Friday, August 11, 2017

August 13th Shiloh Singing Canceled... Outdoor Singing added in October!

Goodness knows the Shiloh Singers are reluctant to cancel a scheduled singing, but the information gained from an informal survey of singers in the NWA area suggested the Shiloh Singers cancel the Shiloh Singers' August 13th monthly singing in Springdale. After we counted the survey results, it became apparent that a number of our strongest singers and regular song leaders planned to attend the 150th Annual East Texas Convention on August 12th and 13th in Henderson, TX, or other travel plans. Imagine conducting a series of singings for over a century and a half! That has to be special and not many groups can celebrate such a historic occasion.  You can certainly understand why dedicated singers wanted to be there. So we will send along our best wishes to all the singers in Henderson this weekend and hope they enjoy the best singing in their 162 year history.

So, the Shiloh Singers will have their next regularly scheduled singing on September 10, 2017, in the General Store of the Shiloh Museum from 1:30 P.M. until 4:00 P.M. and hope you will mark your calendar for the singing. The usual noon pre-singing lunch at AQ Chicken House in Springdale will return to the schedule as well.

Now, what I hope will be good news for all the Shape Note singers in the Oklahoma, SE Kansas or SW Missouri, and Arkansas area. One of the highlights of our singing calendar last year, was moving the regular October singing location from the General Store to conduct an outdoor singing at the George M. Murrell Home on the final day of their Antique Agriculture Festival which is scheduled for Friday thru Sunday, October 6-8, 2017. The singing is scheduled on Sunday, October 8th and will follow a pioneer church service before lunch. After the service the benches and hay bales will be moved to form a square and an old-fashioned outdoor singing will commence from shortly after noon until about 3:00. Singers of all faiths and vocal ranges, guests and festival visitors are welcome to sit down and sing or just listen. Visitors may arrive and join at any time. Anyone is welcomed to borrow a songbook and sing along with the group. They may even recognize a tune they sang many years before. The festival booths and hands-on events made all the singers feel at home and the Murrell Home staff were especially gracious hosts. For more information about the Murrell Home historic site visit:

One of my favorite old pictures from a history book about Sacred Harp singing (which I cannot find at this moment) shows the leaders of an outdoor singing or singing school being conducted outdoors in the shade of a brush arbor. The trees at the Murrell Home grounds kept us in the shade, but the hay bales scattered around the wagon being used as a stage provided the "soft seats." I was reintroduced to just how comfortable a couple of hay bales could be from my days as a youngster when I would slip out to the horse shed make sure our old mare that was gentle enough for me to ride had plenty of water and feed. I was also known to find a couple of hay bales in the shed and take an afternoon nap.

No naps, just good singing at the Antique Agriculture Festival

For long range planning, the Shiloh Singers will host the Annual Northwest Fall Singing in Springdale on Saturday October 21, 2017 from 9:30 until 3:00 P.M. Syd Caldwell is also working on a Friday evening Singing School for those who want to learn more about the basics of Sacred Harp. Details will follow in the September newsletter or on the Shiloh Singers webpage when available. 

One more random thought. The Arkansas Razorbacks are playing the Auburn Tigers in Fayetteville on Saturday, October 21st. You might want to make hotel/motel reservations in the Springdale and northward areas a little earlier than would be normal. 

I hope all of the travelers stay safe and hope we'll get to see you all next month. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

July Shape-Note Gathering in Mountain View and Shiloh Singers Monthly Singing in Springdale

It's time for the 2017 Shape-Note Gathering! Starting with an orientation on Thursday evening, July 6, then continued on Friday, July 7, with singing seminars conducted by nationally respected instructors, and concluding with a traditional all-day singing on Saturday, July 8, in the former Mountain View High School Auditorium. 

For those who want a short version from the Ozark Folk Center website:
Venues Ozark Folk Center- Music Auditorium and White Oak Theater, Stone Co. Historical Society
Admission/Registration No admission fees or preregistration required. Participants will enter thru the front doors at the Large Auditorium Friday morning and will be given badges there to allow movement thru the park on Friday ONLY. All participants should check in and enter via the front doors at the Large Auditorium. 
Introduction to Shape-Note Singing concert/discussion Thursday Eve- 6 PM - 6:45 PM - White Oak Auditorium (Administration Building), Ozark Folk Center, this is an open event, no admission charge. 
Friday Singing and Teaching Seminar Dan Brittain and Gaylon Powell will lead singing and teaching sessions on the stage of the main auditorium at the Ozark Folk Center.  The morning session will run from 9 AM to 11:30 and the afternoon session from 1:30 PM until 4.  Those attending the shape-note sessions only can enter free of charge at the front entrance of the auditorium.  Crafts ground visitors may come and go to the shape-note session via the rear entrance of the auditorium. Participants in the singing will be featured as part of the performance at the Ozark Folk Center’s nightly concert. 
Saturday Singing A traditional singing, using both four-shape and seven-shape books will be held in the old Mountain View High School auditorium on School Avenue, one block south of East Main (the turn is between Best Drug Store and Conoco) in Mountain View.  The morning session will run from 9 AM until noon and the afternoon session from 1:30 AM until 4 PM.
The Saturday all-day singing is a chance for the seminar students to put what they've learned into practice and is open to anyone - young, old, new or experienced singers. Whoever wants to sit in and enjoy shape-note singing from a variety of song books is welcome. Loaner books will be available. 

Thanks to the Ozark Folk Center and the Stone County Historical Society for the use of their facilities. There are no admission or registration fees for the instruction. No pot luck lunch is planned for Friday or Saturday. A variety of restaurants are available in Mountain View. Several are listed on the map linked below or use your favorite search engine for more selections. If you still need motel reservations, don't wait too long.

PDF Map to Ozark Folk Center and Old Mountain View High School

Finally, I should repeat the reminder that the Shiloh Singers of NWA will be back at the General Store on Sunday, July 9th at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History General Store with singing from 1:30 until 4:00 PM. If you arrive early, singers and visitors are welcome to join us at AQ Chicken House on Bus. 71, just a couple of blocks north of the museum about noon for lunch and fellowship.

With all the singing going on next weekend, I certainly hope you can get to a singing somewhere. I'll hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

June Singing and Planning for July...

This will be a brief reminder that the Shiloh Singers monthly singing in the General Store on the grounds of the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History this Sunday afternoon, June 11, 2017. The singing will start around 1:30 P.M. and will conclude about 4:00 P.M. Gosh it feels good to get back on normal Arkansas time!

Visitors, guests, young or old who wish to learn more about Sacred Harp singing with shape notes are welcome to sit in on the session. We even have loaner books so you can follow along and if you wish, you can sing along or just pat your feet to the music. We are very informal and all are welcome.

If you arrive a little early, singers and visitors are welcome to join those who meet around noon at AQ Chicken House on Business 71, officially at 1207 N Thompson St, Springdale which is only a few blocks from the Museum. Just tell the staff you're looking for the Shiloh Singers and they can usually point you in the correct direction.  

Second, if you look at the singing calendar on the right-hand side of the webpage, it's time to make plans for the Annual Shape Note Gathering, Ozark Folk Center, Mountain View, AR. The event is scheduled for Thursday evening, July 6th, Friday, July 7th, and a all-day singing on Saturday, July 8th at the Stone County Historical Society in the Old High School Building at 204 School Ave., just off of Main Street in Mountain View. More information is found on the 2017 Regional Singing Page (page 4 of this website) with additional details about the schedule. If you want more information contact Charley Sandage, Email: 

If you can't get to the Shape Note Gathering in Mountain View, the Shiloh Singers will be back at the General Store on Sunday, July 9th. Hope to see you at one or more of the singings in June or July.