Singing (Zinging) Online

In April 2020 the Toronto group started singing together weekly using Zoom. We were inspired by visiting online and singing with the Montreal Group to see how it worked. So we decided to try it here in Toronto, and have been gathering online to sing weekly since then.

We open the Zoom session each Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. Eastern time and chat or check technology for fifteen minutes. Then we start the singing at 7:30. We sing from the Denson 1991 Sacred Harp book. We start with songs lead by pairs or single singers with the rest of us on mute. This is due to the lag that would otherwise cause our voices to combine at different times—making it sound pretty bad. After a break, we start a playlist of various Youtube singings. Requests are done in advance to avoid delays between songs. Here is the Current Zoom link which is also posted in our Facebook group and in the mailing list emails (Send an email to Pleasance to receive these).

In addition to the weekly Denson singing, we also hold a First-Sunday-of-the-Month singing from the Shenandoah Harmony. This singing is usually held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The link will be posted in our Facebook group before the singing and in the mailing list emails.

Other groups around the world also have internet singings or zingings. Evelyn Lamb from Utah has posted a calendar that lists these.

In addition to using Zoom, there are other methods to virtually sing together in different ways:

  • Jamulus is a software program that offers real-time sharing of voices but is more complicated technically to set up. The Philadelphia Shape Note Group wrote a guide.
  • Facebook Streaming is an ingenious method using Facebook Live video to daisy-chain singers together. It can also work with Instagram. Check out this Facebook group for more info.
  • Dispersed Harmonies is a group of singers from all over who make separate video recordings that are submitted and mixed together afterward. Here’s a Youtube playlist of songs they’ve done.

2020 Convention Cancelled

Please note the cancellation of the 2020 Central Ontario Sacred Harp Convention earlier planned for August 21-23.

Despite the cancellation, we hope you will contribute names and information for the Memorial lesson to Pleasance Crawford.

And please mark your calendars for August 20-22, 2021, when we’ll be thrilled to have you singing with us once more.

Heather Schramm and Lloy Cook, Co-Chairs

Second Annual Central Ontario Convention photos

Thanks to everyone who came and sang with us at our second annual weekend convention August 24-25, 2019. We look forward to doing it all again next year on the fourth Sunday in August and the Friday night and Saturday before. Please mark your calendars now!

Second Annual Central Ontario Sacred Harp Convention

This year on August 24 and 25 we will host our second two-day convention. After holding all-day singings for fourteen years, last year we decided to extend the gathering to multiple days of events, and we were really happy how it went, and all the wonderful singers who showed up.

The first day of this year’s singing is Saturday, August 24 at the Friends House, 60 Lowther Avenue in a mid-town area of Toronto known as the Annex. Following that on Sunday, August 25 we return to the Detweiler Meetinghouse at 3445 Roseville Road, North Dumfries, Ontario. We’ll sing each day from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with midday dinner on the ground.

But there is more! On Friday evening, August 23 at 6:00 p.m. there will be a Singing School at the Friends House, 60 Lowther Avenue, in Toronto with special guest Lauren Bock of Decatur, Georgia, USA.

And we’ll hold an Evening Social on Saturday, August 24 at 6:00 p.m. at a location nearby. (RSVP to Pleasance Crawford for more details. There will be food at the social, but snack and beverage contributions are welcome.)

Download the flyer for more details or join our Facebook group for updates. We hope to see and hear you there!

Shape Note Eucharist

Sing and Joyful Be

Sunday, January 27, 7:00pm – 8:00pm

162 Bloor Street West, at the corner of Bloor and Avenue Road

Join us for Eucharist in the round, featuring hymns from the shape note singing tradition of The Sacred Harp hymnbook. Our congregational voices will be supported by experienced singers of this unique music tradition. Come worship and sing!

Details on Facebook and the church website.

First Annual Central Ontario Convention photos

After holding our all-day singings for fourteen years, we upgraded to holding a two-day Convention with a singing school session the evening before. And it turned out great. Thank you to everyone who made the journey there and added their voices.

The weekend started with a Singing School at the Friends House in the Annex in Toronto with special guest Bridgett Hill Kennedy. Bridgett gave a personal and moving talk on the deep community, friendships and bonds that grow with Shape Note music and singings.

Continuing on Saturday morning at the Friends House was our first day of singing. Dinner on the grounds happened in the backyard and in various rooms in the historic structure. That evening at Chuck & Pleasance’s condo we gathered again for a social with Toronto-style takeout and singing from the Northern Harmony (which could be heard out the fourth-floor at least a half-block away).

On Sunday we traveled back down the 401 to the Detweiler Meetinghouse where we previously held annual singings. A warmer day made our southern friends feel right at home. Again we shared midday dinner on the grounds under the tent. A full house in the meetinghouse filled that room to overflowing with the power of our voices.

We look forward to doing it all again next year on the fourth Sunday in August and the Friday night and Saturday before. Please mark your calendars now!

On behalf of Chairperson Jan May and the entire Toronto Shape Note Community, our heartfelt thanks for your friendship and support!

First Annual Central Ontario Sacred Harp Convention

Our big expanded annual singing is coming up. This year on August 25 and 26 we will host our first two-day convention. After holding our all-day singings for fourteen years, we decided to extend the gathering this year to multiple days of events.

The first day of singing is Saturday, August 25 at the Friends House, 60 Lowther Avenue in a mid-town area of Toronto known as the Annex. Following that on Sunday, August 26 we return to the Detweiler Meetinghouse at 3445 Roseville Road, North Dumfries, Ontario. We’ll sing each day from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with midday dinner on the ground.

But there is more! On Friday evening, August 24 at 6:00 p.m. there will be a Singing School at the Friends House, 60 Lowther Avenue, in Toronto with special guest Bridgett Hill Kennedy. And we’ll hold an Evening Social on Saturday, August 25 at 6:00 p.m. at a location nearby. (RSVP to Pleasance Crawford for more details. There will be food at the social, but snack and beverage contributions are welcome.)

Download the flyer for more details or join our Facebook group for updates. We hope to see and hear you there!

Photos from the 14th Annual All-Day Singing

14th Annual Singing August 26

Reminder that the 14th Annual Central Ontario All-Day Sacred Harp Singing is Saturday, August 26. Check out the Facebook Event for more information. We are again at the lovely Detweiler Meetinghouse located one kilometre west of Roseville, Ontario.

This is Ontario shape-note singers’ biggest event of the year, and one you absolutely shouldn’t miss!!! For more info and/or to volunteer to help, contact chair Jan May.

Singing starts at 9:30 am.