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January 21, 2004

The Birmingham News

Within the next month or so, ground is to be broken in Bessemer, Alabama on the Sacred Harp/Shape Note Music and Cultural Center. The $1 million center is to be built on five acres at 320 Eastern Valley Road. It will feature a 3,500-square-foot auditorium and will be 11,000 square feet in total. The auditorium will seat 500. Smith, who lives in Bessemer, said she hopes the center can host the National Sacred Harp Convention in June. The convention has been in Birmingham for 23 years. Trinity United Methodist Church in Homewood has hosted the event the past 10 of those years. In sacred harp singings, each person takes a turn leading the group in song. Each shape represents a different pitch. "Shapes are easier to learn (than notes)," said Gary Smith, Sarah's husband. "I can't read round-note music to save my life." More

Posted by acapnews at January 21, 2004 9:10 AM


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