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Union to hold ‘Sacred Harp’ sampler March 17

JACKSON, Tenn.March 11, 2009 – Union University’s music department will hold a “Sacred Harp” sampler March 17 at 6:30 p.m. in Hartley Recital Hall.

The “Sacred Harp” hymnal was first published in 1844 and is still published in revised editions. Union music professor Michael Penny and his hymnology class will host the event, which will be what Penny called a form of “shape note hymn singing.”

“A shape note singing is not a concert, but rather a participatory, choir-type experience,” Penny said. “There is no requirement or audition for any singer. Everyone is encouraged to sing with our group, or they are welcome just to observe.

“When great-grandma spoke of ‘all day singing and dinner on the grounds,’ chances are she meant shape note singing like this. So this will be a little piece of American history.”

The event is free and open to the public. An offering will be taken, with funds being used to purchase more hymnals.

Hartley Recital Hall is located in Jennings Hall on the west end of Union’s campus. For more information, call (731) 661-5345.

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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