December 16, 2017
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Shape note and birthday singing at Shaker village

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NEW GLOUCESTER, Maine — The seventh annual Shaker Meetinghouse and Francis Bliss Birthday Singing will be held 1-4:30 p.m. Saturday, June 7, at the historic 1794 Meetinghouse, 707 Shaker Road, at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester. Bliss is a former Colby College professor and beloved member of the Maine shape note singing community who will be 94 in June. This is a free, participatory event and no experience is needed.  Donations accepted.  We will sing from the Sacred Harp, 1991 Denson edition.  Sacred Harp or shape note music was widely published in the 19th century and music is still being written in this style today.  The four “shapes” provide quick access to reading music for the average person.  The songs are written using the familiar musical notation, so if you read music, you can read shape note music.
This event is part of the Folk Festival being held at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village and Museum with workshops, demonstrations and an herb plant sale going on 10 a.m.-2 p.m., as well as museum tours.