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Portland Maine Weekly Sacred Harp Singing – TEMPORARILY CANCELED DUE TO COVID-19

February 4, 2020, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The cover of a copy of The Sacred Harp tunebook with a page of music (the song Pilgrim's Farewell, page 185) overlaid across it. This is the tunebook we use most frequently at this Sacred Harp singing.

We plan to resume singings as scheduled once it has been deemed safe to do so. To stay tuned for more info as things develop, please contact us at [email protected]


Come sing with us! Join us for the Portland Maine Weekly Sacred Harp Singing held every Tuesday from 7-9pm (pop in/out whenever you like during this time) at the 1st Parish Church, 425 Congress St, Portland, Maine. FMI: email [email protected] or call Jesse Vear at 207-632-6903.

More about singings

Sacred Harp singings are open community events where all voices are welcome to join in as we sing from the The Sacred Harp (1991 Denson edition). We always have plenty of loaner tunebooks on hand to use during the singing, or you can also purchase one if you like. Note that singings are participatory events; we don’t have auditions, performances, or audiences. Rather, we sing for one another, and for the sheer enjoyment of singing itself. Above all, don’t worry – there’s absolutely no prior musical ability or experience expected or required.

Sacred Harp singing is a form of early American devotional music that comes out of a rich living tradition. It is written and sung as a four part harmony, and is sung unaccompanied. There are no harps; rather the ‘sacred harp’ refers to the instrument that is the human voice itself. Deeply rooted in the American South where it has been kept alive by generations of singing families, churches, and communities, this music and the love of singing it has spread far and wide within the past 45 years. It is now cherished by singers from all across this country and in an ever-growing number of countries around the world.

You might also have heard this music referred to as shape note music. This is due to the fact that it is notated with shapes to facilitate learning and sight reading (it works!). First printed in 1844, The Sacred Harp is one of the oldest books in continuous publication. Over the years this tunebook has been used to teach countless thousands the art of singing and reading music, making this beautiful music accessible to successive generations of singers right up to this very day.

Come along any Tuesday evening & check it out. Whether it’s your first Sacred Harp singing or your thousandth, we look forward to singing with you! Note that while the singing is from 7-9 with a short break at 8pm, feel free to pop in and/or out whenever it works for your schedule.

For more about Sacred Harp singing in Maine visit www.maineshapenotesinging.org. Another great resource is www.fasola.org.


First Parish UU Church
425 Congress St
Portland, ME 04101 United States
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