I was so delighted to participate in the second annual Youth Traditional Song weekend this past weekend! I learned many great new songs, heard many beautiful voices, and learned more about traditional singing styles. I felt shy at first and didn’t jump up to share a song until the second day, but once I did, boy…it was so nice to be a part of the flow of both offering songs and participating in songs offered by others.
Thank you so much to the team who organized this event, to the excellent workshop leaders—Suzannah Park led such a great workshop on how not to be scared of harmony singing, Riki Schneyer talked about what it means to sing from your heart and your gut, and I loved hearing Bob Walser talk about translating a song from archival recording into a song that you can actually sing. Thank you also to everyone who led a song, who talked about feeling shy, who talked about appropriation, love, and what it means to carry on a folk tradition, and everyone who lent their voices in support of someone else’s song!
I’ll close this post with an approximate quote—something I remember Suzannah saying in her harmony singing workshop that stuck with me:
Singing is an important part of changing the world, because singing is about you being loud. We get lots of messages from a very early age to sit down and be quiet, and singing is about you opening your mouth and making sound.