On two separate workshops, the first on Saturday, March 23rd, and the second on Saturday, April 6th, singers of all abilities are welcome to join music director Gregory Corbino for a day of learning and singing in the tradition of the Sacred Harp, also known as shape note singing. We will also have a Sacred Harp Singing celebration and potluck in May. Scroll down for details.

Sacred Harp Singing is one of the oldest written four-part harmonies from the United States, and its technique enables singers to sight read any music notated in the FA-SO-LA style. Workshop participants will learn the Shape Note technique, as well as the history and traditions of the Sacred Harp, which include not only singing the music in a group but leading and pitching it as well. Throughout the weekend participants will sing dozens of songs from the Sacred Harp, as well as touching on a few other styles which share similar musical foundations with the sacred harp and may include rounds, music from other polyphonic traditions, and improvisation. While no previous musical technique or ability is required, we will be reading music and learning how to read Sacred Harp music. Workshop participants will leave ArtYard with a stronger sense of how to read and sing the Sacred Harp. Each of the two workshops will wrap up with an afternoon open sing, and a farewell potluck lunch.

MARCH (workshop 1)

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019
Sacred Harp Singing School A: Fundamentals-Rudiments of the Sacred Harp

This Saturday will offer a step by step introduction to the sacred harp, the how what and who of Shape Note Singing. We encourage beginners to attend this workshop. No previous singing experience is necessary. Anyone can join!

Singing instruction from 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM, followed by open singing from 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM, and then a potluck dinner.

Price: $10 

APRIL (workshop 2)

Saturday, April 6th, 2019
Sacred Harp Singing School B: continuing and deepening the practice of shape note singing

This saturday we will spend time developing repertoire and comfort with sight reading. Everyone is welcome to this session, regardless of previous sacred harp singing experience.

Singing instruction from 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM, followed by open singing from 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM, and then a potluck dinner.

Price: $10 

MAY (Sacred Harp Singing celebration & potluck)

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

Join us for an afternoon of singing from the sacred harp, and a potluck dinner afterward. All are welcome regardless of ability. Bring the joy of singing together and something to share at the potluck. This is a free event!


Gregory Corbino is a multidisciplinary performing artist, whose work combines a strong visual aesthetic with voice, movement, and storytelling. Gregory began singing and leading Sacred Harp Music in 2008 in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont while he was a resident puppeteer of The Bread and Puppet Theater. He was taught by Elka Schumann, who learned the tradition in the 1970’s from Larry Gordon of Northern Harmony. Every Tuesday night in a dirt floor theater full of paper mache reliefs, the community surrounding Bread and Puppet gathers for an evening sing, and since the 1970’s have evolved the Sacred Harp tradition to fit their unique aesthetic, changing words when appropriate, and performing this music in unconventional ways.  This sparked a deep love for the tradition, and for facilitating large groups of singers in accessible and rousing four-part harmonies.

Gregory has directed choral music for the Bread and Puppet theater productions for the past ten years, exploring baroque, improvisation, classical, and European folk traditions. Currently, Gregory is the associate music director for the Stop Shopping Choir in New York and has facilitated choral workshops as the Music Director for the Stop Shopping Choir in Dublin, Athens, and Zurich in this past year. As a vocalist, Gregory has performed in many international and domestic venues including Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Joes Pub at the Public Theater, Theater for the New City and the Skirball in NYC. His vocal style is a mixture of classical and folk, often accompanied by an accordion.


Sacred Harp singing is a tradition of sacred choral music that originated in New England and was later perpetuated and carried on in the American South of the United States. The name is derived from The Sacred Harp, a ubiquitous and historically important tunebook printed in shape notes. 

Sacred Harp Singing at Bread and Puppet

The work was first published in 1844 and has reappeared in multiple editions ever since. Sacred Harp music represents one branch of an older tradition of American music that developed over the period 1770 to 1820 from roots in New England, with a significant, related development under the influence of “revival” services around the 1840s. This music was included in and became profoundly associated with, books using the shape note style of notation popular in America in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Kevin Barrans Explains Sacred Harp Singing

Pin It on Pinterest