NGI Recipient: Hannah Harvester
Session Attended: Country Dance and Song Society - Harmony of Song & Dance (2014)
I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to Pinewoods Camp and CDSS for the NGI scholarship that allowed me to attend the 2014 Harmony of Song and Dance week at Pinewoods Camp. As an enthusiastic community singer and dancer, I knew I was going to have a great time doing both of those things in a beautiful place, but I had no idea how deeply the week would affect me. I was most impressed by the sense of intentional, supportive community that campers and staff built over the course of the week. Program Director Nils Fredland, teachers, volunteers, and campers all brought a loving and inclusive energy to every part of the day: classes, meals, chores, and everything in between. The programming itself was of the highest quality—both teaching and organizational staff were outstanding—and I would have been hugely grateful to CDSS and Pinewoods for a week of that programming alone. But the open, caring vibe that infused all of camp’s activities made the experience go well beyond the instruction. At the week’s close I found myself fully inspired to keep community music-making and participatory dance at the core of my life.
I was particularly grateful as a first-time attendee to my mentor, Cary Browse, who made me feel welcome and clued me in to some of Pinewoods’ loveliest traditions (like Hamish the mouse, and the awesome marble machines), and the other long time campers who reached out to make me feel at home. I would also like to congratulate the organizational staff and everyone who worked to keep the camp’s many operations running smoothly and, to all appearances, cheerfully. Having worked as an arts program director myself I know this is no small task and I was extremely impressed.
So thank you, thank you, thank you for a week filled with beautiful and inspiring concerts by the staff, top-notch instruction, welcoming co-campers, and a few of those sparkling memories that will last forever. I am recommending Pinewoods to everyone I know and have already shared some of the beautiful new music I encountered there with singing friends. I am so grateful that this scholarship program exists, and that I had the chance to be a part of your community. I hope to come again!