Village Harmony

Boston Harmony & the Village Harmony Cross-Countries Choir

Pre-pandemic, Boston Harmony—founded in 2005 and led by Village Harmony directors Patty Cuyler, Sinead O’Mahoney & Larry Gordon—would meet at the Masonic Lodge in Concord, MA, one weekend each month. Saturday rehearsals were 2-8pm with a potluck supper break, and Sundays were 10:30am-3pm with a potluck lunch break. As circumstances permit this year we intend to resume these fully in-person rehearsal weekends.

Regardless of whether our weekend meetings end up being in person, online, or a mixture of the two, below is the weekend rehearsal schedule for the coming year.

September 25-26 – October 23-24 – November 13-14 – December 11-12
January 8-9 – February 12-13 – March 12-13 – April 9-10

We will be starting the 2021-2022 Boston Harmony season with a hybrid rehearsal schedule, alternating virtual and in-person singing sessions. As circumstances permit we intend to resume fully in-person rehearsal weekends. 

At the moment we plan to hold the September rehearsal in a modified format, with a zoom meeting from 7-8:30pm ET on Saturday evening and an in-person meeting at the Masonic Lodge in Concord on Sunday afternoon. Sunday will be a shortened indoor rehearsal, from 12:30-3:00pm, and will be followed by a special concert by Sophie et Adam.

The Saturday zoom session will introduce and/or review the songs that will be rehearsed in person on Sunday.

Given the evolving ability of the delta variant to circumvent the protection of the vaccine in the current surge, we ask that everyone attending on Sunday not only be vaccinated but be able to present a negative covid test taken no more than 72 hours prior to the rehearsal.

We will also be singing with masks unless weather permits us to sing out-of-doors; and masks may only be removed when outside the building. (We’ll ask for feedback about the masked singing experience afterwards.) We will not hold a potluck meal on Sunday, so come to rehearsal having already eaten lunch. If you are planning on coming from a distance for the September rehearsal and need to be hosted overnight, let us know ASAP and we will match you with a host ahead of time so that guests and hosts can communicate about comfort levels. If you are local to Boston and are interested in being a host, let us know.Our plan is to go back to our normal format – two days of long, live rehearsal with potlucks – as soon as circumstances allow. For the time being, we hope that you are willing to go with the flow. along with us. If we need to be back on zoom for partial or full weekends after September, we plan to again invite guest teachers from around the world to join us to teach, like we did last year.

Tuition is $250 for the year. A self-selected reduced tuition of $175 is available for those who need it.

About our virtual ZOOM rehearsals

Last year Village Harmony directors
Patty Cuyler, Mollie Stone, Larry Gordon & Sinead O’Mahoney combined sister choirs Boston Harmony and the Chicago World Music Chorus and added singers from around the world as we inaugurated the Village Harmony Cross-Countries Choir, importing guest teachers from across the globe for a year of virtual collaboration. Each hour-and-a-half long rehearsal included a lesson with a specialist musician from somewhere around the world zooming in to teach us a song and talk about their music. Rehearsal weekends involved active participation, with call-and-response learning and voluntary self-recording for an end-of-year virtual audio concert. Choir members had access to Village Harmony’s Thinkific learning platform, where recordings of each zoom lesson were posted for leisurely review. Digital teaching materials reinforced the live teaching, with individual voice parts recordings, performance samples, pronunciation tracks, word sheets, translations, scores and a generous variety of digital background resources to dive into.As circumstances dictate, we may return in part or full to this model going forward into the 2021-22 season.

Last year’s specialty teachers included:

– Lonnie Norwood (African-American gospel, Chicago)
– Bongani Magatyana (South Africa)
– Nicholas Wiliams (Quebec)
– Ketevan Mindorashvili (Republic of Georgia)
– Sandra Santos (Cuba)
– Reza Saffari (Iran)
– Nadia Tarnawsky (Ukraine)
– Olaolu Lawal (Nigeria)
– Emily Miller (W. Virginia)
– Samira Merdzanic (Bosnia)
– Lala Simpson (Madagascar)
– Frederic Vesperini (Corsica)
– Medicine Tale (Native American)
– Polina Shepherd (Yiddish, London)