Isaac Watts talk by Thomas Ward...

Jun 11, 2018 by

Our friend, Thomas Ward, gives a lively and intense presentation on Isaac Watts in the English Dissenting tradition in the early 18th century. Incorporating songs sung by the class at the NSV Double All Day 2018 social, Thomas discusses what he calls Watts’ “ingenious unoriginality”, a complicated negotiation with the conventions and traditions from previous generations. He reaches a surprising and refreshing conclusion by examining how Watts’ interactions with past traditions might come to bear on our relationship to Watts as part of our own shape note tradition in the 21st century. Click on the link below to listen....

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In Memory of John Bayer, Jr.

Jan 11, 2017 by

John Bayer, Jr. passed away on December 8, 2016 just over a year after the death of his wife, Loraine. They are survived by their children, Regina, Hans, and Jubal, and four grandchildren.
I first met John Bayer in September 1990 at the United Convention in Chicago (held for the first time out of the South!)

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The Pros and Cons of Imitating the South...

Feb 23, 2016 by

We recently came across this article in a copy of Shape Notes, a newsletter edited by Bob Hall and Ella Wilcox for several years in the Washington, D. C. area. Our good friend, Kat Kinkade wrote this in 1995. It still seems relevant today!

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Did Lucius Chapin write the Amazing Grace tune?...

May 12, 2015 by

The melody sung to John Newton’s 1779 hymn “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound” is, without a doubt, America’s best-loved hymn tune. An 1828 manuscript by Lucius Chapin (1760-1842), who was famous in his day as a hymn tune writer, raises the possibility that Lucius was its composer.

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