VOICE at Maine Fiddle Camp

Voice, of course, is the oldest instrument of all, and singing has always been a part of the Maine and New England traditional music culture! In 2015 we have added “voice” as an instrumental track at Camp, with new staff member Bennett Konesni as primary teacher. Bennett will be teaching in the new “Warblers’” nest during regular Camp “nesting times”. He will also be leading songs at kitchen work times and around the campfire at night. Bennett will join the “singing staff” regulars at Camp: Pam Weeks, Kaity Newell, Ellen Gawler, Susie Burke.

In the nest Bennett will concentrate on teaching songs, focusing on Maine vernacular traditions and their antecedents (North Woods Ballads, Sea Shanties and Sea Songs, and other material from the Maine Folklife Center collections, English and Irish farmer’s songs, etc.) He will also hit on the following concepts in discussion and interactive practice:

– Finding melodies and harmonies
– How to lead songs
– How to memorize lyrics
– How to find great traditional songs in the archives

  • Bennett Konesni

    Bennett Konesni grew up in Appleton, Maine, 10 miles downstream of Maine Fiddle Camp.  He was naturally drawn into the strong communities of old-time music, sailing, and farming in the area.  At thirteen he shipped as a deckhand aboard local schooners, sailing Penobscot Bay and learning the traditional work songs of the tall ships as he raised sails and hauled anchor.  Later, at Middlebury College, Bennett co-founded the student farm and spent six months studying Zulu farming songs in South Africa.  (more)