In Memory of John Bayer, Jr.

Jan 11, 2017 by

In Memory of John Bayer, Jr. by Kelly Macklin 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!) My husband, John, and I were new singers and this was one of our first conventions. John Bayer was also a fairly new shape note singer, but I never realized that until much later, as he was a strong, vibrant and enthusiastic singer who seemed as though he had sung this music all his life. He was a bear of a man, with a beautiful, clear tenor who could...

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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! Kat was one of the founders of Twin Oaks, the longest surviving income sharing, non-religious commune in the U. S., and author of several books about it. As you can tell from the article she was an enthusiastic and articulate singer. THE PROS AND CONS OF IMITATING THE SOUTH by Kat Kinkade, Louisa VA, first published in 1995 in Shape Notes, a newsletter by Bob Hall and Ella Wilcox I attended the New York State convention in October and listened to Judy Hauff give a talk that dealt with, among...

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Story telling event at NSV double all day...

May 25, 2016 by

Kevin Griffin Moreno May 25 at 12:54pm Since some folks have been asking, here is info about the inaugural “Shape Note Stories” event that will take place at the social on June 4 in the evening. We are inviting folks to share short narratives that illuminate their experience with the shape note singing tradition. Four featured storytellers will kick things off with 5-7-minute anecdotes. After that, we’ll open up the floor to 3-5-min. stories from whoever has a tale to share. The storytelling will end promptly after 90 mins., but folks should of course feel free to continue trading tales around the fire. Don’t be shy about telling a story! If you’re a shape note singer, then you have at least one story to offer, regardless of how new or experienced you are. Here...

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First Annual All-Day Singing from the Shenandoah Harmony...

Jan 11, 2013 by

The First Annual All-Day Singing from The Shenandoah Harmony  will be on Sunday, June 2, 2013 at the Ruritan Hall in Cross Keys, VA, which is located directly across from Ananias Davisson’s gravesite. Davisson was the compiler of the Kentucky Harmony  and lived a few minutes from this site, near Harrisonburg VA. This is a beautiful site with sweeping views. The hall has plaster walls and wooden ceiling and hard floor. The singing is preceded by the Northern Shenandoah Valley All-Day Sacred Harp Singing in Bluemont, VA and a social in nearby Boyce, VA.  Attendees for both days are encouraged to find accommodations near Winchester and carpool to the singing in Cross Keys.  Recommended hotels include the Red Roof Inn, the Best Western Lee-Jackson Inn, and Travelodge, all near the intersection of I-81 and Millwood Pike...

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Monthly First Saturday Singing in the Northern Shenandoah Valley...

Apr 4, 2013 by

Northern Shenandoah Valley Shape Note Singers meet (generally, but not always) on the first Saturday of the month in Berryville VA area to sing from The Sacred Harp and The Shenandoah Harmony. Shape note singing is a non-denominational community, musical, and spiritual event emphasizing participation, not performance. The music is sung a cappella without harps or any other musical instrument. The music is printed in “patent notes”; the shape of the note head indicates the syllables FA, SOL, LA, and MI. The book includes early and later American psalm tunes, fuging tunes, and anthems, as well as Scotch Irish folk songs and revival hymns. Books are available for sale. All are welcome—no experience necessary! Contact John or Kelly for more information at (540) 955-2660 or jdelre at visuallink.com. Send us your email address if you would like to be put...

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Northern Shenandoah Valley Special Event with Tollie Lee...

Sep 16, 2012 by

OCTOBER 6, Saturday, special guest presentation by Tollie Lee of the Hoboken singers begins at 3 pm Saturday, October 6, 3-8 p.m.– Millwood Community Center, 1610 Millwood Rd, Boyce VA. potluck at 6 pm. (some heating available in kitchen); SPECIAL GUEST, TOLLIE LEE, A TRADITIONAL SINGER FROM SOUTHERN GEORGIA WILL GIVE A SHORT PRESENTATION ON ORAL TRADITION SINGING OF THE LEE FAMILY HOBOKEN SINGERS. The focus will be on early oral tradition as opposed to the later gospel-style music. Many of these tunes have been passed down over generations of singers, and are related to tunes we feature in the Shenandoah Harmony which were used in the Shenandoah Valley in the early 1800’s. He will begin the presentation at 3pm and we move into our regular singing around...

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