Hungarian Folk Singing Circle
Current and Upcoming Classes:
All classes and lessons listed below are taught by Zina Bozzay. These are the classes open to the general public - Zina also coaches choruses and teaches at various institutions for those specific communities - please contact us to arrange such private teaching.
Please register for the classes as soon as possible! This is partly because space is limited, and also because for in-person classes it helps with our planning to know how many people and who to expect, and for virtual classes Zoom links are sent in advance of class.
Upcoming Summer 2021 Teaching:
July 12 - July 27 - Budapest, Hungary
IN-PERSON and VIRTUAL
Private lessons and coaching in person in Budapest or on Zoom for students around the world. May cover Hungarian folk singing and other subjects. By appointment: Contact us to schedule.
Saturday, July 31 - Seattle, WA, USA
Outdoor Hungarian folk singing workshop held in English, open to the general public (teens/adults). Co-hosted by Dunava. Details and registration here.
Friday, July 30 - Wed, August 4 - Seattle, WA, USA
Private lessons in Seattle for students of all ages. May cover Hungarian folk singing and other subjects. By appointment: Contact us to schedule.
Friday, August 6 - Walnut Creek, CA, USA
Hungarian folk singing workshop at the Hungarian School as part of the Hungarian Culture Week, held in English and Hungarian, for ages 5-11. Details and registration here.
Friday, August 6 - August 27 - Bay Area, CA, USA
Private lessons in the Bay Area for students of all ages. May cover Hungarian folk singing and other subjects. By appointment: Contact us to schedule.
Saturdays August 14, 21, 28 - Berkeley, CA, USA
Hungarian Folk Singing 3-Workshop Series hosted by The Kitka Institute. Held in English, open to the general public (teens/adults). More info: Kitka's website, Facebook event page, and Registration page! Please register as soon as possible as space is limited.
If you're in the Bay Area, don't miss the Vadalma concert at the Orly Museum for Hungarian Culture on Sunday, Aug 29!!
Ongoing in August - International
Private lessons and group classes held on Zoom for students anywhere in the world. By appointment: Contact us to schedule.
Fall 2021 Teaching:
Join our email list to hear Fall 2021 details when they are announced! Registration will open by mid-August.
September - International
Hungarian pronunciation classes, held on Zoom in English for participants around the world. Various levels offered. Details coming soon.
September 13 onward - Budapest, Hungary
Weekly Hungarian folk singing class series held in English in Budapest, open to teens and adults. Monday evenings starting September 13. Details coming soon.
September 14 onward - International
Weekly Hungarian folk singing classes held in English on Zoom, open to teens and adults around the world. Tuesdays starting September 14. These small group classes are live and interactive, not video recorded for later use. Details coming soon.
September - December
IN-PERSON - Budapest, Hungary
VIRTUAL - International
Private lessons and coaching. By appointment: Contact us to schedule.
ABOUT ZINA BOZZAY
Zina Bozzay is an active performer, collector, arranger, and teacher of Hungarian folk songs in the US and Hungary. She has taught these songs to Hungarian speakers and non-speakers for over a decade, and is known for her accessible teaching style, academic rigor, and contagious enthusiasm. When her in-person classes went virtual in spring 2020 due to coronavirus, people joined from around the world, leading to these expanded online offerings in fall 2020. For more information on Zina, click here.
LOOKING FURTHER AHEAD:
Sign up on our email list to hear when the next classes are announced and registration is open. Emails are infrequent, about once per month.
Join our email list to hear about upcoming classes and events!
Also contact us here if you're interested in scheduling a class, workshop, or presentation for your community, chorus, or event.
Our classes featured on TV
Interviews with Zina Bozzay
(In Hungarian with English subtitles)
The Hungarian Folk Singing Circle ("Népdalkör" in Hungarian) teaches Hungarian folk songs, beautiful village songs crafted over generations of unbroken oral tradition. Founded in San Francisco in 2010 by Zina Bozzay, the Népdalkör now hosts class series, workshops, private coaching and lessons, and presentations in both English and Hungarian in various locations around the world.
We teach a wide range of songs from across the Hungarian language area in the Carpathian Basin: slow and fast, old style and new style, simple and highly ornamented, ballads, laments, dances (lassú magyaros, csárdás, etc.), and more. They include a range of regional scales and unique rhythms. All songs are village songs from the oral tradition taught directly from source recordings, not composed songs or arrangements. Participants receive village source recordings, a Hungarian pronunciation guide, ethnographic maps, song word sheets (lyrics), and English translations, as well as background information on each song. We also host traditional handcraft gatherings, seasonal parties, performances by experienced members, and other events.
Class sessions are open to everyone, of any musical or cultural background. No previous experience in the style or Hungarian language is required. Join us!
To support our work, click here.
Celebrating 10 years of the Népdalkör!
What began as a small weekly singing class in the Bay Area has grown to reaching thousands of people each year on six continents through folk singing classes, workshops, presentations, performances, private lessons, and more. From a San Francisco living room, to Ashkenaz and Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, CA, to the Hungarian Heritage House and Óbuda Folk Music School in Budapest, to virtual classes several times a week to meet the demand of participants in various time zones. Participants range from young children through older adults, with enormously diverse cultural, linguistic, and musical backgrounds - including many who are reconnecting with lost family heritage.
THANK YOU for your support and participation!
Donate now to support our continuation of this work for 10 more years! We are committed to continuing our village song collecting, teaching, performing, and more. Especially during this pandemic, it brings great joy to enrich people's lives with music, language, culture, and meaningful learning that changes lives. There are many non-monetary ways to contribute as well (click here for ideas).
Some Past Workshops and Class Series:
Hungarian Heritage House, Budapest, HU
Óbuda Folk Music School, Budapest, HU
Rákóczi Szövetség camps, Sátoraljaújhely, HU
American International School, Budapest, HU
Háló Community and Cultural Center, Budapest, HU
Hunscapes cultural events, HU
Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, USA
Ashkenaz Music & Dance Center, Berkeley, USA
Hungarian Heritage Festival, Belmont, USA
Magtár Hungarian Cultural Alliance, Los Angeles, USA
Hungarian Art & Culture Festival, Walnut Creek, USA
Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco, USA
Rod Poppy Art House, San Francisco, USA
Hungarian Scouts, Woodside Priory, Portola Valley, USA
United Magyar Ház, Los Angeles, USA
East European Folklife Center Music & Dance Workshop, USA
Zhena Folk Chorus, Los Angeles, USA
Kárpátok Hungarian Folk Ensemble, Los Angeles, USA
Eszterlánc Hungarian Folk Ensemble, Bay Area, USA
Hungarian folk dance classes, Bay Area, USA
Zambaleta World Music & Dance School, San Francisco, USA
SF Community Music Center, San Francisco, USA
Private workshops, coaching, and lessons (members of KITKA, Janam, Cancioner, Stellamara, VOCO, and other choruses)
Lectures and presentations in the US and Hungary:
Corvinus University (HU), American International School (HU), AHEA conferences (US, HU), HATOG conference (US), Egyszólam music camp in Váralja (HU), Visszidens meeting (HU), and lectures at several festival and venues listed above
Thank you to Alliance for California Traditional Arts for the support through Living Cultures grants.
Song types and regions taught:
Gyimes (valley in Carpathian mountains, Transylvania)
Mezőség (region in Transylvania), in particular villages Szék and Magyarszovát, among others
Maros-Küküllők vidéke (region in Transylvania)
Kalotaszeg (region in Transylvania)
Felföld (former Northern Hungary)
Magyarbőd, Imreg (villages in Felföld, with harmony)
Somogy (part of Transdanubia)
Seasonal songs - springtime, Christmas, etc.
Songs for experienced singers and small groups
Sampler - variety of songs from various regions (including regions not listed above, such as Bukovina, Alföld, etc.)
Class and presentation topics:
Introduction to Hungarian folk music
Hungarian folk singing in the traditional village context
Hungarian folk music instruments
History of song collecting and folk music revival in HU
Contemporary folk music revival in Budapest
Resources for study (archives, institutions, media, etc)
Teaching and study methodology in the style
Notation issues in Hungarian folk song transcription
Symbolism in Hungarian folk songs lyrics
Folk singing vocal technique and exercises
North American Hungarian diaspora
History of the San Francisco Népdalkör and Vadalma
Lessons learned from folk song collecting work
Hungarian pronunciation in detail (for singers)
... and other topics upon request
Easter egg decorating party, March 2016
Hosting guest teacher Ágnes Enyedi from Hungary
Workshop for Zhena Folk Chorus, Los Angeles, CA