In Harmony’s Way started with a group of Bay Area folk musicians who love to sing chorus songs. It has grown into monthly singing sessions and festival workshops like this one! Come sing chorus songs, drinking songs, gospel songs, sea shanties, camp songs, silly songs, sad songs, or anything else with a chorus or refrain so people can sing along. The workshop leaders won’t be teaching, lecturing, or doing anything with much structure, except going in a circle so that as many people as possible can take a turn. Attendees are going to sit around and sing for a glorious hour of harmony, laughter, chorus songs, and good company. Each person can lead a song, request a song, or just sing along.
Ellen Auriti is one of the co-leaders of the monthly In Harmony’s Way singing sessions, and her love of singing spans a variety of genres, including traditional Irish, Scottish, and English folk, traditional ballads (especially Child ballads), old-time, sacred harp/shape note, and sea chanteys. She is particularly fond of traditional songs, a cappella singing and close harmony, and is an enthusiastic regular participant in a variety of local sings, including the IHW sessions, the SF Hyde St. Pier sea chantey sings, the Starry Plough Sunday night Irish session, old time harmony sings and traditional ballad swaps. As a member of the Relatively Old-Time Singing Society (ROSS), she has co-hosted participatory singing jams/workshops at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, where she also assists Shay Black (from whom she has learned a great many wonderful songs) with his much-loved Folk Repertoire class. Ellen likes nothing better than the feeling of singing (especially in harmony) with others and is always happy to bring others into the shared joy of a cappella singing.
Deborah Sandler has been singing all her life. Her voracious appetite for song started with American and British Isles folk music (still her favorites), and has grown to include choral music, jazz, swing, show tunes, blues, gospel and spirituals, kids’ songs, rounds, Jewish music, and just about anything with a melody. She holds an undergraduate degree in folklore, and is proud of having gotten college credit for playing and singing folk music. Deborah is one of the regular co-leaders of the monthly In Harmony’s Way singing sessions, and can often be found at other folk singing sessions around the Bay Area. She sings in her synagogue choir as well as an auditioned 100-voice symphonic choir, serves as a para cantor at her synagogue, takes voice lessons, occasional classes at the Jazz School in Berkeley, and is always on the lookout for more singing opportunities. When she isn’t singing, she practices family law in Walnut Creek. “When people first lift their voices to sing, and those notes spill out into the room, it is a moment full of magic and promise. Music touches hearts and brings people together. Come sing with us!”