Come sing Sacred Harp with us in the Palo Alto (Calif.) area!

KALW calls it “the punk rock of choral music.” Rolling Stone magazine says: “The soaring magnificence of Sacred Harp [is] a robust, harmonically intricate blend of country joy and unearthly drone.” The Anonymous 4 devoted an album to it.

We love to have new singers join us at any time! If you’re new to singing, our tune book, The Sacred Harp, comes out of the early American “Singing School” tradition, so teaching new singers is in our DNA. More experienced singers will enjoy singing an unusual repertoire of American songs written over a period of more than two centuries.

We have “practice singings” (a.k.a., local singings) twice a month, on the 2nd and 4th Sundays from 2-4 p.m. We mostly sing from The Sacred Harp (1991 Denson edition), and we have loaner copies that you can borrow. We host an all-day singing at the end of August, and we regularly sing at other northern California singings.

Ours is a democratic, egalitarian singing tradition. Everyone gets a chance to choose and lead a song (if you’re not ready to lead, you can ask someone else to lead your song choice). We range from people who have never sung before, all the way to professional musicians. Our musical backgrounds range from none at all, to folk and trad. music, to Renaissance music, to punk rock, and beyond. Though we sing sacred songs, we come from many different faiths or no faith at all. We range in age from 2 to 82.

Listen to Bay Area Sacred Harp on Soundcloud


Upcoming Palo Alto local singings

2nd and 4th Sundays, from 2-4 p.m.
In Room 1 of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E. Charleston Rd., Palo Alto 94306 (directions below)

Directions: Take the San Antonio Rd. exit (400C) from 101 away from the bay; turn right onto Charleston Rd. (first light) and cross Middlefield Rd.; the church is on the right, just past the shopping center on your left.
OR Take the Page Mill Road exit (from 280) or the Oregon Expressway exit (from 101) toward Palo Alto; turn toward Mountain View on Middlefield Road (4 miles from 280, 1 mile from 101); turn right onto Charleston Rd.

Palo Alto All Day Singing, Sat. before the 4th Sun. in Aug.
9:30 to 3:30 , in the Fireside Room of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto (see directions above)

Gabriel leading at the 2015 Palo Alto All Day


Other nearby local singings

Check the list maintained by Lindy here.

Altos singing at the 2015 All-California Convention


Nearby all-day singings

January 1
Dominic Ciavonne Ziegler Memorial Singing

January, 3rd Sunday and Saturday before
Annual All-California Convention (200 singers)
2017: Los Angeles area
2018: San Francisco area
2019: San Diego area

April, Saturday before the 4th Sunday
Golden Gate All Day Singing (100 singers)
see their Web site for details

August, Saturday before the 4th Sunday
Palo Alto All Day Singing (50 singers)
Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, 505 E. Charleston Rd., Palo Alto
Contact Terry Moore or Dan Harper for details

September, Saturday before the 3rd Sunday
Santa Cruz All Day Singing (40 singers)
Contact Ed Rice or Shelley Phillips for details

November, Saturday before the second Sunday
Sacramento/Davis All Day Singing
Contact Pat Coghlan for details

Tenors singing at the 2015 All-California Convention


Sacred Harp on the Pacific Coast

Sacred Harp Alaska

British Columbia
Vancouver Sacred Harp

Pacific Northwest Sacred Harp
There are closed Facebook groups for:
Bellingham Sacred Harp
Seattle Sacred Harp
Tacoma Sacred Harp Singers
Olympia Shape Note
Tri-Cities Sacred Harp

Portland Sacred Harp
Salem Sacred Harp
Eugene Sacred Harp

Healdsburg — email list only
Davis Area Sacred Harp
Bay Area Sacred Harp
— covers Berkeley, San Francisco, and greater Bay Area
Palo Alto Shape Note (South Bay)
Santa Cruz — email list only
Sacred Harp in Los Angeles
Sacred Harp in Culver City
San Diego Sacred Harp


All text on this site: copyright (c) 2015-present Palo Alto Shape Note singers.
Except where noted otherwise, all photos on this Web site: copyright (c) 2015-present Dan Harper, used by permission.