Village Harmony

Northern Harmony Weekend at Magdalen Farm

Date: November3-5
Venue: Magdalen Farm
Leaders: Larry Gordon, Lysander Jaffe, Northern Harmony Singers
Price: £220/£180/£130

Join Northern Harmony  singers for an exhilarating weekend of singing from widely varied world harmony traditions, including South African, Corsican, Balkan, Georgian, American shape-note and quartet gospel, and a renaissance piece.  Larry Gordon and the young singers of Northern Harmony have developed a wide reputation for their command of the distinctive vocals styles appropriate to these different traditions.  With a couple of singers helping to lead each vocal part the teaching is particularly efficient and rewarding, enabling participants to assimilate quite a lot of songs in the course of the weekend.  As usual Larry and instrumentalists from the group will lead folk dancing for warm-up each morning.  Northern Harmony will present a full length concert on Saturday night at nearby Wootton Fitzpaine community hall.

The weekend begins with supper on Friday and runs through mid-afternoon on Sunday, and includes six meals, mostly vegetarian.  There are a limited number of double rooms available at the £220 price.  The remainder of the accommodations are in triples or quads at £180.  Commuter price is £130.  This weekend sold out last year so do register early to guarantee your place.

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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.

Lysander Jaffe

imagesLysander Jaffe, originally from Conway, MA, is a versatile musician based in Boston. He is a brilliant violinist and violist, adept at both classical and folk styles.  He has traveled extensively to Georgia, Turkey, Kosovo and  and Bulgaria, studying and documenting traditional music. As a vocalist, Lysander has a wonderful command of the ornamented styles of Georgian, Albanian and Corsican singing.  He is a veteran  of many years of Village Harmony and has participated in the two most recent Northern Harmony tours.  This will be his third year of teaching at Village Harmony.


Northern Harmony Singers

Northern Harmony 2008Northern Harmony’s brilliant young singers always share in the teaching at workshops.   Many of them have participated in Village Harmony and Northern Harmony tours since their young teens, and many have studied traditional vocal styles first hand in Georgia, South Africa, Corsica and the Balkans.  Their strong voices supporting each vocal part makes the teaching and learning particularly efficient and gratifying for all.


Magdalen Farm

Set in the beautiful Somerset countryside along the River Axe, Magdalen Farm is a residential center converted from old stone farm buildings around a landscaped courtyard.  There are 14 bedrooms with 2 to six beds in each, with shared bathrooms.  The center is at the heart of a working farm and visitors are welcome to wander through the kitchen gardens and visit the farm animals.