July 20-27, 2019 // Plymouth, MA
For singers who love to dance and dancers who love to sing
Songs! We need them more than ever – to sing to each other and with each other. Come learn, dance, relax, and raise the rafters in song at Harmony of Song & Dance. The themes of the week are community dance and music making, and the goals are to learn from each other, have fun, and create beauty together.
The 2019 program staff are extraordinarily talented and caring teachers and performers who are excited to come share their songs, tunes, dances, and techniques. Their classes build in-depth knowledge, provide space to practice skills, and encourage you to engage creatively. The program offers inspiration and support for all levels of experience and a wide range of interests.
Mornings begin with vocal warmups and the All Camp Chorale, where the entire camp sings together in harmony, building a common repertoire throughout the week. The singing staff take turns leading songs, some by ear, some from written music, some a little of both. Expect folk songs, swing harmonies, polyphonic choral music from around the world, traditional chorus songs, and more.
After chorale we give our limbs a good stretch and go dancing. Our dance leaders offer English country, contra, and a beginner-friendly session that is a mix of both, all with top-notch dance music.
In the afternoons there is a cornucopia of opportunities to sing, dance, and play instruments. Classes in the first two afternoon periods will build on skills and material all week, while the third afternoon period gives you the option of choosing different classes on different days. On Wednesday, this late afternoon class period will be replaced with a Camper Concert: and opportunity for you to perform a song, sonata, or stunt; recite a poem; or jump into an improv game.
Here are just a few of your options:
- Sing in a one-on-a-part duet or trio tutored by Rani Arbo, or sign up for a vocal mini-lesson with her.
- Learn tunes from fiddler Lissa Schneckenburger and dig into the art of playing for dancing with Julie Vallimont.
- Jam on a ukulele with Katie Martucci, or join her for Swing Harmony Singing
- Love choral singing? There are choral sessions both for readers and ear-learners, including Suzannah Park’s World Music Harmony and Matt Norman’s arrangements of English folk songs.
- Learn more about specific singing traditions by joining Bob Walser for Sea Songs, or Suzannah for Ballads.
- Dance to Anna Patton’s Couple Dance Dream Band in the late afternoons. Drop in for waltzes and other theme-of-the-day dance forms with friendly and minimal dance teaching from staff guests.
- Tell a story in song. Laurel Swift will lead a class about her process of writing new songs from old folk tales. Also, if you have any inclination towards morris dance, you won’t want to miss Laurel’s Morris Class.
- Spend some time working up a song for the Wednesday afternoon campers’ concert or the late-night Swing Dance Party.
- Are you a teacher of music or dance? Thoughtful and creative pedagogy abounds among the teaching staff. Find inspiration, ideas, and material to bring to your own teaching.
- Take a break! Swim. Nap. Drink in the botanical beauty of Pinewoods on plant walks with Aaron Marcus. Or sit on a dock and rest your feet, voice, and brain!
After dinner, served family-style, there is a short, intimate staff concert, often featuring new collaborations between staff members. Following the concert, we make our way to C# pavilion for a social dance party for the whole community: contra and English country dance, plus ceilidh dances and waltzes.
The dance ends with a closing song, bringing the day full circle. For the nocturnally inclined, merriment often continues with more music, dance, games, and hanging out in the camphouse! Late night activities will include a pub sing and the aforementioned swing dance night!
So, my friends, that’s what I know about the week, which covers the classes and staff, but this week is really about the campers. I am very much looking forward to being there with each of you and seeing what you bring to it. Music and dance feed my soul, and, if you’re like me, we will nourish ourselves and maybe even stuff ourselves silly at Harmony of Song and Dance. Come sing us your favorite song. Build connections and friendships. Dig deeper into a kind of music or dance you know and love, and shake yourself up by remembering what it’s like to learn something completely new. Pack your curiosity and sense of humor; your appetites for learning and fun.
~ Anna Patton, Program Director
- Rani Arbo
- Betsy Branch
- Alex Deis-Lauby
- Corey DiMario
- Brooke Friendly
- Aaron Marcus
- Katie Martucci
- Rick Mohr
- Matt Norman
- Suzannah Park*
- Bruce Rosen
- Lissa Schneckenburger
- Laurel Swift
- Julie Vallimont
- Bob Walser
* Program Advisor, plus:
Steve Howe, Pat MacPherson
All-Camp Chorale – the singing staff
The morning chorale brings the entire camp together to start the day with a 75 minute singing session where our diverse singing staff take turns leading harmony songs both by ear and from written music. The material will range from easy and fun to more challenging (and still fun!) A big sing at the end of the week will be a review of the highlights of this session. The repertoire may include chorus songs, arranged folk songs, swing harmonies, world music, and more.
Contras and Cousins – Rick Mohr
Music by: Julie Vallimont, Corey DiMario, Betsy Branch: Enjoy first rate dances in fine company, with stellar music, in the fresh breezes of C#. A main course of contras — spiced daily with a memorable square, triplet, grid, or jawn* — accessible to newcomers and interesting to experienced dancers.
*A Philadelphia noun with no specific meaning.
ECD: Watermelon to Chocolate (Lyrical to Boisterous, Silly to Sublime) – Brooke Friendly
Music by: Matt Norman, Aaron Marcus, Anna Patton: Experience the variety of texture and mood as well as the qualities of movement and phrasing distinct to English country dances old and new: lyrical to boisterous, silly to sublime. We will focus on skill building, including interesting variations of basic figures, phrasing, and dancing in different ways, as well learning, recovering, and helping.
Intro to Contra and English Country Dancing! – Alex Deis-Lauby
Music by: Lissa Schneckenburger, Bruce Rosen: A class geared toward people who are: new to contra, English, or both; dancers who want to build their skills and become more comfortable on the dance floor; dancers of all levels who want to learn to better help new dancers succeed; and, dancers who want to share their love of dance with others!
Ukulele – Katie Martucci
Brush up on your ukulele skills as we learn folk songs and swing tunes. We’ll review chords, and work on different strumming/fingerpicking patterns. Leave with a new set of songs to sing and play!
Singing on the Porch – Camper led
Come sing along or bring a song to share in this informal session of chorus songs, well-known folk and popular songs, rounds and who knows what else!
Appalachian Clogging – Suzannah Park
Music by: Aaron Marcus: Doing the TN walking step as we right hand star around and meet our partners with a twirl and and and… This is a good class for someone with little or no exposure to Appalachian clogging as well as those wanting to get more comfortable with the basics while expanding their clogging repertoire. All the steps will be broken down as we work them into a routine to be done within the form of a square dance. Come get your groove on to the yummy plunking of the banjo and dive into the sweet fun of percussive traditional dancing. Note: please bring hard-soled shoes.
New England Fiddle – Lissa Schneckenburger
This workshop is open to all intermediate-advanced fiddlers. We will start with a brief overview of New England fiddling, its stylistic elements, and its history with musical examples. The group will learn an average of 1 tune each day, from the traditional repertoire, by ear. When time allows, the group will go over specific ornaments, and chords. All participants are strongly encouraged to bring a recording device and a notebook.
Slow-Cooker Chorus – Rani Arbo
Bring your lung capacity and your love for slow-tempo, lusciously dissonant, sacred choral music to this class. We’ll warm up with shorter pieces, including snippets of Hildegard’s Gregorian chant (with drone) and Bobby McFerrin’s setting of the 23rd Psalm. Our deep dive will be Morten Lauridsen’s gorgeous O Magnum Mysterium (for which we will need some high sopranos and low basses — hint hint!). Ability to read music is a plus.
Harmony Singing by Ear – Betsy Branch
Learn tools to create your own harmonies. We will learn some basic music theory, and create lots of human chords. We will learn songs from a variety of traditions, and work as a class to come up with harmony ideas for the songs. We will also practice some different approaches to creating harmony. All are welcome — no music reading or previous music theory knowledge required.
New Songs From Old Folk Tales – Laurel Swift
Laurel spent last year writing songs for a brand new folk musical, and she will share some of the engaging methods, starting points and techniques she discovered. We will look at some traditional stories and songs, explore their underlying themes, discuss their characters, then select great lines and lyrics to expand on and develop into a new cycle of songs. This will be a fun and accessible class, and you will have opportunities to choose to work alone or in groups.
Intermediate Guitar – Katie Martucci
Learn new chord shapes (swing/django voicings as well as inversions), as well as different fingerpicking and strumming patterns to vary your rhythmic comping. We’ll also work on some tune melodies (folk songs, musettes and/or standards) as a way to get familiar with the neck and feel more comfortable playing lead and soloing.
The Art of Listening – Corey DiMario
The best musicians are the also the best listeners of music. So often we hear music around us but don’t stop to really listen and focus on it. We will explore different musical themes in a focussed listening session. Using recorded examples across a wide variety of styles we’ll listen and discuss the various elements of what we hear.
Basic Banjo for Singers – Bob Walser
This is a class for folks who want to accompany their voice with the 5-string banjo. We’ll focus on using the banjo’s character to enhance a song with basic chords, tunings and technique.
Harmony Arrangements of English Folk Songs – Matt Norman
Matt will teach English Folk songs that he has arranged in traditional style. We’ll start the session with a warm up that gets us ready to sing and will also develop vocal technique. All of the songs will be taught by ear but music will be provided. The arrangements are rich and earthy harking back to pre-Victorian harmony singing, with a special effort made to give all parts something interesting to sing. The sessions will be relaxed and fun with an emphasis on style and musicality.
World Music Harmony – Suzannah Park
Enjoy the harmonic variety that is world polyphony through songs about love, loss and celebration from a collection of countries in 2, 3 & 4 part harmony. We’ll sing songs from America, England, Bulgaria, Caucasus Republic of Georgia, South African and Columbia. All singing levels are welcome and all songs and parts will be taught by ear and no sight-reading skills are required.
Cotswold Landscape – Tradition and Innovation – Laurel Swift
Music by: Rick Mohr: A class for all levels – beginners and experienced dancers welcome. Laurel will teach some traditional and modern morris dances and figures, exploring why they work so well, and what potential they have for further development. Through the week you can expect to nail the basics; consider how technique and timing can make a figure fly; focus of the heart of a morris move, it’s build up and release; and generally have fun dancing morris.
Going Solo – in Duets and Trios! – Rani Arbo
In this class, we’ll explore how our unique voices combine and practice fine-tuning that amazing alchemy in a supportive setting. We’ll sing in duos and trios throughout the week, switching singing partners and experimenting with tone, pitch, energy, rhythm, and phrasing. Be ready for lots of deep listening and courageous sharing with the group. Magic will happen! If you have a simple song to share with a duet or trio partner, please bring it — we’ll also learn a few simple songs together to start the week.
Swing Harmony Singing – Katie Martucci
Learn to sing in tight three part swing harmony, a la The Boswell Sisters and The Mills Brothers. We’ll learn a few arrangements of swing standards and dive into some of the theory so students understand how to hear and sing their own harmonies.
Dance Musician’s Workshop – Julie Vallimont
We’ll explore the musical process of playing with other people, either in a band or in a one-time situation. Some things we might explore: How to be better listeners; how to generate ideas and hone them; different modes of creativity; saying “yes” to ideas; finding ways to interpret other people’s ideas; and getting a tight sound and a deeper groove.
Sea song Celebration: A Soggy Sing ’round the World – Bob Walser
“A good song was worth 10 men on a rope” went the saying. We’ll explore and share the songs of square rig – shanties and forebitters – then venture into less familiar waters with stevedores’ songs, fishing shanties, the mysterious Dreg Songs of Scotland and shanties from outside the anglo-american canon. Come prepared to rant and roar!
Vocal Mini-Lessons – Rani Arbo
Enjoy 20-minutes of one-on-one attention to your singing voice. Whether you’d like to work on a particular song, dive into technique, or address a concern, these sessions are tailored to support you on your vocal path. They will be scheduled during 5th period or possibly at other times if mutually convenient. Campers are welcome to share a slot with a friend.
Pinewoods Botanical Bonanza – Aaron Marcus
Pinewoods Camp is situated in a special ecological hotspot — a confluence of conditions result in an unusual number of rare and endangered species. With help from Aaron Marcus, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s Assistant Botanist, we’ll learn about the pink ladyslipper orchids, tiny mosses, majestic pitch pines, underwater ferns and ecology of Pinewoods, covering a different theme every day. This relaxing class is not cumulative, nor aerobic, and all are welcome to join for as few or as many sessions as desired. We will stick to trails around camp — a different one each day. Please bring your curiosity and wonder.
Traditional Ballads – Suzannah Park
The rich a deep well of American and British Isles ballads is an important and powerful way that stories, lessons and life are sung about and shared. We will teach songs as well as have space for folks to share ballads they already know. We’ll talk about the dynamic of how and when to share these songs and tricks for memorization. Join us and learn knee to knee as we share our stories and songs with each other.
Dance Party: Waltzes and other Dances of the Day
Music by: Julie Vallimont, Betsy Branch, Corey DiMario, Anna Patton, and guests: Relax your mind and move around to music in the late afternoon. We’ll play waltzes for your dancing pleasure, and also feature an additional style of dance each day, including swing, French dances, Scandinavian dances, and more. There will be brief teaching appearances by guest dance teachers, and also plenty of uninterrupted dancing to Anna’s Couple’s Dance Dream Band.
Give us a Song – Bob Walser
Share your favorites with yer mates – anything goes as long as folks can join in.
Tune Jam With Lissand Matt – Lissa Schneckenburger, Matt Norman
A late afternoon tune session for all instruments: nothing too fast or notey, just solid, satisfying tunes to groove on or play around with, as you feel inclined.
One-shots with Rick – Rick Mohr
Each day, the versatile Rick Mohr will offer a different fun and edifying late-afternoon workshop, including Contra Choreography, Calling 101, Rounds, Turning Dances, and more.