Oxford Sacred Harp Singing

Home    What is Sacred Harp?    Directions    Press Articles    Links    Records




Shapenote Singing in the City of
Dreaming Spires


Oxford Singing Day 2017
In our new Venue in North Hinksey Lane

Follow us on:


Listen to:

The Strand, - BBC World Service, review of First Polish Sacred Harp Convention in Warsaw, in September 2012.  Starts at 11:05 mins.

Discussions on Blogs:

Wed 28 Nov 2012
http://jpkarlsberg.com: Songs of the Sacred Harp on BBC Radio 4.


7 Dec 2012 - Music Takes a Sacred Shape; article in the Church Times by Simon Jones.

7 Dec 2012 -
Cerys Matthews visits Alabama to uncover a sacred choral tradition.


The Sacred Harp website in America is at www.fasola.org which contains a wealth of information for both new and experienced singers.




 Oxford Sacred Harp Singing

Promote your Page too

Please also see notice below as to future singings

 The Oxford New Road Baptist Church in 1799


Thursday 17 December


Thank you all for coming to the final
Carols Session,
which was greatly appreciated by those
who came!


We hope we may be able to host occasional singing to visitors to Oxford, given sufficient notice


Oxford Singing Day
24th June 2017


Botley Women's Institute
Village Hall
North Hinksey Lane, Botley


10.00 am - 4.00 pm

Tea, Coffee and Biscuits available from 9.30 am


Bring and Share Lunch

Donations to cover costs


Evening get together afterwards at
30 Eynsham Road OX2 9BP

Lifts from Oxford Bus and Rail Stations can be arranged
 please contact us


Buses 4, 4a, 4b, 4c, 11, X30, U1, and S1 can be picked up from
the centre of Frideswide Square opposite Oxford Station;
these go to Botley Shops (aka Elms Parade).



There is a bus stop on the opposite side of the road and to the
left when leaving theBus Station where S1 buses will stop.

Alternatively, turn Right out of Bus Station, go over the

cross-roads, and continue walking in a straight line towards

the Railway Station. You will arrive in Frideswide Square

just before you reach the Station.
You need to catch a bus in Frideswide Square.


The Bus stop you require is on the south side of Frideswide Square,

ie, the side opposite the Railway Station and the Said Business School.
Take any
4, 4 A, B, or C, or 11 or S1 which
goes under the railway bridge.

Leave the bus the stop BEFORE Elms Parade (Botley Shops).
Ask for MacDonalds.
This is where North Hinksey Lane joins Botley Road, and is immediately BEFORE MacDonalds. Go along North Hinksey Lane and turn left – this is effectively a cross-roads, the lane is the “main” road with priority. 
It is a lane, with intermittent few footpaths.

The Hall is on the left, immediately after House No. 34


Botley is about a mile from the Station, but walk under
the railway bridge and continue until you turn left onto North Hinksey Lane.

Go along North Hinksey Lane and turn left – this is effectively a cross-roads, the lane is the “main” road with priority. 
It is a lane, with intermittent few footpaths.

The Hall is on the left, immediately after House No. 34


Entering No 35 North Hinksey Lane into your sat nav,

will take you some way down the lane, past the Hall.

(including access from Bristol/Swindon A420)

leave the A34 at the Botley Interchange, and turn down the hill

towards Oxford. You will be confronted by MacDonalds,
It is easier to turn RIGHT at these traffic lights, followed by
an IMMEDIATE LEFT, keeping MacDonalds on your left.
Travel 300 yards southwards, and join North Hinksey Lane

where it turns left   Continue south as before, 
the Hall being on the left after House No 34.
Parking is behind the Hall.


Please note: 

  • 1.  Access to the old shops is difficult from the Hall.
    2. If using the lane by car when leaving, you need to turn right
         at the sharp bend, and then turn LEFT around MacDonalds
         in order to reach the traffic lights.



turn RIGHT from the stationunder the railway bridge, and
continue down the Botley Road until you reach MacDonalds.
Then follow the directions above. It takes about 20 minutes.

If lost, telephone

Edwin:  07972 680602


Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/events/524424704394602/

Monthly Oxford singings


  1. Some of you will already know the December 'teenth' Thursday singing on
    17 December will be the last one we'll be holding here in Oxford.

    When we started singing in our home early in 1999, the Oxford singers
    became only the third group meeting on a monthly basis in the UK. Many
    is the time that the living room was full, we well remember occasions
    with 30 people there, several sitting on the floor! Now there are more
    than fourteen singing groups, some meeting on a weekly basis, such is
    the interest and the enthusiasm for this wonderful music. So, now that
    Sacred Harp singing is safe and well, particularly in the South of
    England, we've decided to call it a day with the Oxford sessions.

    As this particular door closes, it means we can expand our commitment to
    our granddaughters in Dartmouth, but the annual Oxford Sacred Harp
    singing on the Saturday before the fourth Sunday in June, and the
    Jordan's Thanksgiving singing on the Saturday before the fourth Sunday
    in November will be taking place as usual. And as and when any overseas
    visitors find themselves in Oxford, we'll do our best to organise people
    together to sing with our guests. You won't be forgotten in that respect!

    Please accept our thanks for your support over the past 17 years, some
    of you have travelled quite a distance to be with us, and it's always
    been appreciated.  Join us here in Oxford, together with Steve Marini,
    for one more time in singing some pieces from the Christmas Harp as well
    as from the Sacred Harp on Thursday 17 December from 7.45 pm onwards.
    Plenty of seasonal food and drink to be had for those that will. Notice
    of anyone thinking of coming with special dietary needs would be

Link here to a piece of music from the Shenandoah Harmony, being led by Tom Macclure at Bethnal Green, London, on 16 March 2014.


The American Sacred Harp tradition


What is Sacred Harp? A rather longer explanation can be found here, but essentially it is Shapenote music, an American choral tradition of singing unaccompanied four-part harmony, sometimes referred to as 'sacred folksong' or 'White Gospel' music.


This 200 year-old living tradition came to the UK in the early 1990s, and to Oxford some fourteen years ago. It has recently caught the interest and imagination of singers in several parts of Europe, including Ireland, Poland and Germany, and not least in London.   Come and experience it here in Oxford for yourselves!


Singing at 30 Eynsham Road, Botley, Oxford, OX2 9BP, take place on 3rd Thursdays and 5th Tuesdays, when there is one) in the month. The 5th Tuesday singings look at alternative sources of music eg. Northern Harmony, Norumbega Harmony, Shenandoah Harmony, etc.


Loan music available, or learn by ear.


All welcome, from beginners to experienced. There is no need to be able to read music!


Further information from:
Sheila and Edwin Macadam
Tel:01865 865773
Email:  sheila@oxfordsacredharp.org
or sheila.macadam@music.ox.ac.uk

How to find us:

30 Eynsham Road OX2 9BP is just west of the A34 Oxford Bypass, on the B4044 Oxford - Eynsham Road, and just after the road branches at the bottom of Cumnor Hill in the "village" of Botley.

The house is to the north of Eynsham Road, parking in nearby roads, Deanfield Road and Owlington Close. Bus stops for Services 11, S1 and 4C very close to the front door. All the other 4 Services (4, 4A, 4B,) stop at or near the Botley shops, a short walk away!

Location map:

Link to Google Map here