10. Singing Schools and Camps

List of Upcoming Singing Schools on the World Wide Web. Prof. Warren Steel lists on the Web upcoming shape-note singing schools consisting of at least five sessions on different days.

Camp Fasola: A Summer Camp for Learning and Singing Sacred Harp with two sessions at two locations in northern Alabama during June, and Camp Fasola Europe in Poland in September. The Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association has held since 2003 an annual five-day summer camp, called Camp Fasola, for teaching Sacred Harp singing, history, and traditions. Multiple daily sessions are devoted to teaching Sacred Harp singing, as well as time for recreation, rest, fellowship, and singing. The camps have drawn increasing numbers of singers of widely varying ages and singing experience and have been reported to be tremendously enjoyable and educational, musically and socially. Starting in 2008, two separate camp sessions have been held annually. Session 1 is programmed with an emphasis for adults (fewer recreation options, more singing elective classes) and has been held at Camp McDowell between Jasper and Double Springs. Session 2 is programmed with an emphasis for youth and adults under age 30 (full recreation schedule, few singing elective classes) and has been held at Camp Lee near Anniston, Alabama. Most spaces in Session 2 are reserved for youth and parents desiring to accompany them. Nearby traditional Sacred Harp singings are scheduled for dates before and after each session. Registration for Camp Fasola generally begins in January. The organizers anticipate more applicants than spaces available and thus encourage early application. More information and application instructions are found on the camp's Web page. Send e-mail inquiries to camp@fasola.org or telephone 404-237-1246. Camp Fasola has been made possible in part by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Sacred Harp Publishing Company.

Camp DoReMi, a singing school for the Christian Harmony and other seven-shape tunebooks, is held annually in early August the Wildacres Retreat in the Little Switzerland area of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, approximately 50 east of Asheville. Camp DoReMi is a four day immersion in learning to sing shape note music in the seven shape (do re mi) traditions. It offers classes for complete beginners as well as intermediate and advanced shape note singers. The instructors are veteran shape note singers and singing school masters. The song books used have been The Christian Harmony, 2010 Edition and The New Harp of Columbia. For further information, the registration form, and interesting photos of Camp DoReMi 2008, visit the Camp Doremi web site or the Christian Harmony Web site , or contact Jane Spencer, the camp director, at jcspencer59 at gmail dot com.

Camp DoReMi Europe. The first Camp DoReMi Europe took place July 2015 at Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex, England. It was a residential singing school for both youth and adults, beginners, and experienced singers. Multiple daily sessions were devoted to teaching singing from the Christian Harmony and New Harp of Columbia tunebooks, in which songs are written in seven-shape (do-re-mi) notation. It was led by Michael Walker and a team of veteran American shape note singers. It may be held again if there is sufficient interest and leadership.

Village Harmony Summer Camps directed by Larry Gordon and staff. As described in the Village Harmony/Northern Harmony Web page, the Village Harmony Summer Camps in Vermont and abroad draw together dedicated teenage and adult singers from around the world with a particular interest in an unusual and expanding repertoire which features shape-note and Appalachian music, Balkan village songs and dances, and traditional music from several countries, as well as medieval, renaissance, baroque and contemporary music. The website under "Camps and Workshops" lists at least four types of camps: (1) residential (non-traveling) camps in New England, (2) traveling camps in the U.S. (New England and elsewhere), (3) residential camps abroad (different musically interesting countries each year), and (4) traveling camps abroad in musically interesting countries (South Africa, Bulgaria, and elsewhere). Each camp is led by several accomplished teachers and performers in the areas of musical focus. For more information about this remarkable program, first check the Web site, and then contact Larry Gordon and staff at the Village Harmony Summer Camp, 5748 Hollister Hill Rd., Marshfield, VT 05658, phone 802-426-3210, e-mail villageharmony@gmail.com.

Singing school resources on the Internet or on videos (mostly reiterated from other chapters):

Steven L. Sabol (sabol@his.com)
HTML version by Warren Steel (mudws@molemiss.edu)