Sixty singers enjoyed a wonderful day at St Swithin’s Church in Bath singing with Brendan Taaffe. Brendan is a singer, composer, workshop leader and multi-instrumentalist from Vermont, US and the founder of Turtle Dove Harmony.
We enjoyed a wide range of songs including the haunting Appalachian song, Lord I don’t want to die in the storm, the lively bluegrass gospel number Ain’t no time to stop and tarry (with Brendan on the banjo), Jesu Kwantana (a South African church song). Brendan also taught two of his own compositions: the beautiful Vermillion and the wonderfully rhythmic Like stars our bones shall fly.
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Brendan Taaffe writes about his singing workshops:
One of my greatest joys is leading singing workshops. By working with groups throughout Europe and North America, I have learned that:
- we create something extraordinary when we sing together.
- singing is our birthright, and is something that we all can do.
- singing in harmony is a uniquely powerful experience.
I have led singing workshops in many places around the world—Bulgaria, Canada, England, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Scotland, Zimbabwe, and throughout the U.S. I am comfortable with a wide range of groups, from established choirs to open singing workshops to master classes at the university level.
Since 2007, Brendan has been creating singing experiences for adults through the vehicle of Turtle Dove Harmony, an organization that brings people together to create community and a sense of purpose through song. Turtle Dove offers world harmony singing camps and workshops for adults that draw on music from a variety of traditions—including Appalachian, African, Eastern European and Shape Note music. Camps have been held in Ireland, Scotland, Bulgaria, France and New England.
Witty, charismatic, and unflagging in his enthusiasm.
We were challenged and we learned along the way, but most of all it was inspirational.