Clayton State University to host free, old fashioned Sacred Harp Singing School


Clayton State University’s world-famous Spivey Hall will host its Sacred Harp Singing School on Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16.

“Singers and history buffs alike will thoroughly enjoy this annual event,” a spokesperson said. “Sacred Harp Singing, sometimes also called ‘fa-so-la’ or shape-note singing, involves singing parts without instrumental accompaniment. The repertoire includes psalms, fugues, odes, and anthems by the first American composers (1770-1810) as well as folk songs and revival hymns (1810-1860). This is a non-denominational community music event that emphasizes participation, not expertise.”

The school will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Both Friday and Saturday’s events are free and open to the public, but advanced registration for Friday’s “singing school” is required. Teachers who wish to earn one PLU by participating in both days’ activities should download the PLU and mail or fax the PLU form, which is available at Teachers should secure their principal’s approval and submit the form and the $35 fee to Spivey Hall no later than the first day of the class.

At Friday’s singing school clinician Nathan Rees will instruct beginners and experienced practitioners in the history, tradition, and performance practices of this authentic piece of Americana. Participants will also view the documentary “Awake, My Soul: The Story of the Sacred Harp.”

As noted, participation in the singing school is free, but advanced registration is required. A registration form can also be downloaded at Registration can also be taken over the phone at 678-466-4491.

On Saturday, July 16, Sacred Harp singers young and old will travel from throughout the southeast for the annual singing and potluck luncheon at Spivey Hall. Participants should bring a covered dish to share.

Participants are also asked to bring their own Sacred Harp books and, if they have any extras, bring those to share. All are welcome to this event, from beginning singers to life-long experts.

For more information about Sacred Harp singing, visit or visit

For complete information on the Sacred Harp Singing School, including a video of the singing from the 2009 school, go to….

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is a comprehensive metropolitan university located in Morrow, 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.