This Saturdays All Day Cooper Book Singing

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Chris Holley

Nov 21, 2022, 4:21:58 AM11/21/22
to Maine Sacred Harp Singings •

There are 392 people on the Maine Sacred Harp Singing Announcement email list.  Many of you are regular SH singers in Maine.  Many of you are our good singing  friends from out of state. And then a good number of you are not active singers but are folks who've had some passing exposure to this form of singing and remain curious enough to continue to receive our weekly announcements of upcoming singings.

This coming Saturday we'll be holding a special "All-day"  singing from the Cooper edition of the Sacred Harp, at the New Church at 302 Stevens Ave in Portland, from 10 to 3.


Those of you who have been singing for a while will be familiar with the Cooper book, but some of our newer singing friends will not.  The Cooper revision of the Sacred Harp (known as the "Blue Book") was first published in 1902 and resulted in somewhat of a schism in those early years. 

It continues to be the favored Sacred Harp book in South Georgia, Florida, parts of Alabama and Texas.  In the last few decades it has also become a popular alternative book in Minnesota and Pennsylvania. For the last 10 years we have sung from it on the Friday night that starts our annual July Maine singing weekend.  

The Blue book has many of the same tunes that we sing in the Denson edition (the "Red Book").  In addition it contains a body of newer tunes that its compiler added in 1907 and which have continued to be added with each new revision.   

The book is stylistically "different" from the Red Book.  If you're not familiar with it, I'm not going to try to describe the difference.  You'll just have to come sing with us next Saturday !!  We'll have loaner books available.

In 2019 we held the first annual all day Cooper Book singing in the North East here in Maine. Sadly this "annual" singing was interrupted for the last two years by covid. Now.. we're back!   We have a good number of singers joining us who are traveling from out of state.  Our chairman Chris Noren and his wife Karen are flying in from that "other" Portland (OR) and we're excited to finally Get Back To It. 


So..  I hope many of you can join us.  Being an All-Day singing we'll be having a potluck noon day meal.  This is a perfect opportunity to share some of your Thanksgiving leftovers…  a half a pie.. turkey in whatever form..  whatever you might have.  And if you are unable to bring food DO NOT let that keep you away.  We will not have a kitchen facility for heating food and limited space for refrigeration so please pack cold things in a manner to keep them cold and hot foods packed in such a way as to keep them hot.  There is power available for crockpots and such.

The one stipulation we are making this year is that you self-test for covid in the morning before you come.  We will have tests there available for those who forgot.  We'll also have windows open for good ventilation so the church may be a little cool.  Dress warmly.  

If you are more comfortable wearing a mask, by all means do.. that's fine. And if you are not feeling well that morning, regardless of your test result,  PLEASE don't come.  We'll miss you but will be looking forward to having you with us when you're feeling better.

So there you are..  If you weren't at the First Annual North East Cooper Book singing you can still come to the Second !!

Volunteers to help with setup and such would be great.  Let us know by response to this email or phone/text to me at 207-380-4911

As always, feel free to come and go over the course of the day. And one more thing.. On the following day we will finally be restarting our monthly Sunday Portland Red Book singings at that same location from 1 to 4.  The same covid protocol re testing before you come will apply. 

Stay well and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Chris Holley

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