Sacred Harp singers meet the third Sunday of each month at Church of Our Saviour in Virginia-Highland. This free, family-friendly event is open to all and features participatory singing from The Sacred Harp, the most commonly used shape-note tunebook. An introductory lesson by shape-note experts is given at 6:00 pm, followed by open singing from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. (On the third Sunday in December, we'll meet for a Christmas-themed singing from 3:00 to 7:00 pm, with potluck dinner at 5:00 pm.) Sacred Harp songbooks will be available for loan or purchase. Beginners and experienced singers are welcome. No prior experience is necessary. Instruction in the shape note singing style is available onsite. All are welcome to come for part or all of the singing.
Sacred Harp (also known as shape-note) singing is a participatory communal singing tradition, in existence in the United States since the eighteenth century. The music’s sound is characterized by haunting harmonies, traditional modes, and high energy. The singers sing exuberantly in full voice, making this an excellent environment for newcomers to develop their singing confidence. The term Sacred Harp refers to the human voice and is also the name of the most common book of shape note tunes, first published in Georgia in 1844 and most recently revised in 1991. There are no performers, audience or rehearsals in Sacred Harp singing – we simply meet to sing for pure enjoyment. There are no conductors or auditions – anyone may lead a song from the tunebook. And all are invited to sing, or just listen.