On 6th October this year, we will see a landmark in Australian folk and community music. For the first time in history Sydney will play host to an all day singing convention of Sacred Harp music. Sacred Harp is a centuries old tradition of American a capella folk and gospel singing which has strong roots in the American south. It rose to the international stage in the early 2000’s in the American Civil War film Cold Mountain, and has since experienced a revival, not just in the states but all around the world. And now Australia will officially be part of this powerful and awe-inspiring tradition.
Scared Harp is completely participatory form of music making. Singers require no experience, no audition, no training and all people of all ages, ability levels and backgrounds are welcome to participate. All you need is the desire to sing and make music with other people. The music is sung a capella in 4 parts and when in full flight shakes walls. The songs are all old American folk and gospel songs, some of which have become some of the most famous songs in American history, for example, Amzing Grace and Wayfaring Stranger.
Singers will be traveling from all over the country and from overseas to converge on an old church hall in Annandale on Saturday the 6th of October to sing this wonderful music. All are welcome to come and sing or to just sit and listen. This is folk music at its most pure and raw form, a landmark event in Australian folk music, and an experience that will have your bones rattling for months.
Details of the convention:
Annadale Creative Arts Centre, 81 Johnston Street, Annadale, Sydney from 10am to 4pm Saturday October 6th, donations to cover costs of running the event accepted.
You can also visit the following sites for more information about sacred harp music and the all day singing.