Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Discovery Box video recorded in Fort Smith...

On the afternoon of April 25th, Gail Cowart and his committee of Discovery Box volunteers made a video recording of the Youth Choir at First Methodist Church, in Fort Smith singing shaped note music. According to Gail who has already reviewed most of the video, the results were "excellent."  He also added, "Thanks to the Youth Choir, Nancy Vernon, David Whiteis,  Dan Brittain and everybody else. This is exciting, just excellent.  The singers were perfect."

Everyone working with the Discovery Box project was looking forward to this special afternoon and those present at the recording session were impressed by how quickly the young singers adapted to the historic form of shaped note singing.

When finished, the Discovery Box will be shared with other young students, about the same age, who want to learn more about how music was sung 
over 150 years ago, brought along with pioneers who moved into Arkansas from their original homes in the east. That traditional form of singing is still maintained by groups of shaped note singers all over America. The Shiloh Museum of Ozark History in Springdale maintains a number of Discovery Box educational activities that can be loaned to interested teachers in the area.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Enjoyable singing in April...

To paraphrase what Garrison Keillor says about Lake Wobegone. "It's been mostly a quiet month for the singers in Northwest Arkansas." Things sort of broke loose in a few places nearby during April but at least the weather for April's singing at the museum was sunny and cool in Springdale.

Picture: Mary Ellen Wilkinson and Gail Cowart singing bass at the March 25th singing.

After a very active March with two activities at the ALHA convention in Fayetteville, work on the Discovery Box to share shaped note singing with younger singers, and our usual monthly singing, April has been mostly quiet. That ended Sunday, April 22nd, at 1:30 P.M. at our April Singing in the Shiloh Museum Country Store when we opened a door or two for our monthly singing. We had a good singing with several visitors we've added to the mailing list. We hope they'll join us again.

There were two prayer requests on the list:
  • Please keep Rev. Randi and Joe Henderson in your prayers as Joe recovers from his accident. I hope we'll have an update on Joe's condition on Sunday.
  • Second, Susan Young had also asked earlier before the singing that we also keep Becca Martin Brown and her husband Larry in our prayers this month. Larry is fighting terminal cancer. Those in the NWA may know Becca as the feature editor of The Morning News or for her support for the museum and its many activities. 
Syd Caldwell had just returned from Alabama where he attended a singing at Old Harmony Primitive Baptist Church. Syd shared pictures and videos with the group. In the video below, Margie Smith leads "Weeping Sinners" 108T from The Sacred Harp.

Syd, thanks for sharing. Hope to see everyone in Harrison on May 5th for the NWA Sacred Harp Singing Convention.