Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Were children again: Report from Camp Fasola, 2009, Session 1 (Adults Emphasis)

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

At nearly the last minute, Tom Malone suggested that we drive down to Camp Fasola on the Sunday before Camp began in the evening, and return on Thursday, the last day of Camp. I had to work on Friday (“Work—the curse of the singing class,” quipped Richard Schmeidler at dinner ...

Renewing Mennonite communal worship

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

A response to R Dean Hudgens's Tongues and Tribes: Musical Change in a Mennonite Congregation. I am very, very grateful for the time I spent at Reba Place Church (1990-1996, 1998 or so), and loved the music there. I was very grateful for the intentional way that the call to anti-racism ...

Kalamazoo to Sitka?

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

I've been thinking about traveling to Sitka, Alaska using my frequent flyer miles. But here's what Northwest suggests a trip would look like there-and-back-again: And that's just to get to Juneau! I guess I won't be going to Sitka. Unless Sarah Palin is offering rides.

First mention: Sacred Harp

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Besides what must be a playful reference to a fake invention, the "Sacred Harp of Eloquence," and a brief mention in a letter to the editor, the first mention of the Sacred Harp in the New York Times comes in a review of Eleanor de al Vergne Risley's "The Road ...

Golden Gate Singing 2008 &c.

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

I enjoyed the Golden Gate Sacred Harp Singing this past week in San Francisco, and even managed to record the afternoon session (not a great recording, but not terrible either; the altos were strong, but perhaps not as strong as they sound in the recording). The singing was chaired ...

Harmonia Sacra online

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Here's a labor of love: the Harmonia Sacra online. The Harmonia Sacra is a shape-note tunebook in the Mennonite tradition. Originally published in 1832 by Joseph Funk as A Compilation of Genuine Church Music, it has gone through twenty-six editions. This on-line version provides both seven-shape and four-shape ("Sacred Harp"-style) versions ...

Blessed Hope Services

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

The kind people at Blessed Hope Old Regular Baptist Church in Liberty Kentucky have been making their worship services available online, including lots of 'lined out' hymns. The general website is at 'Blessed Hope Services'. One very nice hymn is 'Beside the gospel pool' (mp3). I love how you can ...

The Young Geek, Mocked by His Crush, Fantasizes About Future World Domination, When He’ll Have Cyborg Raping Powers

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

Jonathan Coulton is "a musician, a singer-songwriter and an internet superstar." He wrote a sweet, goopy song called Code Monkey that I like, as well as a song about the Mandelbrot set. But he also wrote a song called "The Future Soon." It it, the protagonist sings: Last week I ...

Midwest convention

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Darrell Swarens has posted a video of the Chicago Sacred Harp Singers' Midwest Convention, held over the weekend. The video shows James Eldridge leading Panting for Heaven. It shows his skill and composure at leading despite his young age. It also shows the beautiful setting of Ida Noyes Hall at ...

Two small occasional works

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

This has been a delightful weekend. On Saturday, I attended the Golden Gate Sacred Harp singing in San Francisco (with a nice Après-chant at Philip's house, nicely described by Linda, who also has pictures of the singing). In the morning today, Jeff Shrager took me to see redwoods and banana ...

Why sing Sacred Harp? redux

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

Maggie Leonard, responding to Linda's statement about singing Sacred Harp that I quoted recently: That says it all. I'm not a doctrinal Christian. I tried for years to accept the doctrinal view of Jesus, but couldn't when I searched my soul. However, this music rises beyond doctrine and summons the spirit ...

Why sing Sacred Harp?

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Linda does as good a job as anything I've read to describe why one sings Sacred Harp music: Sometimes I need to shout down my fear, sometimes I need to voice praise and thanks, other times I need to join my dead. Right now, what I need most is a sweet ...

National Save Darfur Tour: Hip Hop Benefit Concert at MSU

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

News article Concert info - look under music n the Student Assembly meeting of the Associated Students of MSU, held Nov. 30, the Assembly agreed to vote for a bill that will create on-campus education activities to help encourage students’ action against the genocide in Darfur. The activities have been planned by ...


Sunday, October 1st, 2006

(made with commix beta 1.0; commix art by Fay Ryu).

Gymanfa Ganu

Monday, September 4th, 2006

Last night, i attended the annual Gymanfa Ganu (/gI'manfa 'ganI/ at Salem Presbyterian Church in Venedocia, Ohio with good friend Samuel Sommers. A gymanfa is a Welsh hymn sing; Sam is a fellow Sacred Harp singer with relatives at Salem, and it was great fun talking with him to and ...

The Parting Hand

Friday, September 1st, 2006

Here's something very Sacred Harp: The Parting Hand, a site to record songs you'd like sung and other remembrances made at your own funeral. It's a quick site Annie Grieshop and I put together over the past few days in our spare time. "The Parting Hand" is the tune most frequently ...

Abraham Lincoln visits Kalamazoo

Saturday, August 26th, 2006

150 years ago (on August 27, 1856), Abraham Lincoln made his only visit to Michigan; he spoke in Kalamazoo's downtown park as part of a rally for John C. Fremont, the first Republican nominee for President. There are a number of events taking place in Kalamazoo this weekend, sponsored, in ...

Rachel Miller Jacobs

Monday, August 21st, 2006

Rachel Miller Jacobs, of Kern Street Mennonite Church in South Bend, Indiana, was ordained yesterday. Rachel is one of the Goshen, Indiana Sacred Harp singers, and it was with great pleasure that some of us were able to sing as a prelude to her ordination service, which was marked by ...

More and more frequency statistics

Monday, August 14th, 2006

Wonderful Chris Thorman has published a beautifully designed page showing frequency and rank statistics for tune selection from the Denson Sacred Harp conventions--for all years with on-line data (1995-2005) at I've been playing with the data. The distribution of frequency to rank is an almost perfect lognormal curve for ...

Harmonia Sacra CD update

Monday, August 7th, 2006

John Lamb wrote: Hi Will, An update on the Harmonia Sacra cd -- in production as we speak.  Should be in the mail by the end of the week.  My apologiees for the long delay! As I'm writing this, samples from yesterday's Hamburg, VA singing are playing in the background.  A disc with ...