Ireland’s first Sacred Harp Convention took place in University College Cork over the first weekend in March. I was there, recording and enjoying the singing – but also asking people about Dinner-on-the-Grounds.
This is a potluck feast, and feast indeed it was, where everyone brings a dish to share and it is an important part of the Sacred Harp tradition. As one of my interviewees said, “eating is just as much a part of Sacred Harp singing as singing… You come here for the music, you come here for the food and you come here for the people.”
Regular Sacred Harp singing sessions, which are open to everyone (Dinner-on-the-Grounds for special occasions only!), are held every Thursday evening in Cork’s Camden Palace Hotel. For more information go to www.music.ucc.ie/shapenote