This past weekend, the 22nd Annual Missouri State Sacred Harp Convention was held outside of Pinckney, MO. The setting as very close to the well known Katy Trail, and the scenery on the drive to the St. John's United Church of Christ was gorgeous. Huge trees, steep hillsides, crooked creeks, large farms and pastures, small towns with old storefronts and homes, winding roads... It will be an even more beautiful drive this summer and fall.
Because I have been dealing with a cold and didn't have much energy on Saturday, I was not able to take pictures of everything that I had hoped to share here. But, I have included a few pictures here of the "class." I have not yet seen the official record, but there were well over 150 singers in attendance on Saturday. My hearing (and singing) was inhibited by my illness, but I could still tell the singing was beautiful and ringing throughout the old church building. It was a true joy to spend so much time with our friends from the St. Louis Shape Note Singers, visit with Sacred Harp friends we've met at conventions, and meet even more new friends who we hope to see in the future. There were visitors from all over the country - at least fifteen states. Even one from Canada!
Looking through the altos to the trebles, and looking through the basses to the tenors.
For those of you who aren't extremely tired of my posts about Sacred Harp and who have not been to a singing, you might consider viewing the video below. This is a video of 3 songs being led in the Alabama Capitol Rotunda in 2006. While you won't see much of the class, you will clearly see the leaders for the 3 songs. You may wonder, "Why is the leader turning all around in circles?" The woman who leads the first selection, for example, makes a effort to lead in each part as it enters the fugue portion of the song - even when the group sings through the songs the first time in the shape notes (fa, sol, la, and mi.) You will also see her turn around to indicate to the class that she'd like to skip to the 3rd verse.
She leads one of my "new favorites" in Sacred Harp, #373 Homeward Bound. This is followed by #137 Liberty and #171 Exhortation, a song we sing often in the St. Louis group.
I enjoyed a wonderful day of song and fellowship (and delicious food!), and it was especially nice to spend the time with Lydia and Tasha while we drove to and from the convention in such nice weather. Thank you, ladies, for being so kind to help me and keep me encouraged while I am not feeling well.