Georgia Camp (13 Days)
Aug 19-31 2018 – Cost is $1800 CAD
Date: August 19-31 2018
Venue: Sighnaghi, Republic of Georgia
Leaders: Ketevan Mindorashvili, Zedashe Ensemble, Patty Cuyler and Karla Mundy
Price: $1800 CAD (covers in country costs and pre-trip study, does not cover airfare)
***This trip is currently FULL however it is very possible that some spots could open. If you are interested, fill out the application form and you will be put on the waiting list.
Join us for an exciting 2 week adventure in the Republic of Georgia, a small mountainous country about the size of New Brunswick between the Black and Caspian Seas. A collaboration between Village Harmony and SongRoutes – this trip will be a combination of intensive music study, dance classes, performances, sightseeing, hiking, wine tasting and feasting! An amazing opportunity to experience the rich music, culture, history, tradition and people of Georgia.
Georgia has what is arguably one of the world’s most ancient—and exciting—polyphonic singing traditions. Georgian polyphony has a dark, sonorous vocal quality, un-tempered intervals and striking harmonic convergences unlike anything in European music.
In this camp we will learn songs from a variety of Georgian genres but with specific focus on the highly melismatic and improvisational folk songs of K’akheti region.
The first nine days of this two-week long camp will be based in Sighnaghi, Kakheti, a historic walled hill-town with a breathtaking view of the Alazani Valley and the Caucasus Mountains about 1-1/2 hours’ drive east of Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital.
Housing and rehearsals will take place in Village Harmony’s “own” retreat center—two lovingly-renovated 2-story houses on a side street near the historic center of town, amidst winding cobbled streets and hillsides flecked with persimmon, walnut, fig and pomegranate trees.
Participants will work on tuning, ornamentation and vocal projection under the instruction of Ensemble Zedashe director Ketevan Mindorashvili. Long-time Zedashe member Tamila Sulkhanishvili will teach the group a set of east Georgian Orthodox chants. And daily instruction in Georgian dance will be led by choreographer Vano Chincharauli. Instrumental instruction (panduri, chonguri, drum) will also be offered.
In addition, camp director Karla Mundy will teach the group a set of other world music songs to add variety to our concert program, and Patty Cuyler of Village Harmony—on hand as tour manager—will teach us a song or two from Corsica, a genre well-beloved by the Georgians. Karla will work with the group before the trip (with several meet-ups in Vancouver for those who can make it – for those who can’t there will be music and tracks provided for some pre-trip study) and we will hold some rehearsals in Sighnaghi. With approximately 24 singers, we will form an intimate singing ensemble.
During the workshop in Sighnaghi, there will be ample time each day to explore our host town, and we will also take a number of group outings throughout the region, visiting the ancient cave-dwellings of Davit Gareji, wineries, a breadmaking class and several supras (Georgian feasts)
Following our nine intensive days of study and performance in eastern Georgia we will take off for four final days of sightseeing in the center of the country. We will begin with a four-hour morning drive through Tbilisi and on to the mountain resort town of Borjomi, where we will have the afternoon free to explore the Mineral Water Park and a bit of the vast national park. We will stay that night at The Golden Tulip Borjomi Hotel, an elegant four-star boutique hotel housed in a historic 19th c. monument. We will leave after lunch the next day for a short visit to the castle museum in Akhaltsikhe before spending several mesmerizing late-afternoon hours exploring the ruins of the famous 12th-century cave city and monastery at Vardzia. That night we will stay in a well-appointed family hostel in the foothills 4 miles away from the cave city.
Our return trip to Tbilisi the next day will be leisurely, as we stop en route to visit the caves at Uplitsikhe and the city of Gori with its somewhat creepy but must-see museum dedicated to native son Joseph Stalin. We will arrive back in Tbilisi in the early evening, checking into a lovely hostel located beneath the 4th-century Narikala Fortress in the old city before heading off for dinner on our own and a night exploring the town. We will spend the next day in Georgia wandering about enjoying the city, ending with one final supra shared with members of Zedashe Ensemble. Most of us will head back to Vancouver early the following morning.
Faculty and Venue
Karla Mundy is a vibrant and soulful vocalist, pianist, arranger and choir leader. Karla directs Rhythm ‘n’ Roots and Harmony Mountain Singers in Vancouver, the Island Soul Choir on Vancouver Island and EarthSounds on Bowen Island. Karla leads harmony singing workshops throughout BC and organizes many singing camps, workshops and singing study trips abroad. Karla has organized several singing trips to Cuba and Asheville, North Carolina and is thrilled to be taking a group overseas to Georgia! She is deeply interested in traditional vocal music from around the world and believes that traveling while studying music is one of the most amazing ways to truly learn about the world.