Monday, February 2, 2015

Singing at Shiloh Museum on February 8th

With the January 11th ice storm, the Shiloh Sacred Harp Singers of NW Arkansas will host their first singing of the year on Sunday, February 8, 2015 from 1:30 until 4:00 P.M. in the General Store on the grounds of the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale. I hope you're looking forward to getting together, catching up on the latest news and making plans for the Missouri State Singing Convention and other events this spring.

If you arrive early enough, those singers who like chicken for Sunday dinner can gather at Springdale's AQ Chicken House around noon. Just ask for the Shiloh Singers at the cashier's desk.

Missouri State Convention Flyer
Those of you who are on the Saint Louis Shape Note Singers mailing list should have already received the Missouri State Sacred Harp Singing Convention flyer with dates, directions and motel information. The singing will span Saturday and Sunday, March 7 and 8, 2015 starting at 9:30 A.M. both days. Singing concludes at 3:00 P.M. each day. A pot-luck dinner on the grounds is served each day for lunch. There's also a Saturday evening social event event and supper. Details and directions will be provided at the singing. If you would like more information, PDF copies of the flyer are available at:

The Shiloh Singers who attend the Missouri convention tend to stay in Washington, MO and a Friday evening supper and Sunday morning breakfast are becoming a tradition. Car pooling and room sharing are encouraged and we can work on those details on Sunday or as the convention dates get closer.

As a result of the exodus to Missouri for their convention, the Shiloh Singers will be in recess on March 8, 2015 and our next regular 2nd Sunday singing will be on April 12, 2015. The Northwest Arkansas Convention is scheduled for Saturday, May 2nd in Harrison, AR at St. John's Episcopal Church. It looks like a busy schedule as we head for spring and summer. Please mark your calendar and check back for any updates.


One sad announcement: Norma Dickerson's mother, Mrs. Hazel "Suzie" Dickerson passed away on Saturday, January 30th at the age of 91. A memorial service has been scheduled at Moore's Chapel in Fayetteville on Tuesday morning, February 3rd at 10:00 A.M. Mrs. Dickerson shared a love for her church and Sacred Harp singing with her daughter, Norma, who has remained steadfast in her help and support for the Shiloh Singers. Norma has helped set up before and clean up after many local events and she's supported the singers in so many different ways. We share a sacred harp connection with Norma's loss.

Memorial contributions may be made to Faith in Action, 1101 North Woolsey Ave. Fayetteville, AR 72703 or Willard Walker Hospice Home, 325 East Longview St. Fayetteville, AR 72703.


In which case, we hope to see each of you at the Sunday singing even more. Take care and drive safely.

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.

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:  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
The Singings tab on the website also has links to directories of current singings from all over the country. See:  Look for Warren Steele's list of annual singings
*  If you're interested in Denson book singings check out:
*  If you're in Texas or other places looking for Cooper Book singings visit:
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:  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:

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 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...