Thursday, September 8, 2016

Getting set for our September and October Singings...

First of all, the Shiloh Singers of NWA will be gathering for their monthly singing this Sunday afternoon, September 11, 2016 from 1:30 until 4:00 P.M. in the General Store on the grounds of the Shiloh Museum in Springdale. The forecast is for clear and sunny with a high of 80 degrees. It looks like a good late summer afternoon to drive over to Springdale and enjoy the mountains, the singing and the fellowship of spending an afternoon with friends.

As usual, there will be a table at A-Q Chicken House for those who wish to arrive around noon and enjoy a wholesome chicken dinner and more time to catch up on the news among friends. Just ask for the Shiloh Singers when you arrive and they'll point you in the right direction.

We had a wonderful singing in Springdale on August 8th with both Dan Brittain and Bill Caldwell to pitch and several new visitors and occasional singers. It felt like we sang more songs than usual just having a good time using the Denson book in the first half and the Missouri and Cooper books in the second session after the break.

Photo: Syd shared this picture of Arkansas and Oklahoma singers at the 149th Annual East Texas Convention in Henderson on August 8, 2016.

Please keep Mona Vice in your prayers. Mona is in rehab after falling and surgery to repair a previous knee replacement damaged in the fall. She may be in rehab for some time since the doctors don't want Mona to put any weight on the right leg for a while. If you're in the area, she's at Walnut Grove Rehab, 1393 Don Tyson Road, Springdale. We visited after Sunday singing and she seemed to enjoy the visit and working in therapy sessions morning and afternoon to regain mobility. I'm sure she would enjoy a card or a visit if you're in the area.

Last month we discussed a marvelous opportunity for Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri singers to join together at the George M. Murrell Home Historic Site on Sunday, October 9th as part of their celebration of the site's agricultural and historical significance to Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation. The official address for GPS drivers is 19479 East Murrell Home Road, Park Hill, OK 74451 which is just south of Tahlequah. Detailed directions are available on the Murrell Historic Site visitor's page. You can also learn more about the importance of the Murrell Home Historic Site in a multimedia presentation, "Seeds of History," the first online issue of Crossroads, produced by the Oklahoma Historical Society.

The whole event planned at the historic site covers Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 7-9. The Sunday schedule includes the usual planned displays, vendors, tours of the historic home and other activities but also starts with an outdoor church service at 10:00 A.M. and followed by a group singing of both Cherokee and English hymns at 11:00 A.M. After a short break for a quick lunch and time to arrange folding chairs into a hollow square, the Sacred Harp singers could then start after lunch and conduct an outdoor singing from about 12:00 P.M. We plan to bring our loaner books and invite spectators to sing along if they wished. We'll be singing in an open area in the trees east of the mansion. You may want to bring your hats and bonnets if the sun is bright.

Photo: George M. Murrell Home Historic Site in Park Hill, OK, a Greek Revival-style plantation house Murrell called "Hunter's Home."

Since the Shiloh Singers normally sing on the 2nd Sunday of each month except in March, we'll post a note on the door of the General Store, the website and hopefully in the local papers that we'll be singing at the Murrell Historic Site in October. The thinking is that we will have a small folding table where all three regional Sacred Harp singing groups can have information about their singings and provide a sign-up sheet where people can request more information or get on each group's local newsletter list. So part of our mission, beside just exposing Sacred Harp singing to a new audience, is to invite anyone in the audience to learn more and attend one of the local singings in their area.

We also talked last month about the annual NW Arkansas Fall Singing and pot-luck lunch scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, 9:30 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. in the Northwest Technical Institute Student Center, 709 South Old Missouri Road, south of the rodeo grounds and across the road from the Springdale airport. As usual, I'll post a map on the webpage in October but it should be easy to find from all directions. The Student Center is adjacent to the parking on the SW corner of the campus. First of all, our thanks to Alexis Walker and NWTI for helping us find such a nice facility with plenty of parking. Everybody seemed to know more about the NWTI campus than I did and spoke positively about the using the student center for the Fall singing. I discovered that the Northwest Technical Institute is one of two career and technical education schools in Arkansas and has been in operation for nearly thirty-nine years.  We'll be singing from the Denson book and Missouri Harmony. Please mark your calendar.

The fact that we'll have a singing school on Friday evening, Oct. 21st, before the NWA Fall Singing may encourage people who want to take an opportunity to learn even more. So yes, this is also an opportunity for all three groups to reach out to potential singers in their area.

October is shaping up to be a big month with plenty of opportunities to sing and share our Sacred Harp tradition. Hope to see you on Sunday and hope you can some of the special singing events in October!

UPDATED 9/9/16 -  Antique Agriculture Festival graphic added.