The group that gathers twice a year to sing is made up of regular, long-time attendees and newcomers who are encouraged to visit and join in their first shaped-note singing. We now have a short introductory singing school that will help beginners find their way. Ongoing safety measure will be in place for 2021 singings. All attendees are strongly encouraged to RSVP to email@example.com to reserve space.
The shaped-note system, which was popular in congregations throughout the South in the nineteenth century – and to a declining, though still significant, degree in the twentieth century – was devised to simplify the reading of written music. This singing event uses The Christian Harmony, a shaped-note hymnal first published in 1867 by upcountry South Carolinian William Walker. Copies of Walker’s 1873 singing book, the 2015 Folk Heritage Edition of The Christian Harmony are always available for loan or purchase. Lots more information on this book and the history of the shaped-note tradition can be found at ChristianHarmony1873.org.
The Etowah Singing is one of several in Western North Carolina. Newcomers are very welcome. Typically, singings last from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm with potluck dinner on the grounds at noon. The introductory singing school begins at 9:15.
The Etowah Singings occur on the Saturday before the first Sunday in May, and the Saturday before the first Sunday in September. The gathering is free, though donations to help pay for the venue are most welcome. Those who would like to take part in the dinner on the grounds are asked to bring a covered dish to share.
Everyone is welcome, and no experience is necessary. We would be honored to have you join us!
Please RSVP to me at firstname.lastname@example.org