Codes of Conduct at Shape-Note Singings

Here are examples of Codes of Conduct used at actual events, presented with permission.

General principles about Codes of Conduct

Version: 24-Oct-2022

This page: https://bit.ly/3QlKyfn

2019 Mid-Ontario Convention

Toronto Sacred Harp singers aim to create a welcoming and supportive space where all can enjoy singing together. Our singing community is made up of many individuals with unique and diverse life experiences. This is something we want to recognize and celebrate.

To help us to sing together, we ask that you please:
• treat fellow singers with kindness and respect
• listen to each other
• do your best to look after yourself and those around you

If you have any concerns, questions, or need support please speak with one of the following point-people who will be happy to help:

<four people were introduced>

Announcement at the Convention, in Toronto

2019 New England Convention

The Co-chairs’ Vision for the 2019 New England Convention

The New England Sacred Harp Convention is a weekend of joining our voices in song to create sacred harmonies. We represent a breadth of identities related to age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ethnicity, education, ability, class, and political affiliations. We also recognize that our tradition has historically given power to certain identities while marginalizing others. At our singing today, and throughout the weekend, we aim to co-create a welcoming, inclusive singing—built on consent, positive intent, and deep consideration for the impact our words and actions have on others.

We will not tolerate the abuse of power or harassment in any form.
If you are a witness to or target of behavior that is at odds with this vision:
• As a first step, we encourage you to speak directly with the other person or people involved.
• If a direct interaction does not feel safe or does not resolve the issue, please speak to one of these people: <
eight people are designated>.

We are looking forward to a fantastic weekend of singing, where everyone feels comfortable and supported to participate fully. Here are a few ways each of us can help create a singing where every singer feels welcome:
Song Choice: We ask that you take a moment to consider the poetry of the songs you have chosen, and request that you refrain from calling the following songs: 78 Stafford; 115 Edmonds; 160t War Department; 211 Whitestown
Pronouns: Rather than assuming, ask for someone’s pronouns if you haven’t been explicitly told; write your pronouns on your nametag.
Personal Space + Boundaries: Ask before giving hugs or otherwise touching other people.
Singing: Watch and follow the leader to respect their leading decisions; be aware of your volume to make sure all voices are heard.
Seating: Rotate through the front three rows of seats to give everyone, especially those with traditionally marginalized identities, the opportunity to be near the center. Some folks may need encouragement to take a front bench seat; after you’ve sat on the front, considering giving your seat away for the next session.
Leading: Limit your verses to make time for others; consider whether your keying your own song will be of service to the singing.

Boston / New England Community Statement – Public

Western Massachusetts
Sacred Harp Community

Values and Guidelines

Bay Area [California] Sacred Harp

BASH Statement of Community

2019 Bristol Sacred Harp

Bristol Sacred Harp aims to create a welcoming, inclusive and supportive space where we can all enjoy singing together. Our singing community is made up of many individuals with unique and diverse life experiences. This is something we want to recognise and celebrate.

To help us to sing together we ask that you please:


● treat fellow singers with the kindness and respect they deserve;
● do your best to look after yourself and those around you.

If you have any problems, questions or need support please speak with us and we will listen and take appropriate action as necessary. The following community members will be happy to help:

<Chaplain, Chair, and Vice-Chair>

Context and useful information

Respect for tradition: Sacred Harp is a living tradition. We aim to respect this tradition as it evolves to meet the needs of everyone that sings today.

Faith and spirituality: Sacred Harp comes from a Christian tradition. Today, people of all faiths and none sing Sacred Harp. At formal singings prayers will be said in keeping with tradition.

Gender and voice parts: Sacred Harp is sung in four parts: treble, tenor, alto and bass. Tenor and treble parts suit average to high voices, and can be sung in both octaves. Alto and bass suit low voices, and are sung at written pitch. Voice parts are arranged by pitch, not gender, and you are free to choose which voice part suits you best. Singers often move to sit in different parts, or next to different people, throughout the day.

Voice care: Sacred Harp is sung in ‘full voice.’ You can look after your voice by singing at a level that is comfortable for you, moving around the square to experience different voice parts and paying attention to accenting when you sing. Most importantly, stay hydrated!

Emotional well-being: Sacred Harp singing is a powerful form of expression and you may experience strong feelings. You may feel: connectedness, vulnerability, sorrow or joy. Do take time to look after yourself, whether that be by having some time alone or by speaking with a trusted friend.

Families and children: We want our singings to be as family-friendly as possible. Parents/caregivers are reminded they are responsible for supervising their children at all times.

Food hygiene: Please observe good food hygiene practices when you prepare a dish to share, and label your food with details of any allergens.

Thank you for helping us to sing!

Bristol Sacred Harp Code of Conduct_version 1_May 2019

2019 NYC All-Day

The NYC All-Day Singing brings together singers for a weekend of fellowship and singing. We, the NYC Singers and All-Day Singing Organizers, want to facilitate a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment for everyone, that values participation regardless of age, religion (or lack thereof), singing experience, sexual orientation, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, education, ability, or socio-economic status. We want our singing spaces and community to be built upon a culture of support and consent, with no tolerance for harassment or the abuse of power in any form.

Building this environment at our singings is everyone’s responsibility, both at the singing and throughout the weekend. We look forward to singing and working together to construct and maintain our community by seeking consent in our interpersonal interactions, being aware of how we share spaces and time, and respecting the boundaries of each other’s engagement and comfort.


If you experience anything this weekend that makes you uncomfortable, believe that another singer has behaved in a way that is inconsistent with these goals, or have questions about these guidelines please seek out
<one of four designees>, all of whom you can identify by the stars on their nametags. You can also contact us via the information below.

NYC, Statement on Community Standards, Sep 2019

2020 Keystone

A Welcoming Weekend at Keystone

The Keystone Convention is a weekend of joining our voices in song to create sacred harmonies. We represent a breadth of identities related to age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ethnicity, education, disability, economic circumstance, and political affiliations.

The organizers of the Keystone Convention and our hosts at the Rotunda will not tolerate harassment or abuse of power in any form including but not limited to racism, colorism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, bias against nonbinary and gender nonconforming people, prejudice against people with disabilities of any kind, discrimination based on religion/creed/atheism, or sizeism.

We also recognize that our tradition has historically given power to certain identities while marginalizing others. This weekend, we aim to co-create a welcoming, inclusive singing, where everyone feels comfortable and supported to participate fully. To that end, we encourage consent, positive intent, and deep consideration for the impact our words and actions have on others.

Here are a few ways each of us can help create a singing where every singer feels welcome:

• Pronouns: Rather than assuming, ask for someone’s pronouns if you haven’t been explicitly told. Include your pronouns on your name tag.
• Personal Space + Boundaries: Please ask before giving hugs or otherwise touching other people.
• Singing: Watch and follow the leader to respect their leading decisions; be aware of your volume to make sure all voices are heard.
• Seating: Rotate through the front rows of seats to give everyone, especially those with traditionally marginalized identities, the opportunity to be near the center. Some folks may need encouragement to take a front bench seat; after you’ve sat on the front, consider giving your seat away for the next session.
• Leading: Limit your verses to make time for others; consider whether your keying your own song will be of service to the singing.

If you are new to shape note singing, we are delighted that you found your way here! Sacred Harp can be plenty confusing at the start, so don’t hesitate to ask your neighbor for guidance we have all learned that way.

Philadelphia, Jan 2020

25th UK Sacred Harp Convention

The UK Sacred Harp Convention aims to create a welcoming, inclusive and supportive space where we can all enjoy singing together. Our singing community is made up of many individuals with unique and diverse life experiences. This is something we want to recognise and celebrate.

To help us to sing together we ask that you please:

● Treat fellow singers with the kindness and respect they deserve

● Do your best to look after yourself and those around you.

If you have any problems, questions or need support please speak with us and we will listen and take appropriate action as necessary. The following community members will be happy to help:

[Three designees are listed.]

Context and useful information

Respect for tradition: Sacred Harp is a living tradition. We aim to respect this tradition as it evolves to meet the needs of everyone that sings today.

Faith and spirituality: Sacred Harp comes from a Christian tradition. Today, people of all faiths and none sing Sacred Harp. At formal singings prayers will be said in keeping with tradition.

Gender and voice parts: Sacred Harp is sung in four parts: treble, tenor, alto and bass. Tenor and treble parts suit average to high voices, and can be sung in both octaves. Alto and bass suit low voices, and are sung at written pitch. Voice parts are arranged by pitch, not gender, and you are free to choose which voice part suits you best. Singers often move to sit in different parts, or next to different people, throughout the day.

Pronouns: Rather than assuming, ask for someone’s pronouns if you haven’t been explicitly told. Include your pronouns on your name tag.

Personal Space + Boundaries: Please ask before giving hugs or otherwise touching other people.

Voice care: Sacred Harp is sung in ‘full voice.’ You can look after your voice by singing at a level that is comfortable for you, moving around the square to experience different voice parts and paying attention to accenting when you sing. Most importantly, stay hydrated!

Emotional well-being: Sacred Harp singing is a powerful form of expression and you may experience strong feelings. You may feel: connectedness, vulnerability, sorrow or joy. Do take time to look after yourself, whether that be by having some time alone or by speaking with a trusted friend.

Families and children: We want our singings to be as family-friendly as possible. Parents/caregivers are reminded they are responsible for supervising their children at all times.

Food hygiene: Please observe good food hygiene practices when you prepare a dish to share, and label your food with details of any allergens.

Thank you for helping us to sing!

Leeds, Sep 2022, consciously modeled on the Bristol code

London Sacred Harp

CODE OF CONDUCT

London Sacred Harp aims to create a welcoming, inclusive, and supportive space where we can all enjoy singing together. Building this environment at our singings is everyone’s responsibility, both at the singing and throughout the weekend.

Please seek consent in your interpersonal interactions and respect the boundaries of others. This helps us maintain the health of our community. For example, not everyone is comfortable with hugs.

Our singing community is made up of many individuals with unique and diverse life experiences. This is something we recognise and celebrate. To help us sing together, please treat fellow singers with kindness and respect. Do your best to look after yourself and those around you.

We will not tolerate abuse or harassment in any form. This includes racism, sexism, ableism, and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Do not make
inappropriate references to, or comments about, others that make them uncomfortable.

If you are struggling with someone else’s behaviour and you feel comfortable speaking directly with the other person or people involved, we encourage you to do so. If a direct interaction does not feel safe, or does not resolve the issue, the following community members will be happy to help:

[Three people are designated, Chaplain, Chair, and Vice-Chair]

To find us, ask at the arrangement desk.

If you witness harassment or abuse, please first check in with the person being harassed about what they would like to do. You are welcome to inform one of the community members above about what you have witnessed.

Resolving an issue may include: a mediated conversation, being asked to make an apology to an individual or to the group, or ultimately being asked to leave an event or space.

CONTEXT AND USEFUL INFORMATION

Respect for tradition: Sacred Harp is a living tradition. We aim to respect this tradition as it evolves to meet the needs of everyone who sings today.

Faith and spirituality: Sacred Harp comes from a Christian tradition. Today, people of all faiths and none sing Sacred Harp. At formal singings prayers will be said in keeping with tradition.

Gender and voice parts: Sacred Harp is sung in four parts: treble, tenor, alto and bass. Voice parts are arranged by pitch, not gender, and you are free to choose which voice part suits you best. Singers often move to sit in different parts, or next to different people, throughout the day.

Personal health and safety: London Sacred Harp encourages all singers to get the Covid-19 vaccine and boosters. We require that singers have a negative lateral flow test taken on the day of the singing, and ask that singers not participate that day if they have new coronavirus symptoms or know they have recently been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. We do not require masks to be worn, but please respect the decisions of other singers to wear masks and to social distance.

Emotional well-being: Sacred Harp singing is a powerful form of expression and you may experience strong feelings. You may feel: connectedness, vulnerability, sorrow or joy. Do take time to look after yourself, whether that be by having some time alone or by speaking with a trusted friend.

If you are new to shape note singing, we are delighted that you found your way here! Sacred Harp can be confusing at the start, so don’t hesitate to ask your neighbour for guidance — we have all learned that way.

October, 2022