Cincinnati New Years Singing

New Year's Day ~ 10am-3:30pm
Harriet Beecher Stowe House
2950 Gilbert Avenue, Cincinnati OH, 45206

Cincinnati New Years

But, dear friend, though rudely sung
That old psalm tune hath still
A pulse of power beyond them all
My inmost soul to thril.
—Harriet Beecher Stowe, "The Old Psalm Tune" (1858)

Each year on New Year's Day, the Cincinnati Sacred Harp singers and vistors from throughout the midwest crowd into the parlor of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House to sing. Harriet was a lover of old hymn singing. She composed songs herself, and populated her novels with singers, singing teachers, and preachers based on characters remembered from her youth. Her father Lyman was famous for his advocacy of professional choirs.

Guests are welcome at the event. There is no admission charge and no schedule, just singing throughout the 10:00-3:30 span, with a midday potluck meal. We have extra books you can use, and you will likely enjoy following along as best you can. The music is printed in the fashion of the shape note tradition, but if you have any note reading experience you will recognize the position of the notes on the staff.

This is a Sacred Harp singing (red book), but we welcome guest books of all colors as long as there are enough. Currently we are featuring the Shenandoah Harmony, so please bring those if you have them. We also have a stock of Missouri Harmony books, and sometimes the Louisville singers have brought their stock of Cooper Books.

This singing was founded in 1992 in part to draw from holiday visitors who were friends of Cincinnati singers. The first singing was a half-day singing, but was expanded to a whole day later. The year 2015 marked twenty-five years of meetings.

Directions to Harriet Beecher Stowe House: The Stowe house is located in the Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati at 2950 Gilbert Avenue, Cincinnati OH, 45206. This is on the SE corner of MLK and Gilbert; the parking lot is on the east side of the building off Foraker Av. There is also street parking on Foraker. There is additional parking at the African American Chamber of Commerce across the street (2945 Gilbert). The front door is usually kept locked so enter on the back side in the door just up from the parking lot.

For more information: Contact John Bealle at 513-515-7473 or To learn more about the Cincinnati singing group go to the Sacred Harp Singing in Cincinnati webpage. For general info on Sacred Harp, visit

Stowe House photo by Greg Hume.