WORLD music choir Northern Harmony will be performing in Wootton Fitzpaine near Lyme Regis.

This perennially popular choir, based in Vermont, USA, will perform their concert on November 4 at 7.30 pm.

The 16 brilliant singers of Northern Harmony present a thrilling mix of world harmony traditions including South African songs and dances, traditional polyphony from Georgia, Corsica, and the Balkans, American shape-note singing and quartet gospel, and renaissance motets.

Through 17 European tours since 1993, Northern Harmony have won a wide reputation for their remarkable command of the different singing styles and timbres appropriate to these different traditions.

Their two and a half month 2017 tour includes the UK, France, Switzerland, Germany and the northeastern USA.

Northern Harmony, led by Larry Gordon, is the highest level performing group under the umbrella of the world music organization Village Harmony (see, which sponsors singing camps and workshops in New England and many parts of the world.

The singers are primarily seasoned young graduates of Village Harmony singing programs. Most of them have studied traditional singing styles first hand with native teachers in South Africa, Bulgaria, Corsica and Caucasus Georgia, and many are also accomplished singing leaders in their own right.

South Africa has a particularly powerful and appealing folk harmony singing tradition, with a rich, resonant vocal sound, and wonderfully syncopated rhythm.

The singing is always accompanied by dancing, with the rhythm of the dance movements often in counterpoint to the song. Village Harmony has led nine study camps in South Africa and has collaborated extensively with South African singing leaders Matlakala Bopape in Polokwane and Bongani Magatyana in Capetown.

Northern Harmony’s program will especially feature some of Magatyana’s brilliant original compositions in the folk style.

Georgia’s ancient three-part harmony singing tradition features a dark, sonorous vocal quality, and startling harmonies, unlike anything in European music.

Traditional Corsican singing, passed down through oral tradition, features two highly ornamented upper voices over a more sustained harmonic bass. The excitement for the listeners and singers both comes from the impassioned delivery, the surprising harmonic shifts which ripple from voice to voice, and the buzzing vocal timbre which creates an extremely powerful sound rich in overtones.

Shape-note singing, one of Northern Harmony's trademarks, had its origins in the community singing schools of 18th century New England. It is simultaneously a sacred and a social singing tradition, featuring stark, open harmonies, rhythmic, contrapuntal "fuging" sections, and the marvelous sacred poetry of the 18th century English hymn writer Isaac Watts and his followers.

Northern Harmony also performs a wide variety of village music from the Balkan countries. This music features the characteristic bright, "hard-voiced" Balkan vocal timbre, with dissonant harmonies frequently based on drones, and irregular dance meters in 7, 9 and 11. Many of these songs are accompanied by fiddle, oboe, tambura and drum.

For further information visit the Northern Harmony website

*Northern Harmony, Wootton Fitzpaine Village Hall, Saturday, November 4, 7.30pm. Tickets cost £9 (or £7 for under 18s). They are available from the Self Service Box Office in reception at The Charmouth Medical Practice, which is next to The Royal Oak, on The Street, Charmouth. Call 01297 560948 for more information. Doors open at 7pm. There will be a bar and raffle and proceeds will go to the hall.