Our harmony singing camps are a testament to the extraordinary things ordinary people can achieve when they come together. They are also a lot of fun, and there is nothing quite like singing in harmony with others. People come to our programs with a broad range of musical experience, from novice singers to experienced choir leaders. Wherever you fit in that spectrum, you are encouraged to join us.
During our week-long summer programs, everyone stays together at the retreat center: we eat communally and share a lot of time together. Often we are asked to help with clean up after meals, and see this as another opportunity to work together. Each day, we spend 6 hours singing as a full group, with the leaders taking turns to present material. Each leader brings their individual focus and expertise, making the musical blend of each camp unique. In addition the singing, there is time during the week to walk and play and explore. Evenings are free, but we usually put on a cabaret one night during the week.
Weekend retreats begin on Friday with dinner and run through Sunday lunch. We sing for two hours on Friday evening, about 8 on Saturday, and another two hours on Sunday before heading home.
A word about food:
We believe that good food is an essential part of a good life, and strive to work with venues and caterers that provide healthy, satisfying meals. We are also aware that many people have dietary restrictions. We work to accommodate these needs, but—as balancing the many restrictions of a large group can be a challenge for the kitchen crew—we cannot promise that every need will be met. If you have severe or extensive dietary restrictions, you may wish to bring supplemental food. More importantly, we'd like to think of the meals—indeed, of the whole camp—as a collaboration between us rather than as a service provided to you. If we work together, everyone can get what they need at the table.
Please visit us at facebook, where we have pictures of past programs.
Singing Workshop with Avery Book and Brendan Taaffe
Join two old friends for a day of powerful and fun singing: shape note hymns, Georgian songs, original compositions, and pieces from Zimbabwe and Polynesia. Avery and Brendan first sang together with Northern Harmony in 2005 and are delighted to be presenting a workshop together at New City Galerie, a new art space on Burlington's Church Street. Avery will be focusing on the vocal polyphony of Caucasus Georgia. He has traveled to Georgia four times to learn directly from songmasters there, and has many years of performing with Northern Harmony under his belt. Brendan will present a mix of original compositions, Polynesian harmony, and songs gathered on a collecting trip to Zimbabwe in 2011. His original work, based on early American styles, is popular with choirs in the U.K., New Zealand, and America. The songs are known for their lush harmonies and sense of the sacred.
The workshop is open to all interested singers and costs $40 for the day / $25 for students. Lunch is not included in the price.
To register, send a check to:
Summer Singing Week in Western Massachusetts
Sorry—this program is FULL.
Join us for eight days of uplifting gospel, lush harmonies, original compositions, and traditional songs from America and Scotland at Ricki Carroll's home in the charming village of Ashfield. This trio of teachers first worked together five years ago in Ireland during a week that was memorably moving. Kathy is, for good reason, one of the most popular singing leaders on the circuit. Her exuberance, musicality, and deep knowledge of American gospel music will not fail to move you. This will be Ali's first trip to the States. She is an inspiring composer, an excellent teacher, and one of Britainís most sought after community singing leaders. Since 2004, Brendan has been traveling the world leading singing workshops and working with other singers, dedicating himself to bringing people together through song. Heíll bring gems gleaned from those travels—France and New Zealand most recently, Zimbabwe in 2011—as well as traditional American songs and his own original pieces.
Ricki and Jamie's home in Ashfield is a charming place on the main street of the village. After singing is done for the day, Ashfield Lake is across the street for a swim and Elmer's is just down the street for an evening drink.
The cost of the week is $710: commuters are welcome at $660.
To reserve your space, please send a deposit of $150 and fill out a registration form.
© Brendan Taaffe, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.