Village Harmony

Corsica Camp – June 21 – July 9 (19 days) – $1900

Date: June 21- July 9, 2016
Venue: I Fioretti, Canari, Cap Corse, Corsica
Leaders: Patty Cuyler, Jean Etienne Langianni, Frederic Vesperini, Aurelia Shrenker
Price: $1900

NOTE THE CHANGE IN DATES (originally scheduled for June 14-July 2).

This camp session is intended for experienced older high school and college students and adults who are confident enough to tackle the challenges of learning Corsican traditional music–with its elaborate ornamentation and precise intonation–by ear, and to sing one on a part in a small ensemble. It is above all a study tour, with emphasis placed on working with local singers and learning about the culture of the island.

We are privileged to once again work with two great traditional Corsican singers, Jean-Etienne Langianni and Frederic Vesperini, who will come separately to join the group and teach during our rehearsal period.

Teaching songs from the Republic of Georgia and from Appalachia will be Village Harmony alumna Aurelia Shrenker, who currently lives in southern France.

Village Harmony co-director Patty Cuyler will teach American shape note songs and a set of traditional South African choral arrangements to round out our concert program.

Participants will fly or take a ferry to Bastia on Cap Corse and then drive to the village of Canari on the west coast of the cape, with its old confrerie and ancient paths winding up the mountainside.

We’ll stay in a renovated 18th-century convent, and rehearse in its church. During our second week we will visit villages to meet up with traditional singers, perhaps attend a festival where we might just listen (or where we might be invited to sing), and give a series of concerts of our own in some of Corsica’s beautiful village churches.

In residence at I Fioretti, Canari, Cap Corse, Corsica, France

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Patty Cuyler

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 co-leads the community world music choir Boston Harmony (which she founded in 2005) as well as the Brooklyn World Music Chorus (since 2012)—both of which she commutes by air to conduct—and the Chicago World Music Chorus (2013) closer to home.









Jean Etienne Langianni

Jean-Etienne-LangianniJean Etienne Langianni is a well-known singer, composer and teacher across Europe, is at home as much with contemporary popular music and all periods of European classical chant as he is with the traditional folk and sacred polyphony of his native Corsica. He leads workshops of Corsican singing both in Corsica and throughout western Europe. A member of Tavagna (the Corsican folk music group) and Organum (the ancient music ensemble led by Marcel Peres), he is a talented composer whose works reveal a deep understanding of Corsican folk and sacred music. This will be Jean-Etienne’s seventh time working with Village Harmony/Northern Harmony in Corsica.

Frederic Vesperini

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 has met to share music with Spartimu in Ajaccio on nearly every trip we have made to Corsica since 2004, and we will do so again this summer. This will be the second time that Frederic has also traveled up to Canari to teach during our Corsica rehearsal week.

Aurelia Shrenker

Aurelia_ShrenkerWith a foundation in classical voice, Aurelia began singing with Village Harmony and Northern Harmony at a young age, which introduced her to the music of various world traditions. She performed as a soloist and with the duo Ash (2009-2011), whose repertoire featured music from Caucasus Georgia, Appalachia, the Balkans and Corsica. A former student of Ethnomusicology at UCLA and NYU, Aurelia has studied Georgian music for the last fifteen years. She spent 2011-2012 in Georgia on a Fulbright Award, recording and documenting traditional music from Eastern Georgia.  Aurelia recently set up an interactive website featuring these recordings. She is currently living with her husband outside of Nice, France.


I Fioretti, Canari, Cap Corse, Corsica

corsica_canaricoastWe will use as our base the rural gite I Fioretti, an 18th-century convent renovated with three multi-room apartments and eight ensuite rooms for tourist use, in the village of Canari just inland from the Meditterranean on the western Cap Corse—the 40-km long peninsula on the island’s far northeast with mountains that plunge straight down to the sea. Rehearsals will be in the adjoining church, still used for services on Sundays. Canari is a delightful village of several hundred located in great hiking territory.