I’m pleased to announce the publication of the third issue of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company Newsletter.
This issue documents an important chapter in the continuing spread of Sacred Harp singing beyond North America, with singing reports by Gosia Perycz and Fynn Titford-Mock on three Sacred Harp singing events held in Europe last September (the seventeenth United Kingdom Sacred Harp Convention, Camp Fasola Europe, and the first Poland Sacred Harp Convention) and by Steven Levine on the first Australian All-Day Singing, held last October. An additional singing report by Robert McKay focuses on last year’s Rocky Mountain Convention, but conveys something universal about the experience of attending a Sacred Harp convention for the first time.
Features in this issue of the Newsletter include Robert T. Kelley’s examination of how aspects of Sacred Harp music promote the goals of harmony and unity through singing together and Lisa Grayson’s account of the history of A Beginner’s Guide to Shape-Note Singing, written to mark the release of the Guide as a free PDF download. Two additional features, though written by singers from the United Kingdom, relate new findings about Sacred Harp’s history here in the United States. Rebecca Over, who celebrated her retirement with a trip to sing in Alabama and Georgia during the summer of 2012, describes how she discovered the identity of Silas Mercer Brown, composer of four songs in The Sacred Harp. Chris Brown relates his exciting discovery of an engraving in a words-only hymnal from 1824 which appears to depict a young boy leading a song in a manner consistent with present-day Sacred Harp practice.
Starting with this issue Nathan Rees has joined me on the Newsletter’s editorial team. Buell Cobb also assisted with this issue as guest editor of Rebecca Over’s contribution. As always, we invite you to write us and leave comments with your feedback. We welcome your ideas for future articles, as well as your questions and corrections.
Vol. 2, No. 1 Contents
- “A Hollow Square in My Homeland: Bringing Camp Fasola to Poland,” by Gosia Perycz (Warsaw, Poland)
- “Celebrating Sacred Harp in Europe, September, 2012,” by Fynn Titford-Mock (Norwich, United Kingdom)
- “Sacred Harp Down-Under: The First Australian All-Day Singing,” by Steven Levine (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
- “My Soul Awoke: The Rocky Mountain Convention,” by Robert McKay (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
- “Harmonious Union: How Sacred Harp Brings People Together,” by Robert T. Kelley (Greenwood, South Carolina)
- “In Search of Silas Mercer Brown,” by Rebecca Over (Ash Vale, United Kingdom)
- “Picturing Song Leaders in Nineteenth-Century America,” by Chris Brown (Elland, United Kingdom)
- “Behind A Beginner’s Guide to Shape-Note Singing,” by Lisa Grayson (Chicago, Illinois)
- “Information on the Lottery for Shares in the Sacred Harp Publishing Company,” by Jesse P. Karlsberg (Atlanta, Georgia)