Code of Conduct

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:

Sarah Hill, Secretary

Jacoba Bruneel

Al Williams

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!

Health & wellbeing:  We ask all singers and visitors over seven years of age to follow Covid measures detailed on the website, event page and welcome desk.  Acknowledging that singing together remains a higher risk activity for transmission of respiratory illness.  

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!