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NGI Recipient: Kailyn Wright

Session Attended: Country Dance and Song Society - Harmony of Song & Dance (2018)

I was incredibly lucky to be awarded an NGI Scholarship from the Country Dance and Song Society and Pinewoods Camp to attend the CDSS Harmony of Song and Dance week this past July. It is not an exaggeration to say that I had the time of my life! From harmonizing with the entire camp first thing each morning at Chorale to pushing my memory to the max at afternoon Ballads class, to the simple swapping of songs each night, I felt as though I had found “my people.” The Pinewoods atmosphere and CDSS spirit fostered such an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere that new folks like me felt at home the minute we arrived.

The campers and staff at Harmony Week all exhibited such joy for singing and for the living traditions that surround us when we sing together. One of my fondest memories from the week was sitting down by the dock, with my notebook in hand jotting down lyrics to a song I wanted to recall later, when I stopped and listened to the songs on the air. I could hear 3 or 4 different groups singing from far off in different directions. None were so close that they drowned out the others and together they formed a patchwork of songs. I felt surrounded by such warmth and love that it echoed across the camp. It was a peacefulness that is difficult to explain.

Leaving camp, I took with me not simply happy memories, but a treasure trove of new songs, a new group of friends, and a passion for the folk song tradition that I carry with me to my community back home. Thank you for such a transformative week.