Friday, January 12, 2018

Oops! January Singing on Sunday Canceled...

UPDATED: Saturday, 1/13/18

A little October snow and ice in
Yellowstone National Park, not
a prediction for Arkansas...yet.
After waiting until the last minute to send out the January singing reminders on Friday, I checked the Saturday noon weather forecast and found that the Saturday night and Sunday forecast had flipped-flopped overnight. Out of "an abundance of caution" and after several phone calls, we've canceled the Sunday, January 14th, singing in the General Store due to inclement weather. Syd has called the museum and asked for a note to be put on their Facebook page and the front door of the General Store while I work on this 2nd edition of the January newsletter. The official forecast for tonight and Sunday:

NWS Forecast for: Springdale Municipal AR
Issued by: National Weather Service Tulsa, OK
Last Update: 12:55 pm CST Jan 13, 2018
Tonight: A 20 percent chance of snow after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 15. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.
Sunday: A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly before noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 35. Wind chill values between 5 and 15. South wind 5 to 15 mph.

That usually means we might see anything from a few flurries to a slight accumulation in spots or no snow at all. We just don't know where any of those conditions may or may not happen. What I worry about are the places where a slight accumulation has turned into ice in a shady spot just beyond the crest of a hill. There's no need to take any chances. So we'll miss the usual chicken and dumplings at AQ's, visiting and singing with everyone and just make plans to try to get together again in February.

We've also had two additional updates that we had planned to mention at the singing and in a 2nd newsletter update next week:
From Bill Caldwell in Joplin...

I have a general update that can be shared with our singers.  I was able to
take the collar off on Thursday, the 11th.  I'm still going to physical therapy
to get the range of motion back for my neck.  I can move it but it's stiff and I
don't have fast enough reaction time looking left or right yet to drive. 
That'll take a couple more weeks or so.  But I'm back to work part time and have
been able to do a good portion of my regular duties in a half day.  I'm hopeful
to be able to be at February's singing barring weather excitement. Thanks to
everyone for their care and prayers!

Syd Caldwell and Bill both mentioned the sad passing of Darrel Swarens, one of
the singers we used to see each ear in Missouri. 

His smiling face was always a welcome sight at Missouri and any other
singing he attended. He put his whole heart into his singing.  We'll miss him.

Be safe out there. We'll try again on February 11th. Hope to see you then.



Bring a sweater...

Singing on Sunday ~ The Shiloh Singers will conduct their regular January singing on January 14, 2018 in the General Store on the grounds of the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History from 1:30 until 4:00 P.M. One of the reasons I've waited to send out the newsletter has been to keep an eye of the weather. I was once told that three days was about as far as our Army weather forecasters could see ahead with their M-1 crystal ball. The forecast for Sunday is for "Partly Sunny" with sweater weather and not very highs in the upper-thirty degree range. It certainly looks like roads around Springdale will be dry. The store's heat pump has always produced enough heat to stay warm. We also know that spirited singing will add a few more degrees of warmth to the gathering. As usual, the "early arrivals" are invited to share a table at Springdale's famous AQ Chicken House around noon. 

If you have any concerns about the weather, we all now have a tool that even our Army didn't have during those long winter maneuvers in Germany's snow 50 years ago. You can check the driving conditions before you leave home visiting the "I Drive Arkansas" website at  then click on the blue snow flake to check out the current winter road conditions. I've recently used similar road condition websites in several other western states, and in my opinion the Arkansas' site is one of the best for being easy to use and understand.

Long Range Planning ~ People have already asked about the dates for the Missouri State Sacred Harp Singing Convention and the NWA Singing Convention in Harrison. 

The Missouri State Sacred Harp Singing Convention is scheduled for Saturday, March 10 and Sunday, March 11, 2018. I expect the St. Louis Shape Note Singers will likely put their flyer on their website in late January or early February. I usually post a link or copy on the website and in the newsletter.
The NW Arkansas Sacred Harp Singing Convention is scheduled for May 5th this year. We'll try to include more info in the newsletter or on the website as we get closer to that date.
The Fayetteville Public Library's Summer Reading Club has requested our help with a program during June or July. We need to discuss how we could assist and possible dates at this month's singing. 
Sacred Harp Publishing Company Newsletter ~ The December 1917 issue of the publishing company's newsletter is available online. Covering a wide range of topics from the history of Sacred Harp singing, building a community of singers, lessons learned from other singers and even a detailed article about how to repair songbooks or any book for that matter. You can check out the current edition at:  and if you enjoy learning more about Sacred Harp singing you may sign up on their "infrequent newsletter mailing list."

That's all for a quick update. Hope to see you in Springdale on Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Christmas Singing on Sunday, December 10th...

Katy's has once again been busy decorating two Christmas trees with all the Christmas ornaments she's collected over the years -- more ornaments than will fit on a single tree. Like many other singers, Katy and I are both been looking forward to the December 10th gathering of the Shiloh Singers to celebrate completion of another year of singing Sacred Harp music and munching on Christmas cookies and other delights at the 1:30 P.M. singing in the Shiloh Museum's General Store in Springdale. This is the usual short December reminder.

The usual early arrivals will gather at the Springdale AQ Chicken House only a few blocks from the museum around noon. Just ask for directions to the singers at the front desk and they'll point you in the right directions. All singers and their guests are invited.

You are also invited to bring a few extra Christmas cookies, apple cider or a few slices of fruitcake to go with the coffee during the break or after the singing.

I'm sure you've all been concerned regarding Bill Caldwell's recovery. He was even included on a shut-in list in Alabama and had a song dedicated to Bill at a California singing. In Bill's own words:

Doing fairly well.  Just going to therapy, eating well and letting the bones heal at their own pace. ...My physical therapist had to remind me that it's just been six and a half weeks since the accident.  I'm just being human in wanting it to be finished!  But the body heals at it's own rate, not according to my wishes.
Some afternoons I'll call up YouTube on my brother's big screen TV and sing along with the Missouri, Ireland or Texas singers.  Holding out some of those long notes helps with breathing!  Music therapy!
I'd imagine it'll be January before I can sing with everyone again, at the earliest.  That's what I know for now.
I'm sure we'll all rejoice when Bill can sing with us again.

And as a final word
, thanks to everyone who contributed to the Shiloh Singers in so many different ways during the past year. It would take all afternoon to list everything and everyone from several states and even then, I'm afraid that with my fading memory I'd leave someone out. Still, thanks are due for adding your voice to our group and for your support to continue the tradition of Sacred Harp singing in the Ozarks. Please also add my personal thanks for the emails and pictures which during the year found their way into portions of the newsletter and website. Hope to see you at the December singing!

With that, it's time to say...

Friday, November 10, 2017

November is a time for giving thanks...

Andrew Albers leads at Murrell Home.

This edition of the newsletter was supposed to be short, but I did want to send a reminder about singing this Sunday, 11/12/17, at the General Store on the grounds of the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History from 1:30 until 4:00 P.M. As usual, bring a friend. If you arrive early, look for a few singers that gather "around noon" at AQ Chicken House in Springdale for lunch. It's a good time to relax with friends and catch up on all the news.

Taking things in order, thanks to all the singers who turned out for the singing at the historic Murrell Home on October 8th in Park Hill, OK. There was a good old-fashioned outdoor church service before noon and we sang after a short break for lunch. There's something different about singing under trees and a blue sky. Thanks to the Murrell Home for the invitation. I hope everyone - both young and old enjoyed the experience.

Smaller singers liked the big horses.
However, after Katy and I got home from a late season trip to Yellowstone's early snow, as far west as the Sawtooth range and following the big mountains south to New Mexico, we found out that Bill Caldwell had been involved in a multiple car accident on the way back to Joplin from the Murrell Home singing. The best news is that Bill's on the mend and singing Sacred Harp tunes along with YouTube videos to help his recovery. We'll have a get well card at Sunday's singing for everyone there to sign. Please keep Bill in our prayers for his quick recovery and thankfulness for his eventual return to sing with us again.

Thanks also to all the singers who joined together on October 21st for the Annual NWA Fall Singing at the Northwest Technical Institute in Springdale. Special thinks to Alexis Walker, who made the arrangements with NTI for singing and Darryl Criss who helped wrangle the books and other logistics, and all the cooks who brought their special contributions for the pot luck lunch. I'm sure your efforts were appreciated.

One more thing: Tomorrow, November 11th is shown on my calendar as "Veteran's Day." Originally called Armistice Day, it celebrated the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when a cessation of hostilities was declared between the Allied Nations and Germany that effectively ended hostilities in "the Great War," or what people solemnly called "the war to end all wars." The name was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 after WWII and the Korean War. The holiday now honors all American veterans - living or dead - who did their duty to protect and defend their country during war or peacetime, a reminder of a duty that we all share at home or abroad.

Hope to see you on Sunday...