About Us

The Choral Imperative is a collaboration between two dynamic American world music workshop leaders/choral directors: Patty Cuyler and Mollie Stone. 

Patty Cuyler is co-director of Vermont-based Village Harmony, a non-profit organization that has been promoting traditional world music study by sponsoring touring ensembles and organizing international music study-performance camps for almost 25 years.  Since joining Village Harmony in 1995 Patty has taken hundreds of amateur singers to study and perform with internationally-renowned traditional singers in Caucasus Georgia, South Africa, Corsica, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Ghana, and regularly tours and gives workshops throughout the US and Europe.  In 2005 she founded the world music choir Boston Harmony, and in 2012 and 2013 co-founded with Mollie the Brooklyn World Music Chorus and the Chicago World Music Chorus. On her own Patty has published numerous books of Georgian folk music and chant, and two volumes of the teaching DVD/book series The Folk Rhythm: South African Folk, Church and Protest Songs (2004/2006).

Mollie Stone is currently pursuing a doctorate in choral conducting at Northwestern University. Mollie StoneShe serves as a conductor and as the Director of World Music at Chicago Children’s Choir and as a conductor at the University of Chicago. She co-directs choirs in Brooklyn and Chicago with Patty, and in the summer teaches with Village Harmony. Mollie holds a bachelor of arts degree from Amherst College, a master of music degree in conducting from Westminster Choir College and has studied at the University of Cape Town. In 2004 she has produced her first South African teaching DVD, Vela, Vela, and in 2006 received a grant from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation to study how South Africans are using choral music in the struggle against HIV. Mollie is in great demand for lectures and workshops on black South African choral music at schools and universities in the United States and Europe.

Chicago Children's Choir Our Raising the Bar projects, which are ongoing with the goal of a new book + dvd each year, have been
made possible with the generous support of Chicago Children's Choir.
The Choir was founded in 1956 by the late Rev. Christopher Moore to bring together children from different racial, religious and socio-economic backgrounds through the pursuit of musical excellence. The Choir currently serves 4000 singers in over 70 in-school programs across the city, nine after-school neighborhood choirs, an ensemble for boys with changing voices and the internationally-acclaimed Voice of Chicago. The diversity of Chicago Children's Choir reflects the cultural landscape of the city.

We include in our RTB teaching DVDs groups of young CCC singers representing this great diversity, including experienced and non-experienced singers alike between the ages of 8-17. As models for your own choir, we aim to demonstrate informed and attainable performances of songs from our favorite world music choral traditions. www.ccchoir.org.

Central Vermont-based Village Harmony is a non-profit 501(c)(3) umbrella organization for a diverse range of choral, world music and harmony singing activities under the direction of founder Larry Gordon and co-director Patty Cuyler. Village Harmony's primary activities include a remarkable network of international music study-performance camps, the community-based chorus Boston Harmony (which draws singers to monthly weekend-long rehearsals from throughout New England) and a semi-professional touring ensemble, Northern Harmony. Since 1989 the teen and adult singers of Village Harmony projects have been traveling and performing in New England and an ever-widening swath of the globe, participating in cultural exchanges and delighting audiences with their heart-felt renditions of folk music from around the world. Village Harmony's non-auditioned world music summer camps in 2015 are being held in New England, the Midwest, Oregon, the Republic of Georgia, Macedonia and South Africa. In 2016 camps are currently planned for Corsica, Bosnia and the UK. www.villageharmony.org.