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NGI Recipient: Danielle Boudreau

Session Attended: Country Dance and Song Society - Harmony of Song & Dance (2015)

I received the NGI scholarship this year to attend Harmony of Song & Dance Week, and am so grateful that I was able to experience the Pinewoods magic I had heard about for so many years. As someone who recently relocated back to New England, I was looking forward to making new connections and friendships while at Pinewoods. I was not disappointed. While at first it was a bit overwhelming to be amidst over 120 brand-new faces, everyone was incredibly welcoming. What a wonderful group! By the end of the week I had not only made new friends, but had sung, swung, swum, snickered and supped with them.

At Harmony Week I gained a sense of community and a touch of the Pinewoods magic. The highlights are too numerous to count. Spontaneous singing sessions occurred on the dock of Long Pond under the light of the blue moon, between the walls of neighboring bathrooms, on the large floor of an empty C#, from a comfortable seat in a luggage cart, or on benches beneath the shelter of a large tree during a rain shower. Late night conversations ranged from the ridiculous to the personal, and groggy breakfasts were eaten among understanding comrades. The classes helped me explore new ways of using my voice, and the nightly dances only improved as I got to know my dance partners better.

The NGI scholarship is such a gift to the community. Thank you to all who support and spread it. Without it, I would not have attended Pinewoods this summer, as the budget of a graduate student does not allow much flexibility for pleasurable pursuits. Thanks to Pinewoods, I now know more people in the New England folkie community, including in New Haven, CT, where I will be relocating in less than a week. The traditional song & dance communities have taken good care of me since my teenage years, and the NGI scholarship is yet another example. I look forward to a time when I can pay it forward.