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2020 North Carolina Sacred Harp Convention

Saturday, March 7, 2020 @ 10:30 am - 4:30 pm
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Jam Session

Whether you’re a longtime fan of shape note singing or new to the style, you’re invited to check out the annual North Carolina Sacred Harp Convention! Held over two days for the third year in a row, this year includes one day of singing in Raleigh and a second day of singing in a new-to-the-group venue in Chapel Hill. Both days are free and open to the public, and singers and non-singers alike are welcome. Learn more about the program on Sunday, March 8 in Chapel Hill

Sacred Harp singing is the largest surviving branch of what is known as traditional American shape note singing. Singers in this tradition sing without accompaniment and sit arranged by vocal part in a “hollow square,” facing one another across the square and taking turns at leading from the middle of the square.

On Saturday, singers will sing from The Sacred Harp, a historically important tunebook descended from a version first published in 1844. It has reappeared in multiple editions ever since. The 1991 Edition added 62 songs, including late 18th- and early 19th-century classics of New England and Southern origin and new songs by living composers from the South, Northeast, and Midwest. And 46 rarely sung older songs and anthems were deleted from an earlier edition. You can learn more about this book’s history and order your own copy online.

On both days of the Convention, the songbook in use will be available, both for loan and for sale.​ Both days will also feature a potluck “dinner on the grounds” lunch option, or you can dine out on your own during the lunch break.

And don’t forget, the shape note singers meet on the second Sunday of each month at the First Presbyterian Church in Durham from 2-4 p.m. (the 2nd Sunday sing in Durham is cancelled on March 8, 2020 because of the convention), the third Sunday of the month at the First Episcopal Church of the Advocate in Chapel Hill, AND on the fourth Sunday of each month at the historic Mordecai Chapel in Raleigh from 1:50-3:50 p.m., keeping alive this unique a cappella singing tradition!


Pullen’s parking lot includes the upper lot immediately adjacent to the church as well as the lower parking lot shared with the Women’s Center of Wake County. Additional parking is available along Hillsborough Street between Cox Avenue and Park Avenue. Parking is allowed on Cox Avenue on weekends.


Saturday, March 7, 2020
10:30 am - 4:30 pm
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Pullen Memorial Baptist Church
1801 Hillsborough St
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