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!

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:

All-day singings & conventions

All California Convention 2018

A very strong class kept the singing strong all day long on both days, starting strong with the first song and continuing without losing any energy through the very last note.

Alas, my camera battery died after only a couple of videos and photos. Here’s a short video of Shelley leading 126 Babel’s Streams:

And here’s my favorite photo of the day — Ayla, Gwendolyn, Jeremy, and Nadia leading 188 together:

All-day singings & conventions

2015 All-Cal trivia photo

The day after the All-Cal. The creeping crud has turned into bronchitis, and I can’t sing. All those Sacred Harp tunes going through my head from the last two days? — I’m reduced to playing them on the guitar. Blah.

So I’m amusing myself with trivia. In the photo below from day one of the 2015 All-California Sacred Harp Convention, which singer has been singing shape note music since the 1960s?


All-day singings & conventions

2015 All-California Convention no. 228

Esteban leading 228 Marlborough on day one of the 2015 All-California Convention.

All-day singings & conventions

2015 Call-California Convention day two photos


Above: Altos.



Above: Trebles.



Above: Basses.



Above: The hollow square.

All-day singings & conventions

2015 All-California Convention day one photos


Above: Looking across the hollow square to the trebles.



Above: Bringing in the bass section.



Above: Back bench of the basses, with tenors beyond.



Above: Some of the best altos sit on the back bench.

All-day singings & conventions

2015 All-California Convention 448t

Beverly Coates leading a class of about 150 singers in 448t Consecration.

(The lighting in this room proved a bigger challenge than my crappy little consumer camcorder could handle — so yes, everything looks a little green.)

All-day singings & conventions Singing at home

All-California Convention, day one

A short post on the first day of the All-California Convention — it has to be a short post, because I have to go do some cooking for tomorrow’s dinner-on-the-grounds.

We filled the Casa de Flores in San Carlos; it was standing room only right after lunch. Well over a hundred people were registered today, with singers coming from as far away as Alaska and Poland. Today’s class sounded very good; every section was strong; there were lots of altos, which I always like. Generally a very strong singing.

We haven’t had any rain in the Bay area for months, so the air has been filled with allergens. So I knew my voice wouldn’t last long today, and it didn’t: I had about an hour of good singing. But I got to sit in my favorite place, the back row of the bass section, and I wound up sitting next to David, and I always enjoy sitting next to him; he sings with lots of good ornamentation, and he also sings with abandon. It was a really good hour of singing.

The most powerful moments of the day for me: watching Will and Bess lead a lesson they dedicated to Will’s dad, who died a month ago; assisting a singer who led a song for the very first time at a convention, and knowing from his body language that it was an amazing experience; and singing Billings’s Easter Anthem with Jerry setting a quick tempo that perfectly matched the mood of the class.

Now it is time to bake a pie and prepare a ham for tomorrow’s dinner-on-the-grounds.