Mark your calendar for the 15th Annual Bloomington All-Day Sacred Harp Singing. The event takes place at Fairview United Methodist Church 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. We will be singing from the 1991 revision the Sacred Harp. Loaner song books will be available. A voluntary donation will be taken to help cover expenses.
Shape Note, also known as Sacred Harp singing, is part of an American singing tradition that developed over the period from 1770 to the mid 1800s. At the core of this tradition are the all-day singing conventions which usually occur annually. Historically, and even to this day, these singings provide a chance for local singers to meet singers from a wide region, share stories, new songs and form social bonds.
Ever since the American folk-music revival peaking in the mid-1960s, interest in Shape Note singing has been growing throughout America and Europe. More recently, films like “Cold Mountain” have featured Shape Note performances and have inspired a whole new generation of music lovers to experience this traditional form of singing first-hand.
Bloomington resident, William Shetter, who recently celebrated his 91st birthday, launched the first All-Day Singing event here in Bloomington in 2004. However, Shape Note Singing, or Sacred Harp, has been a part of our local community, in one form or another, since the late 70s. You can watch an interview with Mr. Shetter on Youtube.
All events welcome beginners and newcomers, with no musical experience or religious affiliation required — in fact, the tradition was born from colonial “singing schools” whose purpose was to teach beginners to sing…Sacred Harp “singings” are not performances. There are no rehearsals and no separate seats for an audience. Every singing is a unique and self-sufficient event with a different group of assembled participants. The singers sit in a hollow square formation with one voice part on each side, all facing inwards so we can see and hear each other. However, visitors are always welcome to sit anywhere in the room and participate as listeners. – fasola.org
We look forward to meeting many new and old friends at the 15th Annual Bloomington All-Day Singing! You can find more information at the Bloomington Sacred Harp website: www.bloomingtonsacredharp.org