Community SongFest

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Do you sing in the shower, or driving, but are shy when there’s anyone around to listen? Were you in a choir or chorus, and miss the ecstatic experience of singing in harmony? Do you love music, but think you’re one of those people “who just can’t sing”?

If so, please come to our first Community SongFest, which will provide easy, enjoyable group singing for people at every level of experience (or inexperience).

Singing predates speaking in human development, and group singing, along with dance, is a fundamental, universal experience in every pre-modern culture. With the professionalization of music-making, and shift from active singing in groups, to passive-listening audiences, a vital form of binding people together has been lost.

Studies show that people who sing in groups are healthier, happier, more creative, experience less stress, are more resilient, and live longer. And those who sing together often become friends and build group bonds faster than in other group activities.

At the SongFest, we will sing 20 or so songs, drawn from a 100+ songbook (available on-line, and printed sheets at the event), including folk songs, popular music, show tunes, and songs of faith. Song leaders will teach basic and advanced harmony parts, with an emphasis on getting everyone singing. We’ll send the song list, with links to performances, a week before the event.

Sample Songs:

Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen

Angel From Montgomery, John Prine

Run Away To Mars, Talk

Country Roads, John Denver

Wagon Wheel, Old Crow Medicine Show

I Took A Pill In Ibiza, Mike Posner

The Boxer, Paul Simon


12:30 Check-in, social time (please bring healthy snacks and drink to share - no meat, hard liquor, candy, or soda, please)

1:00 First songs

1:50 Break

2:00 Multi-part song, with breakouts

2:30 Second songs

3:00 Event closes, social time, hot tub


Ken Ward has forty years of experience as an environmental leader and climate activist, leading group singing, and teaching songwriting, as integral parts of his activism and community building. As a youth, Ken attended workshops on group singing led by Pete Seeger & Arlo Guthrie, and taught music at the Vermont YMCA camp. He has performed at Ralph Nader, Greenpeace, and labor union events, and led the acclaimed Jamaica Plain (Boston) Community SongFest for several years. Ken plays guitar (well), and a multitude of other stringed instruments (badly).

Laura Byerly is a family doctor, and Chief Medical Officer of a group of clinics, for which she wrote the theme song. Her singing career was launched in her Girl Scout troop, where she won a singing merit badge. Laura was lead singer for 25 years with the Muvhura Marimba Band. She plays marimba, guitar, and flute.

Charity Benham sings show tunes better, naked, than anyone we know. And no one will be singing naked this afternoon as it's an E1 event!


$10-$15 per person, sliding scale. You can pay cash at the door, or click here. It's important that you note the event and your name.

Hope to see you there!

Empowered Pleasure, LLC 

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