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In shape-note singing, the music is written in standard notation, except that the notes have four different shapes — triangle (fa), oval (sol), rectangle (la) and diamond (mi) — corresponding to the correct syllable. Photo by Cindy Gladden.
Shape-note singers from all over Missouri and beyond will gather at St. John’s United Church of Christ at Pinckney near Marthasville next weekend for the 28th annual Missouri Sacred Harp Singing Convention Saturday and Sunday, March 9-10. The convention is open to the public and there is no charge to attend, although everyone is asked to bring along a dish or two to share for the annual “dinner on the grounds” at noon each day. Singers arrange themselves in an “open square” all facing the center, where one person stands to lead the group. These are not performances, so there is no applause, just enjoyment. Photo by Cindy Gladdon.