The four Windborne singers grew up immersed in the traditional song and dance communities of New England and discovered a love of world folk music in their teens. Over the past decade, Windborne has sought out masters of traditional singing styles in the US and around the world to study a variety of vocal music. Through these collaborations, they have developed the vocal agility and authentic sound for which they are known. Their dynamic concert programs include songs from Corsica, the Republic of Georgia, Bulgaria, Quebec, and Basque country, as well as traditional and original American folk music. They believe deeply in the power of music to change hearts.
In addition to performing in New England and around the world, Windborne has taught workshops in schools, community centers, singing camps, and universities. Seasoned teachers and song-leaders, they delight groups young and old with enthusiastic, clear, and nuanced instruction for musicians of all levels of experience. Singers not only learn the notes of a song, but also work on the varied vocal styles, language pronunciation, and gain an understanding of the song in its original cultural context.
In 2014, Windborne was one of 10 groups selected by American Music Abroad and the US Department of State to tour as cultural ambassadors through music. They traveled to Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Angola, touring with internationally known artists, performing at sold-out national theaters, and collaborating with traditional musicians in each country. They also taught music and dance workshops to schoolchildren, English-language learners, dance schools, choirs, and music conservatories.
History of Windborne
Windborne has existed in many capacities throughout its 10+ year history, appearing as a duo, trio, and now, as a quartet. A group of vocal chameleons, they grew up in musical families, going to singing parties, taking classical voice and instrumental lessons, and seeking out folk music from around the world. Now, they draw upon their collective five decades of experience as performers and teachers to switch effortlessly between drastically different styles of singing within the same concert, all the while regaling the audience with their vocal energy and carefully crafted arrangements. Their repertoire includes music from the Republic of Georgia, Corsica, Bulgaria, the Basque region, and Quebec, but they remain deeply rooted in American folk singing traditions as well.
Windborne is Lynn Mahoney Rowan, Will Thomas Rowan, Lauren Breunig, and Jeremy Carter-Gordon. All four have traveled extensively in the US and throughout the world with Village Harmony, Northern Harmony and the Renewal Chorus, leading workshops and giving concerts. Windborne has toured New England several times, and in 2010 their vocal agility and power won them first place in Young Tradition Vermont‘s Showcase Competition. Since then, they have appeared at the Flurry Festival, the Shelburne Harvest Festival, the Young Tradition Vermont Reunion Concert, and have taught master classes at Keene State College. In January 2014, AMA sent Windborne on a month-long tour to Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Angola performing and teaching as musical ambassadors for the US!
Throughout the past decade, they have had the distinct pleasure of studying under a variety of music masters, including Corsican music scholar and composer Jean-Etienne Langianni; Georgian singers and members of Zedashe, Shergil Pirtskhelani and Ketevan Mindorashvili; director of the London Bulgarian Choir Dessislava Stefanova; and Matlakala Bopape, who leads the Polokwane Choir in South Africa. Closer to home, they count folk music legends Tony Barrand, the Amidon family, Don Jamison, Neely Bruce, Val Mindel, and Suzannah Park among their friends and mentors.
Specializing in close harmony singing, the quartet has a vibrant energy and a strong connection, which is evident in their engaging performance. They educate as they perform, telling stories about the music and explaining the characteristicsand stylistic elements of the traditions in which they sing. Mary DesRosiers, folk musicologist for the Monadnock Folklore Society, acclaims Windborne for “the purity of their voices, strength of their material, and attention to detail in their arrangements.”
“The singers of Windborne have a deep understanding, both musically and culturally, of the traditions from which they draw much of their repertoire. Their singing is a feast of a cappella harmony.”
-Peter Amidon, www.amidonmusic.com