On Sunday the 27th I will be rattling my neurons from 2 - 5 p.m. at a traditional shape note singing at First Mennonite, Springfield and Lincoln. Once described by the children of a St. Paul singer as "death metal folk," shape note hymn singing from the Sacred Harp is a living worship tradition among Primitive Baptists in the rural deep South, and the passion of a set of accoustic post-punk and post-goth folks in Portland/OR. The shaped note system helps beginners read music and succeed in a capella harmony singing. That's why I started, and the experience of full bore, a capella tight-harmony singing energy hooked me.
To hear more go to youtube and search "sacred harp." Then turn up your pc's speakers and take care if you have ear buds. For a more linear introduction to this egalitarian tradition, visit fasola.org.
If you like to sing and never wanted to be part of a perfectly blending, round vowel projecting Minnesota Lutheran college choir, this is for you.