Monthly singing at the Old Fields - December 19. 2010

We had about a dozen singers for the last monthly singing in 2010 plus a few lookers / listeners. We moved into the thearet (on the stage) because the other room was full of Christmas trees. The shape note ornaments that Julianne made last year are on the tree in the lobby.


This was the first Tennesse singing from The Christian Harmony - 2010 Edition.

Old St John's - Saturday, December 11, 2010

Those who know, know the December singing at Old St John's Historic Church in Rhtherfordton to be the "must not miss" event of the singing year. This year marks fifteen years and it was good to have two of the three founders present.


To me, there was the feeling of a family reunion; I am so blessed to be a part of such a family. Come sit a spell, somewhere, when you can, and let's sing a spell. It's the best thing I know.

Black Mountain - Saturday, November 13, 2010

"Special" is a word that I try to avoid, because there should be enough words in my vocabulary to better describe it. There are some important milestones in my life related to this singing. Joe Holbert and Chris Wilhelm are wonderful hosts and the room is a very fine singing space.


A great part of the tradition is - the people who come. That's a reason that the numbers really don't matter that much.


Recipe addition: The mother of the two little girls (whose name I did not get) brought some excellent cornbread and shared with me - TWO eggs and a little flour.


Cornbread update: I made a pan with the above amendments. Plus, having no buttermilk, I used kefir. It was the best cornbread I have ever made. (Ask Julianne about kefir!)

Zanesville - 74t
According to Jane's list, this was sung six times in the six years of recorded minutes. We did pretty well with sight reading it.
MP3 Audio File 3.6 MB

ZANESVILLE - pg 74 t


A-gain the Lord of life and light

Awakes the kin-dling ray

Dis-pels the darkness of the night

And pours in-creasing day


Oh, what a night was that which wrapt

A sinful world in gloom!

Oh what a sun,which broke this day,

Tri-um-phant from the tomb!


The pow’rs of darkness league in vain,

To bind our Lord in death!

He shook their hindrance when he fell,

By his ex-pir-ing breath.


And now his conq’ring char-iot wheels

As-cend the lof-ty skies;

Bro-ken beneath his pow’r-ful cross,

Death’s i-ron scepter lies.


The Penitent's Prayer
The Penitent's Prayer.mp3
MP3 Audio File 2.6 MB
Pleyel's Hymn
Pleyel's Hymn.mp3
MP3 Audio File 3.1 MB

4th Old Fields SInging - Saturday, November 6, 2010

We had radio, television newspaper and internet publicity on this one. We also had spotty snow throughout the region during the morning.


But around twenty singers braved the elements, sang from two books in fine fashion and laid out a dinner second to none - I don't care where you go. I got to spend the day with some of the best folks I know doing something I dearly love. What's not to like about that?


I must again make mention of the wonderful support of the folks at Sycamore Shoals - both the park staff and the Friends of Sycamore Shoals group. These folks are the best.


The first of the pictures were from Friday, when Jim Conrad of WCYB-TV came and did a story that aired on Friday and will be repeated a few times.

Click to view

New Harp of Columbia - pg 113
MP3 Audio File 2.1 MB

Webster United Methodist Church, Webster North Carolina

No pictutes. My camera ate them, I guess. It was a rather small number; but we had good singers in all four parts and the old building is a great help. I did record and will post selected songs. First will be 82b - NIGHTINGALE. Rarely sung. For the bass, there is the do mi fa progression with the fa blending with do and so in the other parts. I cannot explain what or why; but it's something that moves me deep inside.


This song was omitted from the Alabama revision. I'm happy that the new edition is keeping all the Carolina book songs. There are treasures yet to be found.


10-23 update. A miracle has happened. The pictures mysteriously reappeared in my camera.

MP3 Audio File 4.0 MB
60b - Gaines
MP3 Audio File 3.4 MB
121t - Prosperity
MP3 Audio File 2.7 MB
198 - Creation
MP3 Audio File 3.1 MB

Headrick's Chapel 2010

103rd Etowah September SInging - Saturday, September 4, 2010

Please forgive the extra "on the road" pictures in this set. But, it was such a spectacular day weather-wise, after the brutally hot summer we had.


I paraphrase from Dan Huger here:


Driving through our countyside is a pleasant activity.

Singing is a pleasant activity.

Being with my friends is a pleasant activity.


A day spent is pleasant activity is a fine day, indeed.

August 12 - 15, 2010 - Camp Do Re Mi

I did not make a lot of pictures this year. I will post links to other sets as I find them. I decided to try to concentrate on the experience itself as it happened, rather than documenting it. I had a great time and hope I brought some things back which I can share with the group.

The Drone

I did not attend the class that covered this. But when the class came out into the big room, I recorded. The singers walk in circles droning a chord around a group of lead singers.

The Drone
MP3 Audio File 22.2 MB

Saturday, July 24, 2010 - Swanannoa Gathering

Saturday, July, 3, 2010 - Shindig on the Green - Asheville

We sang before the show began in the entrance to the City County building behind the stage. It was fun. I hope to do it again, as the Shindig goes through the summer.

Saturday, June 26, 2010 - Shook Smathers House - Clyde, North Carolina

Pictures that Shannon Primm kindly shares.

My battery went dead, so not many pictures. I hope to obtain some from others who were there. The market across the road was frying chicken at 9:30 in the morning.


At the singing we decided to designate it as the Quay Smathers Memorial Singing.


It was a very fine singing - a little cramped; but, that is not always a bad thing. The staff at the Shook house were very hospitable. The house itself is a wonderful place and it is clear to see that huge amounts of work that have been done.


Shook history

More later - including some sound files.


7/6/10 - Uplaoded four pictures from that June sent. Also, Jerry Tate, Museum Director, hopes we will come back. So do I.


8/1/10 - Uploaded a set from Shannon as well as one from Tim and some of Quay that June provided

An old pic from Tim Aldrich

Diane using Quay's truck for her table
Diane using Quay's truck for her table

Some old pics shared by June

Saturday, June 12, 2010 - Calvary Episcopal Church - Fletcher, North Carolina

Dan Huger provides a most excellent venue for the singing. We used two different locations, due to other events going on there. Singers from North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Maine comprised four strong parts. It was an interesting setlist - a few songs brand new to me and, I believe, new to others as well. I love not locking into the same songs over and over and over.


Please check back for sound files. At least, I need to upload Happy Birthday to Ken George!

Saturday, June 5, 2010 - New Bethel Church - Greene County, Tennessee

Tenth Annual Old Harp singing. We had a good turnout, including some newcomers, which is always a good thing. I was surprised to see how few pictures I made. If anyone has any to share, please let me know.


I made a recording and shall possibly post some of it later.

Saturday, May 22, 2010 - Bristol Public Library - Bristol, Virginia

The library turned out to be a good venue for singing. The staff could not have been nicer or more accomodating. The building manager (Joyce) joined us for her first singing and that's always a good thing. Singing friends from the Fatherland (North Carolina) once again traversed the mountain to join us (thank you, Karen, Mary, Dan and Mary). Meredith (on her way back to Boone from Berea) gave us a very interesting presentation about gospel shape note and brought us a song to sing. And even though I did not provide coffee, iced latte was found within walking distance.


Though our number was less than I hoped for, the dinner was highly praiseworthy. (I'll be looking for more of the Gardens' bean soup in the future.)


Bottom line - we came to sing and sing we did. Some of us experimented singing a different part than we normally do. We tried a "new" song or two. And we continue to keep our tradition alive with new opportunities for growth.


I struggle against a "glass half empty" outlook. But, I know that a day spent with good friends, accompanied by good food, good music and sweet fellowship is a blessing to be appreciated.

Sunday, May 2, 2010 - Middle Creek Methodist Church - Sevier County, Tennessee

Sunday, April 25, 2010 - Old Harp singing at Greeneville

Old Hundred
Closing song for this fine singing day. Julianne leading.
Old Hundred.mp3
MP3 Audio File 3.6 MB

Saturday, April 24, 2010 - Etowah, North Carolina

103rd Etowah singing. Scott Swanton is always a very hospitable host. It was a nice class representing four states - North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee. It was announced that there is an upcoming opportunity to bring the music to the streets this Summer; and a new singing in Clyde. Details to follow as they become available.


It was gratifying to learn that the man from upstate Virginia knew of our singings at the Shoals. Word IS getting around.

Sunday, March 18, 2010 - Sinking Creek Baptist Church - Carter County, Tennessee

Saturday, March 6, 2010 - Grapevine Community - Madison County, North Carolina

I count this as the official beginning of the singing year. And it was a fine start. Bill and Karen Reed do a fine job of hosting, and it is a very good singing space. We were blessed with abundant sunshine and moderating temperatures. A goodly number of newcomers joined us to sing; and a few of them stayed and SANG) until the end. Minutes will be posted at and I may be posting some sound files later.

Maitland - pg 80t
MP3 Audio File 2.0 MB
Night pg 76b
MP3 Audio File 2.0 MB
Easter Anthem
Easter Anthem.mp3
MP3 Audio File 6.3 MB

Sunday, March 7 - Natural Tunnel - Scott County, Virginia

Craig Hawkins, from Knoxville, was passing by, saw the sign and stopped in. He not only made pictures, he sang with us. I hope we see you again Craig.

Sunday, March 14, 2010 - Knoxville

A good class with four strong parts in a fine singing space on a rather damp coolish March day. The folks in Knoxville did good job putting things together.  This singing marked a first for me and Julianne - we actually left before the last song was sung. Minutes (thanks to Bob Richmond) show we only missed one song. We will try to see that does not happen again!


Minutes, Jubilee Festival singing, Laurel Theater, Knoxville TN, March
14th, 2010. More than 40 people attended, with a high proportion of
experienced singers in all four parts.

 53B Dundee - Tina Becker
Don Wiley offered prayer.
 12  Albion - Claudia Dean
 20B  Hebron - Jane Spencer
 14  Mear - Ricky Johnson
 89  Morality - Andrew Whaley
 38  Bradley - Kent Peebles
 [1]  Acton - Randy Webber
 [2] 82  Bealoth - Don Wiley
 99 Morning Trumpet - Robin Goddard
158  Montgomery - Tina Becker
 21A  Consolation - Leslie Booher
 52A  Evening Shade - Julianne Wiley
143  Wondrous Love - Virginia Douglas
 30  Sion's Security - Bob Richmond
 63B  Azmon - Ann Strange
 67T  Soda - Claudia Dean
180  Whitestown - Jane Spencer
 57  Protection - Andrew Whaley
144  Rowley - Ann Strange, Barbara Davis
 81B  Golden Hill - Nate Zweig
 41A  Sweet Rivers - Don Wiley for Jeff Farr
108A  Star in the East - Randy Webber
104T  Mount Vernon - Tina Becker
 35  Ninety-Fifth - Gid Fryer
Grace before dinner on the grounds - Leslie Booher
 51  Mount Olivet - Tina Becker
 97A,B  Athens - Julianne Wiley
115  Northfield - Virginia Douglas
109  Bruce's Address Spiritualized - Bob Richmond
 44  Idumea - Leslie Booher
 56B  Warrenton - Kathy Jones
195  Easter Anthem - Don Wiley
159  Ocean - Jonathon Smith
 66 Clinton - Ann Strange
 68T  Paradise - Rebecca Dotson
 81B  Golden Hill - Steve Stone
161  Ballstown - Jane Spencer
110  North Salem - Andrew Whaley
114T  Zion - Nate Zweig
132  Lischer - Claudia Dean
 85  Greenland - Gid Fryer
 58T  Lanesboro' - Jeremy Shipp
[3]  Easter Motet - Randy Webber
 80B  Shawmut - Robin Goddard
 18  Windham - Tina Becker
162A  David's Lamentation - Leslie Booher
206  Western Mount Pleasant - Julianne Wiley
124  The Saint's Adieu - Virginia Douglas, Jonathon Smith
117  Coronation - Kathleen Mavournin
 84  The Midnight Cry - Bob Richmond
 42  Lenox - Ann Strange
180  Whitestown - Rebecca Dotson
178  Invitation - Steve Stone
 90B  Marietta - Jonathon Smith
 25 Ninety-Third - Jane Spencer
 69B Middleton (Amazing Grace) - Joe Sarten
 94  Devizes - Don Wiley
 22A  Detroit - David Sarten
[4]  Monmouth - Randy Webber
 11 - Old Hundred


[1] Acton - Tune from The Easy Instructor (edition Ab). Text selected
by Randy Webber from Goble 190.
[2] 82 Bealoth - pronounced buh-AY-luth. Biblical place name (Joshua
15:24 and 1 Kings 4:16). Tune by Timothy Battelle Mason (Lowell's
[3] Easter Motet - based on Randy Webber's 2009 composition class
[4] Monmouth - Tune from The Easy Instructor (editon S), text by Isaac
Watts (Psalm 97). The Easy Instructor, in numerous undated editions in
the early 1800's, probably first introduced shape notes, around 1800.
Joe Sarten leading.
MP3 Audio File 2.7 MB