131st Big Singing set for May 25

The 131st Big Singing will take place in the Old Benton, KY courthouse in the upstairs Fiscal Courtroom on Sunday, May 25th. 


The morning session will begin at 10:00. A free lunch will be provided at the Woodman of the World building across the street. The afternoon session will go from 1:15 to around 3:30 p.m. The National Music Council designated Benton’s Big Singing as the oldest indigenous musical tradition in the nation.


Dr. Deborah Carlton Loftis described the annual event, which takes place in the Marshall County Courthouse, as “the only shape-note singing in Kentucky with a continuous tradition dating from the nineteenth century” in her 1987 Ph.D. dissertation. 


However, people do not just show up and begin singing this music.  It is different!  We sing the shape notes (fa, sol, la) in all the parts together before we sing the words of the songs. That is why we have planned a few special practices. I would like to invite you to join us on Thursday nights at 7:00 p.m. at the new CFSB banking center in Benton beginning May 1. If you can’t sing the shape notes just sing la, la, la with the leader.


Please encourage your family, friends, neighbors, and church to come and be a part of these practices at the CFSB banking center, and then join us for this year’s 131st Big Singing will be held May 25 upstairs in the old Circuit Courtroom from 10 to 12 and then from 1:15 to about 3:30. We hope everyone will come and be a part of this marvelous musical tradition. 


For more information contact Gene Gilliland at 270-527-4616.

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