Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Camp Harmony

Happy New Year! 2007 has gotten off to a much better start than 2006 did, so far. Instead of being sick at home, I was getting hugs from dozens of my closest friends with everyone singing the Camp Harmony New Years song (whatever the heck it's called). That's the way things are supposed to work. It was a bit of a culture shock going straight back to work today, after 5 days singing and dancing out in the woods, but I'm adjusting. I posted a few pictures here, mostly from New Year's Eve.

I did a lot more singing than usual this year, mostly thanks to Tom and Madge. Tom led some Barbershop workshops, which I was really interesting to try out just so I could try a baritone part (I usually have to muddle by as a bass in shape note). It was cool to sing in something that's actually in my correct range, though baritone really is kind of the alto of the male voice world, meaning it's much less fun as a part. Oh well. I really enjoyed it, regardless, and we even performed our one song (Home on the Range) at the concert on the second-to-last night. Madge had "Balkan and other exotic songs" each day right after the barbershop, and several people were in both workshops, which led to a lot of funny associations and singings of Home on the Range with a flatted second and things like that. Next year we might have to put together some sort of "Balkanshop" piece, just for fun.

On the instrumental side of musical things, I did most of my playing for the Irish and Scottish dances. The Scottish was particularly challenging because Jim was explaining to me how (American) Scottish dance musicians arrange their sets: Instead of playing two tunes four times each, you pick four tunes and play them 12342341, or three tunes 1231231. That makes it really tricky to keep track of where you are and what's coming up next, and you really have to get all the musicians on the same page ahead of time. I mostly had to lead those, since Jim and I had practiced the sets ahead of time. The other folks mostly got a warning and just jumped in when they heard tunes they knew. Luckily there were only a couple sets of those. The Irish ones were easier because all we had to do was find a few tunes most of us knew and play them as fast as reasonably possible.

Dancing-wise, we had a bit of an anomaly on the swing night. The English Country Dance counter-dance, which always happens the same night as swing, actually had more dancers than the swing dance (once Lacey, Quena and I switched over). Pity, since the swing dance is usually so fun. But it was a small camp in general this year, so numbers everywhere were off. The contra dancing was fun, too, and Quena did a lot of the calling for it. (Yay for Quena calling! Boo for less Quena dancing!)

Other fun stuff:
- Fiddle lessons with Lacey. (And she didn't even break anything on my fiddle, so I think it's her fiddle that's cursed, and not her.)
- Being on Cass's lunch crew in the kitchen again. (And donating an extra hour of kitchen duty to make strudels while singing TMBG songs.)
- Bob Reid's Kids Concert and Tween Sing-along Extravaganza (Quena's description, because of all the very grown up kids who still love to go sing with Bob.)
- Absolutely perfect camp weather. (Really, it only rained once, briefly, and while we were asleep. Amazing.)
- Quena and me turning 10. (We met at camp 10 years ago this year. Yay!)


cristie said...

Well I'm surprised. I was flipping through your photographs, and sure didn't expect to see Dave and Katzi!! Such a small world... Did you know I knew them (they knew me)? Homeschooling family from way back (various members of which I still see sometimes at things)... Neat! :)

Tandava said...

Cool! Yay for small worlds!

Quena said...

Wheeeeeeeee camp!!!! Wheee turning 10!!!!!!!! Wheeeeeee for Graham and dancing and singing and fun!!! I love you!!

Lara said...

can i be a total jerk and use your comments to ask you to update my link in your sidebar? :-P

congrats on turning 10. 10's a big age. did anyone buy you a new bike? or roller skates? i think that's what i got when i turned 10...

Mouse loves Elephant said...

Hi, great website you have here!
You and your readers should take a look at this collection of all the best known Irish session tunes I've put together. Great collection of free YouTube videos to watch and learn from or even fun to sit back and just enjoy this cool music: