Rocky Mountain Shapenote Singers  




Music to hear
Newsletter and

Sept Convention

Boulder  & Denver
Colorado Springs

Arkansas Valley, and

La Junta




FASOLA : The National Shapenote Web site

              –Fa (a flag shaped note)
                          -SO (a round note)
                                  -La (a box shaped note) web page is the shapenoter's  communication and information site.

All sources known to shapenote lovers have links from here and you may subscribe
to an active "chat" line that will answer all your questions and much more.


Warren Steel's  web page
 Steven Sobel's
resources pages
 Singing  books  ( ie: books used at Shapenote singings) The only way our books sing is with a person attached and engaged.


            High Desert Harmony - 4 original songs by Daniel Davis - University of New Mexico
             Sorroco (2002), Ojo Caliente (1999), La Bajada (1999), Sleeping Ute Mountain (2004)

 Steven  Smith's  pages contain examples of music

             Recordings of Shapenote music index   CD's and tapes





The Newsletter


Editor:    Pete Mathewson

417 Carson Avenue

La Junta, CO 81050

            Cell:   719-469-5241      end_of_the_skype_highlighting      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
   (articles and inclusions gratefully accepted)

  email    Pete  with your email address and receive it online









Rocky Mountain Sacred Harp











  Fort Collins

The 1st.  Monday of each month

 St.Luke's Church

2000 Stover Street,  Fort Collins

from 7:00 - 8:30 with no break


Contact:  Hill Grimmett  

               970-231-1197      end_of_the_skype_highlighting      end_of_the_skype_highlighting







  3119   9th Street, Boulder

usually on the 2nd. Friday from 7 - 9:00pm

Please confirm before you come OR Send MaryLou an email to be added to her notification list






  Denver Sacred Harp

 St. Mark's Orthodox Church
1405 So. Vine St., at East Arkansas Avenue
For a map and driving directions, see
Easy, quick access from I-25 University Blvd. exit.
Enter the building through the North-facing Arkansas-Avenue entrance.


 Effective September 2009 the Denver Group will cease the regular monthly singings it has

traditionally held on the 4th Sunday of the month. It will continue singing in Denver every

Monday evenings (except the first Monday of the month) from 6:40 – 8:40.


 The Denver singing

group is delighted to arrange special singings, in addition to the regular Monday evening

singings, for out of town visitors to the Denver/Boulder area whenever possible.


 Out of town singers please call


               Sharon Kermiet at 303-704-8323 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting or email her at


     to arrange a special singing.



Singing books include red (The Sacred Harp), blue (Sacred Harp by B.F.White) and black (Norumbega Harmony)

All books will be at the singings as loaners


     Everyone is welcome! If you are interested in Sacred Harp and other traditional American singing styles,

 we hope you will join us.  
     And if you like to sing in any style, or if you're just curious, you're welcome too -- come and try something different. 


    Dates, times, and place subject to change.  

 Please call before coming, especially if you haven’t been for a while.


Contact:  Pat  Dolan     303-778-6297 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     






Arkansas Valley Sacred Harp  


Every 3rd.  Monday from 6:30 – 8:30.

 At Pete and Susan Mathewson’s   417 Carson Avenue

All Guests welcome

      Pete Mathewson  719-469-5241 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 

You'al come now or you will never know how much fun singing can be.
Experience the old hymns sung in the old way. We use both the Cooper and the
Denson Revised Sacred Harp. Books will be available for loan at the singings.


Organizers of The Pike’s Peak Annual Singing

sign up to receive the  newsletter  for all the latest information.









New Mexico

 Second and fourth Sundays, 2:00-5:00pm

Immanuel Presbyterian Church

 114 Carlisle Blvd. SE Albuquerque, NM 87106

Directions, it is one block south of Central Ave, when travelling east (towards the mountains) from I-25. From I-40, take the Carlisle Bvd exit and continue until after crossing Central. The church has a tower visible for a while before you get there.


  For general info:  Nancy Nortz (505)281-0267 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     












(Denson Book)

First Tuesdays at  7:00 -  9:00 p.m.,
Please call for exact  location
 801-766-4482 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              801-766-4482      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting  
  801-766-4482 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              801-766-4482      end_of_the_skype_highlighting      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Provo (Denson Book)
Second Tuesdays  7:00-9:00 pm,
 St.Mary's Episcopal Church,
50 West - 200 North.

Salt Lake City (Cooper Book)
Fourth Tuesdays 7:00-9:00pm.
  1480 East Edison (1480 South- 145 East)

Contact:  Jenny Jensen    begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 801-766- 4482      end_of_the_skype_highlighting   







The Sacred Harp Singing Tradition

The use of shaped notes does not have a very long history as singing goes. One of the very early American occupations was the singing schoolmaster. The original books came out of Scotland with immigrants and soon new books were written created from memory and contained favorite hymns plus the addition of pop tunes of the day edited into the shapenote format. For example the Sacred Harp book contains Lest Olde Acquaintance Be Forgot (Plenary #162) and Du Du liegst mir im Herzen (Soft Music #323b) plus many waltz and jig tunes. The schoolmaster (mistress) went from place to place teaching groups of people to sing with the aid of these shaped notes. Originally most of the tunes were in three parts (treble,tenor and bass) with the tenor singing the melody line, but today most of the songs have an alto line added to provide the four part harmony we seem to be most comfortable with. The treble is the highest staff, the alto is on the second staff, the tenor is on the third staff down and still contains the melody, and bottom staff was and is the bass. Both men and women sing in all the parts. It depends purely upon the range of your voice and how you feel ...the parts are very closely harmonized and often cross over each other. The sound has been described as open, tonal, filled with energy and joy. New songs are being written today by young and old composers. The older books can still be found in attics,bookshops, and church basements, but we sing from newly published songbooks. Shapenoters with great joy upon finding old books will sing some of the old tunes out in their local shapenote groups. Both favorite selections and new songs are found in the recently published books. To obtain books it is best to attend a singing as one of the group will have the particular book they are currently using and usually extras for sale/loan.
All conventions will have books for sale as well as the book, tapes and CD's.






Different Shapenote books are used by different singing groups. Books contain differing shapes, i.e. four shapes (ours), seven shapes (some southern singing groups) and other systems (nine shapes) that are either seldom or never sung.  The Rocky Mountain Shapenote Singers use  The Sacred Harp  (no - harp is not the instrument. Harp refers to the voice as a harp. Singing is without the use of any instruments).  The best way to obtain singing books is to go to a singing where they will be available for sale. 


The B.F.White SACRED HARP (Revised Cooper Edition, 2006)

Sacred Harp Book Co.  Mr. Bill Aplin,  Secretary/Treasurer,  200 S. Johnson St.

Samson, AL 36477    


SACRED HARP SINGINGS,  directory . Shelbie Sheppard, P.O. Box 5246, Glencoe, Al 35905
This minutes paperback contains lists of: 1) name, address and date of each convention held during each year, listed by month;  2) names and addresses of singers, and   3) every song called and who called it during each convention. (do you want to know the popular songs?   this is your resource)

AN AMERICAN CHRISTMAS HARP, 1994. K.E.Willard. ed, 15215 Tubbs Road, Buckley, WA 98321


The B.F.White SACRED HARP - Revised Cooper Edition, 1992 Sacred Harp Book Co., Inc. Samson, Al


            THE SACRED HARP CONCORDANCE - Chris Thorman 1991 edTHE SACRED HARP, 1991 Revision

            Sacred Harp Publishing Co.  c/o Richard DeLong , Executive Secretary,  PO Box 385  Whitesburg, GA 30185


            Click on FASOLA for more info  and a lot more singing books 



 Sandy Klein, webmaster:
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