Friday, August 7, 2015

Sunday Singing at the Shiloh Museum on August 9th

This has been one of those weeks when neither my schedule, the Greek financial bailout, nor the famous Italian trains would have run "on time." The best thing I can say about this week is that the Shiloh Singers will be meeting and singing in the General Store on the grounds of the Shiloh Museum in Springdale on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 9th, at 1:30 and we'll all get to sing in the company of friends. That's always a good way to end a busy week.

We also need to discuss and start planning for the October NW Arkansas Sacred Harp Fall Singing Convention and Singing School on October 23rd and 24th. Thanks to Syd Caldwell and the always helpful staff at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, Much of the planning framework has already been sketched out.

Syd has arranged for Robert Vaughn, a 5th generation Sacred Harp singer, author, composer and ordained Baptist minister from Mount Enterprise, TX to conduct the convention's annual singing school on Oct. 23rd, the evening before the all day singing on Saturday. In fact, this weekend, Robert will be leading and singing at the 148th East Texas Convention in Henderson, TX.

Photo: Robert Vaughn leading the singers at Historic Washington (AR) United Methodist Church on March 22, 2015.

What we think we know about the schedule and enough to start marking your calendar if it's not already added to your October page:
Friday, Oct. 23, 2015 - 6:30 P.M. until 8:30 P.M. - NWA Fall Sacred Harp Convention Singing School
Location: Shiloh Museum General Store, 118 W. Johnson Avenue, Springdale, AR 72764
Instructor: Robert L. Vaughn, Mount Enterprise, TX
Beginner class for those new to sacred harp singing or who want to learn more about the fundamentals of 4-note shape note singing.

Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015 - 9:30 A.M. until 3:30 P.M. - NWA Fall Sacred Harp Convention
Location: 1st Security Bank Community Room, 110 North Main Street (south of drive-in bank), Springdale, AR 72764.
All day singing with pot luck lunch at noon. Singing will be from The Sacred Harp (Denson Book), Missouri Harmony, and B. F. White Sacred Harp (Cooper Book, 2006 Ed.). Loaner books are available. Visitors, new singers and their children welcome.
For those of you who instantly recognized that on Saturday, Oct. 24th, the University of Arkansas Razorbacks will play the Auburn Tigers in Fayetteville. Unless there is a late October hurricane or an early winter snow storm, there's an excellent chance that most hotels and motels will approach their capacity on Friday and Saturday nights. While there are at least 20 hotels and motels listed by Google in the Springdale area, if you plan to stay overnight in the Fayetteville/Springdale area on a Razorback football weekend, please consider making your room reservations earlier than normal this year. To help that process, Syd has reserved two small blocks of rooms in Springdale in his name with premium or budget rates for the event, but the convention rates are only good for a limited time: the HOTEL RESERVATION DEADLINE IS AUGUST 21, 2015. After that, the block of rooms will be released and regular room rates will be in effect based on the market and availability.
Comfort Suites, 1099 Rieff St. Springdale, Phone: 479-725-1777 - 4 stars - $149.00/night
Heritage Inn Springdale, 1394 W. Sunset Ave. Springdale Phone: 479-751-3100 - 2 stars - $69.00/night

Singers who earn points with a favorite hotel or motel chain or use their favorite hotel booking agent like Expedia or Trivago can use their own system to search for competitive rates on their own, but please start early!

As we get closer to the actual singing convention dates, I'm sure there will be additional information and I'll post the usual maps and a flyer you can download, print and share on the Shiloh Singers website. And if the schedule works better next week, I may actually get a chance to post some of the other items I had planned for this month's edition of the newsletter. Watch this space.

Photo: Dan Brittain teaching the next generation of shape note singers at the July 11th Ozark Folk Center Shape Note Gathering.

One more thing: For those who plan to attend the Aug. 9th singing and can get to the AQ Chicken House in Springdale around noon or a little later, there's an open table of Shiloh Singers usually in the back enjoying one of AQ's many fine dishes before the singing and catching up with friends and fellow singers. There's also coffee and ice cream at Denny's after the singing. Both events are open to all singers and we can usually add chairs or bump more tables together if we need more space. You are invited.

Hope to see you in Springdale on Sunday...