Northern Harmony World Harmony Choir in Viroqua October 13

Northern Harmony, an ensemble of ten brilliant young singers based in Vermont, presents a workshop and concert of world harmony traditions on Sunday, October 13 at at the Commons, 401 E. Jefferson St. in Viroqua. The workshop for any interested singers will be 3-5 pm and the concert at 7:00 pm. Suggested admission at the door is $10, $5 for students for either separate event, or $20, $10 for students for both events.

Led by Larry Gordon, Northern Harmony is the highest level performing group under the umbrella of the world music organization Village Harmony, which sponsors singing camps and workshops in New England and many parts of the world. (see www.villageharmony.org ) All the singers in the present ensemble are veterans of many years of Village Harmony singing programs. Most of them have studied traditional singing styles first hand with native teachers in South Africa, Corsica and Caucasus Georgia, and some are singing leaders in their own right. the group is currently on a month-long tour of the Northeast and the Midwest.

In the singing workshop Northern Harmony will teach a selection of songs from their repertoire including Corsican, Georgian, Balkan and American shape-note songs. With the Northern Harmony singers helping to lead each vocal part the teaching is particularly efficient and rewarding. There will be a potluck supper between the workshop and concert.

The concert program presents a thrilling mix of world harmony traditions including South African songs and dances, traditional polyphony from Georgia, Corsica, and the Balkans, American shape-note singing and quartet gospel.

South Africa has a particularly powerful and appealing folk harmony singing tradition, with a rich, resonant vocal sound, and wonderfully syncopated rhythm. The singing is always accompanied by dancing, with the rhythm of the dance movements often in counterpoint to the song.

Georgia’s ancient three-part harmony singing tradition features a dark, sonorous vocal quality, and startling harmonies, unlike anything in European music. Traditional Corsican singing, passed down through oral tradition, features two highly ornamented upper voices over a more sustained harmonic bass.

Northern Harmony also performs a wide variety of village music from the Balkan countries. This music features the characteristic bright Balkan vocal timbre, with dissonant harmonies frequently based on drones, and irregular dance meters in 7, 9 and 11.
Finally, the group will also present a number of new compositions in shape-note style.

For further information visit the Northern Harmony website: www.villageharmony.org or
contact Annie Zylstra: anniezylstra@gmail.com.