The Oracle Institute


Shape Note Singing:
A workshop on an Appalachian Tradition


With Gary Poe


Saturday, April 24, 2010
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
or call (276)579-2883
The Old Grayson Bank Building
1234 East Main Street
Independence, VA 24348 (next to Food City)
Suggested Donation $10
Proceeds benefit Grayson County Emergency Needs Fund
Please bring a covered dish to share

Workshop Description:

Shape Note singing began in the late 1700s in the Appalachian Mountains as a simple, soulful way of harmonizing the vocal and musical abilities of many different people without the use of musical instruments. In other words, only human vocal chords – the Sacred Harp – are used in this art form. The singers arrange themselves in a square configuration, with the four sides of the square assigned to each of the four musical parts: treble, alto, tenor, and bass. The songs are “called” by a leader, who stands in the middle of the square. Singers take turns being the leader and calling the songs.

The Shape Note singers who meet in the New River Valley are an eclectic group of singers. They are a non-denominational group and enjoy each others company from the heart. They meet regularly in our region and are offering this class to share their storied tradition with the greater community. And in keeping with their local tradition, please join us for a pot-luck meal after the class.

We are fortunate to have Gary Poe serving as our facilitator for this program. Gary is a member of The Lost Province Shape Note Singers out of Ashe County, NC. Gary also hosts an Old-Time and Bluegrass music radio show, which broadcasts out of West Jefferson, NC (580 AM on your dial). He also is involved with the Ashe County Arts Center. To learn more about Shape Note singing:


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