Monday, October 2, 2017

October is a good time for singing...

UPDATE: 10/10/17 FRIDAY NIGHT SINGING SCHOOL ON OCT 20TH CANCELED
"Oops!" Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Sacred Harp Singing School scheduled for Friday evening in the General Store, October 20, 2017 from 6:30 until 8:30 P.M. has been canceled. Dan Brittain will conduct an mini-school during the first hour of the NWA Fall Singing Convention on Saturday morning. New singers are still invited. Hint for any beginning singers: Sit next to an experienced singer and follow their lead. I was amazed how much and how fast I could learn that way.

While I'm online with a good connection, I would like to convey the Shiloh Singers thanks to the Murrell Home staff for hosting the outdoor singing on Oct. 8th. Everything, including the hay bales were in place, we had an excellent outdoor sermon to begin the event. And a special thanks to all the singers and visitors, I counted 24 at one point, to sing or just listen. I hope everyone enjoyed the event and we'll sing together again.

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The Shiloh Singers will be conducting an old fashioned outdoor singing on Sunday, October 8, 2017, at the 2nd Annual Agriculture Festival at the Murrell Home Historic Site in Park Hill, OK. The three day festival starts on Friday October 6 with demonstrations, exhibits, entertainment, food, shopping and more. I guess the outdoor singing is more. Last year there was a pioneer church service at 11 A.M. as it might have been under the trees near the Murrell Home. After a short break for lunch and forming a square with benches, hay bales or bring your own camping chairs, the singers will conducted their regular October 8th Sunday Singing at the Murrell Home from about 12:30 until 3:30 P.M. We've just changed the location.

Singers from Oklahoma are certainly invited to bring guests or children and join the fun. Last year, we enjoyed the participation of singers from the Tulsa area and the Oklahoma City group that meets in Edmond on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month.  We enjoyed meeting singers and families from Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas last year and hope to meet even more new friends and singers in the historic setting that the Murrell Home provides. Singers are also invited to explore the home and other exhibits during their visit. For a virtual tour of the Murrell Home site visit: http://www.okhistory.org/sites/mhtour

As to directions to the park, the Oklahoma Historical Society has a well-tested directions on their Visitor Information page at: http://www.okhistory.org/sites/mhvisitor  Roads, turns distances and even stop lights in some cases are provided for people traveling from Tulsa, Fayetteville and from I-40 the South. Of course, the Murrell Home is shown on GPS systems and all the major computer or smart phone maps. Just type in George M. Murrell Home, 19479 East Murrell Home Road, Park Hill, OK 74451 and look for a big white house on the south side of the road. If you really feel more comfortable with a map, click on the following link: Map-Tahlequah&MurrellHome Singers are invited to park in the parking lot on the east side of the site and use that entrance. No admission is being charged singers.

As for lunch, there are several picnic tables if you wish to bring a picnic basket for lunch. Last year's a food vendor was within a 50 yards or less, or stop at a local Subway if that works on your way through Tahlequah. Suggestion: Some of us stopped for dessert after the singing in Tahlequah last year and will likely do so again after the event.

What to wear? Last year we had good weather, moderate temperatures and plenty of shade. Some of the staff and exhibits were in period dress. Just be comfortable. My blue jeans and "Lil' Abner" boots should be right at home for anything agricultural.

We'll try to put up our usual welcome sign on a tree or available wagon and we shouldn't be hard to find as you stroll from the parking lot into the park toward the house. If you decide to attend early church or Sunday school, don't worry. We'll still be glad to see you when you can get there. We'll start singing after the outdoor church service and forming the square from benches and hay bales at about 12:30.


The NW Arkansas Fall Singing Convention is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, 9:30 A.M. 3:00 P.M. Thanks and a tip of my old campaign hat to Alexis Walker who made the arrangements with the Northwest Technical Institute, 709 South Old Missouri Road, across the street from the Springdale Airport. There will also be a pot-luck lunch during the noon hour and the 3:00 P.M. ending time should let most travelers get back home in the early evening.

Click the link for a REVISED map, schedule and directions. 

October is always seems to be a busy month for the Shiloh Singers, but it's always a lot of fun and fellowship and good singing. If you have any specific questions, send me an email at brt.black@gmail.com. Hope to sing with you soon.

Items shown on the calendar are closer than they appear.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Singing on Sunday and planning for more singing in October...

This is a busy weekend at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History. If you're a quilter, on Saturday, Sept. 9th, there's the 40th Annual Quilt Fair on the lawn between the museum and general store. The quilt fair includes a variety of quilts, and there's live entertainment by Greenland Station band. The quilt fair will be open between 10 A.M. and 2 P.M.

Second, the Shiloh Singers of NW Arkansas will be singing in the country store on Sunday afternoon, Sept 10th, starting at 1:30 and continuing until 4:00 P.M. As usual, visitors and visitors with children are invited to sit in on the session. They can just listen or they can use a "loaner" song book to follow along and hopefully even sing along. The country store is the white building east of the museum building and barn at 118 W. Johnson Avenue in Springdale.

If you prefer to have lunch before singing, there's usually a table or two of singers at AQ Chicken House at 1207 N Thompson St in Springdale. Visitors are also welcome to really sit down and visit and ask questions. We try to gather around noon.
Click on photo for larger view

Photo: Andrew Albers leads the outdoor singing under the trees at the Murrell Home in October, 2016. 

The Shiloh Singers have been invited again to have an old fashioned outdoor singing at the 2nd Annual Agriculture Festival at the Murrell Home Historic Site in Park Hill, OK. The three day festival starts on Friday October 6 with demonstrations, exhibits, entertainment, food, shopping and more. I guess the outdoor singing is more. Last year there was a pioneer church service delivered at 11 A.M. as it might have been under the trees near the Murrell Home. After a short break for lunch and forming a square with benches, hay bales or bring your own camping chairs, the singers will conducted their regular October 8th Sunday Singing at the Murrell Home from about 12:30 until 3:30 P.M. We've just changed the location.

Click on poster for larger version
As was the case last year, singers from Oklahoma are invited to bring guests and join the fun. We enjoyed meeting singers from the Tulsa area and the Oklahoma City group that meets in Edmond on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month.  We enjoyed meeting singers from Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas last year and hope to meet even more new friends and singers in the historic setting that the Murrell Home provides. Singers are also invited to explore the home and exhibits during their visit.

For more info about the Murrell Home Historic Site see: http://www.okhistory.org/sites/georgemurrell

There's a second October event we need to discuss at this Sunday's lunch and plan at the Sunday singing. The NW Arkansas Fall Singing is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, 9:30 A.M. 3:00 P.M. Syd Caldwell has been planning on a Singing School on Friday evening, October 20th, before the all day Saturday singing which last year ran from 6:30 until 8:30 P.M. Both new singers and more experienced singers can benefit for the instruction in an informal environment paced to mix instruction and a warm up for the Saturday singing to follow. More details will be provided after the planning session in next month's newsletter and on the website.

I know everyone has been busy. Some of our singers have many friends, fellow singers and relatives in Texas as well as Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Katy and I share your concerns. We found out about the Shiloh Singers by attending the quilt show in 2004 after we moved to Arkansas. It's a busy time but Sunday afternoon is a good time to gather, sing, enjoy the company of like-minded singers. Join us and spend an afternoon singing the old shape note songs with harmony and enthusiasm. It will do you a world of good! Hope to see you Sunday!

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:  http://www.okhistory.org/sites/georgemurrell

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.