VIENNA — Village Harmony Teen World Music Ensemble returns for the fifth year to Vienna at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6, at the Vienna Union Hall, 6 Mountain Road. Twenty-four teen singers from six states, South Africa and the Republic of Georgia will deliver an eclectic mix of South African songs and dances, traditional secular and sacred songs from Bosnia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, the Republic of Georgia, Corsica and Sardinia, shape-note songs, and songs of struggle and resistance. Ensemble members will accompany some songs on folk instruments. Suggested admission at the door is $10.

This group will be led by renowned South African choir director Matlakala Bopape, along with three accomplished young Village Harmony alumni, Avery Book, Lysander Jaffe and Sinead O’Mahoney.

Each Village Harmony ensemble develops its own unique sound with a different, international team of leaders. All share common traits: a powerful, natural, unrestrained, vocal sound; a remarkable variety of vocal styles and timbres appropriate to the ethnic and traditional music; and a visible, vibrant community among the singers and audience as they share in a joyful celebration of music.

Matlakala Bopape is the director of Polokwane Choral Society, a community-based group whose aim is nurturing musical talent in South African society. She is known for drawing out musical excellence from her singers, as well as exposing them to musical cultures of the world. Her limitless patience, careful attention to vocal technique, and rich repertoire of folk and contemporary South African choral music make her a formidable teacher and director.

Avery Book is a song leader and performer from central Vermont. He will be bringing songs from his numerous study trips to the Republic of Georgia and the island of Sardinia. He will also be leading several original arrangements of songs from the repertoire of the Vermont Solidarity Singers, a group he co-founded that performs and leads songs at protests and other social actions.

Lysander Jaffe is a violinist and violist, adept at both classical and folk styles, and talented vocalist with a fine command of the ornamented styles of Georgian, Albanian and Corsican singing. He musical offerings draw from his extensive travels throughout Georgia, Corsica and the Balkans.

Sinead O’Mahoney has traveled and toured extensively with Village Harmony and Northern Harmony. Most recently, she toured as the soprano in the Northern Harmony Quartet, and will be fresh off a study trip to Bosnia this summer. O’Mahoney has wonderful command of different singing styles ranging from South African to Balkan to classical. She will be bringing songs from the American shape-note tradition and from Bosnia to Balkan to classical. She will be bringing songs from the American shape-note tradition and from Bosnia.

Village Harmony, a nonprofit organization based in Vermont, promotes the study and performance of ethnic singing traditions from around the world. For more than 20 years, they have organized teen ensembles each summer in New England and ensembles for mixed-age and adult singers in numerous foreign countries. For more information visit www.villageharmony.org.

One of the many groups put together each year to form the Village Harmony Teen Music Ensemble.


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