FARMINGTON – Village Harmony, the unique teen world music ensemble based in Vermont, led by Patty Cuyler, special guest Malkahaz Erkvanidze from the Republic of Georgia, and Luke Hoffman, presents its second summer concert program.
The concert, which is sponsored by The Arts Institute of Western Maine on Sunday, July 27, 7:30 p.m. in Nordica Auditorium at UMF, will include American shape-note, gospel and Appalachian harmonies, traditional secular and sacred music from Caucasus Georgia, songs and dances from South Africa, and Missa Brevis by the Italian renaissance composer Antonio Lotti. The 23 energized and talented teenage singers and instrumentalists come from ten states plus Canada and South Africa.
Village Harmony is an umbrella organization which every summer sponsors a dozen ensembles like this one, both in New England and in numerous foreign countries.
Each group develops its own unique sound, but all share common traits: a powerful, natural, unrestrained, vocal sound; a remarkable variety of vocal styles and timbres, as appropriate to the many varieties of ethnic and traditional music; and the visible, vibrant community among the singers and audience as they share in a joyous celebration of music. This particular group rehearsed intensively for eight days at a retreat center in the Berkshires before taking their program on the road for two weeks of performances.
Patty has been co-leader of Village Harmony for 13 years, and has particular experience with traditional singing styles from South Africa, Georgia and Corsica. Luke Hoffman is a dynamic percussionist and singer with a specialty in American gospel quartet style.
Malkhaz Erkvanidze is the renowned choir director of the Anchiskhati Choir, which has toured throughout Europe, Russia, and North America. Since 1988, Anchiskhati has been at the forefront of the revival of medieval polyphonic Georgian sacred music, with many unique recordings and publications to their credit. Born in the central mountainous region of Imereti, Malkhaz grew up singing folk music in his family and this background allowed him to develop an ear for indigenous Caucasus tuning systems, and as a result, the Anchiskhati Choir is one of the few professional ensembles that attempts to sing in these ‘old modes.’ He is also an expert in the Georgian yodeling style known as krimanchuli, and he will likely have some new protégés among the young singers.
Admission to the concert is $6 – adults; $5 – seniors; free for children under 16. The Arts Institute of Western Maine is a group affiliated with the University of Maine at Farmington, and is committed to bringing a wide variety of performances to the community at an affordable price. Don’t miss this exciting evening of world music!