About the Amidons

Peter & Mary Alice Amidon

peter maryaliceLARGEPeter and Mary Alice Amidon are versatile and widely respected performing and teaching artists who for the past twenty years have dedicated themselves to traditional song, dance and storytelling.

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Info for Star Harmony 2017 Participants

BACK TO AMIDONS' STAR HARMONY PAGE

Dear Star Harmony 2017 Singers,

We look forward to our weekend of singing with you.  This is a page I will continue to update with useful information for you about the logistics of the weekend.

Star Harmony page on Star Island website:
http://starisland.org/program/harmony/

I encourage you to visit this page will answer a lot of your questions:
Star Island website "Important Info" page

http://starisland.org/faq-category/important-info/

FERRY INFORMATION:
Final destination is 315 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801 – the Isles of Shoals Steamship Company. Your parking fee will be added to your Star Island Room & Board fee; you do not have to pay at the Dock.

Friday, September 15
Arrive at the Ferry Dock at least 90 minutes before departure (arrive before 12:25 pm).

Check in and leave your checked luggage. Conferees are encouraged to carry-on luggage. There are no limits to weight or number of carry-on bags.

All checked bags must weigh 40 lbs. or less each. Multiple small bags are preferable, as are duffle bags without wheels.

Departure: Portsmouth 1:55 p.m.
Arrival: Star Island 2:55 p.m.

Sunday, September 17
Departure: Star Island 2:15 p.m.
Arrival: Portsmouth 3:45 p.m.

Finances
You have each paid $200 to register for Star Harmony, thank you.  $100 of that is the full Program Fee for Star Harmony; that pays the singing leader fees and other Star Harmony expenses.  The other $100 is a deposit towards your Star Island Room & Board fee.  You should pay the balance of that when you are on the Island for our Star Harmony Conference.

Financial Aid for Star Island R&B fee:
http://starisland.org/programs/registration/#financial-grants

BACK TO AMIDONS STAR HARMONY PAGE

By People For People Rehearsal Schedule

Return to By People For People webpage

Full By People For People Choir rehearsal schedule
(All rehearsals at Guilford Community Church unless otherwise noted)

Sunday, August 27, 4:00 - 5:30 pm

Monday, September 11, 7:00 - 8:30 pm (and every Monday after that until the concert)

Monday, September 18, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Monday, September 25, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Monday, October 2, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Monday, October 9, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Monday, October 16, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Monday, October 23, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Monday, October 30, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Monday, November 6, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Dress rehearsals on the week of Nov 6 TBA

Return to By People For People webpage

 

 

 

 

Monday, September 11, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

 

UCC Nat'l Musician's Conference - Practical Music Resources Reading Session

Peter & Mary Alice Amidon's part of the  UCC Musicians Association Conference Workshop
Practical Music Resources Reading Session
Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - Boston, MA

Many thanks to Susan DeSelms who organize and led part of this workshop and invited us to share it with her (not to mention all the work Susan did on the whole Conference!)

* First some info that might be of interest, then the post-workshop notes.  The notes include links to recordings of most of the songs that we sang in the workshops.

   *            *            *

Come to a choral singing weekend on beautiful Star Island (off the coast of New Hampshire) with
Mary Cay Brass and Peter and Mary Alice Amidon, September 15 - 17:
Star Harmony

   *            *            *

Sign up on our email mailing list for approximately once-monthly notices about upcoming Amidon workshops and publications.  Just go to the Amidon website and sign up on the homepage:

          http://www.amidonmusic.com

*            *            *

THE WORKSHOP NOTES

Mary Alice is a member of and I am a co-Choir Director of the Guilford (VT) Community Church, UCC "Nine o'Clock Choir".  Most of these anthems were first arranged or composed for the Guilford Church Choir to sing at Sunday morning services.

You can hear audio recordings of the songs by clickin on the titles.

Devotion - from the Sacred Harp, arr. P. Amidon
The Sacred Harp arrangement of Devotion is quite beautiful; one of my favorite songs in the Sacred Harp collection, and appropriate as it is to be used as an anthem for your choir.  This arrangement was inspired by our son Sam Amidon's reworking of the song: Sam Amidon's version.  Here is Devotion As sung at a traditional Sacred Harp sing, and here is a an a cappella singing group that includes our son Stefan (with glasses) and his wife Zara Bode (red hair) - Starry Mountain Singers singing Peter's arrangement

Here I Am, Lord- by Daniel L. Schutte, arr. P. Amidon
I arranged this for an ordination service of a friend of ours.

Corinthians- text adapted and music composed by P. Amidon
I originally composed for my Guilford (VT)  Community Church UCC Nine o'Clock Choir. My family (our boys, their wives, my brothers, cousins, nephews, nieces) sang this at my mother's funeral.  It is fine to omit the very last "Alleluia" from the piece if you have no one who can get it; it is the most challenging part of the piece.

Make Me a Channel- text adapted from St. Francis Prayer, music by P. Amidon
Originally composed for the Guilford (VT) Community Church, UCC Nine o'Clock Choir.

Take Me to the Water- traditional African American spiritual, arr. P. Amidon
Originally composed for the Guilford (VT) Community Church, UCC Nine o'Clock Choir. The the arrangement of the first two verses was inspired by a church choir's performance of the song; the arrangement after the piano comes in is inspired by Nina Simone's performance of the song.  Here is our church choir singing it a few months ago.

I'm Gonna Lift My Sister Up - by Faya Rose Touré, arr. by Peter and Mary Alice Amidon
We learned this from the singing of the great Springfield, MA based gospel singer Jane Sapp. Faya Rose Touré was the first woman African American judge in Alabama.  Faya Rose is a lawyer and educator from Selma Alabama who does workshops with teenagers on stories and lessons from the Civil Rights movement.  I believe this song came out of one of those workshops.

So Far From Home- poem by Tom Mousin, music by P. Amidon
We did not get to this song in the workshop, but it is in the handout.  Tom Mousin is a minister who used to have a Methodist Church in Brattleboro. He composes and shares to folks on his email list an advent poem every year.  This is his 2015 poem which manages to be both about the story of Jesus' birth and about refugees.

 These and many other Amidon choral arrangements and compositions can be found in Mary Alice's and my two collections of our choral arrangements:

Fifty-five Anthems for the Small Church Choir

          and

Twenty-five Anthems for Interfaith & Community Choirs

and in our

Online Choral Store

Blessings,

Peter (& Mary Alice) Amidon
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.amidonmusic.com

 

 

UCC Nat'l Musician's Conference - Hospice Singing Workshop

Peter & Mary Alice Amidon's  -  UCC Musicians Association Conference Workshop
Hospice Singing
Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - Boston, MA

Many thanks to Trey Pratt who helped make this happen, and to Trey and the wonderful JourneySongs singers who helped out in both of the workshops.

* First some info that might be of interest, then the post-workshop notes.  The notes include links to recordings of most of the songs that we sang in the workshops.

   *            *            *

Come to a choral singing weekend on beautiful Star Island (off the coast of New Hampshire) with
Mary Cay Brass and Peter and Mary Alice Amidon, September 15 - 17:
Star Harmony

   *            *            *

Sign up on our email mailing list for approximately once-monthly notices about upcoming Amidon workshops and publications.  Just go to the Amidon website and sign up on the homepage:

          http://www.amidonmusic.com

*            *            *

THE WORKSHOP NOTES

I led two Hospice Singing workshops; these notes cover both workshops.

I am a co-Music Director, along with Mary Cay Brass, of Hallowell, a Southeastern Vermont based hospice choir. Mary Alice is a Hallowell founder and Kathy Leo is our overall Director.  Her book On the Breath of Song is about hospice singing specifically, but it is also a wonderful meditation on death as an amazing part of life.

Click on the titles for links to recordings of the songs.

All Through the Night
We find this to be a familiar and comforting song to many.

Angels Hovering Round
We often sing this as our final song at our hospice sings. It was collected from an old hymnal by our late friend Lucy Simpson.

Blessed Quietness
We learned this wonderful hymn from Lucy Simpson. I often choose this for a vigil sing.

Crossing the Bar
Rani Arbo's perfect setting of this beautiful Tennyson poem.  I arranged this at the request of Hallowell director Kathy Leo.

Love Call Me Home
By Peggy Seeger. We sing this song as much for the families as for the one in hospice care.

 I Will Guide Thee
Another favorite of ours for hospice sings.

Let the Life I've Lived
A perfect arrangement by our friend Andy Davis, this can be a powerful song to sing at a vigil sing and a great funeral song.

Thuma Mina
From South Africa.  For someone close to death we might sing this only in Zulu so it can just wash over them and not pull them into the present.

How Could Anyone
Libby Roderick's classic.  There are so many perfect moments to sing this song.  In a hospice sing or nursing home we change "were" to "are".

I Still Have Joy
Listen to Dorothy Norwood's gospel version of this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxawyAbv-Eg

I Bid You Goodnight
This spiritual from the Bahamas is a powerful funeral song.  We sometimes sing just the chorus, slowly and quietly, at a vigil sing, as we do here in the very ending of this performance by the Starry Mountain Singers (our son Stefan is the bass, and his wife Zara Bode is the red head):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEild9QBaBs
Some of you know that the Grateful Dead often closed their concerts with this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ti6bqCd58pI

 For in depth discussion of all aspects of organizing a hospice choir and about hospice singing I highly recommend Kathy Leo's book On the Breath of Song

Many of the songs we use in our hospice singing are scattered through Mary Alice's and my two collections of our choral arrangements:

Fifty-five Anthems for the Small Church Choir

          and

Twenty-five Anthems for Interfaith & Community Choirs

and check out the "Hospice Singing" category in our

Online Choral Store

Best,

Peter (& Mary Alice) Amidon
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.amidonmusic.com

Fifty-five Anthems - UCC Conference Listening Page

I Will Guide Thee - old American hymn arr. P. Amidon