Saturday, December 7, 2019

December's Christmas Singing and Other Reminders...

by Darryl Criss, Newsletter Editor

Hello Everyone. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

The Shiloh Singers Dec, singing will be Sunday Dec. 8th, at 1:30 at the Meeting Hall of The Shiloh Museum of Ozark History.

This will be our Christmas singing, as we will enjoy several Christmas related selections from the Sacred Harp songbook along with our regular fare.

We also encourage any who are inclined to bring snacks for our fellowship time to celebrate the season.

As always, all are welcome to meet for Lunch at AQ chicken beforehand. We gather around noon.

Also, a few other events of note:
Sunday night after the singing Dan Brittain. our Director of Music, will be in a concert in Rogers at the First Nazarene Church. The concert starts at 6:00 P.M. Several of our members plan on attending the concert after our singing.

And on Monday. our friend, Norma Dickerson, will be singing in the Cross Church Christmas program at the Pinnacle location at 7 p.m.

Lots going on at this wonderful time. Hope to see everyone Sunday.

P.S. Brings snacks! LOL
(That sounds suspiciously like a B.R. note!)

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Back to a normal schedule for November!

Hello friends and neighbors.

Hope November is treating you well. I am told that our Fall All Day Sing was a great success. We over 25 singers from several states. Even though, due to illness, funerals and a trip to Alaska, our Bass section was a little thin, a wonderful time was had by all and I’m so sorry I had to miss this year.

Our next singing will be Sunday Nov. 10, at 1:30 at the Meeting Hall of The Shiloh Museum of Ozark History. Visitors are always welcome to the singing as well as the before singing gathering at AQ Chicken in Springdale at noon for lunch. 

The 4th Sunday Singing at the West Fork Library Meeting Hall 
restarts this month from 1:30 to 3:30 on November 24th. 

Update: The December schedule looks like we can have both our singings early in the month before it gets too close to Christmas. Please let us know if we need to make any adjustments for events that may not already be on everyone's calendar. 

Thanks to Darryl for getting the newsletter out this month and starting the text for this short post on the web site. We'll try to add pictures from the Fall singing and any updates as time permits. 

Thursday, October 3, 2019

October is a good month for traditional singing opportunities...

Shiloh Meeting Hall, Shiloh Museum of Ozark History
We hope you enjoy singing in historic buildings that now meet modern standards and are wonderful places to sing. We're really looking forward to hosting the 2019 Northwest Arkansas Fall Singing, on October 26th.  There will be three events:

Sunday, October 13th from 1:30 P.M. until 4:00 P.M. - The regular October Singing in the Shiloh Meeting Hall for singers, guests and visitors who are invited to sing along with us on any 2nd Sunday of the month except March when the group declares a recess for singers to sing with the Missouri Singing Convention in an 1870's church north of Washington, Missouri. There will likely be a short planning session for any last minute details for the 2019 Northwest Arkansas Fall Singing and Friday night Singing School.

Friday evening, October 25th from 6:30 P. M. until 8:00 P.M. - The Northwest Arkansas Fall Singing School starts off the schedule at the Shiloh Meeting Hall with an open-to-all singing class for those who are interested in learning more about Sacred Harp music as it was traditionally sung in the 1800's. We are honored to have a very accomplished Sacred Harp singer and musician, Mr. Cory Winter as our class instructor.  Regular singers will also be present to help new singers learn the basics.

Shiloh Singers, Alexis Walker, Cory Winter and Margaux
Burleson lead Missouri State Singing Convention
Saturday, October 26th from 9:30 A.M. until 3:30 P.M. - The Big Event is the Northwest Arkansas Fall Singing, all-day singing and dinner on the grounds at the Shiloh Meeting Hall. The singers will break around noon and enjoy a pot-luck lunch. Singers who attend are invited to bring their best dish and a small cooler if the dish needs refrigeration. The original kitchen was removed to make more room in the hall, but a supporting pillar was preserved on which one of the church cooks made a note that plates were borrowed for another event. That was long before "sticky notes" were invented.

We're hoping to introduce the historic building to visiting singers all around the area who will be using the Shiloh Meeting Hall for the first time. The Shiloh Museum of Ozark History has every reason to be proud of their efforts to preserve this historic building and allow its use for other events in the Springdale area such as weddings, board meetings, programs, etc.

There is one trade-off involved. After singing on Friday night and all day on Saturday, several of the West Fork singing group, which also sings in a refurbished church building, suggested we recess the West Fork monthly event in October to allow our vocal cords to rest and recover a little before the following work week. The group approved in September and the next West Fork Singing will be on November 24th. Be sure to check the "Important Dates" section of the web page each month for new announcements.

The Shiloh Singers of NWA really enjoy singing in the refurbished Shiloh Meeting Hall which continues to see improvements to the building and grounds. The original building served the congregations of several Springdale churches, and as meeting hall for two fraternal organizations. The historic building continues that tradition of over a century.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Singing on September 8th in the Shiloh Meeting Hall...

Hello friends and neighbors,
Our September singing will be Sunday, September 8th from 1:30 P.M. to 4 P.M. at the Shiloh Meeting Hall in Springdale, AR; visitors warmly welcome.  As usual, anyone interested is invited to convene at AQ Chicken in Springdale at noon for lunch.  

Our fall singing school and all day singing scheduled for the end of October at the Shiloh Meeting Hall. The Fall Singing School will be October 25thfrom 6:30 P.M. to 8 P.M followed by an All Day Singing from 9:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. on October 26th, with a pot-luck lunch around noon. We will have more details on this web-site in the weeks to come and full details on next month's newsletter.

Also a reminder about our regular 4th Sunday singing in West Fork, Arkansas.  Located about 40 minutes south of Springdale, West Fork sports a growing library with a (likely historic) community building which we have been able to rent once a month for a 4th Sunday singing.  They ask that we bring a couple of dollars each to help keep the doors open, so please bring a small donation if you can.  It's a nice little town and the building has a good ring to it, so if you haven't had a chance to join us there, here's an opportunity. As always, visitors and newbies warmly welcome!

On a personal note, I do need to extend an apology to those on the 4th Sunday email list. I had a death in the family and that 4th week came and went before I realized.

Hope everyone Had a good holiday and hope to see you Sunday!

B.R. Note: Thanks to Darryl for doing the newsletter and web update this month. 

Friday, August 9, 2019

August 11th Singing in Springdale

Greetings Sacred Harp Friends!

I hope you've been having a lovely summer!  The major conventions in our region that I know of are over for the season, and we return to a regular fall-through-spring schedule.

Our next singing will be 1:30 pm, Sunday, August 11th at the Shiloh Museum's historic Meeting Hall in Springdale, AR.  Those interested can meet at AQ Chicken at noon for lunch. Visitors warmly welcome!

Photo: It has been a wonderful summer indeed. Syd Caldwell and Dan Brittain made it to Camp FASOLA and slowed down long enough for someone to snap a picture wearing their camp T-shirts. Syd gave a report on camp activities at the last singing. The short version is "Everyone had a good time at camp and the nearby singings scheduled before and after the camp." Wish we had more singers who could attend.

Africa's 4th Verse
Several years ago, someone passed out strips of paper with the 4th verse of "Africa," number 178 in The Sacred Harp. Responding to a request by the alto section, The words from the 4th verse have been copied below in two lines so singers could write in the words below the bass clef if they wish: 

    4. "No,"  saith  the  Lord,   My stead-  fast  love  nev  -   er  fail    or  change!

Deep  on   the  palms    of   both     My    hands   I   have    en-   graved  your name.

And yet another storm...
Several locations in NWA have received as much as 6 inches of rain according to Station KFSM TV-Channel 5 and the Weather Channel this morning. A festival in Springdale received heavy rains, several low water bridges have been damaged in Crawford County and there were flooded roads and homes in eastern Crawford County. In Mountainburg, electricity has been restored, Pigeon Creek overflowed its banks and the Pigeon Creek Free Will Baptist Church was flooded and their community food bank supplies, on the side of the church next to the creek, were damaged or washed away. Pigeon Creek Road and several other streets and roads in the Mountainburg area have been closed due to flooding. Channel 5 News, already has reports and pictures posted of damage in the area. No reports of injuries so far. We are grateful for that.  ~  BR

At least Sunday, August 11th looks like clear and sunny weather. Stay on the high ground if you can and we hope to see you Sunday for the August singing. 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Reminder for June 23rd Singing in West Fork

Hello Sacred Harp Friends,

Reminder: It's officially summertime!  Tomorrow we will have our regular 4th Sunday singing in West Fork, Arkansas.  Located about 40 minutes south of Springdale, West Fork sports a growing library with a (likely historic) community building which we have been able to rent once a month for a 4th Sunday singing.  They ask that we bring a couple of dollars each to help keep the doors open, so please bring a small donation if you can.  It's a nice little town and the building has a good ring to it, so if you haven't had a chance to join us there, here's an opportunity. As always, visitors and newbies warmly welcome!

Upcoming Singings: It will be a few weeks until our next singing in Springdale which will be on July 14th (another great reason to come to West Fork!). If you can't get to Mountain View and the Folk Center Shape Note Gathering, drop in after Sunday lunch at the Shiloh Meeting Hall from 1:30 until 4:00 P.M.

UPDATED:  The information about the Shape note Singing Gathering on Thursday through July 11-13, 2019, has been posted on the Ozark Folk Center State Park website. All the basic details are there. The short version of the program:
  • Thursday Eve- 6 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. - Introduction to Shape note Singing concert/discussion in the White Oak Theater (located in the Administration Building)
  • Friday Singing and Teaching Seminar - Dan Brittain and Gaylon Powell will lead singing and teaching sessions on the stage of the main auditorium at the Ozark Folk Center. The morning session will run from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and the afternoon session from 1:30 p.m. until 4 p.m. Participants in the singing will be featured as part of the nightly performance at the Ozark Folk Center’s nightly concert.
  • Saturday Singing - A traditional singing, using both four-shape and seven-shape books will be held in the old Mountain View High School auditorium on School Avenue, one block south of East Main (the turn is between Best Drug Store and Conoco) in Mountain View. The morning session will run from 9 a.m. until noon and the afternoon session from 1:30 p.m. until 4 p.m. 
Those attending the shape note sessions only can enter free of charge at the front entrance of the auditorium. Crafts ground visitors may come and go to the shape note session via the rear entrance of the auditorium.

LATE UPDATE 7/10/19: Upon arrival, a sign at the bottom of the hill leading up to the big auditorium says "road closed."  IGNORE IT.  Tell everybody you can who is coming to the Gathering.  Thanks. - Charley Sandage

As usual, Google has a list of available motels in the area and maps.  Click this link to download a map and schedule.

In House News: Lastly, Darryl's computer has been having some difficulties, and the most updated list of e-mails may have been lost.  If you didn't receive the newsletter in your e-mail inbox this week, please let Darryl know (his e-mail address is listed on the website as newsletter editor) and he'll put you back on the list.

Happy Summer, everyone! Hope to sing with you soon!


P.S. The Sacred Harp Publishing Company has an update about the upcoming revision! Click here to view the flyer!
B.R. NOTE: Well, now if I can relearn how to send out mass emails without hitting the wrong button again... oops!

Monday, June 17, 2019

June is another busy month...

Updated: 06-17-19  Thanks to Darryl Criss for his solo effort getting out the email newsletter before the regular 2nd Sunday Singing in the Shiloh Meeting Hall. Sometimes life just gets in the way of doing the things we want to do. But in the meantime, we'll reprint his June message for the archive and add a few reports from other events:
Old Washington United Methodist Church
Hello All! 
I hope this email finds you all well. I haven't heard of any of our friends or members who were affected by the storms and flooding of the last few weeks , but our prayers go out to you if you were.
Along with this crazy weather. this year has gone along a seemingly break neck pace and we already find ourselves in June. The second Sunday is upon us and our regular monthly singing we be held at the Meeting Hall of the Shiloh Museum from 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm. The hall located one block north of the Shiloh Museum's barn.
Cory Winters leads a new composition.
Both old and new singers are welcome to join the "singers table" at AQ Chicken at noon on the 2nd Sunday Singing in Springdale.
Also, don't forget the 4th Sunday Singing at the West Fork Library  Meeting Hall from 1:30 to 3:30.
The only calendar item I have, at this time, is the Annual Shape Note Singing School and Gathering with an All Day Singing on Saturday, Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, AR  July 11th - 13th.
Finally, a few weeks ago, Dan, Corey and myself attended the All-Day Singing in Washington, AR.  It was a great time with wonderful singing, fellowship and food. I have shared a few pictures below.  
Hope everyone has a good Saturday and hope to see you on Sunday. 
God bless
If you'd like to get on the Shiloh Singers mailing list, Darryl's email address is listed in the sidebar on the right side of this webpage. Just send him a note as ask him to add you to the list.

The second week in June was also the week for the FASOLA Summer camp for adults held in Alabama each year.  Dan Brittain, (on right) director, composer and our local version of "The Music Man" and Syd Caldwell, our designated good-will singing ambassador to the rest of the world was also at the camp. Both of them paused just long enough to take a picture with their FASOLA T-shirts, but they both look like they were having a good time. Syd reported that he and Dan enjoyed all the singing and seeing so many friends from other groups who attended.

I'll try to follow-up with more of the latest info on the annual Shape Note Gathering and Singing School at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View in a few days. 

And finally, please don't forget the 4th Sunday Singing which provides more practice for new singers to become better singers and informal singing school for any new singers who just want to learn more about singing the songs that our ancestors knew and likely sang on their way west. We appreciate the West Fork Library and dedicated singers who helped and want to make it a success. 

Thanks to Darryl and Syd for the pictures. Sing on....

Thursday, May 9, 2019

May is a busy singing month...

First of all, thanks to the 27 or 28 singers and maybe a few more depending when the singers were counted at the Northwest Arkansas Sacred Harp Singing Convention in Harrison, at St. John's Episcopal Church's Parish Hall on Saturday, May 4th. I always try to take the "official count" at lunch time but people kept going back for seconds. We are blessed with good cooks and many helpful hands in the kitchen. We especially enjoyed the singers from the St. Louis area, the East Texas singers and other visitors really helped add depth to our local singers. All in all, very good singing and that strawberry pie for dessert was gone before people could put their plate on a table and get back to the table with all the desserts. Thus "B.R.'s Rule" learned from 77 years of church and lodge suppers of getting desserts on the first pass and vegetables on the second trip through the serving line.

Special thanks to Dan, Andrew, Syd, Norma and all the other local singers who made St. John's Episcopal Parish Hall a wonderful place to sing, and everyone who pitched in and helped at various times during the event.

May will continue to be a busy singing month. The Shiloh Singers will have their "Mother's Day Singing" on May 12th from 1:30 until 4:00 P.M. You are invited to take your Mother to lunch and then bring her to the singing to let her see what you've been doing on the 2nd Sunday of each month. The usual Shiloh table at Springdale's famous AQ Chicken House, 1207 N Thompson St, will be in session for those who get there around 12:00 noon, Springdale time. Hope you'll come and enjoy visiting with good friends and other singers.


Use Google Drive Link for full size copy. 

There are two very special singings in the southern half of Arkansas in May. The first event is on
Saturday, May 18th in the Old Washington Methodist Church in Washington State Park, which you might suspect are both located on Highway 195 in historic Washington, Arkansas. Singing will start at 10:00 A.M. and conclude at 3:00 P.M. For more information contact Rev. Keenan Williams,  870-777-1355 or Robert Vaughn, You can download the event flyer at:

The second event is the Old Folks Singing at the Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Tull, AR, on Sunday, May 19th, that continues a tradition started in 1885. The singing will use the Christian Harmony and the Cokesbury Hymnal (7-shape book). For more information about the history of the Old Folks Singing visit:
There is also a short YouTube video about the singing at:
For more information contact: 501-778-6242 or

1913 Old Folks Singing. There's a new church & dress has changed,
but the singing and community spirit continues.

And if the two events down south are just too far, there's also the 4th Sunday Singing at the West Fork Library Meeting Hall from 1:30 until 3:30 P.M. This is an informal gathering intended for those old or new singers who just want another chance to practice or learn more about Sacred Harp singing. As is always the case, new singers and visitors are welcome. You can just listen, or tap your foot, or get a book and follow along, and we hope you'll want to know more about shape note singing as practiced by pioneers moving west and sing along with us.

As I said, May is a busy month for singing in Arkansas. We appreciate all the groups that are sponsoring Sacred Harp Singing in Arkansas. I hope you'll take the opportunity to join with other singers and as the song says, "We'll all sing on!"

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Shiloh Singers are singing on Sunday, April 14th...

I hope everyone who has finished and filed all their federal and state taxes can come sing with us on Sunday, April 14th. Since I still need to finish, this will of necessity be brief. 

First, the Shiloh Singers will be singing in the Shiloh Meeting Hall located one block north of the Shiloh Museum's barn on Sunday, April 14th, from 1:30 until 4:00 P.M. Those who were able to attend the Missouri State Sacred Harp Convention can use the break and the "discussion groups" that gather before the singing at AQ's Chicken House just before noon and the after singing "My throat needs ice cream" session at the Springdale Denny's over by the Interstate. We have a good time catching up on all the news with some of our friends that we've grown to care about and whose friendship means so much to us.

Second, the 4th Sunday West Fork Singing continues it's invitation to come sing in the West Fork's Library Meeting Hall. We've seen new faces and singers who live south of Fayetteville who find it easier to get to West Fork. Mix that with the dedicated Shiloh singers who want to extend our group and we have a good potential for growth. For those who are new singers, it's a excellent opportunity to practice and spend more time learning new songs from the red Denson book. The times are 1:30 until 3:30 P.M. on April 28th.

Third, on Saturday, May 4th, the Shiloh Singers from Oklahoma to the Mississippi have the chance to sing together at the Northwest Arkansas Sacred Harp Singing Convention in Harrison, at St. John's Episcopal Church's Parish Hall. The singing will start at 9:30 A.M. and continue until 3:00 P.M. with a pot luck lunch at noon. The PDF copy of the flyer (suitable for printing for your friends and potential singers) is attached. 

Just click on the blue link below to download the flyer with more details and directions. 
NWA Sacred Harp Singing Convention Flyer

There are even more singings in May with singings in Old Washington, AR in the historic Old Washington Methodist Church on Saturday, May 18th and the Old Folks Singing in Tull, AR, on Sunday, May 19th. The two venues are close enough that it's easy to attend two good old-fashioned Arkansas singings on the same weekend. More details to follow.

Hope to sing with you soon...

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Just a quick reminder...

Just a quick reminder--

We will not have a regular singing on Sunday, March 10th.  Many of our group are happily singing in Missouri so we won't be singing in Springdale.

However, we will have a 4th Sunday Singing in West Fork on Sunday, March 24th.

For other upcoming singings, please see the previous (Feb 12th) blog entry.

Happy singing, everyone!


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

February Singing, Missouri Convention, 4th Sunday Singing in West Fork

Hello Everyone...

Cory Winter leading the Shiloh Singers in the Meeting Hall
The Shiloh Singers enjoyed having 22 singers at the February Singing on February 10th in the Shiloh Meeting Hall. There was a fine contingent of young people who jumped right in and joined our singing with just a short introduction from Dan Brittain and other experienced singers. We always enjoy having visitors and we were certainly glad to have the students with us and hope they'll bring a few more students with them next time, which will be on April 14th from 1:30 P.M until 4:00 P.M. Early arrivals are always invited to join the Sacred Harp lunch group at the AQ Chicken House in Springdale at noon. Just ask where the singers are at the reception desk.

The 34th Missouri Sacred Harp Singing Convention is on the schedule for March 9 and 10 in St. John's United Church of Christ located in Pinckney Township, MO. The two day singing and dinner on the grounds (actually in a kitchen and dining hall) sets a high standard for singers to attend and start off the new year. Singers converge on the Missouri Convention from all four directions and it's usually a good idea to make reservations early. Click on the following link for a PDF copy of the flyer with information about the singing, lodging and directions to the church.

If you'd like to car-pool to save on trip expenses, send an email using this email link: B. R. Black and include your phone number and we'll see if we can find an available seat.

Starting a 4th Sunday Sacred Harp Singing in West Fork: Thanks to Ray and Karen Towne, who have been laying the groundwork to start another opportunity for the Shiloh Sacred Harp Singers to spread the word about shape note singing in the southern part of Washington County. The present plan is to sing in the West Fork Library Hall at 210 Garfield Ave. from 1:30 until 3:30 P.M on February 24th and each 4th Sunday thereafter if there are sufficient singers both to help lead and and local singers from the surrounding area who want to learn about singing on the frontier before most churches could afford pianos and organs. If you live in south Washington County or North Crawford County, or anywhere within driving distance, please mark your calendar and join us on February 24th.

From I-49 take the "West Fork" exit (Hwys. 156 and 170).  Turn eastbound onto Phillips Street and after you pass the Harps you'll follow the curve to the south onto McKnight Ave.  Continue to the stop sign at Main Street and turn left.  This takes you eastbound again, across the railroad tracks and you'll come to Garfield Ave..  Turn left and you may park on the street, at the Library or in the grass lot just south of Library Hall.

From Hwy 71 turn westbound at the only flashing yellow light in town.  This is Main St.  When you get to Garfield Avenue you'll see the new Library on the north side of the street.  Turn right on Garfield Ave. and Library Hall is on the right at the next corner, #210 Garfield.

Dress is informal, and all who want to learn are invited to sing, listen or just tap their feet. We hope you'll join us. Just to be fair, we may pass a hat for a dollar or two to help the Friends of the Library  cover any cost of heating, lights and other minor expenses. We're a "non-profit" too. 

We'll post any changes or updates on this webpage so please check this webpage for any updates.

Hope to see you at one or more of our singings...

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Singing in the New Year

Sacred Harp Friends,

Let's sing in the new year! Our next regular singing will be on Sunday, January 14th at 1:30 pm at the Shiloh Meeting Hall. As always, visitors warmly welcome.  Those interested can meet at AQ Chicken in Springdale at noon for lunch.

The Missouri Sacred Harp Convention is right around the corner, and will be held on March 9th and 10th at St. John's United Church of Christ in Pinckney, Missouri.  Singing starts at 9:30 am on Saturday the 9th.  Several Shiloh Singers typically attend, so, as the time gets closer we'll likely start talking about travel plans at upcoming meetings. Also, feel free to get in touch digitally about this.

Looking forward to singing with you soon!