Nat’l OAKE Community Sing Notes

Dear Early-Rising and Singing Nat’l OAKE Teachers,

We had such a wonderful time singing with you, thank you for making the effort to get to such an early workshop.

In addition to singing “Give Me Birds At the Dawning”, “If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking” and “Let the Life I’ve Lived”, which are all in your binder, we sang a chant from South Africa that Mary Alice and I learned from the great English singing leader, Kate Howard:


which Mary Alice improvised over.

There are more Amidon arrangements for listening and purchase/download at the Online Choral Store at  

Our collection Beatitudes-25 Choral Arrangements by the Amidons (book & companion CD) is available for sale on our website store.

We will be publishing Fifty-Five Anthems for the Small Church Choir – arranged and composed by Peter and Mary Alice Amidon (book and companion CD) this summer.  (It will include many of the arrangements in the “Beatitudes” collection.)

Here are the four workshops that are on the handout that we passed out at the workshop yesterday:

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Amidon weekend and weeklong workshops – May – September 2013

Mary Alice and I are co-leading three weekend harmony/choral singing workshops and one week-long 3-credit course for music teachers in the next few months.  More info at

Friday – Sunday, May 17 – 19, 2013

Ashokan Harmony
at the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, NY
A harmony/choral singing fest led by
Kim & Reggie Harris and
Peter & Mary Alice Amidon.

We will be singing old and new songs, from gospel to traditional and from sacred to secular, including arrangements and compositions by the Harrises and the Amidons.  Some songs will be taught by ear, some from written music, some from a little of both.  Mary Alice and I have collaborated with Kim and Reggie for years at singing weekends and on festival stages; they are extraordinary musicians and human beings, and we find our singing collaborations with them to be magical.


Friday – Sunday, June 14 – 16, 2013
Singing for the Dying
at the Rowe Camp & Conference Center
A workshop on hospice singing led by the three directors of Hallowell Hospice Choir: Kathy Leo, Mary Cay Brass and Peter Amidon, and Hallowell member Tom Goldschmid

The weekend will be a combination of discussion and singing.  This workshop is for anyone in a hospice choir, anyone wanting to join a hospice choir, anyone wanting to start a hospice choir, or anyone who loves to sing and is interested in exploring the power and healing of bedside singing.


Monday – Friday, July 29 – August 2, 2013
Hartt Summerterm 3-credit course:
Rich Traditions and New Creations:
Dance, Song, Storytelling, and Literature
in the Music Classroom
Peter and Mary Alice Amidon
University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT

The foundation of this class is the wealth of songs, dances, singing games, and folktales that spring from the Anglo American/African American oral traditions. We will sing and dance through a rich repertoire of old and new songs, dances and singing games; the Amidons will share their discoveries of the power of connecting music and literature: telling stories, creating songs from poems, song writing, and bringing picture books alive with music.


Friday – Sunday September 13 – 15, 2013
Star Island Harmony
a weekend of harmony/choral singing led by
Peter & Mary Alice Amidon
and Mary Cay Brass

Held at the astonishingly beautiful Star Island, and led by Mary Cay Brass and Peter & Mary Alice Amidon, this is  a weekend of mostly a cappella 4-part harmony singing; of arrangements of folk songs, hymns, spirituals, gospel, seasonal songs, shape note songs, and songs written by folks steeped in the oral tradition.


Thanks for your wonderful singing!


Peter (and Mary Alice)