First observe of how many Notes compass the Tune is. Next, the place of your first Note; and how many Notes above & below that: so as you may begin the Tune of your first Note as the rest may be sung in the compass of your and the peoples voices, without Squeaking above, or Grumbling below.

Brooklyn singing, May 10, 2015



Brooklyn (Joe Beasley) shapenote singing, Sunday, May 10, 2015. At St. Paul’s Church, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, New York. Singing from THE SACRED HARP, 1991 Denson edition, the Cooper Book, 2012 Edition [CB], and the Shenandoah Harmony [ShH]). The calls go round the room in this singing.

Present: Dick, Jordan, Patrick, Sam, Solon, Chris C., Nancy B., Sarah L., Mary Ellen, Ezra, Jon, nbm, Ann, Paul, Anna, Molly, Evan.

Jon pitched the Cooper book, Chris pitched the Denson book, and I pitched the Shenandoah, aside from the singers who keyed their own. Other singers were helpful in adjusting pitches where needed.

Defying predictions, we sang few “mother” songs, though Jon contributed the charmingly ghastly CB 363 (“She’s gone from earth to heaven, I have no mother now”). We really liked Ann’s early CB pick, CB 273 MARTHASVILLE, and I believe the altos enjoyed their line in CB 361. Nancy Britton, as is her wont, found us some less-sung Shen songs. Sarah chose to omit the bird’s-eyes in the A section of ShH 162, which worked well once we figured it out, but the fermata quota was more than filled by our CB songs. We had trouble with ShH 86, SONG OF MOSES, with its tricksy little intervals from that Mr. Ingalls, and also with Timothy Swan’s characteristically strange BONDAGE, ShH 167. But we were modestly proud of our rests in ShH 254, PENNSYLVANIA. Heaven rejoices, modestly.
Opener: 31b WEBSTER nbm
ShH 260t CONFLICT Paul
ShH 48 CAPTAIN KIDD Jordan Read the rest of this entry »

New York Sacred Harp updates

*We’ll sing on Mother’s Day this weekend in Brooklyn (St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Carroll Gardens, at Carroll and Clinton Streets, 2 p.m.).  Anyone willing to come by my place at 1:00 to help put covers on the new Cooper books and a few others, please let me know.  Entertainment chez moi after singing — if it’s nice enough, we could move out to the Urban Meadow around the corner.

*Next Friday night and Saturday, May 15 and 16, is the Garden State Singing Convention. Friday night will use the three books we sing from in Brooklyn (Denson and Cooper Sacred Harps and Shenandoah Harmony); Sunday is all Denson. I plan to take the train out Friday night; looks like there’s a 6:10 that arrives at Watchung Avenue, a five minute walk away, at 6:52.

*Summer Wednesday singings will stay at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Christopher Street rather than moving to St. Peter’s in Chelsea, by slim majority of two classes of singers.

*Big news for the fall is that our 2015 All-Day Singing, Saturday before the third Sunday in September, will be at Marble Collegiate Church on Second Avenue and Seventh Street. Congratulations to Carol and Aldo for obtaining the use of this admirably suited space for the All-Day and also our regular Sunday singing on the following day. (That’s September 19 and 20.)

Brooklyn singing, April 12, 2015 — minutes

It’s been a year, just about, but here are some nice fresh minutes of our lively spring singing on Sunday.

Brooklyn (Joe Beasley) shapenote singing, Sunday, April 12, 2015. At St. Paul’s Church, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, New York.  Singing from THE SACRED HARP, 1991 Denson edition, the Cooper Book, 2012 Edition [CB], and the Shenandoah Harmony [ShH]). The calls go round the room in this singing.

Present: Solon, Greg, Gwen, Nancy B., Sarah L., Andre, Paul, Anna, Kris, Leon, Liora, Molly, Chris C., Sarah H., Eric, Evan, nbm. New: Jen, Becca (friends of Solon). Listening: Christina.

For whatever reason, we got off to a Shenandoah start and stayed there much of the day, though Terry, Chris, and I made sure the CB had some representation and of course a thread of Denson songs ran through the afternoon.   Gwen pitched the Denson songs, I pitched the Shen songs till late in the day, when I asked Chris to take over, and he pitched the Cooper songs, while a number of singers (including Andre, Jordan, and Leon) pitched for themselves. Andre sat with the treble, alto, and tenor over the course of the day, outdoing Gwen and Eric who only sat with two lines each, if I remember correctly. It was a lovely afternoon and I am grateful to everyone who was willing to spend it inside, singing.

Among the songs that really impressed us was ShH 432t, NEW MONMOUTH. What a beauty.

Opener: ShH 264t    ANIMATION    nbm
ShH 264b        MILLBROOK    Greg
Lesson            Gwen
ShH 112        BETTER DAYS COMING    Gwen
ShH 260t        CONFLICT    Paul
159            WONDROUS LOVE    Solon
ShH 22b        PSALM 30    Jordan Read the rest of this entry »

Midweek singing receives an injection of Alabama soul, April 15

Elene Stovall, lively personality and super singer with lots of knowledge from Alabama, will be visiting the Midweek singing at St. John’s this Wednesday, April 15, at 7:00.  Celebrate Tax Day by buying Elene a drink with your refund — the stories will be worth it.

Third Sunday singing translated to New Haven April 19, 2015

Since so many of the New York singers will be hopping trains, autos, and (for all I know) Vespas to New Haven for the third (I think) New Haven All Day Singing on Sunday, April 19, the Third Sunday Upper East Side singing will not be held.  The 7:04 from Grand Central arrives in New Haven at 9:07, providing time for a leisurely walk to campus, offers of assistance in setting up the room, and/or a fresh cup of coffee before the singing starts at 10:00. The party car has not yet been assigned.  If you prefer to sleep in another hour, the 8:04 train will still allow you to get to the singing by about the first break.

Second Sunday Brooklyn singing hopes for mellow breezes

We’re on for BK Sacred Harp this Sunday, April 12, 2015, at 2:00, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on Carroll Street off Clinton, and my house for drinks and snacks afterward.  Hope to see you.  Do bring your books, especially your Cooper Book, if you have them, as we have been running low on loaners.  New books on order shortly, I promise. If you like your details filtered through Facebook, here you go.


Aldo has let us know that the East Village singing is cancelled for tomorrow, Sunday, April 5. It appears that Jimmy’s No. 43 has not yet been able to reopen.


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