United Kingdom Sacred Harp & Shapenote Singing
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Brief History of the United Kingdom Sacred Harp Conventions

by Edwin Macadam

First started in 1996 and referred to as Shapenote Conventions, the first three years were two book singings, aimed at attracting all those who had been taught by Larry Gordon and brought up on Northern Harmony. An introductory day was organised in 1995 at the earliest of the Finstock singings, led by Robin Fox and Mary O’Reilly, both of Minnesota.

For the first two years the Annual convention was held in Woodside Hall,  Hitchin, Herts., before moving on to Beeston Youth Community Centre, nr. Nottingham for three years; Cumnor Old School and Cumnor Village Hall, nr. Oxford for two years and one year respectively;  the Letchworth Methodist Church Hall, Herts., for two years; Henry Box School, Witney, Oxfordshire, for two years; and the Mechanics Institute, Marsden, West Yorkshire for the last two years of its then fourteen year history. Subsequent years have seen an annual move of the convention location to venues in Northamptonshire, South Yorkshire, Berkshire,  Durham City, Central London, Bristol and Brighton.

Guest Leaders from the States have included Richard deLong, Ginnie Ely, Robin Fox, David Lee, Bruce Randall, Shelbie Sheppard, and Matt Wojcik.


This Web Site has been set up for the United Kingdom Sacred Harp and Shapenote Community to provide a resource centre for singing in the United Kingdom. 

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