Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Singing in the Rain...Arkansas Style

August was another dry month in Bentonville but there's been some rain in NW Arkansas. We were thankful for every rain drop that's fallen on our small hill side in Mountainburg. Garrett Lewis, the chief meteorologist for KFSM-TV, had already forecast a high probability of showers and thunderstorms in NWA for Sunday, August 26th. Some of the rains were locally very heavy and travel wasn't optimum to say the least.

With August being the last chance for summer travel, family illness and other demands on time, we had expected a smaller crowd. Norma Dickerson braved the rain and had the Country Store open and arranged for singing before we arrived. Dan Brittain managed to make the drive from Harrison and the Crawford County gang - Gail Cowart, B. R. and Katy Black - drove up from Mountainburg. Well, we had a quorum and managed an interesting and fun afternoon in spite of the weather.

Dan had enough pupils for a mini-school and so we learned several Sacred Harp songs that are written in two-part and three-part harmony that are less frequently sung. We also sang a good number of the old favorites. All our voices lasted long enough to make the trip to Springdale more than worthwhile and we then dispersed early so that everyone could head home in case the next set of storms made travel more difficult.

Dan singing in Europe in September

Dan at Missouri Convention
Sunday's big news at the singing was that Dan Brittain will be flying to Europe in September for three major Sacred Harp Singing events in the United Kingdom and Poland. Dan's first stop on the schedule is the 17th Annual United Kingdom Singing Convention on September 15-16 at the Winnersh Community Centre, in Wokingham, west of London. Then Dan travels to the Wichrowe Wzgórze Conference Center in Chmielno, Poland, where he will join David Ivey and other distinguished American and European Sacred Harp singers in the first Camp Fasola Europe from September 17th through September 21st. Then Dan and the other singers head to Warsaw University to participate in the First Poland Sacred Harp Singing Convention on September 22nd and 23rd.

All together it sounds like a wonderful trip. Frequently leading singing schools and seminars, Dan has always been one of the pillars supporting Sacred Harp singing in western Arkansas and particularly the Shiloh Sacred Harp Singers at the Shiloh Museum in Springdale,  I'm sure all the Shiloh Singers will be looking forward to hearing about the trip (and seeing trip pictures) when Dan gets back home again. 

Other News

Before he left with his family for a vacation in Florida and Georgia, Syd Caldwell did pass along the news that Mr. and Mrs. David Moseley are the proud parents of a baby girl and Ian has a new baby sister. Named Elsie Violet Moseley, we are already looking forward to adding Elsie's voice to the group any time she wants to sing too. Congratulations all around. 

We've heard from Syd as well as recent Shiloh Singer, Shannon Seyler and her husband, Randal, over the past several days. Shannon was busy getting prepared for the storm and Syd was enjoying the beach during the calm period that usually precedes a major storm. At one point Hurricane Isaac was actually aimed in their direction but then the storm shifted westward over the next several days. At last word, both received heavy rains while Hurricane Isaac made landfall west of New Orleans. Our prayers are with all those along the Gulf Coast as Isaac moves north into Louisiana. 

If you happen to be traveling in Indiana or live within range, the 4th Annual Flora Cooper Book Singing is scheduled for September 29th from 9:00 to 3:00 in Flora, Indiana. Click this link for a flyer with a map and more information.

Thinking ahead to September and October

From the long range planning standpoint, the Annual NWA Fall Singing at Mount Comfort Presbyterian Church west of Fayetteville is scheduled for the Saturday before the 4th Sunday in October. That's October 27, 2012 when I try to find it on a normal calendar. We'll try to post more details and a map in the September newsletter and make decisions about the dates for the November and December monthly singing to avoid Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

The next singing is scheduled for Sunday, September 23rd at the Country Store on the grounds of the Shiloh Museum at 1:30 P.M. Hope you can join in and sing...