London Sacred Harp singer Rebecca Over has authored a useful survey of several good books that might serve as further reading after The Sacred Harp itself and as useful introductions to Sacred Harp history.
I’ve written two recent posts for the Southern Spaces Blog’s Bulletin compiling news “from in and around the U.S. South.” For the October 18 issue of The Bulletin, I reported on activism surrounding the fortieth anniversary of the 1972 Clean Water Act and decisions by southern states to opt out of Medicaid expansion under the new health care law. In the November 15 issue of The Bulletin, Alan Pike and I surveyed post-election “visualiz[ations of] the geography of political power,” focusing on the historical roots of urban/suburban political divides in metropolitan areas in the interior and rhetoric about the persistance of a “solid South” in presidential politics.
Lauren Bock and I will be teaching a singing school in Portland, Oregon on October 20 at the Fall session of the Pacific Northwest Sacred Harp Convention. Our singing school will focus on the importance of listening while singing and will touch on accent, leading, and aspects of singing style. The Pacific Northwest Convention is free and open to the public. Come see us later this month in Oregon.
I’ve been invited by the Rev. Dr. Barry Whittemore to teaching a singing school on October 3 for his seminar on the history of religion in Appalachia at North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega, Georgia. The singing school will be held from 5:30–8:00 at the Georgia Mountains Unitarian Universalist Church. All are welcome to attend.
I’ll be teaching this summer at both the adult- and youth-emphasis sessions of Camp Fasola. My classes this year include sessions on leading (with Judy Caudle and Cassie Allen), composing, the role of the arranging committee in Sacred Harp, and the rudiments of music (I’ll be teaching rudiments at the youth session of camp with Lauren Bock). Camp Fasola—Adult Emphasis will be held June 10–14 in Double Springs, Alabama. Camp Fasola—Youth Emphasis will be held July 2–6 in Anniston, Alabama.
Update: I’ve co-written (with John Plunkett) an expanded account of Bruce Springsteen’s sampling of “Last Words of Copernicus” for the first issue of The Sacred Harp Publishing Company Newsletter: “Bruce Springsteen’s Sacred Harp Sample.”
Bruce Springsteen’s new song “Death to My Hometown” samples Alan Lomax’s 1959 recording of “Last Words of Copernicus”—an 1869 tune from The Sacred Harp composed by Georgia-based Sacred Harp singer Sarah Lancaster. A setting of a stanza from a 1755 hymn by Philip Doddridge, Lancaster’s tune creatively re-imagines the words as having been spoken by the sixteenth-century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.
I’ve just posted an introduction to my work to the HASTAC web site. The post provides an overview of my background and academic work. It also sketches out some areas where I hope to contribute to the dialog among HASTAC Scholars where I might hope to generate collaborations through the project.