Our local Bloomington singings are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month from 7-9 PM in the lower level of the Fairview Methodist Church. (600 W 6th St.) Park in the lot on the north side of the building and enter through the lower level doors on the southeast side of the building. Absolutely anyone is welcome to join us…Bring a snack to share if you can!
Loaner books are provided. We sing from both the 1991 revision The Sacred Harp and The Shenandoah Harmony.
If you are brand new to Sacred Harp, it’s a great time to start coming as we prepare for the Swarens All-Day Singing on March 21st!
Upcoming January Singings: January 28th.
February Singings: 11th and 25th…
March 21st, 2020 HIGHER GROUND/SWARENS ALL-DAY SINGING (10:00 AM to 3:00 PM in Bloomington, IN)
On Saturday, December 21st we sang at the Fountain Square Mall. Thanks to Randy West for the photos!
*Some photos posted by Ursula from our recent Rust Memorial All-Day Singing:
A few of us somehow still had voices after the 5-hour event!
UPDATE: The Second Annual John and Loraine Bayer Memorial Singing will be held on Sunday, July 14, near Dayton, OH. We will sing from from 9:30 to 3:00 with Dinner On The Grounds at mid-day. (I hear the acoustics are “magical.”)
It will be held at Bear Creek Old German Baptist Brethren Meeting House, west of Dayton Ohio at 185 South Diamond Mill Rd, New Lebanon, OH (https://goo.gl/maps/GAvzP6HCHk92) about 1/4 mile south of intersection with US Rt 35.
This genuine tribute to a wonderful Sacred Harp couple will be held in an acoustically magic venue. Please come and join us! – John Bealle
Seeing how the Summer is already flying by, I thought it would be efficacious to post some upcoming Shape Note events that you may want to visit during an upcoming day-trip or to incorporate into a longer vacation. For a more extensive list of updates, check out our Google Group site and consider giving us a heads-up on our Facebook group. You’ll find our local meetings listed here.
For starters, how ’bout a singing that has a 167 year history? This was posted by Sarah W. on our Facebook group.
…y’all should consider the Chattahoochee Convention when planning summer trips! Located at Wilson’s Chapel, about an hour outside of Atlanta, the Chattahoochee Convention is the oldest surviving Sacred Harp Convention (having been established in 1852). It takes place on the first Sunday and the Saturday before in August. This year, that will be August 3-4. You can turn it into quite the vacation! The Sacred Harp Museum is in Carrollton, GA, B.F. White is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, and the Raymond Hamrick collection in the Pitts Theology Library at Emory University contains rare Sacred Harp historical documents and an unparalleled hymnal collection. Also two weeks later is Camp Doremi (7-note camp) in North Carolina! C’mon down y’all! We’ll have a nice dinner on the grounds, grab a glass of lemonade or sweet tea and sing a few tunes!
Date: Saturday, June 15, 2019 Time: 10:00 am – 3:30 pm (Registration at 9:30 am) Please join us for the Exeter All-Day Singing to be held at the historic Exeter Friends Meetinghouse, 191 Meetinghouse Road, Douglassville, Pennsylvania. We will sing from the 1991 Denson edition of the Sacred Harp. All are welcome regardless of experience. There is no admission for the event. Loaner books will be available. More.
3RD ANNUAL EAST KENTUCKY DOUBLE ALL-DAY SINGING SATURDAY-SUNDAY, AUGUST 10-11, 2019
3rd annual East Kentucky Double All-Day Singing
Join us in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains for our 3rd annual East Kentucky Double All-Day Singing! This full weekend includes singing Saturday from the Sacred Harp (1991) with dinner on the grounds of the Calvary Campus, and Sunday from Sacred Selections (a 7-shape mountain gospel book) with dinner on the grounds of the historic Hemphill Community Center.
And while you’re here, enjoy local opportunities to experience live old time and bluegrass music, traditional mountain dancing, more home-cooked food than you can imagine, and an Old Regular Baptist communion service with lined-out hymnody. Housing/location/travel details.
Sunday, June 9th 2019. Aldridge Memorial – Pleasant Hill Church (Johnson School House), Fayette County AL, on Hwy 44, Old Fayette Road. Info: Elene Stovall, Bridget Kennedy or Joan Aldridge.
The following article is posted in full with permission from The Herald-Times. The photos have been added by Aaron.
(By Connie Shakalis, Oct 21, 2018) Music lovers can shape their weekend around a shape note singing event that’s become a tradition in Bloomington.
Shape note singing also goes by “sacred harp” — referring to the human body (like a harp) as an instrument. Developed in North America from 1770 to the mid 1800s as a way for teachers to instruct students how to read music and sing, it shared a comeback with the revival of folk singing in the 1960s.
Reading music can be difficult, and scores can be exceedingly complicated. Sight singing — picking up a piece of sheet music and immediately trying to grasp the tune, rhythm, key and tempo — is even harder. And for singers, it can be daunting. Read more…
Coming up in just a few days, join us for the 15th Annual Bloomington All-Day Sacred Harp Singing. The event takes place at Fairview United Methodist Church (600 W 6th St) on Saturday, Oct 27th, 2018. We will sing from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with a traditional potluck dinner on the grounds at noon. *Local singers are encouraged to bring a dish to share.
Providing a hearty meal is just one little way we can care for the folks who travel, in some cases, 100s of miles to join us! Read more…
The 23rd annual Higher Ground (Darrell Swarens memorial) Singing is moving to Bloomington, Indiana. It will take place on March 23, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Fairview United Methodist Church with a traditional dinner on the grounds at noon. Please stay tuned for updates and feel free to ask any questions on our Facebook group page. *We hope to sing from The Missouri Harmony book in addition to the The Sacred Harp, 1991 edition–loaner books will be available. Stay tuned for updates!
The 15th annual Bloomington All Day Singing is set for October, 27, 2018 in the same location (10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) with a traditional dinner on the grounds at noon. RSVP here and help us share this event on Facebook:
On Saturday, October 21st, I believe we had a record number in attendance for the 14th Annual Bloomington All Day Sacred Harp Singing. Around 80 people joined us over the course of the five hour event from many states–singing 70+ songs. Special thanks to all of the visitors from out-of-state and local media, WFHB and The Herald Times, for covering the event!
Put it on your calendar for next year- Oct 27th 2018. RSVP here:
One of the reasons I became interested in Shape Note music was from hearing Moira Smiley sing in Bloomington, IN. One particular concert took place as part of the Bloomington Early Music Festival. I was hooked.
I decided to reach out to Moira to see if she would do a personal video talking about the influence of Shape Note music on her music and also to help us spread the word about our upcoming All Day Singing. Here is her response. Down below, I’ll post some of Moira’s music. Update: This post is from 2016. This year’s All Day Singing takes place on October 21st. Details here.