COME AND SING with the Toronto Shape Note Group. We sing from The Sacred Harp songbook (1991 revision) on the third Wednesday of every month at Friends House in central Toronto. Check our calendar for up-to-date information. Experienced and not-so-experienced singers are welcome, and loaner books are available.
Before the March 2020 lockdown, we occasionally had half-hour mini-singing schools during the singing covering different aspects of singing. That was a great way to learn bite-size portions of the rudiments of Sacred Harp singing in the Southern tradition, from leading songs to singing with accent and much more. If you are new to singing shape note music, feel free to ask questions at our singings, someone there will be happy to answer.
During the pandemic, we gathered online weekly to sing using Zoom. These singings had singers join us from other regions around the world.
Throughout the year, we’ve also held outdoor distanced singings in Fred Hamilton Playground Park on second and fourth Saturday afternoons when the weather cooperates. (Email to get details on these Saturday Park Singings, as they aren’t always happening due to the weather and scheduling.)
And, we have occasional singings using books besides the Sacred Harp, singing out of the Shenandoah Harmony or the Northern Harmony. So join our mailing list to keep informed. You can join the email list by contacting Pleasance Crawford by email.
Also, you can join our Facebook group to keep up-to-date on many other shape-note singing events of interest.
We have been singing together since the Fall of 2000. For years we met at St. Stephen-in-the-fields Anglican, but their financial difficulties forced us to move to Bloor Street United, and then renovations there have us currently at Friends House Toronto.
We have connections with many other Ontario Shape Note groups, and we’ve all gathered together in August for the Central Ontario All-Day Singings over the years (with dinner on the grounds, of course!). The annual gathering changed to a two-day Convention in 2018, but sadly, the 2020 convention was postponed. Happily, we started the annual singing tradition again in August 2022.
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I live south of Hamilton ON near Lake Erie and I am very interested in this form of singing. Are there any groups in the Hamilton/Niagara area?
I’m guessing the nearest singing to you would be the Guelph one, usually on the third Friday of the month. It’s held at Priory Park Baptist Church, 8 Torch Lane. Contact < bill.sue.woodward at sympatico.ca > for more information.
And then there is the annual all-day singing – which I highly recommend. It’s near Cambridge in North Dumfries on Saturday, August 27. Information here, or on Facebook.
And you are always welcome to join us in Toronto at our third-Wednesday singings if you are in the neighbourhood.