Penny Anderson, Shape-Note Singing

Tuesday, April 26, 2022 
7:00pm EST
Live event at City of Asylum, 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Tickets for the session will be available in March 2022.
You may join virtually or in-person. No singing experience required. In-person seating is limited, so register early!

Penny Anderson is a life-long singer of choral music and traditional folksong. Classically trained in music theory, voice, and piano, she has a repertoire of several hundred traditional folk songs from the American, British Isles, and French traditions, and has written dozens of original songs and choral pieces.

Penny organizes the Pittsburgh monthly shape-note sing; leads the women’s chorus Sorora; sings a grab-bag of music from many eras as part of the duo Monongahela Harmony; composes, arranges, and sings with the Pittsburgh Compline Choir; and is learning to play the concertina. She would rather sing than do anything else.

Shape-note singing is a musical practice and tradition of social singing from music books printed in shape notes. Shape notes are a variant system of Western musical notation whereby the note heads are printed in distinct shapes to indicate their scale degree and solmization syllable (fa, sol, la, etc.). Since 1801 shape notes have been associated with American sacred music, specifically with singing schools, with musical conventions, and with all-day gatherings known as “singings.” 


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