Singing at home

Holiday singing

The San Francisco monthly singing was small this month. I know two of our regulars were singing in Christmas gigs, and probably several more had other holiday-time commitments, so we were down to about ten singers, two of whom were brand new. At one point, we had four in the bass section, and one singer in each of the other three sections. I like bass-heavy singings anyway, and since the tenor, treble, and alto were good strong singers, I thought it was a very nice sound indeed.

Erica and Hal brought copies of The Christmas Harp, a collection of shape notes tunes with Christmas-themed poetry, edited by Karen Willard. We sang quite a few songs from The Christmas Harp, and while it was challenging to sight-read so many tunes, it was worth it. We made a stab at singing Billing’s Shiloh, a tune which I absolutely love; but it is a challenging tune, and except for the first verse the words are printed at the bottom of the page, not with the notes; so we only sang the one verse. However, Karen Willard also paired Billings’s words to Shiloh with a charming plain tune by Billings, Jamaica; thus we at least got to sing most of Billings’s poetry for Shiloh.

All in all, a very enjoyable singing.