Village Harmony

New England Traveling Teen Camp 3 – July 26 – August 14, 2018 – $1375

Date: July 26-August 14, 2018
Venue: Stump Sprouts Retreat Center
Leaders: Matlakala Bopape, Avery Book, Lysander Jaffe, Sinead O’Mahoney
Price: $1375

This will be a great session for singers who want to stretch their musical boundaries by learning and performing music from some of the most exciting polyphonic music traditions in the world.

Matlakala Bopape of Polokwane, South Africa, will lead the group in South African songs and dances, including traditional gospel, church chorus, folk and struggle songs.

Village Harmony veteran Avery Book will teach traditional songs from the island of Sardinia and from Caucasus Georgia, and songs of struggle.

Lysander Jaffe—another VH alumnus—will teach songs from Corsica and Albania, and will lead any singer-instrumentalists in a set of exciting Balkan band pieces.

Sinead O’Mahoney, a recent VH graduate, will teach several the group American shape-note songs.

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Matlakala Bopape

matlakalalgMATLAKALA BOPAPE, of Polokwane, South Africa, is the director of Polokwane Choral Society—a community-based group whose aim is nurturing musical talent in African society. As a director, Matlakala is committed to drawing out musical excellence from her singers, as well as exposing them to musical cultures of the world. Her limitless patience, careful attention to vocal technique, and rich repertoire of folk and contemporary South African choral music make her a formidable teacher. Matlakala’s first taught with Village Harmony in Italy in 2000 after a fortuitous initial meeting with Patty & Larry at Festival 500 in St. John, Newfoundland the previous summer


Avery Book

Book-AveryAVERY BOOK, of Burlington, Vermont, has been involved with Village Harmony since 1999, initially as a teen camper and more recently as a camp director. Avery’s eclectic musical interests span the gamut from early music to traditional world folk to the music of social movements. Avery will be teaching songs from the Republic of Georgia, Sardinia, Bosnia, and North American social movements. He has traveled and studied in Sardinia, Georgia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, and the British Isles. Avery teaches harmony singing at the Summit School of Traditional Music and Culture and Village Harmony, and is a co-founder and director of the Central Vermont Solidarity Singers. He has a dynamic and warm teaching style with an emphasis on community building, supportive risk-taking, and creative pedagogy.



Lysander Jaffe

imagesLYSANDER JAFFE is a singer, violist and co-artistic Director of Palaver Strings, a chamber orchestra and nonprofit based in Portland, ME. He is also a founding member of Culomba, a genre-defying new vocal ensemble based in Boston. A devoted student of traditional music, he has studied with master musicians in Bulgaria, Kosovo, Greece, Corsica, and Georgia. In 2017, he appeared as a soloist with the Cambridge Revels in Sanders Theatre. In 2018, he was awarded an Apprenticeship Grant in Traditional Arts from the Massachusetts Cultural Council to support his studies of the unique violin tradition of Epirus, Greece.

As a teacher, Lysander is passionate about broadening the cultural horizons of students of all backgrounds. He has taught world polyphony styles for Village Harmony since 2013 and has toured Europe several times with its professional ensemble, Northern Harmony. In 2020, he will graduate New England Conservatory with a Masters in Contemporary Improvisation. Read more about Lysander’s work.



Sinead O’Mahoney

sineadSINEAD O’MAHONEY, a native of Montpelier, VT, has been avidly 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 taken three separate trips to Caucasus Georgia, including an intensive Georgian language and culture course. She has also been active in Sacred Harp and other shape-note singing throughout New England, and she became a co-director of VH’s community choir Boston Harmony in 2018. She also co-led the Mettabee Village Harmony choir with Larry Gordon and has 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.





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.