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: http://www.stlfasola.org/ 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 http://www.fasola.org/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: http://www.fasola.org/community/lists/ 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.
The Singings tab on the website also has links to directories of current singings from all over the country. See: http://www.fasola.org/singings/ Look for Warren Steele's list of annual singings
* If you're interested in Denson book singings check out: http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~mudws/annual.html
* If you're in Texas or other places looking for Cooper Book singings visit: http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~mudws/cooper.html
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.
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: http://www.idrivearkansas.com/
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!
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 idrivearkansas.com website before I go very far on Sunday morning.