Worldwide harmonies at Castle Acre

Northern Harmony
Northern Harmony

Northern Harmony, the unique world music choir based in Vermont, USA, will be performing a concert and taking part in a day-long workshop in Castle Acre.

The concert will be staged at St James Church, at 7.30pm on Saturday, September 23.

The workshop follows on Sunday, September 24, from 10.30am-4.30pm, at Castle Acre Community Hall in Pye’s Lane.

Admission to the concert is £10, to the Sunday workshop £25, or for both £30. For bookings or further information, contact Linda on 01760 755319.

Northern Harmony have been booked for the workshop as part of the Big Heart and Soul Choir’s 20th anniversary celebrations.

The Castle Acre community choir is planning a celebration party in the evening and has already staged a weekend workshop with Michael Harper and spent six days in Norway as part of its anniversary celebrations.

The American choir has been coming to the village since 1997, working with Big Heart and Soul in that time.

Northern Harmony’s 16 singers present a mix of world harmonies including South African songs and dances, traditional polyphony from Georgia, Corsica, and the Balkans, American shape-note singing and quartet gospel, and renaissance motets.

Through 17 European tours since 1993, they have won a wide reputation for their remarkable command of the different singing styles and timbres appropriate to these different traditions. Their two-and-a-half month 2017 tour includes the UK, France, Switzerland, Germany and north-eastern USA.

Northern Harmony, led by Larry Gordon, is the highest level performing group under the umbrella of the world music organisation Village Harmony, which sponsors singing camps and workshops in New England and many parts of the world (see www.villageharmony.org).

The singers are primarily seasoned young graduates of Village Harmony singing programmes.

Most of them have studied traditional singing styles first-hand with native teachers in South Africa, Bulgaria, Corsica and Caucasus Georgia, and some are also accomplished singing leaders in their own right.

In the workshop Northern Harmony will teach a selection of South African songs and dances, contemporary American shape-note songs, and songs from Corsica, Georgia and the Balkans.

In their teaching they pay close attention to the distinctive authentic vocal timbres and body language associated with the various singing traditions.

With several Northern Harmony singers helping to lead each vocal part, the teaching is particularly efficient and gratifying.