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Gospel singing convention established

April
28
1900

On this day in 1900 the Southwest Texas Sacred Harp Singing Convention was organized at McMahan, ten miles east of Lockhart. Sacred harp music is a religious folk music that derives its name from Benjamin Franklin White's The Sacred Harp (1844). It features a cappella singing of white spirituals written in shaped notes. The sacred harp is the human voice. Although all-day singings with dinner on the grounds are not as widespread as before World War II, they regularly occur in East Texas. The two oldest and largest annual events are the Southwest Texas Convention at McMahan, held in the spring, and the East Texas Sacred Harp Singing Convention in Henderson, organized in 1914 and held in August. Sacred harp singings traditionally were (in some places, still are) a part of a community's homecoming celebration, in which the church was of major importance.

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