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This page last updated:
October 19, 2013.

Camps and Workshops

2013 International Sessions

Republic of Macedonia Camp

June 26-July 9 (14 days)

Led by Goran Alacki, Bajsa Arifovska, Mary Cay Brass,
Larry Gordon and others

Village Harmony in Macedonia 2011 Village Harmony is pleased to offer its third camp in the Republic of Macedonia, a country of great natural beauty-breathtaking mountains, lush forests, pristine lakes - and rich, ancient folk traditions. The camp will be led by Village Harmony veteran Mary Cay Brass, VH co-founder, Larry Gordon and virtuoso accordionist, Goran Alacki with multi-instrumentalist Bajsa Arifovska. This year’s camp will take place in two locations; the town of Struga on beautiful Lake Ohrid in southeastern Macedonia and the town of Berovo in the mountains of western Macedonia. We will focus on a wide variety of singing styles from those two regions with four legendary singers, Village Harmony in Macedonia 2011performing in 4 concerts with local ensembles, including an international folk festival in Ohrid.

Goran has invited several outstanding singers and dancers to be our teachers in both Struga and Berovo. In Struga, Krume Spasovski will teach music from western Macedonia in the “chalgija” tradition and Vidanka Georgievska will teach village styles from that region. Dancer Zdravko Jakimovski will be our dance teacher every morning. In Berovo, we will have the opportunity to work with both Atina Apostolova and Violeta Tomovska learning urban and contemporary songs with dance teachers Dobrivoe Manasievic and Zenil Redzepov teaching regional dances from eastern Macedonia. Goran's dynamic daughter Graciela Alacki--an excellent dancer--will also be joining the camp. She will present videos of traditional folk customs, music and dance before dinner in the evenings. Both Goran and Bajsa will attend every class, helping with arrangements, translating and accompanying the songs. Multi-instrumentalist Bajsa will also offer individual lessons on many instruments (clarinet, kaval, violin, dumbek, tupan, tambura) for $50 per lesson as will Goran on accordion.

There will be several excursions in both locations including a boat trip on beautiful Lake Ohrid to the ancient Sveti Naum monastery where we will spend the day singing and dancing in the gardens overlooking the lake.

Lodging will be in Hotel Struga in Struga and Hotel Manastir in Berovo. Both hotels are comfortable with wonderful, fresh Macedonian cuisine and easy access to walking, hiking and exploring the towns and surrounding countryside. Rooms are doubles with an extra $100 fee for singles in both locations (total of $200 for the 2 weeks). We are also working on the possibility of homestays at the end of our stays in both locations.

We will present 4 concerts during out stay in Macedonia which will focus on the Macedonian songs that we learn and rounded out by some American songs taught by both Mary Cay and Larry. A highlight will be performing at an international folk festival.
Tuition:  $1700


GORAN ALACHKI, a virtuoso accordionist, has been designated one of fifteen national treasures of the Republic of Macedonia. Goran is a charismatic, dynamic leader and teacher with incredible, indefatiquable enthusiasm for his country’s musical folklore and with a heartfelt desire to share it with everyone.


Bajsa ArifovskaBAJSA ARIFOVSKA is a young and talented multi-instrumentalist from the village of Ratevo in eastern Macedonia. She comes from a long line of famous musicians and has been performing since the age of 7. She performs in many bands and is a professor of traditional instruments in Skopje. She will teach her own arrangments of Macedonian and Roma songs from this region.

MARY CAY BRASS of Putney, VT Mary Cay Brass is a veteran of the early days of VH. She directs several community choirs in Vermont and Massachusetts and is the co-musical director of Hallowell Hospice Choir. Mary Cay is also a highly-sought after contra-dance keyboardist and accordion player. She spent two and a half years in the former Yugoslavia on a Fulbright Scholarship in ethnomusicology. She has published two book/CD collections of music from that region. Recently, she has led two very successful Village Harmony camps in Bosnia, as well as the first Macedonia camp.

Larry GordonVillage Harmony founder and director LARRY GORDON has been making community music in Vermont since the early 1970s. He founded Village Harmony in 1989, and his patient and relaxed, yet demanding, teaching style and his collaborative approach have shaped the welcoming atmosphere of the Village Harmony community since the beginning. Though his first love was medieval and renaissance music, he is a vital figure in New England shape-note singing, and he is the music editor of the popular Northern Harmony shape-note songbook. Larry is an inspired organizer with an unerring eye for good repertoire and a unique knack of pulling together interesting combinations of singers and letting them shine.  Larry has led Onion River Chorus in Montpelier since the late 1970s, and is well known across the US and internationally for leading stunning periodic adhoc incarnations of Northern Harmony, a semi-professional tour group made up largely of veteran Village Harmony singers.  Recently he has been devoting increasing time to teaching Balkan folkdancing.