Bay area singings

I have gathered much of the following information about northern California singings through visits and direct contact with singers and organizers, but times and dates of singings change frequently so you should always check with the organizers, and/or check the following: email lists for individual singings; BASH Facebook page (note that Web sites, like this one, are not as reliable as email lists or Facebook). If you’re coming from out of town, you should always get in touch with the contact person before making travel plans, via email, phone, or Facebook message. Info about West Coast singings outside the Bay Area is based on the 2014 Minutes Book. See the Minutes Book for contact information. Updated: December, 2015.

Northern California All-day Singings and Conventions
Bay Area Local or Practice Singings
   Mondays in Berkeley
   First Sundays in Healdsburg
   Second Sundays in Palo Alto
   Third Sundays in San Francisco
   Fourth Sundays, South Bay and Peninsula
   Fifth Sundays, varies
Other Northern California Local Singings


NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ALL-DAY SINGINGS AND CONVENTIONS, with dates of other West Coast singings:

January: New Year’s Day: DOMINIC CIAVONNE ZIEGLER MEMORIAL ALL-DAY SINGING. Old Felta Schoolhouse, Healdsburg, California. 10:30-3:30. Facebook event page for 2016.

Comments: Began in 2013. 50+ singers, mostly from northern California, a few out-of-towners. Friendly all-day singing in honor of a singer who died suddenly at age 23; family, friends, good food, good singing. The Felta Schoolhouse (where Dominic attended school as a child) has wood floors, walls, and ceilings; one singer said “it’s like singing inside a guitar.”

January: Third Sunday and the Saturday before: ALL-CALIFORNIA SACRED HARP SINGING CONVENTION. Rotates annually between San Diego area, Los Angeles area, and the Bay area. It will return to the Bay area in 2018. 2016 Facebook event page.

Comments: Attracts about 200 singers over two days, including many out-of-town and out-of-state singers, and the occasional international singer. Friendly, fast, energetic, and very loud. In 2015, held at Harrison Recreation Center in Alameda; this was an acoustically bright room with lots of glass, which emphasized the higher notes. In 2016, again at the Old Templars Hall in Poway.

 

February: Third Sunday and the Saturday before: In Seattle, the Pacific Northwest Sacred Harp Singing Convention, Washington Session. 150+ singers.

 

March:

 

April: Saturday, April 2, 2016: SACRAMENTO ALL-DAY SINGING
St. Clements Episcopal Church, 2376 Zinfandel Dr., Rancho Cordova, CA. Email Pat Coghlan, who writes: “I understand that this will be the first all-day singing in Sacramento in many, many years.”

April: Saturday before the fourth Sunday: GOLDEN GATE ALL-DAY SINGING. San Francisco Bay area, California, location varies. In 2013, singing was in the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House; in 2014 & 2015, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Alameda.

Comments: Attracts 80-120 singers, including out-of-town and out-of-state (mostly West Coast) singers. This singing tends to be friendly, fast, energetic, and loud. Trinity Lutheran Church is very pleasant for both singing and dinner-on-the-grounds. There’s usually a half day of singing on Sunday; in 2014 &2015, this was in Healdsburg.

Information: Email Lindy Groening or visit: https://bayareafasola.wordpress.com/all-day-singings/

 

May: First Sunday and the Saturday before: Double all-day singing in Portland, Oregon. Saturday: the Portland All-day Singing. Sunday: the Portland Christian Harmony All-day Singing.

May: Saturday before the second Sunday (probably): In San Pedro, California, the Los Angeles Regional All-day Singing.

May: Memorial Day weekend: In Seattle, “mini-convention” at the Pacific Northwest Folklife Festival.

 

June: Saturday before the first Sunday: In Olympia, Washington: Olympia All-day Singing.

 

July: Saturday before the fourth Sunday: In the San Diego area. Jolly/Lundsford Memorial All-day Singing.

 

August: Saturday before the first Sunday: In Eugene, Oregon. Eugene All-day Singing.

August: Third Sunday and the Saturday before: In Buckley, Washington. Saturday: Mount Rainier Cooper Book Singing. Sunday: Willard Birthday Cooper Book Singing.

August: PALO ALTO ALL-DAY SINGING. Saturday before the fourth Sunday: Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto. 9:30-3:30.

Comments: Attracts 50+ singers, mostly from northern California. Friendly, relaxed, often two-song lessons. Excellent food, beautiful grounds. The Fireside Room at the Unitarian Universalist Church is a good singing room with lots of wood and a mellow sound.

Information: Email Dan Harper or visit: http://threeoranges.org/palo-alto-all-day-singing/

 

September: Saturday before the second Sunday: Cape Meares, Oregon, singing.

September: Saturday before the third Sunday: SANTA CRUZ ALL-DAY SINGING. Santa Cruz. 10-4.

40+ singers in a good singing room. The morning session is from the Shenandoah Harmony and the Denson book, afternoon is Denson only. The social afterwards is on the beach.

Information: Email Ed Rice. New location and new month in 2016, contact Ed for info.

 

October: Saturday before the first Sunday: In Vancouver, British Columbia; first annual in 2015.

October: Third Sunday and the Saturday before: In Portland, Oregon. Pacific Northwest Convention — Portland.

October: Friday and Saturday before the fourth Sunday: In Sitka, Alaska. Alaska Sacred Harp Convention.

 

November:

Can I just point out that we need a November or December all-day singing on the Pacific Coast?

 

December:

 


BAY AREA LOCAL/PRACTICE SINGINGS: Denson book

Mondays in Berkeley:

Every Monday, including holidays, 7:30-9:30 p.m., at All Saints Chapel at Church Divinity School of the Pacific, 2451 Ridge Rd., Berkeley, Calif. On street parking. Walk up the steps to All Saints Chapel till you get to the covered walkway, turn left, and go in the door.

Information: Email Lindy Groening. This singing is announced on: http://groups.google.com/group/fasola-ucb Or see the Bay Area Sacred Harp Facebook page.

Comments: Attendance ranges from 10 to 20 singers. The singing tends to be pitched relatively high by Sacred Harp standards. They like to get through lots of songs each week. Singers take turns leading from the hollow square; it’s OK for inexperienced singers to pass, though singers will often be urged to lead. The singing room is a little big and sounds best with 20 singers.

Berkeley other book singing: First Mondays of the month, 7:00-8:00 p.m., the singing is from other tune books.

Berkeley learner’s group: Third Mondays, 7:00-7:30 p.m. Usually open discussions to answer questions from new singers; sometimes there’s a more formal presentation. Watch the email list for announcements.

Public transit: Take BART to Downtown Berkeley station. Walk north on Shattuck Ave. 4 blocks, turn right onto Heart St. Walk about 4 blocks east on Hearst to intersection with Arch St. and LeConte Ave.; bear left on LeConte and walk up steep hill to five-way intersection. Head right on Ridge St. and All Saints Chapel will be on your left. It’s a 20 minute walk up, but you can find someone to give you a ride back down at the end of the singing. If you’re biking, the last couple of blocks up are steep, but plenty of people do it (and it’s all downhill going home afterwards).

 

First Sundays in Healdsburg:

First Sundays, 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., Old Felta School, 1201 Felta Rd, Healdsburg, Calif. Park in front of the schoolhouse.

Information: Email Maryanne Ciavonne or Jack Ziegler for info or to get on the email list.

Comments: Typically 12 or more singers, often including a few Bay area singers up for the afternoon. A relaxed singing, they will go over parts if a section requests it. Beautiful singing room with wood walls and ceilings.

 

Second Sundays in Palo Alto:

Second Sundays, 2-4 p.m., Room 1 of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E. Charleston Rd., Palo Alto, Calif. Park in the lot behind the church, and walk across the campus to Room 1.

Email Terry Moore or call him at (650) 736-4089. This singing is announced on: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/PaloAltoShapeNote/ The host of the second Sunday singing is Dan Harper, email or call him at (650) 494-1541×28.

Comments: Attendance ranges from 6 to 12 singers. A relaxed singing that spends time learning tunes. They will go over parts if a section requests it, they often sing every verse of a tune, they often do repeats on every verse. Singers take turns leading, and if you want to choose a tune but not lead it someone else will lead it for you. Singing room is small, sounds good, wood walls and ceilings and hard floors. Playground next to the singing room, OK to bring your kids; some older kids participate in the singing. This local singing has been going since the early 1970s!

Public transit: Take Caltrain to the San Antonio station. Walk, or better yet bike, north along the northbound platform to the lights at San Antonio Ave. Head right on San Antonio Ave. and take the second left on Mackay Dr. Follow Mackay Dr.; after a couple of blocks it turns into Shasta Dr. at a sharp right, then into Nelson Dr. at a sharp left. Stay on Nelson Dr. until it ends at a set of traffic lights at Charleston Rd. The church is across Charleston and to the left. 20-25 minutes if you walk and someone will give you a ride back from the singing. This is a bike-friendly route.

 

Third Sundays in San Francisco:

Third Sundays, in singers’ homes, San Francisco, Calif. Email first, or check the email list for address and exact time.

Information: Email Carolyn Deacy. This singing is announced on: http://groups.google.com/group/fasola-bayarea-announce

Public transit: Ask about transit options to singers’ homes.

Comments: Attendance is reported in the range of 8-12 singers. I have not been able to attend since the singing was moved to singers’ homes, but this singing has been less formal and more relaxed than the Berkeley singing.

 

Fourth Sundays, Palo Alto:

Fourth Sundays, 2-4 p.m., Room 1 of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E. Charleston Rd., Palo Alto, Calif. Park in the lot behind the church, and walk across the campus to Room 1. (Occasionally held at a singer’s home on fourth Sundays, email Terry Moore before showing up.)

Information: Email Terry Moore or call him at (650) 736-4089. This singing is announced on: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/PaloAltoShapeNote/ The host of the second Sunday singing is Dan Harper, email or call him at (650) 494-1541×28.

Comments: Attendance ranges from 6 to 12 singers. A relaxed singing that spends time learning tunes. They will go over parts if a section requests it, they often sing every verse of a tune, they often do repeats on every verse. Singers take turns leading, and if you want to choose a tune but not lead it someone else will lead it for you. Singing room is small, sounds good, wood walls and ceilings and hard floors. Playground next to the singing room, OK to bring your kids; some older kids participate in the singing. This local singing has been going since the early 1970s!

Public transit: Take Caltrain to the San Antonio station. Walk, or better yet bike, north along the northbound platform to the lights at San Antonio Ave. Head right on San Antonio Ave. and take the second left on Mackay Dr. Follow Mackay Dr.; after a couple of blocks it turns into Shasta Dr. at a sharp right, then into Nelson Dr. at a sharp left. Stay on Nelson Dr. until it ends at a set of traffic lights at Charleston Rd. The church is across Charleston and to the left. 20-25 minutes if you walk and someone will give you a ride back from the singing. This is a bike-friendly route.

 

Fifth Sundays, various locations, check the BASH Facebook page.

Comments: May be from the Denson book, more likely singing from other books such as Shenendoah Harmony, Southern Harmony, etc.

Information: Email Lindy Groening.

 

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OTHER NORTHERN LOCAL CALIFORNIA SINGINGS: Denson and other books

 

Alameda Christian Harmony singing Wednesday evenings, check the BASH Facebook page.

 

Davis 2nd and 4th Fridays at the David Friends Meeting House, 354 L St., Davis. Call before holidays and when the university is out of session.

Comments: Attendance ranged from 8-12 when I’ve sung with them. This is a relaxed singing, and the Friends Meeting House is a small, pleasant venue. Break for snacks halfway through the singing. Everyone is friendly and supportive, and there’s a good mix of brand-new singers and experienced singers.

Information: Email Pat Coghlan for info, or to get on the email list. Better yet, see the Davis Area Sacred Harp Facebook page.

 

Fresno: On some second Sundays, in the homes of singers. Be sure to contact Linda before making the trip.

Information: Email Linda Booth (see the latest Minutes Book for contact info).

 

Monterey: Third Saturdays, at the home of Jack and Kathy Herbig. Be sure to contact Jack before making the trip.

Information: Email Jack Herbig or Michael Armstrong (see the latest Minutes Book for contact info).

 

Oakland/East Bay: Sadly, this singing is inactive as of winter, 2012. For latest information, contact Betty Marvin.

 

Sacramento: Status unclear.

Information: Email Susan Jones.

 

Santa Cruz: Usually 2nd and 4th Thursdays, be sure to email before making the trip.

Comments: Attendance has ranged from 8-14 when I’ve sung with them. Meets in singers’ homes. Singers take turns leading from their seats (or letting someone else lead for them). Because space can be tight, parts may not sit where you expect them to. Very supportive and informal singing, with a good mix of experienced singers and brand-new singers. Now also singing from the Shenendoah Harmony. This local singing has been going since c. 1970! In the words of my partner Carol, this is a “sweet little singing.”

Information: Email Ed Rice or Shelley Phillips for info about upcoming singings, or to get on the email list.

 

 

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