Shape note music is a 200-year-old, uniquely American style of hymn singing. This tradition is also known as Sacred Harp, after the title of the best-known shape note tune book. These haunting 4-part harmonies are sung in powerful, exuberant style, with singers seated in an open square. We sing not for performance but for the joy of singing and the community of singers, to which newcomers are always welcome. New singers, young and old, from many different backgrounds are attracted to the powerful old songs and find that shape note singing is a release for the spirit and a lot of fun.
ROBERT KELLEY is an associate Professor of Music at Lander University in South Carolina. While his main research interest is the study of late-nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century music, Dr. Kelley's other interests include music theory pedagogy, early and baroque music, and American shape-note singing. He has given presentations in all of these areas of research at regional, national, and international conferences.
Singers and history buffs alike will thoroughly enjoy the annual Singing held in the acoustically phenomenal Spivey Hall. Though not required, this three-hour class will teach you the rudiments of Sacred Harp Singing, or shape?note singing which involves singing parts without accompaniment. Repertoire includes psalms, fugues, odes, and anthems as well as folk songs & revival hymns. Non?denominational this event emphasizes participation, not expertise.