Village Harmony

Republic of Macedonia Camp

Date: June 25th - July 9th (14 Days)
Venue: N/A
Leaders: Larry Gordon, Mary Cay Brass, Goran Alachki
Price: $1700

We especially urge American teen singers to apply to come to Macedonia this summer. Two young local Macedonian girls will be joining the camp this year, and their families have offered to act as home-stay hosts for our own teenagers during the Berovo portion of the camp, enabling us to offer reduced tuition to those American teens who may need it.

We are excited to offer our fourth camp in the Republic of Macedonia, a country of great natural beauty, with breathtaking mountains, lush forests and pristine lakes, and rich, ancient folk traditions. The camp will be led by veteran VH leader Mary Cay Brass, Village Harmony’s founder, Larry Gordon, and virtuoso accordionist, Goran Alachki.

This year’s camp will take place in two locations, beginning with a week in the town of Berovo in the beautiful Maleshevo mountains of eastern Macedonia, and then moving on to the town of Dojran on beautiful Lake Dojran in southern Macedonia on the Greek border.

Macedonia climbing-We will focus on a wide variety of singing styles with a strong focus on wedding songs from these two regions with five legendary singers: Krume Spasovski will teach wedding songs from western Macedonia in the “chalgija” tradition. Atina Apostolova and Blaga Petreska will focus on urban wedding styles of singing. Vidanka Georgievska and Adrijana Alachki will both teach traditional village wedding songs.
In addition, for a charge of $50 per class, Goran will be giving private accordion lessons, and multi-instrumentalist Bajsa Arifovska will offer individual lessons on clarinet, kaval, violin, dumbek, tupan and tambura.

Each morning during the camp will begin with Macedonian folk dance classes with three excellent teachers. Zenil Redzepov, dancer and choreographer from eastern Macedonia will focus on dances from the Maleshevo region around Berovo. Graciela Alachki-Dimovska,Goran’s daughter, will present videos of traditional Macedonian folklore and wedding customs and rituals.Snezana Balkanska, a beautiful, virtuosic dancer with Tanec, the Macedonian state ensemble, will focus on dances from Pirin and Aegean (Greek) Macedonia. Then each evening we will enjoy a dance party, with Goran and Bajsa and other musicians performing. Every song and dance taught during the daytime will be repeated at these evening dance parties.

We will give concerts during our stay in Macedonia, presenting the Macedonian songs that we learn and rounded out by some American songs taught by Mary Cay and Larry. In each concert we will be joined by local musicians, giving our campers great opportunities to meet and perform with and for local singers and dancers.

During our last Macedonia camp we met a group of teens who were excellent singers and dancers. We expect to have two of these local girls in the session, and we are particularly hoping to entice a group of American teenagers to join them in this camp.

Macedonia beach townWhile in Dojran—known for its healing waters, excellent swimming, great fish dishes, Mediterranean climate and a 20 kilometer trail running along the shore—we will stay in a hotel right on Lake Dojran. During our stay in Dojran we will go on an excursion across the Greek border to visit the village of Kilkis. In Berovo we will stay in the beautiful Hotel Manastir, situated on the edge of town in the mountains, near many hiking trails in the Maleshevo mountain range.

Rooms in both Berovo and Dojran are doubles. There will be a $100 single room supplement per week (total of $200 for the 2 weeks) if you would prefer a room to yourself.


Apply Now!


Larry Gordon

larryoregonVillage Harmony founder and director LARRY GORDON has been making community music in Vermont since the early 1970s. He founded Village Harmony in 1989, and his patient and relaxed, yet demanding, teaching style and his collaborative approach have shaped the welcoming atmosphere of the Village Harmony community since the beginning. Though his first love was medieval and renaissance music, he is a vital figure in New England shape-note singing, and he is the music editor of the popular Northern Harmony shape-note songbook. Larry is an inspired organizer with an unerring eye for good repertoire and a unique knack of pulling together interesting combinations of singers and letting them shine.  Larry has led Onion River Chorus in Montpelier since the late 1970s, and is well known across the US and internationally for leading stunning periodic ad hoc incarnations of Northern Harmony, a semi-professional tour group made up largely of veteran Village Harmony singers.  Recently he has been devoting increasing time to teaching Balkan folk dancing.


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.



Goran Alachki

goran-photoSMGoran Alachki, a virtuoso accordionist, has been designated one of fifteen national treasures of the Republic of Macedonia. Goran is a charismatic, dynamic leader and teacher with incredible, indefatiquable enthusiasm for his country’s musical folklore and with a heartfelt desire to share it with everyone. Adrijana Alachki, in addition to being a wonderful singer, is an amazing chef with her own cooking program on Macedonian TV. She has also published the definitive cookbook of Macedonian cuisine. Adrijana will be offering cooking demonstrations of the specific cuisines in each area.Graciela Alachki-Dimovska, Goran’s daughter, began dancing at the age of 9 and is an active member of the Koco RacinEnsemble of traditional song and dance. In addition to teaching dance, Graciela will present some videos of traditional Macedonian folklore including a video of her own wedding last June with all its customs and rituals. Graciela speaks excellent English and is an enthusiastic and inclusive teacher.