Singing Schools

A singing school is a brief course of musical instruction devoted to the rudiments of note-reading and sight-singing, with a focus on sacred music. Singing schools, established as early as 1700, were the first American musical institution; they fostered musical skills, notational innovations like shape notes, the composition of psalmody, and the publication of tunebooks like The Sacred Harp. Early singing schools often lasted two or three months, usually during a season of slack agricultural work (the winter months, or midsummer "laying-by" of crops). Today's schools may last only a week or two. Other forms of instruction, comprising only a single session, frequently occur in connection with conventions or festivals. Though sometimes advertised as "singing schools," the term "workshop" might be more appropriate. For more information see "Singing-school" by Richard Crawford and Warren Steel in The New Grove Dictionary of American Music (London: Macmillan Press, 1986), vol. 4, pp. 233-4, which includes further references.

Singing teachers and others who know about upcoming singing schools in The Sacred Harp, or in other tunebooks used by traditional singers, are invited to send e-mail to (mudws@olemiss.edu) for inclusion in the following list.


Poland, Fall 2014

Camp Fasola Europe, sponsored by Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association (SHMHA), is a singing school for learning Sacred Harp singing, history, and traditions. It is open to both youth and adults, beginners and experienced singers. Multiple daily sessions are devoted to teaching Sacred Harp singing, as well as times for recreation, rest, fellowship, and singing. The school will run from Monday, September 22, until Friday June 13, at Wichrowe Wzgórze (Wuthering Height), Chmielno, Poland.

Alabama, Summer 2014

Camp Fasola, sponsored by Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association (SHMHA), is a residential singing school for learning Sacred Harp singing, history, and traditions. Camp Fasola is open to both youth and adults, beginners and experienced singers. Multiple daily sessions are devoted to teaching Sacred Harp singing, as well as times for recreation, rest, fellowship, and singing.

The first session will run from Sunday, June 8, 4:00 p.m. until Thursday June 12, 8:30 a.m. at Camp McDowell, between Double Springs and Jasper, Alabama; this session emphasizes adult learning. The second session will run from Monday, June 30 at 4:00 p.m. until Friday, July 4 at 9:00 a.m. at Camp Lee, near Anniston, Alabama. This session is programmed with an emphasis for youth and adults under age 30.

North Carolina, Summer 2014

Camp Doremi is a residential singing school in the Christian Harmony tradition at Wildacres Retreat in Little Switzerland, North Carolina, August 7-10, 2014. For information contact Jane Spencer at 706 769-8782, email ejanespencer@yahoo.com.


Alabama, Summer 2013

Camp Fasola, sponsored by Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association (SHMHA), is a residential singing school for learning Sacred Harp singing, history, and traditions. Camp Fasola is open to both youth and adults, beginners and experienced singers. Multiple daily sessions are devoted to teaching Sacred Harp singing, as well as times for recreation, rest, fellowship, and singing.

The first session ran from Sunday, June 9, 4:00 p.m. until Thursday June 13, 8:30 a.m. at Camp McDowell, between Double Springs and Jasper, Alabama; this session emphasizes adult learning. The second session ran from Monday, July 1 at 4:00 p.m. until Friday, July 5 at 9:00 a.m. at Camp Lee, near Anniston, Alabama. This session is programmed with an emphasis for youth and adults under age 30.

North Carolina, Summer 2013

Camp Doremi is a residential singing school in the Christian Harmony tradition at Wildacres Retreat in Little Switzerland, North Carolina, August 8-11, 2013. For information contact Jane Spencer at 706 769-8782, email ejanespencer@yahoo.com.


Alabama, Summer 2012

Camp Fasola: The Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association (SHMHA) held Camp Fasola for learning Sacred Harp singing, history, and traditions for the eighth consecutive year. Camp Fasola is open to both youth and adults, beginners and experienced singers. Multiple daily sessions were devoted to teaching Sacred Harp singing, as well as times for recreation, rest, fellowship, and singing.

The first session ran from Sunday, June 10, 4:00 p.m. until Thursday June 16, 8:30 a.m. at Camp McDowell, between Double Springs and Jasper, Alabama, and emphasized adult learning. The second session ran from Monday, July 2 at 4:00 p.m. until Friday, July 6 at 9:00 a.m. at Camp Lee, near Anniston, Alabama. This session was programmed with an emphasis for youth and adults under age 30.

Poland, Summer 2012

The Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association (SHMHA) held the first Camp Fasola Europe on September 17-20, 2012 near Gdansk, Poland, followed by a convention Saturday and Sunday, September 22 and 23 in Warsaw.

North Carolina, Summer 2012

Camp Doremi: is a residential singing school in the Christian Harmony tradition at Wildacres Retreat in Little Switzerland, North Carolina, August 9-12, 2012. For information contact Jane Spencer at 706 769-8782, email ejanespencer@yahoo.com.

Alabama, Winter 2012

An intensive singing school in the Sacred Harp was held January 13-15, 2012 at New Hope Church in Jones Chapel, Cullman County, with Tom Malone as instructor. The sessions are open without charge to singers of all ages. Instruction began Friday, 3:00 PM until 9:00 PM, resuming all day Saturday and concluding with an open singing Sunday afternoon.


Alabama, Summer 2011

Camp Fasola: The Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association (SHMHA) held Camp Fasola for learning Sacred Harp singing, history, and traditions for the eighth consecutive year. Camp Fasola is open to both youth and adults, beginners and experienced singers. Multiple daily sessions were devoted to teaching Sacred Harp singing, as well as times for recreation, rest, fellowship, and singing.

The first session ran from Sunday, June 12th, 4:00 p.m. until Thursday June 16th, 8:30 a.m. at Camp McDowell, between Double Springs and Jasper, Alabama, and emphasized adult learning. The second session ran from Monday, June 29 at 4:00 p.m. until Friday, July 3 at 9:00 a.m. at Camp Lee, near Anniston, Alabama. This session was programmed with an emphasis for youth and adults under age 30.

North Carolina, Summer 2011

Camp Doremi: is a residential singing school in the Christian Harmony tradition at Wildacres Retreat in Little Switzerland, North Carolina, August 11-14, 2011. For information contact Jane Spencer at 706 769-8782, email ejanespencer@yahoo.com.


Alabama, Summer 2010

Camp Fasola: The Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association (SHMHA) held Camp Fasola for learning Sacred Harp singing, history, and traditions for the eighth consecutive year. Camp Fasola is open to both youth and adults, beginners and experienced singers. Multiple daily sessions are devoted to teaching Sacred Harp singing, as well as times for recreation, rest, fellowship, and singing.

The first session ran from Sunday, June 13th, 4:00 p.m. until Thursday June 17th, 8:30 a.m. at Camp McDowell, between Double Springs and Jasper, Alabama, and emphasized adult learning. The second session ran from Monday, June 30 at 4:00 p.m. until Friday, July 4 at 9:00 a.m. at Camp Lee, near Anniston, Alabama. This session was programmed with an emphasis for youth and adults under age 30.

North Carolina, Summer 2010

Camp Doremi: is a residential singing school at Wildacres Retreat in Little Switzerland, North Carolina, August 12-15, 2010. For information contact Jane Spencer at 706 769-8782, email ejanespencer@yahoo.com.


Alabama, Summer 2008

Camp Fasola: The Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Associaton held a camp for the purpose of teaching Sacred Harp singing and traditions to families and persons of all ages. "Camp Fasola" was held at Camp Lee near Anniston, Alabama.

The first session began on Friday, June 27 at 2:00 p.m. and ran through Monday, June 30 at 9:00 a.m. This session was programmed with an emphasis for adults (fewer recreation options, extensive singing elective classes). The second session began on Monday, June 30 at 4:00 p.m. and ran through Friday, July 4 at 9:00 a.m. This session was programmed with an emphasis for youth and adults under age 30 (full recreation schedule, no/few singing elective classes).

North Carolina, Summer 2008

Camp Doremi: is a three day residential singing school at Wildacres Retreat in Little Switzerland, North Carolina, August 7-10, 2008. For information contact Jane Spencer at 706 769-8782, email ejanespencer@yahoo.com.

Georgia, Spring 2008

Hugh McGraw will conduct a singing school in the Sacred Harp (1991 Edition) at Holly Springs Primitive Baptist Church in Carroll County on the following Saturdays in 2005: January 5, February 2, March 1, April 5, and May 3. Each session will run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Alabama, Summer 2007

Camp Fasola: The Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Associaton (SHMHA) will hold a camp for the purpose of teaching Sacred Harp singing and traditions to families and persons of all ages. "Camp Fasola" will be held at Camp Lee near Anniston, Alabama, from Monday, July 2 to Friday, July 6. For further information contact David Ivey at david@davidivey.com or call (256) 881-5291.

Pleasant Hill Upper Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Centreville, Alabama, will host a singing school in the Christian Harmony during the weeks of July 9-13 and July 16-20 (Monday through Friday), each session runs from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. Final singing and worship service Sunday, July 22, 9:30 - 3:00. There will be several teachers, and all ages are welcome. For information call Mildred Ruth Wyers 205 926-3043.

North Carolina, Summer 2007

Camp Doremi: is a two-day residential singing school in the Christian Harmony on August 17-18 at Wildacres Retreat, Little Switzerland, North Carolina preceding the Ashe County singing on Sunday, August 19 at West Jefferson, North Carolina. For information contact Jane Spencer at 706 769-8782, email ejanespencer@yahoo.com.

Georgia, Spring 2007

Hugh McGraw will conduct a singing school in the Sacred Harp (1991 Edition) at Holly Springs Primitive Baptist Church in Carroll County on the following Saturdays in 2005: January 7, February 3, March 10, April 14, and May 5. Each session will run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Alabama, Summer 2006

Camp Fasola: The Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Associaton will hold a camp for the purpose of teaching Sacred Harp singing and traditions to families and persons of all ages. "Camp Fasola" will be held at Camp Lee near Anniston, Alabama, from Monday, July 3 to Friday, July 7. For further information contact David Ivey at david@davidivey.com or call (256) 881-5291.

Georgia, Spring 2006

Hugh McGraw will conduct a singing school in the Sacred Harp (1991 Edition) at Holly Springs Primitive Baptist Church in Carroll County on the following Saturdays in 2005: January 7, February 4, March 11, and April 1. Each session will run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Alabama, Summer 2005

Camp Fasola: The Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Associaton will hold a camp for the purpose of teaching Sacred Harp singing and traditions to families and persons of all ages. "Camp Fasola" will be held at Camp Lee near Anniston, Alabama, from Monday, June 27 to Friday, July 1. For further information contact David Ivey at david@davidivey.com or call (256) 881-5291.

Georgia, Spring 2005

Hugh McGraw will conduct a singing school in the Sacred Harp (1991 Edition) at Holly Springs Primitive Baptist Church in Carroll County on the following Saturdays in 2005: January 8, February 5, March 12, April 2, and May 7. Each session will run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Tennessee, Spring 2005

The Epworth Old Harp Singers of Knoxville, Tennessee will sponsor a singing school for beginners and experienced singers taught by Kathleen Mavournin, on Sundays (February 20 and 27, March 6, 13, and 27) at 2:30-4:00 pm at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, Kingston Pike, Knoxville, using the New Harp of Columbia; a tuition fee of $15.00 covers all four sessions. Info: Kathleen Mavournin, (865) 414-7830, kmav@icx.net.


Alabama, Summer 2004

Camp Fasola: The Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Associaton will hold a camp for the purpose of teaching Sacred Harp singing and traditions to families and persons of all ages. "Camp Fasola" will be held at Camp Lee near Anniston, Alabama. The camp will begin with check-in from 4:00-6:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 28th and will close at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 2d. Singing-teachers Jeff Sheppard and David Ivey will direct the camp. For further information contact David Ivey at davi@davidivey.com

Georgia, Spring 2004

Hugh McGraw will conduct a singing school in the Sacred Harp (1991 Edition) at Holly Springs Primitive Baptist Church in Carroll County on the following Saturdays in 2004: January 3, February 7, March 13, April 3, and May 1. Each session will from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Alabama, Summer 2003

Camp Fasola: The Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Associaton will hold a camp for the purpose of teaching Sacred Harp singing and traditions to families and persons of all ages. "Camp Fasola" will be held at Camp Lee near Anniston, Alabama. The camp will begin with check-in from 4:00-6:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 29th and will close at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 3rd. Singing-teachers Jeff Sheppard and David Ivey will direct the camp. For further information contact David Ivey at davi@davidivey.com

Georgia, Spring 2003

Hugh McGraw will conduct a singing school in the Sacred Harp (1991 Edition) at Holly Springs Primitive Baptist Church in Carroll County on the following Saturdays in 2002: January 4, February 2, March 8, April 5, and May 3. Each session will from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Tennessee, Spring 2003

The Epworth Old Harp Singers of Knoxville, Tennessee will sponsor a singing school for beginners and experienced singers, on Mondays in March (March 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31) at 7:00 pm at the Blount County Library, Maryville, Tennessee, using the New Harp of Columbia; a tuition fee of $10.00 covers all four sessions. Info: Kathleen Mavournin, (865) 691-9506, kmav@icx.net.


Georgia, Summer 2002

Hugh McGraw conducted a singing school in the Sacred Harp (1991 Edition) at Emmaus Primitive Baptist Church in Carroll County on Monday-Thursday, July 29- August 1 in 2002: Each session ran from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Georgia, Spring 2002

Hugh McGraw conducted a singing school in the Sacred Harp (1991 Edition) at Holly Springs Primitive Baptist Church in Carroll County on the following Saturdays in 2002: February 2, March 9, April 20, and May 4. Each session ran from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Arkansas, Spring 2000

Hugh McGraw conducted a singing school in the Sacred Harp (1991 Edition) during the week of Tue., March 28 to Fri., March 31 at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, 118 W. Johnson Ave., Springdale, AR, beginning at 6:30 p.m. each night. An all-day singing was held on Saturday, April 1. Info: Susan Young (501)750-8165.

Alabama, Spring 1999

Art Deason conducted a singing school in the Sacred Harp (1991 Edition) on Monday through Friday nights, May 31-June4 at Eoline Fire Hall, Eoline AL. Tuition was free. Info: (205)926-4074.

Arkansas, Spring 1999

Hugh McGraw conducted a singing school in the Sacred Harp (1991 Edition) during the week of Mon., April 26th to Fri., April 30th at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History, 118 W. Johnson Ave., Springdale, AR, beginning at 6:30 p.m. each night. An all-day singing was held on Saturday, May 1. Info: Susan Young (501)750-8165.

Tennessee, Spring 1999

The Epworth Old Harp Singers of Knoxville, Tennessee sponsored a singing school for beginners and experienced singers, between April 13 and April 22, meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays (April 13 and 15, and April 20 and 22) at 7:30 pm at the home of Kathleen Mavournin and Bob Richmond, 344 Seven Oaks Drive. Gene McCammon led the instruction, using the New Harp of Columbia; a tuition fee of $12.00 covered all four sessions.

--Warren Steel (mudws@olemiss.edu)

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