Jonesborough - Sunday, December 9. 2012

I was pleased to get the opportunity to sing again inJonesborough. This time it was in conjunction with the annual Tour of Homes. We had about fifteen singers. Most exciting to me was the participation of two newcomesr who came ready to sing! A close second was Michael and Shannon coming to join us. It was a great time and I still hope to get a regular singing going somewhere there in Tennessee's oldest town.

Old St. John's - Saturday, December 8, 2012

We received a great early Christmas present. After one year singing across the street, we were back in this wonderful singing space. There was a good contingent of Old Fields singers who made the drive over on a day which began cloudy and ended up almost summerish.


Thanks to Dorthy Lane and Jane Spencer and all the helpers for all the hard work that goes into making it happen.

Sixth Annual Old Fields singing - Saturday, November 3, 2013

Third location in six years. First was at ETSU. Then, four years at Sycamore Shoals. I believe we have found our home in the Great Hall of St John's Episcopal Church in Johnson City.


A good singing space is rewarding on many levels. The room works with, not against the singers by amplifying the sound and then preserving the sound (slow decay) rather than just gobbling it up. Julianne (who is a bit hard of hearing) said she could hear all four parts. I found it took less effort than usual - of course having some singers in the bass section helped with that.


When ten 'clock came and there were about ten singers, I got that sinking and panicked feeling; but, we started and, sure enough, sang them in. Had around twenty by the end of the first hour.


As always, I was hoping for more in the way of numbers. But, I could not ask for a better class which did come and make it a fine time. Plus, we had a young one who led three songs - without a book - AND did cartwheels.


Travelogue pics - fewer than usual - it was a five minute ride!



Headrick's Chapel - September 23, 2012

Hard to believe it is 22 years gone since our first shape note singing. I am thinking of Larry O today - for years he sent us the Old Harp newsletter, at a time we wer unable to travel much to singings. Larry is my ideal of faithfulness and persistence. Wish there had been time to know him better. But, I am trying to heed his exhortations for keeping it going.

As far as I recall, we've never departed a singing before "Parting Hand." Had to do so today. Hope it's another 22 years before that happens again. Perfect weather today and a fine energetic class. Several babies present (hence young parents as well). Good dinner - came close to overdoing on the desserts. It's a fine line there....

122nd Old Folks Day - Sunday, September 9, 2012

There was a touch of Autumn in the air for Old Folks Day at Morningstar Methodist Church, in Dutch Cove, near Canton, NC. We had over twenty singer for the siinging which commenced after a large dinner.

I made more pictures than usual of the trip. I am amazed by how green things are. Perhaps this portends for a fine color display in our lovely land.

Second Jonesborough Singing - Saturday, June 30, 2012

We had sixteen singers and a few folks stopping by to listen. The record heat really put a damper on the Jonesborough Days attendance. However I have good news to report.

First, it was almost all "locals." Now, I certainly appreciate the folks who travel from afar (and there were a couple of them - Thanks, Ann and Tina!). Make no mistake about that. But, what a great thing to be able to have a singing with mostly upper East Tennesseans.

Second, we had a first time singer who has been receiving the e-mails for a long time and finally found the right time and place to join us. The takeaway, for me, is to keep on with what we have been doing - just more of it.

First Annual Cloudland Singing - Saturday, April 14, 2012

It is a very good thing that there is a new singing. RhodyJane, Ellie and Tony began monthly singing school in Roan Mountain about a year ago. Their efforts culminated today in a fine singing at the Roan Mountain Conference Center I heard there were 17 singers before dinner - we were just a bit light in the bass section, but Art and I did our best.


It's often said, and it bears repeating that the singing tradition is about the people. I especially appreciate the people who helped preserve the tradition to pass it along. Sharon shared some stories, including about Quay Smathers. In the intervew, available elsewhere on this site, we read of his concern that Christian Harmony was dying out. That was forty years ago.


Yet, here we still are. Do I wish there were more of us? I sure do. Do I worry like Quay did, that it's dying out? Sometimes.


Fact is that wishing and worrying don't really contribute much of anything. What does contribute is new singers and new singings. And today, we had that. And we grew a little stronger.