Choral Music Bio
Peter and Mary Alice’s choral arrangements and compositions are rooted in the Amidons’ life-long immersion in the harmonies of Sacred Harp singing, African American spirituals and gospel, pub singing and other spontaneous group harmony singing, and American and English folk songs. Their choral life was launched with three tours in the late 1970’s with Larry Gordon’s “Word of Mouth Chorus” singing Sacred Harp and Balkan Village songs and vocal music from the Renaissance. By the 1990’s, the Amidons were regular leaders of choral singing at the Country Dance and Song Society summer camps and at Jay Ungar’s Ashokan Northern Week. Pete Seeger hired the Amidons to create and run a new participatory group singing stage at his Clearwater Festival from 1991-93. Peter became a Choir co-Director at the Guilford Community Church, UCC in 1998. The great expatriate English folksinger Tony Barrand, who had been an early influence on the Amidons’ singing, now become an important mentor and colleague when he shared this choral directing position with Peter and Andy Davis. Most of Peter’s choral arrangements and compositions were first written for the Guilford Community Church “9’oClock” Choir. In 2003 Peter founded, with Kathy Leo and Mary Cay Brass, Vermont’s first a cappella SATB hospice singing group, “Hallowell”, which inspired scores of other hospice singing groups to spring up in Vermont, New England and across the United States. The Amidons have sold over a thousand copies of each of their two book collections of their choral pieces, “Fifty-five Anthems for the Small Church Choir” and “Twenty-five Anthems for Interfaith and Community Choirs”, and the Amidons’ online choral sheet music download library/store includes over one hundred of their choral arrangements.