Performed at the Shenandoah Heritage Village at the Elk Run Meeting House from 1-4 pm on Sat. Sept.1
Shaped-note singing began in New England at the start of the 19th century. As the practice faded away there, it was catching on in southern states. Shaped-note hymnals were published in the Shenandoah Valley starting in 1816, with at least 13 books and 31 editions printed here before the Civil War. The one that has endured is Harmonia Sacra, published in 1832 by Joseph Funk, a Mennonite farmer from Singers Glen. About a dozen annual Harmonia Sacra sings are still held today, open to all who want to sing from this remarkable collection of tunes from the British Isles, the European chorale tradition, and American folk sources.