Village Harmony

Cuba Camp, 2017 – Feb. 21 – March 2 (10 days) – $1350 – FULL

Date: February 21 - March 2, 2017
Venue: Cuba's "casas particulares"
Leaders: Alina Orraca & Schola Cantorum Coralina, Sandra Santos González, Maribel Nodarse & Ensemble Vocal Luna, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas & Grupo AfroCuba de Matanzas, Karla Mundy, Patty Cuyler
Price: $1350


Village Harmony’s first study-workshop in Cuba is FULL with a waiting list. If this trip is as successful as we anticipate, we will schedule another trip to Cuba soon!

This 10-day exploratory trip to Cuba is intended for experienced singers and choir directors who can sight-read with fluency, are able to tackle complicated rhythms, and are serious about studying Cuban choral music and Afro-Cuban singing and dance. We are aiming for a vocally-balanced ensemble of 18-20 to join us to work (and play!) intensively with some of Cuba’s most renowned choral conductors and traditional dance ensembles.

Acceptances will be sent out on October 1st.

Alina OrracaWe are fortunate to have Alina Orraca—founder of the international touring ensemble Schola Cantorum Coralina—along with Sandra Santos Gonzaléz & Maribel Nodarse Valdésconductors of the acclaimed women’s ensemble Vocal Luna—work with us in intense daily singing sessions during our first week in Cuba.

Evenings will alternate between learning a set world music repertoire to add variety to our performances and classes in salsa and Afro-Cuban dance. Each after-dinner session will end early enough to allow participants ample time to sample the vibrant night life of Old Havana’s Vedado neighborhood, where we will be staying and rehearsing in a cluster of grand old homes turned into private hostels, known in Cuba as casas particulares.

 

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On the morning of our eighth day we will leave Havana for Matanzas on the northern shore of the island about 90 kilometers east of the capitol.

Matanzas is justly celebrated for its Afro-Cuban folk culture, and there we will immerse ourselves for an intense two-days of dancing, singing and drum classes, including workshops with Los Muñequitos de Matanzas and Grupo AfroCuba.

Our 10-day trip will end with a concert and after-party shared local musicians and dancers.

bridge-matanzas

The Camp Itinerary

DAY ONE: Tuesday, February 21
Arrive in the afternoon – travel from Varadero Airport – settle in
6:00 – Dinner at our casas
7:00-8:30 – Introductory session with Karla & Patty
Check out the streets!

DAY TWO: Wednesday, February 22
8:00-9:00 – Breakfast at our casas
9:30-12:00 – Class with Cuban instructor
12:00-2:30 – Lunch and free time
2:30-5:00 – Class with Cuban instructor
6:00 – Dinner
7:00-9:00 – Session with Karla & Patty

DAY THREE: Thursday, February 23
8:00-9:00 – Breakfast at casas
9:30-12:00 – Class with Cuban instructor
12:00-2:30 – Lunch and free time
2:30-5:00 – Class with Cuban instructor
6:00 – Dinner
7:00-9:00 – Session with Karla & Patty

DAY FOUR: Friday, February 24
8:00-9:00 – Breakfast at casas
EXCURSION
6:00 – Dinner
7:30-9:30 – Class with Cuban instructor

DAY FIVE: Saturday, February 25
8:00-9:00 – Breakfast at casas
9:30-12:00 – Class with Cuban instructor
12:00-2:30 – Lunch and free time
2:30 – Go together to the Sabado de la Rumba (3-6pm)
6:30 – Dinner
Evening – Afro-Cuban dance class

DAY SIX: Sunday, February 26
8:00-9:00 – Breakfast at casas
9:30-12:00 – Class with Cuban instructor
12:00-2:30 – Lunch and free time
2:30-5:00 – Class with Cuban instructor
6:00 – Dinner
Evening – Concert with Vocal Luna

DAY SEVEN: Monday, February 27
8:00-9:00 – Breakfast at casas
9:30-12:00 – Class with Cuban instructor
12:00-2:30 – Lunch and free time
2:30-5:00 – Class with Cuban instructor
6:00 – Dinner
Evening – TBA

DAY EIGHT: Tuesday, February 28
8:00-9:00 – Breakfast at our casas
Pile into cars and drive to Matanzas – about 1.5 hours
Lunch
2:00-6:00 – Afro-Cuban dance & canto workshops
Dinner
Evening – Salsa workshop

DAY NINE: Wednesday, March 1
8:00-9:00 – Breakfast
Morning – Afro-Cuban dance & canto workshops
Lunch
Afternoon – More dance/drum classes and/or beach trip
Dinner
Evening – Concert/party with Cuban musicians

DAY TEN: Thursday, March 2
Breakfast 
Closing session
Head to airport

Tuition $1350. Includes housing, transportation, breakfasts and dinners during the workshop period. Optional $100 single-room fee for our stay in Havana. Transportation to and from Cuba, and lunches while we are in Havana, are the responsibility of each participant.

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Apply Now!

Leaders

Alina Orraca & Schola Cantorum Coralina

Alina-Orraca-directora-del-coro-2Alina Orraca is one of Cuba’s most eminent choral conductors and educators and has presented highly successful courses, workshops, and performances in Nicaragua, the Vatican, Venezuela, Spain, Brazil, México and Sweden, as well as Cuba and Canada. Born in 1957 in Havana city, she studied music from an early age and won conducting degrees from Cuba’s National School of the Arts and the Institute of Higher Arts.

imagesAlina is the director of the Schola Cantorum Coralina, an award-winning mixed choir she founded in 1993 under the sponsorship of the Pablo Milanes Foundation. is a part of the Catalogue of Artists of the National Center of Concert Music of Cuba, signifying its selection as one of the most prestigious Cuban choirs. See and hear Coralina in a recent YouTube music video here.

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Sandra Santos González, Maribel Nodarse & Ensemble Vocal Luna

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.

Maribel-Nodarse-Valdes

Maribel Nodarse Valdés joined the staff of Vocal Luna in 2002, after completing her conservatory training at the National School of Music. A specialist in conducting and interpreting Latin American music for children’s choirs, Maribel taught music education in Havana from 2002-2007. She has been conductor of the boys’ choir Pequeños Principes since 2009, the girls’ choir Allegretto since 2013 and the youth choir Cantabile since 2014.

Ensemble Vocal Luna is a select ensemble of 12 women with a highly-varied repertoire embracing an eclectic range of composers, styles and genres of world music.

5Formed in 2002, Vocal Luna consistently wins grand prizes and gold medals in prestigious international choir festivals. At home they have shared the stage with important ensembles such as Exaudi, Ars Longa, the National Choir of Cuba and Coralina, and were chosen as the host choir for a UN conference held in Havana in 2003. Over the years Vocal Luna has collaborated with many ensembles and orchestras from abroad, including groups from Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Germany, Moldova, Russia, Italy and Spain.

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Los Muñequitos de Matanzas & Grupo AfroCuba de Matanzas

munequitos de matanzasDuring our stay in Matanzas we will take workshops with two of Cuba’s most acclaimed folklore groups, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas and  Grupo Afrocuba de Matanzas. Both ensembles specialize in the traditional African dances, percussion, and songs which are such an integral part of the island’s legacy.

Los Muñequitos has continually recorded since 1956 and is one of the most beloved rumba groups of all time. You can watch them giving a dance class HERE.

Grupo Afrocuba was founded in 1957 and is recognized worldwide for their mastery of Afro-Cuban folklore. Most members have Yoruba and Congo roots and are practitioners of the religions whose music and dance they perform; their repertoire includes folk genres performed only by them. Watch recent youtube clips of Grupo AfroCuba performing HERE and HERE.

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Karla Mundy

Karla-Mundy-for-webKarla Mundy grew up outside Calgary, Alberta and from a young age, was extremely passionate about piano, singing and dancing. She studied piano from the age of seven onwards, sang at all times and was introduced to many styles of music through her study of jazz, modern, flamenco, African and Latin dance as a teenager.

A vibrant, soulful and diverse vocalist, pianist, arranger and choir leader. Karla conducts four Vancouver community choirs, leads harmony singing workshops and performs extensively throughout BC and Alberta. Karla is a founding member of ‘The Shirleys’ -an all-female acapella sextet, ‘TriVo’ – vocal trio with Brian Tate and Dawn Pemberton and ‘Plough’ -an old-time string quartet. Karla specializes in world vocal traditions and rhythms and is passionate about ‘getting the music off the page’ and learning to embody the rhythm of the music.

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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.

 

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Venue

Cuba’s “casas particulares”

Casa Mildred, La HabanaIn old Havana we will be housed in three or four privately-owned casa particulares in the Vedado quarter of the city, a residential neighborhood frozen in time, abundant with classic American cars and crumbling grand mansions. Built at the beginning of the century around a linear plan, it was inhabited by Havana’s rich families. The streets and sidewalks are large and many houses have gardens, which makes it a lovely neighborhood to walk around. Our Vedado casas are in easy walking distance of each other and of the historic center of the city and many cultural attractions, including the broad esplanade of the Malecón, the Paseo del Prado, Central Park, the University of Havana, and the Gran Teatro de La Habana.

Yojans insideIn Matanzas we will stay in two or three privately-owned houses that have been converted into hostels. Matanzas is called the City of Bridges, for the seventeen bridges that cross the three rivers that traverse the city (Rio Yumuri, San Juan, and Canimar). For this reason it was referred to as the “Venice of Cuba.” (It was also called “La Atenas de Cuba” —”The Athens of Cuba”—for its poets.) Matanzas is known as the birthplace of the music and dance traditions danzón and rumba.

Most rooms in both Havana and Matanzas will be double occupancy. In Havana we expect to have a few rooms available for single occupancy for a singles supplement of $100.

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