Thursday, April 9, 2015

Take a break and sing with the Shiloh Singers of NWA on Sunday, April 12th...

It's that time of the year when those among us who have done their taxes can rejoice that the task is completed. Those of us who are using a new tax software application are still trying to figure out new features and directions. I hope that everyone is either finished or close enough to being finished that we can all take a Sunday afternoon break on April 12th and come to the regular April singing in the general store at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History. The singing will start at 1:30 and will continue until 4:00 P.M. The usual before singing and post singing get togethers starting around noon at Springdale's AQ Chicken House, and dessert somewhere after the singing. All singers and visitors are welcome to sing along or just watch and listen.

Photo - The singers at the 2015 Missouri State Sacred Harp Singing Convention at St. John's United Church of Christ in Pinckney Township near the Missouri River. 

During the past month, members of the Shiloh Singers participated in singings near Washington, MO and Old Washington, AR. The Missouri State Convention gathered participants from all over middle America. The bad weather along the eastern side of the Mississippi River kept some of the regular attendees from making the trip from Georgia and Alabama, but we hope to see many of our old friends next year. The St. Louis singers do a marvelous job with both the singing and the Saturday and Sunday meals and have earned the appreciation of all who attended the 2015 edition of their event.  

The afternoon singing in Washington, AR was only the second year of a special event held in conjunction with the annual Jonquil Festival hosted by the Historic Washington State Park. Saturday, March 21st, was bright and sunny with the Jonquils all looking their best and great attendance. Sunday had intermittent rain and cooler weather but the warm welcome from the singers and the curious on-lookers in the Historic Washington Methodist Church made up for the weather outside.

Photo: Robert Vaughn explains the basics of shape note singing at the 2015 special singing in the Old Historic Methodist Church at the Jonquil Festival at Historic Washington State Park on March 22nd.

Thanks to all the singers from Arkansas and Texas who attended. Discussion after the singing trended toward maybe having a similar event next year with an all day format and lunch at the state park. The Historic Washington State Park and surrounding community is a special place in Arkansas history and a special place to visit any time during the year.

Prior planning must be done in advance Department:

Update 4/11/15:  I got a note from Bob and Gina Cauley who now live in Divide, CO but sang with the Shiloh Singers when they lived in Arkansas. If any of the singers on the newsletter list happen to be headed out to Colorado during late April, the Colorado Springs singers have planned an all-day singing and pot luck lunch for Saturday, April 25th, (9am-3pm) at Chapel of Our Saviour, (in Broadmoor) 84th Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80906. The contact for the event is Mary Margaret Alvarado  You can "google" the address for a map. Please let me know if you can attend and I'll pass along additional info.

OK folks, mark your calendars now so there is no confusion! Dan sent me a note that Mountain View Shape Note Gathering is scheduled for 9-11 July at the Ozarks Folk Center State Park.
Thursday evening - a short singing at c. 5:30 to introduce the event -  the small White Oak Theater (over by 6:45 so folks can go to the main show in the theater).
Friday - on the stage of the Folk Center Auditorium - a presentation of all the oblong shape note books in use today. We will have samples from each to sing. The singers will sing as part of the regular Friday evening show. Teachers can get in-service credit for Friday.
Saturday- a NEW EVENT for the Folk Center as part of the gathering. All-Day singing at the Old High School Auditorium. Great venue. 1/2 day 1991 book, 1/2 day Christian Harmony. Dutch treat for lunch.
More details will follow as they become available. The Mountain View event is an opportunity to gain a wider appreciation for the different variations of shape note singing. It's something to put on your "bucket list" if you haven't been there and the Saturday singing adds more icing on special Folk Center event.

Any further updates and additional pictures will be posted on the Shiloh Singers webpages in a few days (after April 15th?). Park your pencils, file your forms in a folder and get away from your computer screen while sharing the tradition of Sacred Harp singing this Sunday. You'll be glad you did.