Lowcountry Sacred Harp

Here in Charleston, SC, we've started a local shapenote group, singing from The Sacred Harp (1991 edition).  Beginners are welcome!  We have extra copies of The Sacred Harp for newcomers to sing from.  Our scheduled meetings for the summer of 2014 are the following Saturdays, at 2-4pm:
June 28, July 26, August 30, Sept. 27

You can also find our meetings on the calendar at circularchurch.org.

If you have any questions, please contact me (Tom Ivey) at 843-853-3976 or email

Click here for information about our annual all-day singing in May.
The minutes from our 2014 singing in Gage Hall are available here.

Other shapenote happenings in our area include monthly singings in Savannah.

Directions to our regular monthly singing:
We sing in lower Lance Hall, at the historic Circular Congregational Church, located at 150 Meeting St. in Charleston
Lance Hall is the two-storey building with columns in the southeast corner of the churchyard.
The room we use is at the back of the ground floor, entered from the south side off the courtyard.
On Saturdays, some parking is available in the walled lot to the south of the cemetery, entered off of Queen Street
(The entrance is about 100 feet in from Meeting, on the north side of Queen; look for the large convex
mirror on the gatepost.)  Please park only in the spaces marked
"Harbor National Bank Customers"
(Our friend Kathy Thom has checked that this is okay with the tenants; thanks, Kathy!)
Note that the access gate between this parking lot and the church campus has now been permanently locked.

If the Harbor National Bank spots are not available, please park in the City garage on Cumberland Street,

or in the bank parking lot adjacent to the churchyard.

Other Resources:
Click here to download a 1-page beginner's guide to Sacred Harp.
You can find much more information about shapenote singing in the southeast
and across the US at the following sites:

You can find a recording of the 2011 Piccolo Spoleto singing here
and audio from our 2010 singing at BostonSing.org.

On January 14, 2012 we held a special "demonstration" singing at the Grand Army Hall
at 706 Newcastle St. in Beaufort.  Pictures from the singing can be found here.


Thomas Ivey's Tunebook

Here you'll find PDF files for various shapenote hymns I've written, arranged, or found in old books. 
If you'd like to go back to my main page, click here.



written in 2002, revised 2006; same hymn text occurs at the close of Britten's "St. Nicholas"


written in Atlanta airport, Dec. 2005; text by W.D.McLagan (1826-1910), Archbishop of York


written Sept. 2006; same text as Hartsfield, title refers to Robertson Davies' novel What's Bred in the Bone

Higher Ground

Oct. 2006

Royal Arch

Nov. 2006; title refers to a rock formation in the Flatirons near Boulder, Colorado


Nov. 2006-Jan. 2007; text from a song by Thomas Campian or Campion

Howard Park

June 2007; text by H.H.Hopson, with a verse from Westford added; title is a street in Toronto


July-Aug. 2007; title refers to the site of Denver Sacred Harp's weekly practice singings


Aug. 2007; first verse taken from tombstone of Thomas Ivey, 1742-1809, Sithney, Cornwall (my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather's first cousin)


Martial Trumpet

melody from The Southern Harmony, 1835


from The Church Harmony, 1841; alto part added


from The Church Harmony; alto part added

Heavenly Dove

from The Social Harp; alto part added

I Shall Be Satisfied

melody transcribed from Boston Camerata's CD, "The American Vocalist"



from The Easy Instructor


from The Easy Instructor


from The Kentucky Harmony


from The Kentucky Harmony; Dr. Warren Steele says that Wetmore wrote this in memory of his wife, who died young.