Americans in harmony in this day and age? Can it be? Yes it can!
Showing exactly how it can be done in St James’ Church, Kingston, at 7pm on Thursday, 28 September, will be 16 talented young singers from Vermont in the USA. Called Northern Harmony, they comprise the top performing group under the umbrella of the world music organisation Village Harmony, which sponsors singing camps and workshops in New England and in many other parts of the world. Now making its 18th tour of Europe since it began in 1993, the choir has won an enviable reputation for its exceptional command of singing styles from around the globe. Hence its intriguing programme ranges from the rich sounds and syncopated rhythms of South Africa to American shape-note singing derived from the community singing schools of 18th Century New England to the ancient threepart harmony singing tradition of Georgia and its darkly sonorous tones. Most of the singers have studied these and other folk traditions in their countries of origin and bring to their performances all the enthusiasm generated by the joy of discovery and understanding. Many of the songs are accompanied by dance and by instruments whether it be the fiddle, oboe, drum or tambura, a kind of long-necked lute originating in Mesopotamia but now widely played elsewhere. Admission to the concert in Kingston church will be free but there will be a retiring collection in aid of both the church and the choir. Refreshments will be offered in the interval.