Village Harmony

Lithuania Camp – June 26-July 10, 2017 (14 days) – $1700/adults, $1375/youth

Date: June 26-July 10, 2017
Venue: Old Gegužinė Farmstead
Leaders: Will Thomas Rowan, Mary Cay Brass, Artūras Sinkevičius, Inija Trinkūnienė
Price: $1700/adult, $1375/youth

img_5466We are hoping to make this and our other international camps more affordable for high school & college student participation by offering substantial youth discounts.

Village Harmony’s inaugural camp in Lithuania will focus on studying songs and dances from the southwestern Žemaitija region and the distinctive Sutartinės singing tradition from the Aukštatija region.

Sutartinės singing, which was listed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010, is a challenging repertoire of two- and three-part polyphony which involves canonic imitation and close tuning of seconds. (click the link to hear a good example)

inija-trinkuniene1We will work on this repertoire with Inija Trinkūnienė and Artūras Sinkevičius, members of the Kūlgrinda Ritual Folklore Group. In addition we will be visiting with traditional singers in their home villages to share music.

Village Harmony leaders Will Rowan and Mary Cay Brass will bring a set of other world music to add variety to our repertoire for concerts at folk festivals and folklore centers around the country and to share with our host choirs.

We will do between six and nine concerts around three of Lithuania’s five ethnographic regions: Aukštatija, in the northeast (where our retreat center is) Žemaitija in the north, and Dzūkija in the southeast. These concerts will mainly be held in local centers for culture and given in collaboration with traditional singing families and folklore groups including Artūras’s ensemble Gilė.

There will be opportunities for sightseeing and cultural tourism to museums and castles, and we have tentative plans to do a pair of concerts with an overnight, one in the seaside city of Klaipėda and the following day in Nida on Lithuania’s stunning pine- and dune-covered Curonian Spit. Lithuanian Statehood Day happens during our camp, and we will participate in celebrations with the locals.

During the entire camp session we will use as our base the Old Gegužinė Farmstead in the center of Lithuania an hour from the medieval city of Kaunas.

This log-built lodge was built in 2011 by our hosts the architects Rolandas and Neringa Bortkūnas on land that was restored to their family after it was seized by the Soviet government in 1941.

img_5465Behind the lodge, salmon and heron populate the River Neris, and the surrounding countryside of farmland and forests is great for hiking and mushroom-hunting.

The rooms in the lodge are decorated with art and exhibits by local artists and craftspeople, there is a spacious kitchen with a brick bread oven, and there is a sauna in the backyard next to the river.

Some online links to samples of Lithuanian singing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Vz4JOvM2Cc&list=PLrLh0Vet5pcKX9EN5hXH4IYtQrOI-Mfgd&index=28

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WlZ2jhRwO4&index=21&list=PLrLh0Vet5pcKX9EN5hXH4IYtQrOI-Mfgd

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Leaders

Will Thomas Rowan

WILL THOMAS ROWAN is a composer, conductor, and multi-instrumentalist who began singing with Village Harmony when he was 14. He performs with Windborne, a band made up of Village Harmony alumni, which has toured internationally as part of the State Department’s American Music Abroad program. He holds a masters in conducting from Bard Conservatory, and is also an award-winning composer who writes everything from ballads to symphonies. In his other musical endeavors Will has collaborated with Susan Cooper on a Scottish folk music-dance-fairytale at Revels North, sung in a Russian Orthodox Monastery choir, conducted a 25-piece orchestra with chorus at the Fisher Center at Bard, created West African/Anglo-Norse trance-fusion pieces with the Kidimandi percussion ensemble, and has performed covers of Lady Gaga on the banjo more than once. Will is an avid storyteller and delights audiences of all ages with his lively and tongue-in-cheek re-tellings of Norse Mythology. He is delighted to be bringing his friend and collaborator Artūras back to the US on the heels of their Village Harmony tour together in Lithuania last summer.

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Mary Cay Brass

MARY CAY BRASS of Athens, Vermont, co-directed at her first Village Harmony camp 27 years ago. She directs two very popular community choirs in Vermont and Massachusetts and is the co-musical director of Hallowell Hospice Choir. Mary Cay is also a dynamic contra-dance keyboardist and accordion player. She spent two and a half years in the former Yugoslavia on a Fulbright Scholarship in ethnomusicology. She has published two book/CD collections of music from that region. Mary Cay has  organized and led four Village Harmony trips to the Republic of Macedonia and three to Bosnia, with this fourth one planned for 2018. www.marycaybrass.com


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Artūras Sinkevičius

arturas-sinkevicius-croppedLithuanian singer-instrumentalist ARTURAS SINKEVIČIUS studied music education and folklore at the Kaunas Educational University and now teaches folk music and dance at the Kaunas High School for the arts. He is the organizer of the yearly Suklėgos International Folk Festival, and he also composes and performs original live soundtracks for plays at the Kaunas State Puppet Theater. As the director of Gilė, a student folk-rock fusion band and choir, he keeps his country’s folk tradition alive and gets young people interested and engaged with the living tradition that dates back before recorded history. He also performs and records his own arrangements with the Kūlgrinda Ritual Folklore Group, and plays in one of Lithuania’s most sought-after dance bands. In addition to being a singer with an exhaustive knowledge of Lithuanian folklore, Artūras plays and teaches a multitude of instruments, including bagpipes, fiddle, whistles, guitar, Lithuanian pan-pipes, wooden trumpets, kanklės (zither), didgeridoo, and double bass.

 

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Inija Trinkūnienė

fb-gd42793-1Inija Trinkūnienė is the director and co-founder of the Kūlgrinda Ritual Folklore Group. As a Sociologist at the Academy of Philosophy and Sociology, Inija has spent most of her professional career studying cultural and ethnic expression through Lithuanian folklore. For decades, Inija has been instrumental in Romuva, the revival of the ancient Baltic Pagan religion, and was elected as the leader of that community in 2014, succeeding her late husband, the folklorist Jonas Trinkūnas. Inija is a font of songs, and through her work with Kūlgrinda and Romuva has inspired a love of traditional music in a new generation of Lithuanians.

Venue

Old Gegužinė Farmstead

2011-06-16-041Old Gegužinė Farmstead is in the center of Lithuania an hour from the medieval city of Kaunas. This log-built lodge was built in 2011 by our hosts the architects Rolandas and Neringa Bortkūnas on land that was restored to their family after it was seized by the Soviet government in 1941.

2011-06-16-100-150x150Behind the lodge, salmon and heron populate the river Neris, and the surrounding countryside of farmland and forests is great for hiking and mushroom-hunting.

The rooms in the lodge are decorated with art and exhibits by local artists and craftspeople. There is a spacious kitchen with a brick bread oven, and a sauna in the backyard next to the river.

There is somewhat limited space in the lodge, and many of the installed beds are for two people. We hope that a number of participants will be willing to share these double beds so that we can run the camp at full capacity.

http://www.atostogoskaime.lt/en/farmstead/senosios-geguzines-ukis

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