Community Invited to ‘Sacred Harp’ Singing Event

The Shawnee-area community is invited to attend OBU’s second annual Sacred Harp singing event 6-7:15 p.m., Thursday, April 11, in Raley Chapel Room 142. The special singing is sponsored by the OBU student chapter of the National Association for Music Education.

“You do not need to be an experienced or even a novice singer to attend,” said Dr. Casey Gerber, assistant professor of music education. “This event is historical, educational and fun.”

Dr. Warren Steel, musicologist at the University of Mississippi and a Sacred Harp scholar, describes Sacred Harp singing as a non-denominational community musical event emphasizing participation, not performance.

“This style of singing stems from singing schools in the colonial period,” Steel said. “Preserved in the rural South, Sacred Harp singing (also called ‘fasola’ singing or ‘shape-note’ singing) is making a major resurgence in cities and campuses throughout North America and beyond. Most singings last from about 10 in the morning ’till three in the afternoon, with an hour break at noon for dinner on the grounds.”

While OBU’s event will not include a dinner, participants will have time to learn and enjoy singing together.

Those planning to attend should contact Gerber at to allow planning for adequate seating and books.

For information about studying music at OBU, click here.

Visit the National Association for Music Education website for additional information.