Village Harmony

Northern UK Camp – August 6 – 20, 2018 – $1700adult/$1375youth

Date: August 6-20, 2018
Venue: Seahouses Hostel, Northumberland, UK
Leaders: Larry Gordon, Bongani Magatyana, David Oliver
Price: $1700 adult/$1375 youth

Our 2018 Northern UK camp will feature traditional instrumental dance music as well as different world music singing styles, so we are looking for good instrumentalists (and dancers) as well as singers. 

The camp begins with a week in residence at the Seahouses hostel on the scenic coast north of Newcastle.

During the rehearsal week we will have morning and evening dance sessions – including contras, English country and ceilidh dances, and some Balkan dancing – and on tour we will present some contra and ceilidh dances as well as purely concert performances.  The singing will focus on South African songs and dances, American shape-note singing, Balkan songs, and English traditional and political songs.

Larry Gordon is the founder of Village Harmony and a choir leader with decades of experience, with particular expertise in shape-note, Balkan, South African and early music.  He will also lead much of the dancing.

Bongani Magatyana is a choral director and composer who lives in Cape Town, South Africa, and has been teaching with Village Harmony groups there and in the US since 2012. This will be Bongani’s first time teaching with Village Harmony in the UK. 

David Oliver is one of northern England’s foremost dance musicians and callers.  A wonderful accordionist, he has a vast repertoire of traditional  tunes, and years of experience leading ceilidh bands of varied composition. 

Following the rehearsal week the group will launch into a seven day tour that will include Northumberland, southwest Scotland and the Lake District. The two-week program will culminate with a workshop and performance at the Whitby Folk Week, one of the UK’s biggest folk festivals.

The Whitby festival is a seven day celebration of the traditional music, dance and song of the British Isles, boasting over 600 events from workshops, concerts,  dances, sessions, and street entertainment to the extensive ‘fringe’ events. Camp participants will have the option of staying on in Whitby for the remaining five days of the festival.

Transportation to and from camp is not included in the tuition cost. For those arriving from abroad, we will be arranging pickups at Newcastle airport and train station to bring singers to the rehearsal location.

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Leaders

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.

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Bongani Magatyana

Bongani_MagatyanaBONGANI MAGATYANA is a professional singer /music director /composer /theatrical producer living in Gugulethu Township in Cape Town, South Africa. He was born in Cape Town in a township called Old Crossroads; his father was a self-taught choir conductor in the Old Apostolic Church. Bongani’s father taught him how to read and write tonic solfamusic notation at a very young age, and young Bongani dreamt of becoming a church choir conductor, too. Today he is conducts a 120-voice OAC choir himself, and his folk-inspired choral compositions—popular pieces for South Africa’s major choral competitions—are sung by choirs around South Africa and internationally. Currently Bongani teaches at the Zolani Centre in Langa Township, leads an educational musical theatre company, and continues to compose music in a variety of genres, bringing vibrant performances to communities across Cape Town. Bongani has been teaching with Village Harmony in South Africa and the US since 2012.

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David Oliver

DavidOliverA former high school principal, DAVID OLIVER was also for many years the education director of Folkworks.   A wonderful accordionist, band leader and singing leader, his pub sessions are immensely popular and his ceilidh band, The Hedgehog’s Skin, is in regular demand. David lectures on folk music education at the Universities of Newcastle and Durham, and he has authored a collection of choir arrangements of English traditional and political songs. Over the years he has hosted and organized a number of Village Harmony and Northern Harmony visits to the Hexham-Newcastle area, including collaborations with his community choir.

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Venue

Seahouses Hostel, Northumberland, UK

hostelstreetviewIn North Sunderland, approximately 50 miles north of Newcastle upon Tyne and 25 miles south of Berwick upon Tweed in Northumberland, UK, the Hostel provides self-catering residential accommodation for groups of young people, children and their leaders (from Early Years to Key Stages 1-5 and beyond).

The Hostel is run by a Christian foundation, and welcomes groups of all faiths and none.

Standing beside St Paul’s Church, the Hostel was converted in 1989 from a girls’ school and the farm outbuildings of a former vicarage.

(Source: Seahouses Hostel)

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