“Take the leap, it will change your life in ways you could never imagine.”

Matt Reyna
July 23-30, 2022 // Plymouth, MA
For singers who love to dance and dancers who love to sing

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Listen to Harmony Week featured on “Off the Path” from WSHU Public Radio.

A singing class in the pond

Program Description

Harmony of Song & Dance is a wonderful opportunity to spend a week in the woods singing, dancing, jamming, learning, drawing, percussing, swimming, and laughing!

We begin each day singing together at All Camp Chorale. Skilled staff songleaders will teach you a wide variety of songs, always offering by-ear teaching, and sometimes providing written music for you to use and keep. All levels of singers are welcome.

If you are a song organizer and want to learn more, sign up for our Song Organizer’s Intensive led by Nicole Singer.

Following that, we warm up our bodies with a dance session, offering contra dancing, English country dancing, and a class for those who are new to social dance. This year, all of the staff-led dancing features non-gendered calling.

In the afternoons, choose from a delightful array of sessions led by our incredible staff. Each period will offer exciting options for singing, dancing, and playing music. There is also free time for swimming, napping, jamming, singing, and camper-led activities.

After dinner, be inspired by gorgeous staff concerts before heading over to the evening dance. The evening dances will be primarily contras and English country dances, and there will be opportunities for campers to participate in an open band a few times during the week. 

If you’re a night owl, there’s lots of late-night fun, including a rollicking pub night and a swing dance night. And there’s always late-night swimming under the stars!

I’m excited to sing, dance, play, swim, and laugh with you. I hope our week’s offerings will restore your hearts, minds, bodies, and souls.

~Betsy Branch, Program Director

Teachers: One graduate credit is available through the Kodály Music Institute.

Dancers waltzing around the dance floor

Class Descriptions

Period 1

All Camp Chorale

How can a day get started any better than by singing gorgeous songs in full harmony in a beautiful Join our talented singing staff for a morning feast of singing. Songs will be taught by ear, and sometimes with sheet music support. Prepare to start each morning by being transported and uplifted by song and each other.

Period 2 – Dance Period

Build community at camp with social dance!  You can choose contras, English country, or a session designed to teach you all that you need to know to participate fully in the evening dances.

Intro to Contra dance and English country dance – Sue Rosen with Bruce Rosen and Betsy Branch

Come learn the basic figures while dancing to beautiful music. This class is 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!

Wake Up Contras – Angela DeCarlis with Peter Siegel, Audrey Knuth and Elias Alexander

Early birds are invited to come shake their tail feathers in the main dance hall! No fuss, no muss — just great contra dances for whoopin’, hollerin’, and wakin’ up to incredible music.

English Breakfast – Melissa Running with Jonathan Jensen, Rachel Bell and Anna Patton

Something savory, something sweet, something brisk and bracing—come dig into a smorgasbord of English country dance as we enjoy a moving “second breakfast.” We’ll have old favorites and new, simple fare and chewier morsels, engaging for feet and ears and minds.

Period 3

Dance Band class: Playing with Variety – Anna Patton and Audrey Knuth

Working with both English and contra repertoire, this class will explore the ways we can add variety to an evening of dancing: switching up instrumental textures, improvising, on-the-fly arranging, emphasizing genre differences, and more! Tunes will be taught with optional sheet music for readers. All instruments are welcome.

Dance Digestifs – Angela DeCarlis with Betsy Branch and Rachel Bell

What’s better after a delicious Pinewoods meal than some thinkin’ dances? We’ll treat our full stomachs right with some thoughtful walk-throughs and choreography that tickles the brain.

Morris Dance – Chris Bracken with Armand Aromin and Benedict Gagliardi

This will be a low-key class of stompy and jingly ritual dances to the vocal stylings of Armand Aromin. We’ll try a handful of dances in different traditions (both Cotswold and Molly) that have been written to some favorite songs. We’ll err on the side of bashing through rather than perfecting. Some morris experience is handy but not required.

Scottish Mouth Music – Elias Alexander

“For the purpose of chasing goats off cliffs, I prefer the little kilt,” “a house full of fiddlers, a house full of girls, a house full of black pudding…”  “oh black world, who made us blind drunk?” Enter the magical world of Gaelic puirt a’ beul (pronounced “poorsht uh bee-uhl”), and all these gems of lyricism can be yours! Meaning “tunes from the mouth,” puirt a’ beul is a unique Scottish Gaelic tradition of putting lyrics to reels, jigs, and other dance forms. Not only will we learn how to sing them—we’ll learn how to pronounce them too! 

Here’s what’s extra super cool about this form: the consonants in the words add amazing percussive effects to the melodies, providing a whole other layer of rhythm. In this class we’ll learn several tunes “from the mouth” and we’ll also talk about how to let the words influence your instrumental playing or even lilting! If you feel like bringing an instrument, feel free. This class will be focused on singing, but we can translate these tunes to instruments, and then all have a grand old time together. These tunes are groovy as heck and very useful for step dancers or ceilidh dances. Heuch!

Songs of Justice from Around the World – Peter Siegel

Pete, Fela, Woody, Bob Marley, Anonymous: Musicians that unite us in social and environmental justice from around the globe.  We will sing accessible songs with choruses and work up a few multi-part arrangements.

Mi Ritmobeat! Todo Viene del Corazón: A drum workshop – I-SHEA (Iréne) Shaikly

Drumming with soul. Passion. Roots. Rhythm. The heartbeat! You are invited to learn the history and tradition of some afro-caribbean rhythms and dances from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.  Bring a drum if you have one:  congas, bongos, djembes, and any other small percussive toy. Extra drums will be available if you don’t have one to bring.

Song Organizer’s Intensive Course – Nicole Singer

By pre-registration only – Song Organizer’s Intensive

Period 4

Ear Training for Everyone – Anna Patton

For singers and curious listeners; a workshop to sharpen the musical ears and help us invent vocal harmonies. We’ll take songs we already know and sing our way into the mysteries of what makes their harmonies tick. There will be some “music theory” in this class, but we will keep it to a homeopathic dose, concentrating on ears, voices, and intuition.

Trad Songs: From Where They Came From to Where They Can Go – Peter Siegel and I-shea Shaikly

If troubadours of the past were to write the same songs today, what might they sound like in our transcontinental world?  We will explore taking relatively familiar songs from American and European traditions and setting them to the rhythms and chords of the global south.   We will have pre-made arrangements and work a few new songs up with the group over the course of the week. 

Irish Fiddle And Sessions: How Do? – Armand Aromin

Your bow hand’s Deepest Desire is “Good jig rhythm! Do the thing!”” but your accent still feels a little put on. Fear not. Among the endless sea of tunes and types, we’ll learn about what IS the real deal with reels and how to get jiggy with jigs of all flavors. Soon enough, the Duolingo equivalent of “Without a doubt, I want to eat ham” will come so naturally, no one will bat an eye at the next Irish session.

Drone Singing – Elias Alexander

Drone singing, the gateway drug to bagpipes… Come sink into a rich, earthy world of haunting pre-chordal harmony as we learn several songs from the Scottish and American traditions that go great accompanied by drones. Who needs more than one note anyway??? We’ll practice creating drones for ourselves and each other while we sing. Bellows pipes, harmoniums, accordions, fiddles, banjos, guitars and even friends can all produce lovely drones–bring them. As we amble down the path of minimal accompaniment, we may even add a note or two here and there and find out how big a difference a small change can make. Ahh but forgive me, I drone on. (Be advised: this is not an aerial photography class.)

Dancing Outside the Box – Melissa Running with Jonathan Jensen and Betsy Branch

Most of the English country dances we do are based around the “box” two pairs of dancers make within a longways line. In this session, we’ll explore regions “outside” that box, looking at dances with figures that break or transcend the box, or that just have no boxiness whatsoever. We’ll also look outside of the “box” of our own expectations, for dances that surprise us in ways other than geometric.

Song Organizer’s Intensive Course – Nicole Singer

By pre-registration only – Song Organizer’s Intensive

Period 5

Social Singing: Going from “How??” to “And how!” – Nicole Singer, Armand Aromin, Chris Bracken

You’ve heard tell of the pub sing, shanty blasts, or just singing with others for the sheer joy of it. Perhaps you’ve been to some singing sessions but want to improve your song leading or need help modifying that really awesome song with the one problematic lyric. Or maybe you just want to experience a higher plane of sweet harmonic ecstasy at Pub Night this week. Well, there’s a space for all of these concepts and questions, and YOU!

Sketching Songs – Angela DeCarlis

In this open-ended art class, we’ll explore different ways of integrating visual art-making with the music and dance we love. All experience levels are welcome! We’ll have some art supplies on-hand, though feel free to bring your own materials to play with, too. Camp jammers are encouraged to join us as drawing subjects. Come to draw or be drawn!

Tunes ‘n Stuff, Pinewoods Edition – Rachel Bell and Audrey Knuth

Learn a new tune a day from a different genre (English, Contra, Balfolk and Waltz) and explore what it means to play that particular style. Tunes will be taught by ear with optional sheet music provided and all instruments are welcome.

Pinewoods Piano Bar – Jonathan Jensen

Great American Songbook devotee Jonathan Jensen will lead a sing-along to end your afternoon, with each session focused on a different decade. We’ll cover the 1920s through the 1970s (at least), lyric sheets will be provided, and requests will be taken, time permitting. Grab your beverage or snack of choice and gather around the piano for a celebration of memorable songs!

Express Yourself through Collective Power! – I-SHEA (Iréne) Shaikly

Show up with your full self ready to build with each other, exploring various forms of vocal expressions from beatbox to vocal soundscapes to freestyle ‘cyphers’ (circles) and sound healing. The intention of this workshop is to create a collective vibe sending off positive energy into our world in need of healing.  “We are the Ones We’ve been Waiting For” – Hopi elders

Registration and Fees

The fee for the week is $950

Camp fees cover all accommodation, meals from dinner on the arrival day to breakfast on the departure day, and all of the various dance, music, and song events in the program.

You can find more information about the registration process here. If you need financial assistance in order to attend, please go to our scholarships page.

Staff

I-shea Shaikly

Harmony of Song & Dance
I-shea Shaikly

Elias Alexander

Harmony of Song & Dance
Elias Alexander

Benedict Gagliardi

Harmony of Song & Dance
Benedict Gagliardi

Betsy Branch

Harmony of Song & Dance, Program Directors
Betsy Branch

Bruce Rosen

Harmony of Song & Dance
Bruce Rosen

Audrey Knuth

Harmony of Song & Dance
Audrey Knuth

Anna Patton

American Dance & Music Week, English Dance Week, Family Week at Ogontz, Harmony of Song & Dance
Anna Patton

Melissa Running

Harmony of Song & Dance
Melissa Running

Rachel Bell

Family Week at Ogontz, Harmony of Song & Dance
Rachel Bell

Chris Bracken

Harmony of Song & Dance
Chris Bracken

Sue Rosen

Campers' Week, Family Week at Ogontz, Harmony of Song & Dance
Sue Rosen

Armand Aromin

Harmony of Song & Dance
Armand Aromin

Nicole Singer

Harmony of Song & Dance
Nicole Singer

Jonathan Jensen

Harmony of Song & Dance
Jonathan Jensen

Peter Siegel

Harmony of Song & Dance
Peter Siegel

Angela DeCarlis

Harmony of Song & Dance
Angela DeCarlis