Category Archives: All-day singings & conventions

Santa Cruz all-day singing announced for July

The local singing in Santa Cruz has announced that they’re going to host an all-day singing this summer. From a recent email update sent by Ed Rice:

“In other news, we’re having a Santa Cruz all-day singing on July 12 from 10-4 at the Live Oak Grange. More details will emerge as that date gets closer.”

I’ve long thought that Northern California has needed more all-day singings. The next closest all-day singings are in Los Angeles, 8 hours away by car, or Portland, Oregon, which is 10 hours away. There are plenty of us singers who love all-day singings, but who don’t have the time or money to travel much. Plus, more all-day singings means new singers don’t have to wait as long to get the full Sacred Harp experience — which in turn would likely mean that more new folks would stick with Sacred Harp singing. Kudos to the Santa Cruz singers for helping fill this need!

Seattle convention, day one

A quick summary of day one of the Seattle convention:— More people this year, from as far away as Bremen, Germany. The singing has been very good indeed; when I got to lead today, the sound in the middle of the hollow square was powerful and resonant. And best of all, the Seattle singers are so friendly, and the food is so very good.

Seattle convention, day one

(Above) This will give you an idea of the size of the class. Lindy, from the San Francisco Bay area, is leading.

Seattle convention, day one

(Above) Here’s the view of the class from the bass section. Ed, a new singer, assisted by Jerry, leading no. 56.

Ziegler memorial singing

The second annual Dominic Ciavonne Ziegler Memorial Singing took place today. More than forty of us gathered in the Felta Schoolhouse in Healdsburg, California, and sang for five or six hours, with an hour break for dinner in the middle of the day. An all-day singing is a great way to start the year!

Since this was a singing in memory of Dominic, a young singer who died just two years ago at age 23, I was glad that someone led 448b, the one tune Dominic is listed as leading in one of the Minutes Books (at the 2010 Golden Gate All-day Singing). It was also good to see Dominic’s parents, his brother, and several of his relatives, as well as a lot of the singers who had known him through the Berkeley weekly singing. It was also nice to see a range of ages from a baby to people in their seventies — that wide range of ages felt good at a memorial singing.

I thought it was a particularly good singing: like the best of Bay Area singings, it was loud, fast, and joyous. The pitching tended to be fairly high, even by Bay Area standards — some of the tunes felt to me as though they were pitched at or above written pitch — but the higher pitches sounded good in that room, and our intonation stayed generally true even at those high pitches. The tempos, as you’d expect at a Bay Area singing, were fast. The overall effect was joyous.

The Healdsburg Sacred Harp community is a nice group of singers, with a well-deserved reputation for being relaxed and welcoming. I saw that in action today: one of the basses was singing Sacred Harp for the first time today, and we pushed him up to the front bench, and surrounded him with experienced singers, to make sure he would find it easy to get started. That kind of thing was repeated over and over again, little welcoming kindnesses that are so characteristic of the Healdsburg singers. And, thinking back, that’s just the kind of singer Dominic was — he was friendly and welcoming, and invited lots of new folks to come check out Sacred Harp singing.

At the end of today’s singing, the secretary reported that we had more than 40 leaders from four states (California, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas), who led at least 88 tunes. Dinner on the grounds was excellent. It was a lovely small singing with a nice family feel to it — a fitting memorial for a fine tenor singer.

*****

Phil invited singers to stop by his new house in Sebastapol on their way home, and several of us did — there’s one room in the house that he thought would be good for singing, and he wanted to try it out. We sang three tunes in that room, and it really was a fabulous singing space. Let’s hope Phil hosts some singings up there sometime soon.

Golden Gate videos, part VII

The last of the videos from the recent Golden Gate All-Day Singing, held on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House in San Francisco. Various problems kept me from getting videos of every leader (this is what happens when you set the video camera up and walk away; you’re not aware when problems happen), but I did get reasonably good footage of 41 leaders.

These final videos are of Lindy leading 426b Jasper; Susan leading 168 Cowper; Terry M. leading 84 Amsterdam; Inder (accompanied by baby Maggie) leading 131t Messiah; and Carl leading 128 The Promised Land. Finally, to close out these videos, I’ve included the closing prayer, given by Linda S.

These videos are all from the last session of the day, when you’d expect the singers to be tired and not sounding quite as good — but as it turns out, these videos capture some of the best singing of the day. The leaders are all from the Bay area, and they all chose tunes that the local singers would know well. If you want to hear Bay area singers at their best, listen to Carl leading 128 The Promised Land — the class sings fast and loud, with strong tenors, powerful basses, piercing altos, and trebles that float over the top:

 

And now, here are the rest of the videos: Continue reading

Golden Gate Videos, part VI

More videos from the recent Golden Gate All-Day Singing, held on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House in San Francisco. Videos are of Alex leading 313b Cobb; Bob leading 163t Morning; Hal leading 487 Soldier’s Delight; Joel leading 77t The Child of Grace; Linda D. leading 348t Ainslie; and Liora leading 42 Clamanda.

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Golden Gate videos, part V

More videos from the recent Golden Gate All-Day Singing, held on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House in San Francisco. Most of these are Bay area singers, though there’s one Central valley singer. Videos are of Gail leading 155 Northfield; Hugh leading 119 Panting for Heaven; Kate leading 86 Poland; Linda leading 384 Panting for Heaven; Peter leading 163b China; Rob leading 178 Africa.

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Golden Gate videos, part IV

More videos from the recent Golden Gate All-Day Singing, held on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House in San Francisco. Videos are of Erika leading 564 Zion; Greg leading 567 The Great Day; Jennie leading 424 Sweet Union; Julian leading 456 Sacred Mount; Rebecca leading 447 Wondrous Cross; and Terry B. leading 411 Morning Prayer.

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Golden Gate videos, part III

More videos from the recent Golden Gate All-Day Singing, held on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House in San Francisco. These include videos of singers from the east coast, the Central Valley, Santa Cruz, and Healdsburg — along with two videos of Bay area singers. Videos are of Sherry leading 183 Greenwich; Gordon leading 173 Phoebus; Robin leading 49t Old Hundred (one of my favorite tunes); Vicky leading 452 Martin (assisted by Caroline); Chris leading 315 Immensity; and Phil leading 99 Gospel Trumpet.

I’ve now posted just about all the videos I have of out-of-town singers. There might be one or two more, but I had some technical issues and didn’t get a video of everyone who led a tune, and I think that’s about it. After this, I’ll start working my way through Bay area singers.

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Golden Gate videos, part II

More videos from the recent Golden Gate All-Day Singing, held on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at the Potrero Hill Neighborhood House in San Francisco. These are videos of out-of-town singers, from Oregon, Utah, Santa Cruz County, and the Central Valley. Singers include Tom leading 556 Portland; Karen leading 532 Peace and Joy; Jenny leading 448t Consecration; Shelley leading 352 Swanton; Janet leading 383 Eternal Day; and Linda B. leading 147t Boylston.

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