Village Harmony

This year’s camp & workshop leaders

Many Village Harmony Leaders

The Summer 2020 virtual camps will feature many pairs and trios of our wonderful Village Harmony teachers.

Frederic Vesperini – Corsica Week

Frederic VesperiniSpartimu EnsembleFREDERIC VESPERINI of Ajaccio, Corsica is a long-time member (and currently director) of Ensemble Spartimu. Specializing in the traditional folk and sacred polyphony of Corsica, the ensemble is regularly invited to in prestigious international festivals, most recently including trips to Sardinia, to Poland and to Tbilisi, Georgia. Over the past decade the ensemble has have added brilliant performances of music from the Republic of Georgia to their repertoire. Spartimu has recorded two CDs. Village Harmony met to share music with Fred and Spartimu in Ajaccio on nearly every trip we made to Corsica since 2004, and we will do so again this summer.

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Patty Cuyler – Corsica, South Africa & Georgia Weeks

Patty Cuyler photoPATTY CUYLER, born in California, educated at Princeton University, long-time resident of Vermont and currently living in Chicago, IL, is an energetic, dynamic workshop leader and choral director and is internationally-renowned for her expertise in teaching Corsican, Georgian and South African music. She has been co-director of Village Harmony since 1995 and over the years spear-headed the expansion of the organization’s reach into the four corners of the globe.

Patty has co-led Village Harmony’s community world music choir Boston Harmony (which she founded) since 2005 as well as the Chicago World Music Chorus (2013) closer to home.

 

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Mollie Stone – Corsica & South Africa Weeks

Mollie Stone

MOLLIE STONE is a Chicago native internationally renowned for her workshops on black South African choral music. Mollie has served as a conductor at Chicago Children’s Choir since 2005 and at the University of Chicago since 2011. Mollie earned her master’s degree in classical choral conducting from Westminster Choir College and her conducting doctorate from Northwestern University. In 2001, she received a grant from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation to create a DVD, Vela, Vela, to help educators learn and teach black South African choral music in the oral tradition. In 2006, Mollie received another grant to study how South Africans are using choral music in the struggle against HIV, which became the topic of her highly-acclaimed doctoral thesis. Mollie has been teaching with Village Harmony since 2009.

Avery Book – Teen Week #1

Book-AveryAVERY BOOK, from Plainfield, 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. He has traveled a number of times to The Republic of Georgia and is currently working on a set of educational recordings and transcriptions of traditional Georgian music.  Avery is a founder of two chapters of the Vermont Solidarity Singers, a group of singers and song leaders that lead and adapt songs for Vermont social and environmental justice movements. He is a member of a number of touring musical ensembles. When he isn’t singing, Avery is a community organizer.

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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 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 and works as a middle/high school choral director in Georgetown, MA.

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Bongani Magatyana – Teen Week #1 & South Africa Week

Bongani_MagatyanaBONGANI 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 very 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.  His 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 in South Africa and the US since 2012.  He is a wonderful dancer as well as singer, and he is particularly adept at communicating the elusive rhythms of South African songs.

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Matlakala Bopape – South Africa Week

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

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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.

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Carl Linich – Teen Week #2

Carl-LinichCARL LINICH has been a scholar, teacher,and performer of traditional Georgian polyphonic singing since 1990, and is a member of TrioKavkasia. A fluent Georgian speaker, Carl lived in Georgia for 10 years, and received two prestigious merit awards from the Georgian government in recognition of his work to promote and preserve Georgian folk music. He has worked on numerous publications related to Georgian folk music for the Tbilisi State Conservatory, the State Folklore Center of Georgia, and the International Centre for Georgian Folk Song. Carl has been leading Village Harmony camps since 2000, and toured with Northern Harmony in 2001 and 2002. He currently directs the Supruli Ensemble in New York City and a Georgian choir at Bard College, and sings in a family trio with his two sons. www.kavkasia.com

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Sandra Santos González – Teen Week #2

DSC_2065A pianist and conservatory student from an early age and graduate in choral conducting from Cuba’s Conservatorio Amadeo Roldán, Sandra Santos was a solo singer and children’s choir director before joining the prize-winning women’s ensemble Vocal Luna as director.  In 2007 she founded the girl’s choir Lunitas. In 2011 Sandra assumed directorship of Coral Children of Musica Antigua; and in 2013 she founded the youth choir Young Cantoras.

Sandra was one of Village Harmony’s teachers in Havana at our 2017 and 2018 camps in Cuba. We are thrilled that Sandra is in the US for a few years and is able to join us this summer.
 

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Lysander Jaffe – Teen Week #3

imagesLYSANDER JAFFE, originally from Conway, MA, is a versatile musician based in Boston. He is a brilliant violinist and violist, adept at both classical and folk styles.  He has traveled extensively to Georgia, Turkey, Kosovo and  and Bulgaria, studying and documenting traditional music. As a vocalist, Lysander has a wonderful command of the ornamented styles of Georgian, Albanian and Corsican singing.  He is a veteran  of many years of Village Harmony and has participated in the several recent Northern Harmony tours.

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Nadia Tarnawsky – Teen Week #3

TarnawskyNadiaNadia Tarnawsky has been studying Eastern European singing techniques for nearly three decades. In 2002 she received a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship which allowed her to travel to Ukraine to collect folk songs and folklore. She has taught Ukrainian village style singing in workshops for the Center for Traditional Music and Dance in New York city, Village Harmony in Vermont and Oregon, the Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble in San Francisco, and the Black Forest Fancies in New Orleans among others. In 2011 she received a Traditional Arts Fellowship from Artist Trust. She sang under the tutelage of Yevgeny Yefremov with Ensemble Hilka of New York in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster in Ukraine.  A recording of this repertoire was recently released on the Smithsonian Folkways label.

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Sora Harris-Vincent – Teen Week #3

Sora Harris-Vincent is a singer currrently based in Los Angeles. Growing up in Vermont, she attended her first Village Harmony concert at the influential age of 12 and knew she had to join the locally based world music group. Sora has sung with Village Harmony ever since, traveling all around the US as well as internationally in Macedonia, Corsica and Bulgaria to learn and perform music. in 2017 she toured around Europe with Northern Harmony where she thoroughly enjoyed performing nightly concerts and teaching workshops to singers of all ages and musical abilities.

As an elementary school teacher, Sora has worked hard to incorporate music into the classroom to engage and excite young learners with music from around the world. Sora was recently involved in musical projects on both coasts, traveling between Boston and Los Angeles to tour and perform traditional American and world folk music with her vocal ensemble, Culomba.

Ketevan Mindorashvili – Georgia Week

mindorashviliketevanlgKetevan Mindorashvili was born in Sighnaghi in the eastern province of Kakheti in (the Republic of) Georgia. She was raised in a traditional singing family. Founder and director of the Zedashe Ensemble, Keto showed a gift for singing since childhood and continued to study music technique extensively in university. She devoted herself to preserving traditions on the brink of disappearance, and has become known as a singer and a teacher of Georgian folk music, particularly the fluid ornamentation of eastern folk songs. She has a deep knowledge of ancient church chant, and is a master of the panduri, the three-stringed lute from the eastern Georgian region of Kakheti.

Keto has searched valleys and mountains for ancient polyphony, collecting folk songs and chants, as well as writing her own music within the tradition. Today she hosts students from all over the world in her native Sighnaghi and travels internationally leading tours of Zedashe and teaching workshops. She has appeared on all Zedashe recordings to date, and has participated in numerous tours to the United States, United Kingdom, and throughout Europe. Keto has been teaching Village Harmony groups in Georgia (and in Corsica in 2014) since 2003.

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Zedashe Ensemble – Georgia Week

zedashe-dancingZedashe Ensemble, directed by Ketevan Mindorashvili, was founded in the mid-1990s to sing repertoire that had been largely lost during the Communist era. The group is known for their performance of ancient three-part chants from the Orthodox Christian liturgy, folk songs from the Kiziqian region as collected from village song-masters and old publications, and folk dances from the region.

The group’s name is taken from the special earthenware jug, or zedashe, that was buried under the family home for the purpose of making wine. The wine made in the zedashe was intended for the veneration of ancestors and the tapping of the zedashe every year carried great ritual significance.

For more information, visit their website at http://www.zedashe.org

Suzannah Park – Mixed Rep Week

SuzannahVH-2013SUZANNAH PARK comes from a family of three generations of ballad singers, storytellers, and dancers and lives in the North Carolina mountains of her birth. She began teaching at Village Harmony in 2000 after participating as a camper since the age of twelve. Her joyous and intuitive teaching style, born of a lifetime of familiarity with traditional music, makes singers old and young feel at home in the songs that she shares and with each other. Weather she’s teaching American ballads, South African songs and dances or Appalachian clogging, laughter and good times abound. When not on tour with Village Harmony Suzannah leads the Wild Asheville Community Chorus and kicks up her heels with the Green Grass Cloggers. www.suzannahpark.com

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Kathy Bullock – Mixed Rep Week

Kathy BullockKATHY BULLOCK has been a Professor of Music at Berea College in Kentucky for 23 years, where she chairs the department, teaches theory and ethnomusicology, and directs the Black Music Ensemble, a 70- voice choir that specializes in the performance of African-American sacred music. She is a member of the American Spiritual Ensemble and she performs, lectures, and leads workshops in the United States, Great Britain, Ghana, and Jamaica on music and culture of the African diaspora.

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Gideon Crevoshay – Mixed Rep Week

Gideon_Crevoshay_PhotoGIDEON CREVOSHAY, originally from northeastern Vermont and now based in New Haven, CT, began touring with Village Harmony and Northern Harmony as a teenager in 1997. He attended Oberlin College where he became immersed in early music and co-founded a singing ensemble that focused on Georgian, Corsican and American traditional polyphony. A brilliant vocalist, he is a founding member of the Starry Mountain Singers, Starry Mountain Trio, and the Sardinian quartet Tenors de Aterúe, and tours annually with the international musical collaboration OneBeat.

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Heidi Wilson – Fresh Caught Songs Half-Week

Village HarmonyHEIDI WILSON is a singer-songwriter with a passion for sharing songs inspired by and in service to community and the wild world.  She has been leading a cappella singing groups for the last twelve years with the aim of uplifting courage, beauty, and connection.  Heidi currently leads singing at the Summit School of Traditional Music and Culture, the Plainfield Community Sing, seasonal Interfaith Sacred Sings, and with the Central Vermont Solidarity Singers. 

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Sarina Partridge – Fresh Caught Songs Half-Week

Singer-songwriter SARINA PARTRIDGE is most alive when learning, creating and sharing songs, and enjoys singing with a wide variety of music projects – Eastern European and Yiddish song, old-time music, community song-leading… and everything in between.  Sarina has traveled with Village Harmony to Corsica and Georgia, and toured with Northern Harmony abroad and in the US.  Sarina worked for several years as a Waldorf school classroom teacher and before that, worked in a variety of educational settings, where she developed a passion for helping people connect to their own creativity and with community, and develop a sense of wonder for the world around them.