Introducing Vol. 4, No. 1 of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company Newsletter

The eighth issue of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company Newsletter features the experiences of singing school teachers and students (young and old, on both sides of the Atlantic), shares a new documentary on Sacred Harp in Ireland, and commemorates the contributions of William J. Reynolds to our songbook.

The issue opens with Jesse P. Karlsberg’s account of the debut singing from the Centennial Edition of the 1911 Original Sacred Harp, precursor of our own 1991 Edition. The next three articles feature a variety of perspectives on singing schools. The Wareh family—kids Cora and Faiz and parents Pattie and Tarik—share their observations on learning to sing as a family at Camp Fasola in Anniston, Alabama. Kathy Williams, who herself attended singing schools as a child, reports on a trip she and a dozen other American singers took to Camp Fasola Europe and the UK and Poland Conventions. German singers Andreas Manz, Yotin Tiewtrakul, and Philip Jacobs, recount two Sacred Harp workshops in the south of Germany, and present some suggestions for others promoting Sacred Harp.

Turning from singing schools, the second half of our issue focuses on those who contribute to Sacred Harp singing as documentarians, scholars, and advocates. Ciarán Ryan, a newcomer to Sacred Harp from Wexford, Ireland, presents his new fifty-minute documentary on Sacred Harp in Cork, and describes how he came to make it. Michael Hinton and the appropriately named David W. Music honor the legacy of William J. Reynolds, recipient of a posthumous citation from the Publishing Company, who researched attributions for the 1991 Edition, founded and chaired singings, and popularized arrangements of Sacred Harp tunes. Jonathon Smith explains just why devoted Sacred Harp singer Amanda Denson led “You Are My Sunshine” at his first singing, and in an essay from the Sacred Harp Museum’s archives, Amanda’s aunt, “Queen of the Sacred Harp” Ruth Denson Edwards, makes an impassioned case for the historical, aesthetic, and religious significance of Sacred Harp singing.

Printable version of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 1 (2.3 MB PDF).

Printable version of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 1 (2.3 MB PDF).

Along with this web version of the Newsletter, we’re thrilled to present a printable PDF version, along with PDF versions of our seven back issues. We encourage you to print out copies to bring to singings in your area. We’re also initiating a program to send print copies, free of charge, to singers who are shut-in, or otherwise unable to access the Internet, but who might like to read the Newsletter‘s stories about Sacred Harp around the world and through history. If you know of someone who might like to receive a copy, let us know.

This new format would not be possible without the work of three new members of the Newsletter team. Elaena Gardner, a new singer from Australia, designed the PDF version of the Newsletter, and laid out its issues, with help from Jason Stanford, of Bremen, Georgia, and Leigh Cooper, of San Francisco, California, who also took on the enormous task of laying out the web version of this issue. All three will continue to help with the layout of future issues.

As always, we invite your comments on these articles, and your suggestions of topics for future issues of the Newsletter.

Vol. 4, No. 1 Contents

About Jesse P. Karlsberg

Jesse P. Karlsberg is the vice president of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company. He edits the Sacred Harp Publishing Company Newsletter. Originally from Boston, he lives in Atlanta and is senior digital scholarship strategist at Emory University.

About Nathan Rees

Nathan Rees is a member of the Board of Directors of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company and associate editor of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company Newsletter. Originally from Utah, he lives in Carrollton, Georgia, where he is assistant professor of art history at the University of West Georgia.
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