Friday, November 6, 2015

November singing, Fall Singing Convention was "large in sound and spirit"...

As too often seems to be the case, each time I want to write a newsletter, other projects and events suddenly appear to soak up time on my calendar. I wrote a friend earlier this week that I used to maintain a paper calendar with pencil entries so I could make frequent updates and changes. Now I use a computer-based calendar program and I still can't adjust plans and schedule changes fast enough to keep up. In any case, I hope your busy schedule allows you to plan to attend the Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015 monthly singing in the Shiloh Museum General Store. As usual, the singing will start at 1:30 P.M. Singing will continue until 4:00 P.M. and visitors are always welcome. Loaner books are usually available. Children, who are considered "potential new singers," are welcome too.

Photo - Robert Vaughn leads the NWA Fall Singing School at the Shiloh Museum on Friday evening, October 23rd.

The NWA Fall Sacred Harp Singing Convention on Oct. 23rd and 24th was declared a "great success." Thanks to Robert Vaughn, from Mt. Enterprise, Texas, who led the Friday night singing school with 25 participants in the museum's General Store and Stanley Smith, from Ozark, Alabama who with Robert shared their experience with the singing school and convention participants on Saturday in the First Security Bank's Community Room across the street from the museum, we had two enthusiastic singing sessions. Both Texas and Alabama have many traditional Sacred Harp groups and communities where there is a strong tradition of shape note singings. Stanley noted that Syd Caldwell had done "a great job as chairman" making sure  all the singers and visitors had a great time. Besides complimenting Robert for planting more seeds in the minds of interested new singers, Stanley wrote that the Saturday convention "was large in sound and spirit.  

Photo - Normally photographers are behind the camera, but Stanley Smith invited NWA Democrat-Gazette photographer Flip Putthoff to experience the sound from the center of the square.

Reporter Laurinda Joeks and photographer Flip Putthoff of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette had an excellent feature article in the paper's Saturday October 31, 2015 Religion section. The article and pictures contain more details that capture the spirit and enthusiasm from the school and singing. The article can be found at: 

Thanks to the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History and their staff for helping with so many details including directional signs and their General Store on Friday evening. Thanks also to the First Security Bank in Springdale for the use of their Community Room which had enough space for the singing and enough extra space for dining tables to hold all the singers and the food that appeared for the pot-luck lunch at noon. Our thanks to all the cooks who prepared a marvelous variety of dishes and plenty of desserts for the event.

Photo - There was plenty of food, including desserts, at the Fall Convention. Thanks to all who prepared their best dishes for the event. 

Thanks also to all the participants who joined us from Oklahoma, Missouri, and all over Arkansas. We hope you enjoyed the singing and will come back and sing with us again. 

Lost and Found: At the end of the Saturday singing, a red spiral notebook was found that had Gail Cowart's name and address on the inside cover. During the cleanup and exodus, the notebook found its way to Gail's car with signs, banners and songbooks. He returned the notebook commenting that the handwriting was "much too neat" to be his writing. If you attended the convention and are now missing a red spiral notebook, we'll have it at the Sunday afternoon singing, Nov. 8th, or send me your address via email so we can mail you your notebook. 

One more thing: If you can get there in time, there's usually a table for Shiloh Singers at the Springdale location of the AQ Chicken House around noon on each Sunday before the singing begins in the General Store each month. It's totally informal. There's time to "fuel up" for the singing plus time to catch up on news with friends or ask questions about Sacred Harp singing. Just ask the reception desk for directions to the table.

Hope you have time to sing with the Shiloh Singers on Sunday afternoon.