Northern Harmony, the unique world music vocal ensemble based in Vermont, USA, presents a concert and singing workshop in Wrexham on Tuesday 30 September at 7.30 pm at Wrexham Methodist Church, Regent Street.
The sixteen brilliant singers, led by Larry Gordon have been invited by Wrexham Community Choir to present a thrilling mix of world harmony traditions including South African songs, traditional polyphony from Georgia, Corsica, and the Balkans, American shape-note singing and quartet gospel. Now on their sixteenth European tour, Northern Harmony has won a wide reputation for their remarkable command of the different singing styles and timbres appropriate to these different traditions.
Northern Harmony is the highest level performing group under the umbrella of the world music organisation Village Harmony and most of the members have studied traditional singing styles first hand with teachers in South Africa, Bulgaria, Corsica and Caucasus Georgia.
Shape-note singing, one of Northern Harmony’s trademarks, had its origins in the community singing schools of 18th century New England. It features stark, open harmonies and rhythmic sections. The concert will also feature traditional and contemporary arrangements of 1930’s gospel quartet numbers, with tight harmonies and catchy rhythms.
South Africa has a particularly powerful and appealing folk harmony singing tradition, with a rich, resonant vocal sound, and wonderfully syncopated rhythm.
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. The excitement for the listeners and singers both comes from the impassioned delivery, the surprising harmonic shifts which ripple from voice to voice, and the buzzing vocal timbre which creates an extremely powerful sound rich in overtones.
Northern Harmony also performs a wide variety of village music from the Balkan countries. This music features the characteristic bright, “hard-voiced” Balkan vocal timbre with dissonant harmonies. Many of these songs are accompanied by clarinet, accordion, fiddle and tambura.
The singing workshop is open to everyone 14+ – no experience necessary – the Northern Harmony singers will help support each vocal part, making the teaching rewarding. Admission at the door is £7/£5 for the workshop and concert. For more information or to book a place phone 01978 290680 or email email@example.com