The Church Divinity School of the Pacific allows our Sacred Harp group to use their chapel for no charge. But we try to give them a donation at the end of each calendar year as an expression of our gratitude for welcoming us into such a beautiful singing space. I agreed to take on raising the money this year. Last week’s class, which was somewhat smaller than usual, contributed $94; this week’s class, which was large for us (about 27 people, by my rough count), with quite a few people who weren’t present last week, contributed $221; notification via email brought about $50 of promised contributions. As of now, total contribution from our Sacred Harp community will be $365.
What I liked best about our community’s contribution is that those of us who could give more did so; those who couldn’t afford to give much (grad students, underemployed or unemployed people) gave nothing or a token amount. We are not like some choirs I’ve belonged to, where you have to pay a set amount to attend rehearsals; Sacred Harp singers want everyone to sing, no matter what their financial status. For me, this is another example of the truly inclusive spirit of Sacred Harp singing.