Saturday, January 10, 2015

January Shiloh Singing in Springdale Canceled

NWS forecast as of 10:30, 1/10/15
As an official sponsor of "singing in the rain" and other lost causes, I've checked the National Weather Service Forecasts for Sunday, January 11th for most major communities in and near NW Arkansas. Springdale has one of the better forecasts. Things look worse or much worse to the west, north and east of Springdale and only slightly better south toward the tunnel and Alma. In the south the freezing rain should be over by 7-9 A.M. In other locations, the wizards are calling for rain or freezing rain until noon or even later.

KFSM Channel 5 earlier predictions have become more serious with each new forecast. in the interest of safety, and checking with others, I've recommended that we notify the singers by email of the canceled 1/11/15 Sunday afternoon monthly singing ession at the Shiloh Museum. Others I checked with agreed. It's just not worth taiking a chance of someone cresting a hill and finding a patch of ice that survived longer than expected in the shade across the road.

I've asked the museum staff to post a note on the door of the general store in case someone doesn't get the word and shows up.

The second graphic from Ch. 5 and the NWS Tulsa shows the favored locations for light ice accumulations. It is likely a "Winter Weather Advisory will be issued. http://5newsonline.com/2015/01/09/garretts-blog-weekend-ice-possible/

Otherwise, we'll twice as many good reasons to hope for better weather for our February monthly singing on 2/8/15 in the Shiloh Museum General Store at 1:30 P.M. Until then, stay warm and stay safe...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Shiloh Singers January Newsletter (updated)

Singing Christmas tunes 12/14/14. Photo by Patricia
Hello Everyone...

January 11th Singing ~ I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year's celebration. The first week of 2015 has seemed very short for some reason. As we get older I think we move and think a little slower and it takes more time to do the same things we used to do quickly. We may also take a little more time to remember to do things. In any case, I don't want any of you to forget the Shiloh Singers will be gathering at the General Store on Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 1:30 for a short afternoon of celebrating the new year with Sacred Harp songs and fellowship. The usual before-singing lunch at AQ's Chicken House at noon will continue for those who arrive early. Any left-over New Year's cookies or snacks are always welcomed at January singings. New singers are also welcomed, so start the year off by bringing a friend who enjoys singing. We can share the experience as easily as we share cookies and singing is better for good health any day.

Questions and Answers ~ I've already had a couple of questions this month about singing at the Missouri State Convention in March and where to find more information about finding Sacred Harp singings if traveling. We can share the answers to those questions too.

I've been pencilling in 2015 events. Do you know the date for the Missouri State Convention?

The Missouri State Sacred Harp Convention is scheduled for the "Second Sunday and Saturday before" in March of each year. That works out to Saturday, March 7th and Sunday, March 8th starting each day at 9:30.  That's also our normal singing date in Springdale, so we usually declare a recess in March and hope as many as can will join other Shiloh Singers who plan to sing in Missouri. The St. Louis Singers sponsor the event and you can check their web site for updates at: http://www.stlfasola.org/  and I'll also post more info in our newsletters and web page when available. We try to encourage people to share rides and expenses to keep costs reasonable. The Missouri State Convention is more like a international event with singers from Canada to Alabama. It's an event you'll remember and want to repeat again.
I am making out my calender for 2015. Would you mind sending me an email with the list of singings with dinner on the ground? I wanted to plan to attend some this year.
The mother lode of Sacred Harp information is http://www.fasola.org/
The Singings tab on the website also has links to directories of current singings from all over the country. See: http://www.fasola.org/singings/  Look for Warren Steele's list of annual singings
*  If you're interested in Denson book singings check out: http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~mudws/annual.html
*  If you're in Texas or other places looking for Cooper Book singings visit: http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~mudws/cooper.html
But it's a good idea to check out both lists. Most of the all day singings have lunch or a list of places to eat close at hand, and will usually indicate the arrangements on their website or in their announcement flyer. Example: Missouri usually has a map with directions to the church and nearby motels.
Finally, we have several extra 2014 Minutes Books in the general store where we sing. We receive the 2015 Minutes books during the spring of the year. Be sure to get tje mew copy when it arrives. Minutes books are only updated once a year, but a subscription to the Fasola mailing lists are available at: http://www.fasola.org/community/lists/  It's not a bad idea to check the phone numbers posted in the announcements to confirm the date and locations if you need more directions. I've been on some nice country drives before, but the dates or locations are seldom changed. In those cases, the journey is the reward.

One more thing ~ I love to drive in winter. You can see through the bare trees and see houses, barns and churches that are hidden again in the warmer months of the year. I used to love to participate in European winter rally events and have been sideways in an icy turn with the steering wheel at full lock, the throttle floored and the biggest grin on my face. That was almost 50 years ago and my weather prediction skills aren't any better now than they were back then when the weather maps were printed in German. However, there's a new tool available for Arkansas drivers called "I Drive Arkansas." In case the weather takes a bad turn, I hope you'll join me by checking out the road conditions at: http://www.idrivearkansas.com/

Just use the "Winter Weather tab with the snow icon on the right margin of the IDrive home page to pull up two maps. One covers the road department's official opinion of road conditions and the second map covers "What's on the Road." which may be more useful information for old European rally drivers than the usual navigator's notes. The National Weather Service had a long-range forecast of a chance of rain on Sunday. Garrett Lewis and the local weather gang on KFSM Ch. 5 weather on Wednesday night didn't expect any problems as the temperatures along I-49 are expected to be above freezing. I expect I'll check both IDrive maps before leaving home on Sunday morning. I hope you'll do the same, drive safely and hope to see you in Springdale on Sunday!

Update: 1/10/15
Well, that didn't last long. NWS and most weather forecasts are worried about freezing rain. We've canceled the January 1/11/15 singing to be on the safe side but I still thing I'll check out the idrivearkansas.com website before I go very far on Sunday morning.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Shiloh Singers December Reminder: It's a wonderful time of the year!!

Hello Everyone...

December is really a wonderful time with busy schedules, shopping for the kids and grand kids, good food, enjoying the company of good friends and miracles past and present. I stand in awe of what so many Shiloh Singers and their many friends and helpers have accomplished this year. Singings from Washington, Missouri to Washington, Arkansas, two NWA Annual Sacred Harp Singing Conventions in Harrison and Springdale and one Singing School in connection with the fall convention lead by Rene Greene from Alabama. Members singing in Little Rock at a UALR art show reception and opening honoring Johnny Cash, who sang shape note songs as a boy. That's not the whole list, but you get the idea. Many of you sang at the eleven monthly singings since last December.

Hopefully the whole group is just as proud of all of your accomplishments during 2014 and can join the Shiloh Singers in Springdale in the General Store this Sunday, December 14, 2014 to celebrate at the things you've done and ring out the year with celebration and singing. Singing should start at 1:30 and continue until 4:00 P.M. We'll have coffee, and cold drinks. Singers are invited to bring Christmas cookies, fruit cake, or any of the usual "goodies" you would like to share. There's also the option of joining the usual crew of singers who will hold down a table at the Springdale AQ's Chicken House around noon on singing Sunday to be sure all present at lunch are fortified for a full afternoon of singing.

I know all of you are busy. I still haven't figured out how Dan scheduled four Christmas season concerts in one day but I admire Dan Brittain's stamina and the leadership he adds to any singing throughout the year. He and his baritone horn bring a new definition to wind power. Syd Caldwell has indicated we may expect some visitors. As always, visitors are welcome and invited to watch, pat their feet, and sing along and by singing learn a little bit about how people learned to sing 200 years ago. But I do hope all who can will join our early celebration of Christmas - the true meaning of Christmas - and share our Sacred Harp singing with each other on Sunday afternoon.

And for those younger singers, as the jolly old man in the red suit exclaimed as his sleigh and the reindeer rose out of sight...

Friday, November 7, 2014

Next singing on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 9

The weather forecast for Springdale looks like nice weather to drive though your part of the Ozarks to the November Singing on Sunday, Nov. 9th. After the NWA Fall Sacred Harp Singing Convention and Singing School, it will be nice to welcome everyone back to the General Store and enjoy the store's unique sound generated by a hardwood floor and high metal ceiling. We'll start singing at 1:30 P.M. and sing until about 4:00 P.M. The General Store is located next to the old barn on the grounds of the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History at 118 W. Johnson Ave. in Springdale. As usual, anyone who arrives early is welcome to join some of the singers at Springdale's AQ's Chicken House to stock up on a few calories to burn up during the singing.

Thanks to the Springdale First United Methodist Church for hosting the event and to their support staff for making sure we had everything needed for a successful singing. Thanks to the Shiloh Museum for helping with the Fall Singing Convention news releases to the local media this year. Susan Young's advance PR campaign seems to have worked. We had people who reported they had read about the singing in the papers. Syd reported that the NW Arkansas edition had an article about the singing with quotes from Dan and Bill on the first page of the Sunday local section. See: http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2014/oct/26/group-raises-voices-spirits-20141026/
 
Photo: Rene Greene leads the singing school on Friday evening.

It takes more than a few new singers and a single instructor to make a worthwhile
singing school. It's hard to thank Rene Greene and the other strong Alabama singers enough as they arrived on Friday for the singing school and convention. Rene is a remarkable instructor and all the local singers who turned out in support were appreciated as well. All of us certainly hope all of the visitors felt welcome and encouraged to come back and sing with us in the General Store on Sunday.

In summary, we had a final total of 33 participants for the Friday night school, Saturday singing or both. We enjoyed having you at the school and singing and hope to sing with you again. And as usual, the cooks in the group again managed to reach a record high for lunch with crock pots and bun warmers as well as all manner of seriously good food and desserts. I loved the desserts.  

Other high notes: We were particularly glad that Darryl and Lea Criss were able to join us for the Saturday morning session. Darryl has made remarkable progress and it was wonderful to see him sitting again the bass section. Mary Ellen Wilkerson and Anita Buswell were back in their usual bass and treble sections. Once again the list is too long to include everyone, but all of you - old singers or new - contributed to an enjoyable evening and all-day singing in Springdale. Thanks for all your efforts to get there and helping us have a wonderful singing.

Photo: Singers paused for a group picture after lunch.

Earlier this week, the mail lady drove up the driveway to deliver a large box. Picked up, the bulky box weighed about as much as a good heavy quilt which sounded like a Katy project. But there was another smaller box within big box. I thought, "Maybe it's a box of song books Dan ordered to replace the ones we sold at the convention." No books. The small box contained a collection of Sacred Harp CD's still shrink wrapped in their jewel boxes. "What in the world!"

We owe one more note of thanks to Bruce Rye for his unrestricted donation of the CDs to our group. How best to use them to promote Sacred Harp singing is something we need to talk about on Sunday. Thanks Bruce, for thinking about the singers and favoring us with one more tool and such an opportunity to extend traditional Sacred Harp shape note singing in the Ozarks.

Hope to see everyone on Sunday in Springdale. Enjoy your Sunday afternoon drive...