singing school by Pete Sutherland

main page of Pete SutherlandPopular shape-note singing school teacher and musician extraordinaire Pete Sutherland is teaching a singing school at Saint Michael’s College tomorrow.

The class commences at 9:45 AM at 303 Edmunds Hall on the main campus.

Parking is available for visitors in the main lot near Durick Library and the McCarthy Arts
Center. Will Ellis, who is the host of this singing school, has an arrangement with St Mike’s security so that anyone visiting to participate in the singing school does not have to worry about parking tickets.

Pete Sutherland plans to use a packet of songs from The Sacred Harp which includes the following

  • Northfield
  • Russia
  • Hallelujah
  • Africa
  • Idumea
  • Primrose
  • Wondrous Love
  • Christian’s Farewell
  • Old Hundred
  • Mear
  • Liverpool
  • Ninety-Fifth

angel Apollyon


ApollyonLast night we sang at Bill’s house in Williston because the Ira Allen Chapel was still closed for the student vacation. There were 15 of us there. One of the songs mentioned having victory over Apollyon and all his angels. Someone asked “Who is Apollyon?” Taylor said he was the angel in charge of the gates of the abyss in the book of Revelation. So I suggested someone look it up to make sure. One person found that it was the name of one of the arguers in Paul Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. I looked it up and found that, sure enough, it was the name of the angel in charge of the abyss in Revelation 7:11 (as well as the name of the character in Pilgrim’s Progress). (Actually it is in Rev 9:11, but I said 7:11 by mistake, and the name means Destroyer.)

So Bill said, “7-11?”

Nicandra: “A slurpee angel, Apollyon, the angel of the blue slurpee.”

Joseph: “Yes! And if you are in a 7-11 and you order a slurpee, and you press both the blue button and the green button on the slurpee machine at the same time, it opens up. Because no-one presses them both at the same time, but if you do, it opens up to an abyss!


For years I have been giving the wrong story for the meaning of the name Ebenezer (literally, Rock of my help). Here is the correct version (ca. 850 BCE):

I Samuel 7:

12Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.” So the Philistines were subdued and they did not come anymore within the border of Israel.

–Mark Williams

SNSCOVI board task list

meeting at the Tulsi Tea Room

meeting at the Tulsi Tea Room

Some of the board of SNSCOVI met on Saturday, January 19th.

This post is a task list based on notes taken during that meeting.

For reference, the main points in the agenda were:

  1. 2013 VT all day sacred singing and that in 2014, as well as the next New England Sacred Harp Convention to convene in VT
  2. a role for SNSCOVI in promoting shape-note singing schools in VT
  3. board authorization of fund raising activities by SNSCOVI for specific projects, like singing schools
  4. the state of the SNSCOVI bank account
  5. the status of the website previously authorized by the SNSCOVI board
  6. possibilities for board development.

In the board meeting we didn’t assign anyone the task of secretary, but Chelsea Smiley took it upon herself to take some notes. The tasks listed here are based on those notes and the recollections and ideas of myself, Ian Smiley.

  1. Ask around about a host for 2014 VT all day sacred harp singing
    Chelsea and Ian to ask Middlebury and Plainfield
    Kerry to ask Brattleboro and Burlington
  2. Burlington to host the New England Sacred Harp Convention when it returns to VT
    Perhaps in 2017?
    Kerry to initiate gathering of a site committee to gather information on possible locations of the convention
    Ian to seek definite information on return of convention to VT
  3. Role of SNSCOVI promoting shape-note singing school
    Singing school for Derby Line by Chelsea and Ian
    Ian and Chelsea to ask around about interest in “teach the teachers” shape-note singing school, teachers and students
    Kerry and Ian to inquire about opportunities for OLLI to sponsor singing schools
  4. Authorization of SNSCOVI to raise money
    Ian to call paypal and try to get a working “donate” button on
  5. website
    Ian to create resource page of items “to print”
    Ian to install working “donate” button on the site
    Kerry to send Ian info on midi resources
    Ian to install the same on a resources page
    anyone to look at site and offer suggestions
  6. For board development
    current board members to find opportunities to tell fellow singers at local singings what SNSCOVI does and role of board member
    Ian and Chelsea to seek a couple more members from Burlington.


Derby Line Singing School

Derby Line Singing School

Enjoy a living tradition of sharing impassioned song which started in New England 250 years ago.

The local singing in Derby Line will host this skill development event during their regular monthly singing on Sunday, February 24th, starting at 3pm.

Please contact Troad Richmond to confirm details by calling eight one nine six five seven four seven zero three.