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Housekeeping

Changes to the blog

Due to evil spammers, I’ve had to close off all comments. If you have a comment, please let me know — my contact information is in the Minutes Book — and I can post your comment.

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All-day singings & conventions

2019 Golden Gate All-Day Singing

Here are a couple of photos from the 2019 Golden Gate All-Day Singing, held in Alameda, Calif.:

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All-day singings & conventions

462 Haynes Creek

Connie leading 461 Haynes Creek at the Sally Coghlan Memorial Singing in Davis, California today. I always like Connie’s leading, but this one is as close to perfect as I’ve heard — perfect tempo, and she gets a really good sound out of the class.

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All-day singings & conventions

2018 Coghlan Memorial

Here’s a panoramic view from behind the arranging table at the Sally Coghlan Memorial Singing in Davis California:

And here’s a view of the back bench tenors in full cry:

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All-day singings & conventions

Photos from the 2018 Seattle Convention

Photos from the second day of the 2018 Pacific Northwest Sacred Harp Convention — Washington (a.k.a. the Seattle Convention):

Above: Corrie Van Duzer from Denver engaging the tenor front bench.

Above: Joel Chan from San Francisco in the hollow square.

Above: Back row of the basses.

Above: Looking across the tenor section towards the back of the room. Although it wasn’t “standing room only,” at the peak attendance seating was tight enough that eight or ten people chose to stand at the back of the room.

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All-day singings & conventions

539 Supplication

Bob Schinske leading 539 Supplication, from the 1991 Denson edition of The Sacred Harp, at the 2018 Pacific Northwest Convention — Washington (a.k.a. the Seattle Convention).

This is another one of those Sacred Harp songs that is rarely led, yet is worth singing. My first impression is positive: good melody, solid bass and treble parts, and the composer must have liked altos (or maybe was married to one) because the alto part is definitely above average. I’ll going to have to sing this one through a few times, and see if it grows on me.

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All-day singings & conventions

213b Warning

Sean McPherson leading 213b Warning, from the 1991 Denson edition of The Sacred Harp, at the 2018 Pacific Northwest Convention — Washington (a.k.a. the Seattle Convention).

The story goes that 213b Warning was composed as a space filler for an earlier edition of The Sacred Harp. And it’s a tune that is not often led at all-day singings and conventions, ranking 441 overall since 1995. Yet it’s actually a lot of fun to sing (once you get past the bizarre way it’s notated), and I was glad that Sean chose to lead it at this year’s Seattle Convention.

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All-day singings & conventions Reflections on singing

473 Carmarthen

Cornelia Stanton leading 473 Carmarthen at the 2018 Pacific Northwest Convention — Washington (a.k.a. the Seattle Convention):

I had been standing in the back of the room recording video for a quarter of an hour when Connie got up to lead Carmarthen. From where I stood, there was a noticeable difference in the quality of the sound as she began leading — brighter, more vibrant. I suspect this was because Connie made lots of eye contact, and smiled a lot. When I have sung in traditional choirs, the directors will often to tell the choristers to smile so that we will sound better, and of course the same thing should work for Sacred harp singers as well: catch the eyes of singers, smile at them, they will smile back, and that will brighten up their sound. In any case, I always enjoy it when Connie lead because of the joy she communicates to the class.

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All-day singings & conventions

220 Mt. Zion

Here’s a video of Stephanie leading 220 Mt. Zion at the All California Sacred Harp Convention, Jan. 20-12, 2018, in Alameda, California:

An exuberant class!

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All-day singings & conventions

All California Convention 2018 photos

A few photos from the 2018 All California Sacred Harp Convention….

There were about 150 singers registered each day of the convention, and some people didn’t register so my guess is there were something like 200 people present over the course of each day. At any given time, there were likely to be 125 to 160 singers in the room actually singing. When the photo below was taken, I estimated 125 singers, i.e., we had not reached peak attendance:

And this is a close-up of what it’s like standing in the hollow square and leading a song:

Here’s Judy, a fourth-generation singer from Alabama, encouraging the basses to sing joyfully:

It’s calmer in the back benches, as this photo of the trebles attests — but no matter where you were in the room today, the singing was powerful: