Friday, August 11, 2017

August 13th Shiloh Singing Canceled... Outdoor Singing added in October!

Goodness knows the Shiloh Singers are reluctant to cancel a scheduled singing, but the information gained from an informal survey of singers in the NWA area suggested the Shiloh Singers cancel the Shiloh Singers' August 13th monthly singing in Springdale. After we counted the survey results, it became apparent that a number of our strongest singers and regular song leaders planned to attend the 150th Annual East Texas Convention on August 12th and 13th in Henderson, TX, or other travel plans. Imagine conducting a series of singings for over a century and a half! That has to be special and not many groups can celebrate such a historic occasion.  You can certainly understand why dedicated singers wanted to be there. So we will send along our best wishes to all the singers in Henderson this weekend and hope they enjoy the best singing in their 162 year history.

So, the Shiloh Singers will have their next regularly scheduled singing on September 10, 2017, in the General Store of the Shiloh Museum from 1:30 P.M. until 4:00 P.M. and hope you will mark your calendar for the singing. The usual noon pre-singing lunch at AQ Chicken House in Springdale will return to the schedule as well.

Now, what I hope will be good news for all the Shape Note singers in the Oklahoma, SE Kansas or SW Missouri, and Arkansas area. One of the highlights of our singing calendar last year, was moving the regular October singing location from the General Store to conduct an outdoor singing at the George M. Murrell Home on the final day of their Antique Agriculture Festival which is scheduled for Friday thru Sunday, October 6-8, 2017. The singing is scheduled on Sunday, October 8th and will follow a pioneer church service before lunch. After the service the benches and hay bales will be moved to form a square and an old-fashioned outdoor singing will commence from shortly after noon until about 3:00. Singers of all faiths and vocal ranges, guests and festival visitors are welcome to sit down and sing or just listen. Visitors may arrive and join at any time. Anyone is welcomed to borrow a songbook and sing along with the group. They may even recognize a tune they sang many years before. The festival booths and hands-on events made all the singers feel at home and the Murrell Home staff were especially gracious hosts. For more information about the Murrell Home historic site visit:

One of my favorite old pictures from a history book about Sacred Harp singing (which I cannot find at this moment) shows the leaders of an outdoor singing or singing school being conducted outdoors in the shade of a brush arbor. The trees at the Murrell Home grounds kept us in the shade, but the hay bales scattered around the wagon being used as a stage provided the "soft seats." I was reintroduced to just how comfortable a couple of hay bales could be from my days as a youngster when I would slip out to the horse shed make sure our old mare that was gentle enough for me to ride had plenty of water and feed. I was also known to find a couple of hay bales in the shed and take an afternoon nap.

No naps, just good singing at the Antique Agriculture Festival

For long range planning, the Shiloh Singers will host the Annual Northwest Fall Singing in Springdale on Saturday October 21, 2017 from 9:30 until 3:00 P.M. Syd Caldwell is also working on a Friday evening Singing School for those who want to learn more about the basics of Sacred Harp. Details will follow in the September newsletter or on the Shiloh Singers webpage when available. 

One more random thought. The Arkansas Razorbacks are playing the Auburn Tigers in Fayetteville on Saturday, October 21st. You might want to make hotel/motel reservations in the Springdale and northward areas a little earlier than would be normal. 

I hope all of the travelers stay safe and hope we'll get to see you all next month.