Sacred singers keep US tradition alive

Oxford Mail: Bass singer James Percival, pictured second from left with, from left, Sheila Girling Macadam, Oliver Madgwick and Edwin Macadam Bass singer James Percival, pictured second from left with, from left, Sheila Girling Macadam, Oliver Madgwick and Edwin Macadam

SACRED Harp singing might not be the most widely known art form around but this group is hoping it’s really going to take off in Oxford.

The tradition of Sacred Harp singing dates back nearly 200 years when it started in New England and spread to the southern states of America.

But now it’s making its way across the Atlantic.

Bass singer James Percival, 24, said: “Compared to other sorts of choral singing Sacred Harp singing is no holds barred.

“You really enter into the spirit of the words, which are quite powerful.”

It consists of singing in unaccompanied four-part harmonies and Sacred Harp singing has been increasingly popular in the UK since the 1970s.

Oxford’s Sacred Harp singing group meets every week on Tuesdays from 7.30pm in the New Road Baptist Church in Bonn Square.

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