10. Singing Schools and Camps

List of Upcoming Singing Schools on the Web. David 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 takes place annually in late June-early July in Alabama. The Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association has held since 2003 the annual five-day summer 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. Adult Camp has singing school lessons, fewer recreation options, and extensive singing elective classes. Youth Camp is for youth and adults under age 30 and has singing school lessons, a full recreation schedule, and some singing elective classes. After pausing for three years because of the Covid pandemic, the camps were held in 2023. The venue for both camps, held simultaneously, is Camp Lee near Anniston, AL. Nearby traditional Sacred Harp singings are scheduled for dates before and after each session. Registration for Camp Fasola generally begins in early 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 website. 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.

The Camp Fasola Facebook page has videos of some of the 2023 classes. These were initially streamed live during the classes.

Camp Fasola Europe has been held in even numbered years in September since 2012 at the Wichrowe Wzgórze retreat, which is located approximately 36 km/23 miles west of Gdansk and 400 km/250 miles northwest of Warsaw. Like Camp Fasola in Alabama, Camp Fasola Europe is sponsored by The Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association. The camp is usually held the week between the United Kingdom Sacred Harp Convention and the Poland Sacred Harp Singing Convention. Unfortunately, the camp was cancelled in 2020-2023 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but hopefully it will be held in future years.

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 website , or contact Jane Cannon at crvjanecannon-at-gmail-dot-com.

Camp DoReMi Europe has been held in England annually or biennially since 2015, except during the Covid pandemic. It was held in July 2023. It is a four-day residential singing school for youth and adults, beginners, and experienced singers. Multiple daily sessions are devoted to teaching singing from the seven-shapenote Christian Harmony and New Harp of Columbia tunebooks. The camp is organized by Werner Ullah and Michael Walker and is led by them and other veteran shape-note singers from the U.S. and U.K. The location is Othona, Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex, UK, approximately 60 miles east of London.

Village Harmony Summer Camps In spite of the recent tragic death of Village Harmony founder and director Larry Gordon, the camp programs will continue under the direction of experienced leaders. 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 Covid-19 pandemic has reduced the camps offered in 2023, but more complete offerings are planned for 2023. In the past at least four types of camps were offered: (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 these remarkable programs, first check the website, and then contact the Village Harmony Summer Camp, 5748 Hollister Hill Rd., Marshfield, VT 05658, 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)