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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Annual shape-note singing schools

Following is a list of annual shape note singing schools, with location and latest web information

Alabama School of Gospel Music Boaz, AL 

Alva School of Music Alva, OK 
Ben Speer's Stamps-Baxter School of Music Nashville, TN 
Brockwell School of Gospel Music Brockwell, AR 
Camp FaSoLa Anniston, AL 
Camp DoReMi Little Switzerland, NC
Cumberland Valley School of Music Pulaski, TN 
Do Re Mi Gospel Music Academy Lebanon, TN 
Foundation School of Church Music Buda, TX 
Four States Praise Camp Canfield, AR
 Gospel Heritage Singing School Broken Bow, OK
Gospel Singers of America School of Gospel Music Pass Christian, MS 
Grace Primitive Baptist Church Singing School Houston, TX
Haralson County School of Gospel Music Bremen, GA 

Harmony Highlands Singing School Jasper, AL
Harmony Hill Singing School Azle, TX
Harmony Plains Singing School Cone, TX
Harmony Valley Singing School Pontotoc, MS
Haskell Singing School Haskell, TX

J.G. Whitfield Memorial School of Music 
Jeffress School of Gospel Music Crossett, AR 
Leoma School of Gospel Music Lawrenceburg, TN
Melody Grove Singing School, Warren, TX

Mountain State School of Gospel Music, Charleston, WV  
National School of Music camps in CA, TN & TX
North Georgia School of Gospel Music, Cleveland, GA

Rich Mountain Singing School, Alpine, AR
Shoal Creek Primitive Baptist Church Singing School Newborn, GA 
Singing School at Wilburton Wilburton, OK
Southern Gospel Music School of America, Collegedale, TN 

Texas Southern Gospel School of Music, Corsicana, TX 
The Singing School at ACU Abilene, TX
Tosh School of Gospel Music Fort Worth, TX
Tri-City Gospel Music Camp, Kingsport, TN
Tri-County Singers Association School, Charleston, WV 

West Virginia School of Gospel Music Kenna, WV
Wiregrass Shape Note Academy Camp 2014

All of the 37 schools on the above list share in common: (1) they are held annually, and (2) they teach participants to sing using shape notes. Some are strictly a cappella. Some use musical instruments. Some may simply introduce to shape notes; some may delve in music theory and even composition. Some are "denominational" (usually designed to support singing in a particular church/group). Some are "non-denominational" (usually designed to support singing in singing conventions). All except one are 7-shape. Camp FaSoLa is 4-shape (Sacred Harp). I think Harmony Hill, Rich Mountain, and a few others may briefly deal with Sacred Harp as well. Of the 7-shape schools all use the"Aiken system". Camp DoReMi also supports William Walker's 7-shapes. Click here to see various shapes.


The oldest (known) existing school is the Singing School at Abilene Christian University, which is a continuation of the Texas Normal Singing School established in Sabinal, TX in 1946. This is also the oldest existing school supported by the Churches of Christ. The oldest Primitive Baptist school is Harmony Hills, established in 1954. The oldest non-denominational school is the Brockwell School of Gospel Music, formed in Izard County, AR in 1947. There are perhaps others older that have not come to my attention (and perhaps other annual schools not listed). Many other shape note singing schools are held on a rotating and variable "as requested" basis.


Biennial singing school (occurring every other year)

Christian Harmony at John C. Campbell Folk School Brasstown, NC

If you discover information information or broken links, please let us know. Thanks!

6 comments:

Bro. Matt said...

Sure am glad you're still talking about Sacred Harp music, etc. That'll keep you from commenting on our Christmas conversations!

R. L. Vaughn said...

I wouldn't bet on it!! ;-D

Rachel said...

Thank you for posting all this information! I've attended Tri-City Gospel Music camp for about 5 years now, and I love shape note singing! The TN State Singing Conventions and Bro. Frankie Harder's one at Refuge Baptist church are awesome as well.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Rachel, thanks for stopping by and posting. I'm glad you found the information helpful.

He up the shape-note singing. May God bless you and your new family.

R. L. Vaughn said...

That should say "Keep up the shape-note singing."

Singing Lessons said...

I agree, the shape note singin is very cool :-)