The Dominic Ciavonne Ziegler Memorial Singing exceeded expectations.
Attendance was a lot higher than hoped for. I was hoping 40 people would turn out, and I would have been happy with 30. The largest number I counted at any one time was 54 people singing, along with four children, one parent, and one dog playing on the lawn next to the Felta Schoolhouse. With people coming and going all day, I’d estimate that some 65 singers attended all or part of the singing.
People came from further away than expected. I figured it was going to be a small local singing, with half the singers would be from the Healdsburg local singing, and a smattering of singers from the Bay area. But in the end, we had singers from five Northern California local singings — Davis, Berkeley, San Francisco, Palo Alto, and East Bay — as well as two out-of-state singers.
We all expected a good singing, but it was even better than I had expected. We had a big and very melodious tenor section, with good solid bass and alto sections; the treble section was a little sparse, but they made up in volume what they lacked in numbers. And having fifty singers in the Felta Schoolhouse sounded even better than I had thought it would — wood floor, walls, and ceiling made for a warm mellow sound. During lunch, I talked with one singer who had brought his guitar along. “It sounds like we’re singing inside this,” he said, pointing to his guitar.
And I didn’t expect to see many new singers, but we did indeed welcome several new singers to the Sacred harp sound and tradition. That was particularly nice, since Dominic introduced so many new singers to Sacred Harp singing.
All in all, a very good singing — a great way to remember a generous and talented singer! Over the next couple of months, I’ll be processing video and putting video clips online here. For now, I’ll include a few photos below the fold.
Jack and Mary Ann, Dominic’s parents, leading a tune together. That’s a blackboard behind them — the Felta Schoolhouse really is a vintage one-room schoolhouse, immaculately maintained.
Here’s the front of the Felta Schoolhouse, taken at dinnertime….
…and here’s another view of dinner-on-the-grounds. When we arrived at the Felta Schoolhouse, there was a heavy frost on the ground. But by lunch time, it had warmed up enough that we could eat outside in the sun. The food was, of course, absolutely fabulous.
Finally, here’s another view of the interior of the schoolhouse. That’s vice-chair Matthew leading a fuguing tune.