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Sacred Harp Singing School & Sing

Covenant College will host a Sacred Harp singing school on Saturday, March 28, 2015, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Grace Presbyterian Church in Lookout Mountain, GA.


Traditional Sacred Harp singing began in New England, but received its name in Georgia along with the publication of The Sacred Harp shape-note songbook in 1844. In Sacred Harp singing, singers divide themselves by parts into a “hollow square,” and learn songs through shape note musical notation. The simple shape notes allow for relatively inexperienced singers to learn new parts and songs quickly.


“Martin Luther felt strongly about God’s people singing in harmony because he believed that was an expression of the body of Christ,” said Dr. Scott Finch, associate professor of music. “The space created in harmony is something that none of us can do on our own. There is an analogous reflection of how Christ’s body works in how we go about worshiping the head of the body.”


On March 28, Dr. Alicia Jackson, associate professor of history, and Dr. Finch will welcome David Ivey to lead a morning singing school. Nationally recognized for his work in the Sacred Harp tradition, Ivey will lead the morning school, followed by dinner and an afternoon sing. Ivey was a national heritage fellow with the National Endowment for the Arts in 2013, and is the founder of the Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association.


“It’s really neat to meet someone and get to work with someone like David Ivey who is steeped in this tradition,” said Dr. Finch.


The singing school will begin at 9:30 a.m. on March 28, and all are welcomed to attend.