Sacred Harp Singing in Cincinnati

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As of April 2022, Sacred Harp singing in Cincinnati has resumed. Singings are held 4-6pm monthly on the 2nd Sunday at Church of Our Saviour/La Iglesia de Nuestro Salvador, 65 E Hollister St, Cincinnati, OH 45219 (Google Map). You can park on the street (currently on both sides), or in the parking lot directly behind the church. Please remember, here as in all public places: Lock your car!

The Covid policy suggested by the church is as follows:
- Everyone who comes to sing must be fully vaccinated
- Singers must provide contact info (email or phone)
- Masks are optional

We will continue to sing indoors with these precautions unless community infections rates begin rising. Changes in Covid policies and schedule updates, are being announced on the Cincinnati Sacred Harp Facebook group page.

Sacred Harp singing uses the book The Sacred Harp (orig. 1844), which features a style of music popular during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Its most distinctive characteristic is the use of shape notes to indicate the degree of the musical scale. Just as in nineteenth century singing schools, Sacred Harp singers sing the names of the notes "fa," "sol," "la," and "mi" before singing the text. Singers sit in a "hollow square," with the bass, tenor, treble, and alto facing the leader in the center.

As the film clip describes, Sacred Harp singing is undergoing a revival in northern cities like Cincinnati. For more information on Sacred Harp singing in general, the "fasola" webpage is a good resource—

Singing Information

The meetings are informal and proceed by taking turns choosing songs from the book. Often easy songs are chosen if newcomers are present. Veteran singers are eager to answer any questions. There is no admission charge, no membership, no audition, no choir director, no rehearsal, and no performance—just singing. Sacred Harp singing thrives on large numbers, so veterans are usually eager to help newcomers learn the fundamentals.


Each year on January 1st, Cincinnati sponsors an "all-day singing" from 10am-3:30pm. This is a wonderful event that attracts singers from around the midwest and brings together old friends who are in Cincinnati for the holidays. Details on the singing are available at the Cincinnati New Year Singing website. Due to Covid the singing may be cancelled—check Facebook for the most recent news.


Currently the Cincinnati group does not maintain an email list. Until a new email group is created, we recommend joining the Facebook group for singing news.


The Cincinnati Sacred Harp Facebook group is located at where we share announcements and news of singers. If you're on Facebook, please join the group!


Records indicate that the first meeting was held June 26, 1988, with six singers. In 1990 we hosted a singing school taught by Richard DeLong, held in a classroom at Xavier University. There for the first time we met the singers from Columbus. Soon after, we jointly established the Yellow Springs singing.


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