Friday, September 19, 2014

Planning for a busy October...

"I'm not an alto."
We had a good singing on September 14th with all the parts covered with the 10 singers and 1 cat present. Thanks to everyone who joined us and helped make it such a pleasant Sunday afternoon.

Photo: Joey, the visiting cat, decides which section to join while Katy and Cody continue singing on 9/14.

We also discussed planning for the NWA Fall Singing Convention and plans for the singing school on the evening of October 24th and the all-day singing on Saturday October 25th. Dan Brittain also gave us an update on the October 10th singing event in Little Rock. Thanks to Dan for taking a leadership role in gathering singers from all over Arkansas. Email: Dan Brittain directly if you can sing at the October 10th event.

What we know so far:

October 10, 2014:
The area for the singing will be in the Butler Center Galleries located in the Arkansas Studies Institute (ASI) at 401 President Clinton Avenue Little Rock, Arkansas 72201. The singing will start at 5:00 and finish at 7:30 with a couple of breaks during the event. Parking is available in the Main Library parking lot directly behind ASI. Dan added that there are several events happening in the area along with ours, so please try to arrive a few minutes early so that we can get properly organized before the event.
Update I  Glynn Garrett made the following suggestions on parking:
  • Parking in downtown Little Rock is challenging at best. Anticipate paying for parking at library, on street, in parking garage -- wherever you end up.
  • Suggest attendees have $5 for parking, and some quarters if they find an open meter. I think after 5 or 6 it's free at the meters, but not before.
  • Also, this time of day will
    have lots of traffic leaving downtown, and it may take a bit to navigate to the library.
Glynn also passed along a link to the UALR's Center for Arkansas History and Culture with more information about "Johnny Cash: Arkansas Icon," and opening night. See:

October 12, 2014:
Regular Shiloh Singing at the General Store at the Springdale Museum. Last chance to gather everyone's ideas for the Singing School and Fall Convention. BR is working on flyers and Gail Cowart has planned some new signs for the event. Space in the First United Methodist Church in Springdale across the street from the Shiloh Museum has been reserved. We also need to talk about the lunch plans for October 25th.

October 24, 2014:
Shape Note Singing School from 6:30 to 8:30 P.M. Bring a friend as no prior experience is necessary and even experienced singers will always learn something new about Sacred Harp singing. We always need experienced singers to help the new singers.

October 25, 2014:
Northwest Arkansas Sacred Harp Fall Singing Convention from 9:30 to 3:00 P.M. Books will be available for loan or purchase, and lunch will be a "pot luck" lunch. For the map readers and GPS users, the official address is 206 W Johnson Ave., Springdale, AR 72764. However, we suggest using the parking lot on north side of building and annex entrance for easy access to where we'll be singing again.
Printable Flyer for the 2014NWA Sacred Harp Fall Singing Convention (PDF)
Printable Map for the 2014 NWA Sacred Harp Fall Singing Convention (PDF)

Further updates will be posted on:  as they become available.

October 25th is also a "Football Weekend" in Fayetteville. If you plan to spend Friday evening in Springdale or parts north and sing on Saturday, you may want to quickly make reservations on the north side of town at some distance from the stadium in case some of those wild hogs get loose in the hotel hallways and escape capture in the morning darkness. I love the Arkansas Razorbacks and their fans, but I always like to think ahead as much as possible...\B)

Thanks to Syd Caldwell for being our group's "ambassador." Syd has called and visited with Darryl and Lea Criss several times and reported that Darryl has made sufficient progress that he has been moved to Health South, near the Washington Medical Center, in Fayetteville. At least that's a step or two closer to home for both Darryl and Lea. Please keep both of them in your prayers.

Looks like October is going to be a busy month but a good one for Sacred Harp singing in Arkansas.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Shiloh Singers Reminder for August 10th

Late August Update - I got a note from Willi Goehring, one of our Shiloh Singers, who has been working with the Fayetteville Public Library and the Fayetteville Roots Festival. The library is hosting a celebration of the life of Mary Celestia Parler, one of Arkansas most important and most overlooked folklorists with a free, hugely interactive exhibit in the Fayetteville Public Library from September 28th to the 31st.

If you're within driving range on Thursday, the 28th, from 6-8, there will be an Ozark Music Listening Party, where about a dozen traditional musicians will play selections from archived recordings and generate discussion on why preservation of folk practices is so vital!

Also on the schedule, KUAR is doing a live broadcast from the Walker Community Room on Friday, Aug. 29th, and some of the singers who live further away might want to listen to the live broadcast from 12 noon until 2 P.M.

While not exactly Sacred Harp singing, many of our singers can relate to folk music and the traditional forms of singing. For more information about the library's schedule for the Fayetteville Roots Festival, visit:


Another quick singing reminder. The Shiloh Sacred Harp Singers of NW Arkansas will be singing in the General Store on the grounds of the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History on Sunday afternoon, August 10th at 1:30 to 4:00 P.M. We'll bring an extra fan and a cooler for the water. Visitors and first-time singers are always welcome. Hope to have some updates on singings and plans for the October 24th and 25th Singing School and NWA Fall Singing Convention.

At noon, we'll have a table at AQ's Chicken House in Springdale before the singing and plan to adjourn for coffee and ice cream after the singing. All are invited to these optional activities for visiting and catching up with friends and singers we only get to see once a month.

Photo - Syd Caldwell will be singing in Henderson, Texas this weekend and spreading the news about our annual NWA Fall Singing Convention in Springdale. Last month in Alabama, this month in East Texas, Syd is our goodwill ambassador wherever he travels.

The East Texas Sacred Harp Singing Convention was organized in 1855 and records show a continuous history since 1868. If you live in the southern half of Arkansas, within driving distance and have an open Saturday or Sunday, the singing is held in the Henderson Civic Center at 1005 Hwy 64 W. Singing starts at 9:30 A.M. on both Aug 9th and 10th using the Cooper Book. Texans always have a spirited singing.

That's about all the news at the moment.
Hope to see everyone in Springdale on Sunday.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

July Reminders for Sacred Harp Singers...

A summer singing in the General Store
It's time for a couple of quick reminders for singers!

2nd Sunday Singing:

On Sunday, July 13th, at 1:30 P.M., the Shiloh Singers of Northwest Arkansas will host their usual 2nd Sunday Singing in the General Store on the grounds of the Shiloh Museum. Extra books are available for new singers and visitors to use for the afternoon and visitors are always welcome to drop by and listen, tap their feet, or join in with the regular singers as we sing to preserve an old-time singing tradition dating back to an era when early American churches lacked musical instruments The singing usually lasts until about 4:00 P.M. 
Those who like chicken and dumplings or other gospel bird delights are invited to have lunch before the singing are welcome to join the "Shiloh Singers" table at AQ's Chicken House in Springdale around 12:00. There's usually room to add a few chairs or you can email me if you want us to save you a seat. After singing, those who want a snack or cup of coffee before driving home are welcome join us at the Springdale Denny's next to the Interstate.

Ozark Folk Center Shape-Note Singing:
I hope that those who have time and who are in driving range will consider attending the
Shape-Note Singing and Singing School to be held at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View on Friday and Saturday, July 11th and 12th from 9am to 12 Noon and from 1pm to 4pm on each day and enjoy all the singing. There's also a special Friday evening musical performance in the auditorium. Don't forget, if you plan to come to the Ozark Folk Center on those days for singing only, you can come in at no cost at the front entrance of the auditorium. Those who plan to visit other areas of the park may enter from the rear of the auditorium and join the singing too.

And two more quick reminders:
Dan Brittain, one of the working leaders of the Ozark Folk Center event, sent his regrets about Sunday.  He did send along a note with more information on the invitation to sing a number of selections at a University of Arkansas - Little Rock event opening a Johnny Cash exhibit on Friday evening, October 10th during an event from 5:00 until 8:00 P.M. If you live in the greater Little Rock area and are interested in singing at the UA-LR event, but cannot attended the 7/13 singing in Springdale, please send me a quick email and I'll be sure to take notes and share any of the details from Sunday's discussion with you next week. We need to get an answer back to the organizers at UA-LR.

Thanks to Syd Caldwell who always seems to have links to the singings he attends in Alabama and other locations. Syd attended the Henagar - Union Convention at the Liberty Church in DeKalb County, Alabama on Saturday and Sunday, July 5th and 6th. I checked the site before posting and at least on my browser, it is a very easy to use website. You can select the first tune and all the songs in the program play in sequence. You can also select individual songs by song number. Other southeast singings are also available on the same page and there's also a link where you can order CD's. See:

Hope you can join us in the Shiloh Museum General Store on Sunday afternoon...

Thursday, June 5, 2014

June News and Singing Reminder...

The regular June 8, 2014 singing this Sunday in the General Store at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History is our next event. As usual, the singing will start at 1:30 and conclude around 4:00 P.M. Those who wish to have lunch are welcome to join the "Shiloh Singers" table at AQ's Chicken House in Springdale around 12:00. There's usually room to add a few chairs or email me if you want us to save you a seat. After singing, dessert will be served at Denny's and all are welcome.

Thanks to everyone who attended the May 3rd Northwest Arkansas Singing Convention in Harrison and a big thank you to Dan Brittain for the arrangements and St. Johns Episcopal Church for the use of their parish hall and kitchen for the event.

Updated: Holly Childs sent me a note that she counted 30 singers present including several visitors. There were only 16 names on the sign-in sheet, but it's easy to miss the sign-in sheet if you arrive late. Those who included their email addresses on the Harrison sign-in sheet also received a copy of our latest newsletter. As is always the case, we hope they'll come back and sing with us again.

Photo: I never had a chance to post a photo from the special Culpepper Assisted Living Center visit which took place on April 13th. The picture shows Cory Winters leading the Shiloh Singers during the event. Several of the residents can be seen in the background.

One more thing: 
We regret that several foreign and domestic travel schedules and other issues interfered with our participating in the idea of singing in a September program in Little Rock. The idea certainly raised the level of discussion and several singers liked the overall concept as a way to support shape note singing in the central and southern part of the state. Dan asked me to develop a quick, simple email survey to determine how many singers on our mailing list would support such a singing if all the pieces related to setting up such a singing would fit together.

The June newsletter contained a short survey that asked the membership if they would agree to moving one of our singing dates to Little Rock on a one-time basis to support the development of a Sacred Harp singing group in the central and southern part of the state. Like many local sacred harp singing organizations, we're not a very large group. But I was pleasantly surprised by some of the enthusiasm I heard in several discussions about singing in the Little Rock area. It will take the good ideas and suggestions of all of the present singers and people who would like to attend and become singers. It will take enough participation by singers and volunteers to work with the planning, logistics and a committee structure that such an event would require.

It's difficult to do something like this using only telephone and email. We'll need "boots on the ground." At least that's one old infantry soldier's opinion. If you have any ideas or suggestions but aren't on the Shiloh Singers mailing list you can make a comments in the section below. (The comments are screened with a word completion exercise to reduce automated spam and then checked for content by a volunteer so they are not posted instantly.) We'll try to put potentially workable ideas into the discussions early in the process. 

Hope to see you at the singing on Sunday.