Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,
Steven
unzeugmatic

More Singing

In my yearly cycle of big events, this past weekend was one of the biggest: The Minnesota State Sacred Harp Singing Convention. We thought we wouldn't get many visitors this year, with gas and plane prices so prohibitive, and while it's true we were a little smaller than in previous years we still filled the room with visitors old and new and sang our hearts out for two solid days and into the evenings. My upstairs neighbors and I become one household for the weekend, hosting guests collectively -- sort of. They volunteer lots of beds and use my spare one. But I provide food and drink at various times throughout the weekend, and folks are up and down the stairs a lot.

So it's all a lot of fun. And a lot of cooking. And getting up early to set up a couple of canopies down at Murphy's Landing, which is not my strong suit but I manage.

Here is me looking intense while leading on Sunday afternoon (photo courtesy Martha Henderson):



As always, there were many strong and emotional moments throughout the day. When you surround yourself with other folks who love to sing this stuff as much as you do, without embarrassment or apology or rationalization, you can just soar.

I did my front bench duty off and on throughout the weekend, which involves sitting in the middle of the front bench and helping the leaders and making things happen from the middle of the set. You can't relax for a minute, or lose yourself in your book. The front benches of the hollow square have been likened to the coals of a fire: You've got to collect the heat together in the middle. And when you do -- as we did for various periods this past weekend -- the flames dance high.

Here's me on the front bench. This is an interesting photo because clearly it's a song nobody knows, including me. But you do your best.



All in all, this is a fine way to fill an autumn weekend in Minnesota.
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