NewEnglandAdult ($750)

Village Harmony - Rehearsal week at Stump Sprouts Retreat Center

Friday, July 15, 2016 - Friday, July 22, 2016
Rehearsal week at Stump Sprouts Retreat Center 64 W Hill Road HawleyMA  01339
Friday, July 15, 2016 - Friday, July 22, 2016
Rehearsal week at Stump Sprouts Retreat Center 64 W Hill Road HawleyMA  01339

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What's Included

Led by Brendan Taaffe, Val Mindel, Bongani Magatyana (from South Africa). This seven-day long adult residential session will be full of blow-out traditional music singing, including an eclectic selection of American and world-music harmonies. Brendan Taaffe will lead a mix of traditional American harmony, his original pieces, and makwayera songs from Zimbabwe. Inspired by the cadences of early American hymnody, Brendan's compositions are known for their lush harmonies and intricate counterpoint and are popular with choirs throughout the U.S. and the U.K. Bongani Magatyana, an amazing composer-director from Cape Town, South Africa, will teach a set of traditional South African choral folk songs and his own compositions. And long-time Village Harmony teacher Val Mindel will teach from her vast repertoire of traditional Appalachian and old-time folk arrangements. The group will start each day with American and Irish folk dances. If people come with instruments, Brendan will lead a contra band to accompany the dancing. In residence at Stump Sprouts Retreat Center in rural western Massachusetts.

About This Organizer

Village Harmony—a non-profit umbrella organization for music performance and training based in central Vermont—has been holding its acapella singing performance camps in the US and abroad since 1989, for teenagers, college-aged students, adults and mixed age groups . Each camp session is headed by a trio of highly experienced music leaders fluent in a wide range of traditions. VH's no-holds-barred attitude toward what is possible has resulted in ensembles whose sound remains dynamic, unpredictable, and absolutely exciting year after year. With clear command of radically-varied singing styles and infectiously joyous stage presence, Village Harmony performances always knock people’s socks off.


Camp locations vary each year. In 2015 our programs will be held in New England, the Midwest and Oregon, in the Republic of Georgia, Macedonia and South Africa. Over the years we’ve also held camps in Bulgaria, Bosnia, Corsica, Ukraine, Russia, Ghana, the UK, Denmark, Sweden, and Germany.


During the rehearsal week, singers get to know one another, absorb the basics of new vocal styles and prepare a concert program. Rehearsals are focused and intense, usually six or more hours each day, with voice coaching and instrumental work between the group sessions. Written music is distributed for a lot of the repertoire, but many songs are taught solely by ear, and virtually everything is taught by example. Emphasis is placed on authenticity in the spirit of each musical genre. Above all we strive for total conviction, and singing with joy.


Though intense, Village Harmony camps tend to be extremely relaxed, non-competitive and democratic in nature. The supportive and inclusive community at our camps is such that no one is afraid to give their all in performance and sing from the deepest place in their hearts.


Organizer Info

  • Village Harmony

Map & Direction

Rehearsal week at Stump Sprouts Retreat Center 64 W Hill Road HawleyMA  01339
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