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This page last updated:
October 19, 2013.

Camps and workshops

2012-2013 Midyear Weekend Workshops

Mostly-Georgian Workshop with
Malkhaz Erkvanidze, Patty Cuyler & John Graham

November 16-18, 2012

Shaker Mill Farm Inn
near Tanglewood & close to the western Massachusetts border
in Canaan, NY

An extraordinary musical weekend in the Berkshires, under the direction of three master teachers. Special emphasis on Georgian singing--but also with some great South African, Corsican and American folk songs. Malkhaz Erkvanidze, in the US at the end of a three-week tour with his Tbilisi-based choir, Sakhioba Folk Ensemble,ShakerMillInn is a world authority of Georgian polyphonic music; he will be teaching folk songs and coaching participants in Georgian instruments. Princeton doctoral candidate John Graham, a veteran of Village Harmony & Northern Harmony ensembles, will teach Georgian chants and offer workshops on improvisation and variations in Georgian singing. And Village Harmony co-director Patty Cuyler will add an exciting mix of other wonderful harmony traditions--dance songs from South Africa, amazing Corsican trio songs, and a few American shape-note songs--to the weekend. ShakerMillInn

The workshop will take place at the Shaker Mill Farm Inn, a lovely converted stone gristmill-turned-inn on the New York side of the Berkshire hills near the town of Canaan, NY.


Tuition is $220 (in triple room), $240 (in double room) or $300 (in single room) per person for the weekend. Tuition includes lodging, six meals and tuition. Choose your accommodation type online when you register. Commuters (with four meals) are also welcome, at a tuition of $175.

The workshop will begin with supper at 6pm on Friday, with singing following; we will end around 2 pm on Sunday, after a post-lunch review of our songs.

Register online now for the Mostly-Georgian Singing Weekend 2012.


Malkhaz ErkvanidzeMALKHAZ ERKVANIDZE is one of the world's foremost authorities on traditional Georgian folk and sacred music. Born in the central mountainous region of Imereti, Malkhaz grew up singing folk music in his family and with a local master-singer named Benia Mikadze. His unique background growing up in a family singing tradition allowed Malkhaz the opportunity to develop an ear for indigenous Caucasus tuning systems. A graduate of the Tbilisi State Conservatory, he has spent much of his professional life rescuing traditional Georgian orthodox chants suppressed under Soviet communism. His seven books of Georgian hymns and folk songs have been published with CDs,and he has written many articles about the distinctive musical structure of Georgian polyphony. In 1988 Malkhaz founded the Anchiskhati Choir, dedicated to preserving the authentic Georgian tuning system and traditional singing styles. Malkhaz currently teaches at the Tbilisi State Conservatory and consults for and directs numerous choirs, including Sakhioba Ensemble, with whom he has produced five albums. Malkhaz has been teaching with Village Harmony since 2003. Malkhaz and Sakhioba will have just finished a tour of the US eastern seaboard before the Berkshires weekend workshop. Patty Cuyler

PATTY CUYLER, co-director of Village Harmony & Northern Harmony since 1995 and currently living in Chicago, IL, is an energetic, dynamic workshop leader and director with special expertise in teaching Corsican, Georgian and South African singing and dance music. Her passion for honest, direct music coaxes fierce, forthright singing out of even the most timid singers. Patty has edited and published two volumes of a teaching dvd/songbook series of traditional South African choral music, as well as books of Georgian folk and sacred songs. She is currently working on a series of teaching DVD publications for childrens' choirs, and co-leads Boston Harmony and the newly-formed Brooklyn World Music Chorus.

John GrahamJOHN GRAHAM is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Musicology from Princeton University, where he also directs two Georgian folk choirs.He holds a bachelor's degree in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University, where he completed a senior project on Georgian sacred music in 2003.
The recipient of a Fulbright research grant in 2004, John deepened his studies of Georgian liturgical music, and entered a Ph.D. program in Musicology in 2006. As an active facilitator of cultural exchange, he has organized tours in the United States for the critically acclaimed Anchiskhati Ensemble (2005) and the Zedashe Ensemble (2007), and in turn invites tourists to Georgia on self-designed Monastery Tours.
John lectures regularly on topics relating to the history and revival of Georgian sacred music, and is writing a Ph.D. dissertation titled, The Transcription and Transmission of Georgian Liturgical Chant, 1880-1910. http://www.georgianchant.org/contact/jag_bio.html


The Inn at the Shaker Mill Farm is an informal place in the country, on the New York side of the lovely Berkshire hills in the town of Canaan, NY. It was originally built in 1824 as a gristmill, by members of the Shaker religion who settled this area about two hundred years ago. Purchased in 1966, the mill has been lovingly rebuilt by the innkeeper. Those who cherish the gentle joys of leisure may find us to their liking.
It’s homey and welcoming and operated by someone whose idea of hospitality runs more to sharing moods than to putting on airs. The Inn is just fifteen minutes west of Lenox, Massachusetts, and Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony.

From Fodor's Mid-Atlantic Best Bed & Breakfasts, 4th Edition:
The Inn at the Shaker Mill Farm . . . 10 miles from Tanglewood and from skiing at Jiminy Peak, is an unusual establishment for two reasons: its Shaker decor and its gregarious host, Ingram Paperny.
As befits a converted 1824 Shaker mill, the 22 rooms are comfortably furnished and all have private bathrooms. Shaker peg rails hank along the plaster walls. The large sunroom (24' x 30') has a wall of glass windows that look out on the mill’s picturesque brook and waterfall, and the lounge has a unique circular fireplace.