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Sacred harp singing Saturday

The Third Annual Sacred Harp, Cooper Edition, all-day singing will be Saturday at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama.

The singing will begin at 10 a.m. and admission is free for singers who show their staff and songbook. General admission will be charged for those who just want to come and listen and learn.

Dinner on the ground will be in the main museum building and everyone is invited to bring a favorite dish to share and enjoy the fun and fellowship of an all-day singing, said Ken Sundberg, event coordinator.

“We will be singing from a new edition of the Cooper Book which includes 16 new songs,” he said. “Some songs have been moved to a new location to make the songs less crowded. The new edition is much more readable.”

The new songs include Mars Hill Morning, Peterborough, Tallahassee, Rest for the Soul, Every Grace, Sweet Reunion and National Blessings.

The new edition of the Cooper Book will be for sale but Sundberg said those who sing from the old book will not have any trouble finding their way around.

Everyone is invited to join the singers. Sundberg said there will be someone around who is more than willing to step aside and talk to visitors about the history of the 200-year-old spiritual choral music style.

“There is an increased interest in Sacred Harp singing among all ages,” Sundberg said. “Young people are becoming more interested and we welcome the opportunity to introduce people to Sacred Harp and happy to have them join in.”

Sundberg said those who come to listen are invited to sit up close, not on the back row.

“It’s unpredictable how many will show up for the singing but we usually have about 30,” he said. “No matter how many are there, we’ll sing and have a good time.”