
Price: $1450. Financial aid available based on need

This camp is open any vaccinated teen age 11 up to age 18.  We are very excited to be planning two teen traveling camps this summer with in-person concerts.

Auditions aren’t required to attend Village Harmony camps or workshops. We ask all new teen applicants to answer questions about their singing background and their reasons for applying to Village Harmony as part of the application process. Village Harmony’s basic demand of would-be members is that they be committed to making good music and not hold back.

Our basic model for each camp session, regardless of teaching staff, is the same. We begin with an intensive residential rehearsal week where singers get to know one another and learn a concert program. Rehearsal week for this camp will be at Stump Sprouts Retreat in western Massachusetts. We place tremendous emphasis on authenticity, understanding the spirit and vocal style of each genre, and appreciating the joy of singing together and with conviction.

Rehearsals during the initial retreat week are focused and intense, usually seven or more hours each day, with voice coaching and instrumental work between the group sessions.  Following the rehearsal week, we embark on a ten day tour, performing each night in small-town community halls, village churches and at festivals, and staying with home-stay hosts at nearly every stop. Most of these communities have hosted Village Harmony repeatedly over the past 31 years.

Bongani Magatyana, joining us from the townships of Cape Town, South Africa, has an especially deep knowledge of South African traditional music and culture. He is a truly great teacher with a particularly clear way of imparting the sometimes elusive rhythms of traditional South African singing and dancing. He is also a wonderful composer of new songs in the folk style. His infectious enthusiasm can coax a big South African sound out of even the most timid singers.

Camp leader Sinead O’Mahoney has both been singing and traveling  with Village Harmony and Northern Harmony since she was 14 and is now a  regular Village Harmony leader.  She will lead classic and contemporary shape-note songs, and songs from Bosnia, Bulgaria and Caucasus Georgia.

Scott Sexton returns for his second season as a camp leader. He is a native of the South and its music traditions and enjoys teaching toe-tapping arrangements of Southern Gospel music. Lately, he has been exploring his family cultural traditions (his mother’s side of the family is Puerto Rican), and will likely teach a song arrangement or two from Puerto Rico.


NOTE: All participants this summer MUST be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend. There will be no exceptions.  We will also require a negative Covid test taken within three days of arrival at camp.

 

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Leaders

Scott Sexton

Scott Sexton is a dynamic music teacher and choral director based Troy University in Alabama where he conducts several choirs. He earned degrees in choral music education from Troy (B.M.E.) and the University of Mississippi (M.M.). Scott is known for his passion in teaching and performing world choral music. He has traveled the world performing and collecting music and is best known for his immersive music experiences in Ghana, Bosnia and the American South. In addition to choral conducting, he is also an accomplished instrumentalist and enjoys accompanying his singers on piano and autoharp, as well as learning how to play instruments from around the world. Scott has participated in Village Harmony camps in Macedonia and Bosnia. This will be his second Village Harmony camp as a co-leader.

Sinead O’Mahoney

SINEAD O’MAHONEY, a native of Montpelier, VT, has been singing with Village Harmony and Northern Harmony for over a decade. She has traveled abroad with Village Harmony in Corsica, France, Switzerland, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and has made three trips to Caucasus Georgia, including an intensive Georgian language course. She has been active in Sacred Harp and other shape-note singing throughout New England, and became a co-director of VH’s community choir Boston Harmony in 2018. She co-led the Mettabee Village Harmony choir with Larry Gordon in 2019-20 and helped host many Village Harmony online workshops. She has been praised for her sure command of rhythm and clear and efficient teaching style. Sinead earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Vermont in 2016. She currently lives in the greater Boston area.

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Bongani Magatyana

BONGANI MAGATYANA is a professional singer /music director /composer /theatrical producer living in Gugulethu Township in Cape Town, South Africa.

He was born in Cape Town in a township called Old Crossroads; his father was a self-taught choir conductor in the Old Apostolic Church. Bongani’s father taught him how to read and write tonic solfa music notation at a young age, and young Bongani dreamt of becoming a church choir conductor, too. Today he conducts a 120-voice OAC choir himself, as well as a community male choir.

Bongani’s folk-inspired choral compositions—popular pieces for South Africa’s major choral competitions—are sung by choirs around South Africa and internationally. Currently Bongani teaches at the Zolani Centre in Langa Township, leads an educational musical theatre company, and continues to compose music in a variety of genres, bringing vibrant performances to communities across Cape Town.

Bongani has been teaching with Village Harmony since 2012, co-leading annual study-performance camps and workshops in South Africa, the US and the EU.  A dancer as well as singer, and he is particularly adept at communicating the elusive rhythms of South African songs.

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Venue

Stump Sprouts Retreat Center

stumpsproutsSituated in rural northwest Massachusetts, Stump Sprouts Retreat Center is a rustic multi-season resort—founded as a cross-country ski resort—and retreat facility. The center of activity is the hand-crafted three-level guest lodge with bedrooms and lounge on the top two floors and kitchen and dining area on the lower level. Our rehearsals take place in the center’s converted dairy barn. And additional bedrooms are just across the lane in the 200 year-old farmhouse. Stump Sprouts is located on 450 acres of woods and meadows, with splendid vistas and hiking trails. The center’s organic gardens that often provide vegetables for our kitchen.

http://www.stumpsprouts.com/

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