My friends, if you should ever find this world is not your home,
You've lost your faith in God or man and think you're all alone,
Or else you've met such happiness that music fills your heart,
Whether you are feeling joy or woe sing from The Sacred Harp.
- Finest Kind, Fa-Sol-La
Wow, shape note singing was actually a lot of fun. The people there were really nice and friendly, plus it turned out I knew one of them and recognized a couple others from Camp Harmony, so that helped. It was a pretty small group -- two people per part. I got to be a bass! (I've always wanted to be a bass, but I still need a few more low notes to be a good one). The other guy singing bass was very good, so it helped to be singing with him. I started getting the shape/syllable system a bit better towards the end, at least for major keys. Minors were harder. I think it was a really good level of difficulty for me, though. Not so hard to be discouraging, but still challenging, so it will help my sight singing and my ear a lot. It's still pretty much takes all my concentration just to get most of my notes and most of the words at the right times, but hopefully I'll get better at that and eventually be able to listen to what the other parts are doing as well. I'm planning on going to the next one in two weeks, and then the week after that there's some big gathering in Santa Cruz which I might check out. Fun fun.
Oh, and I want to start doing some Irish sessions once in a while again. I haven't been to Patrick's in over a year, so maybe I'll do that again. And someone else today told me about another one in Sunnyvale that I might try, though it's not until next month. That would be fun, too. I've been less folky and more classical (at least as far as my piano skills will allow) recently so it might be nice to shift the balance a little bit.