Sacred Harp Singing Convention: Shapenote Singers

                     Shapenote singers

All are welcome to join the traditional singing school on Friday, 9/23 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and also for the convention, on Saturday, 9/24 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Shapenote singers from across the country will gather for the 27th Annual Minnesota Sacred Harp Convention.  Local singers have hosted this event since 1990 and it will draw visitors from over a dozen states.

Shapenote singing has been done as a living musical tradition in Southern states since the early parts of the 19th century. Although there are a few exceptions, most of the music is religious or spiritual in subject. In the late 60’s and early 70’s, Sacred Harp singing was taken up in several Northern-State urban locations.  Many of the singers gathering in the Twin Cities have learned this music from singers who were born into the Southern tradition.  A few of those Southern singers will be attending. Please join us!


Group Renaissance Singing and Playing

Collegium Musicum: Music of the Renaissance
August 27. 10:00 am registration - 3:00 pm show
TCEMF offers even another way to engage with early music: through group playing and singing in the Festival Collegium! Inspired by the music of the festival movie, "Draw On, Sweet Night," we will meet to read and learn music from the Renaissance, concluding with a short performance of our efforts in the afternoon. Tickets can be purchased at the door: $20 adult, $15 student, or online: at, click on “calendar,” wait for the calendar to populate, and select the concert. Any questions, call Buffy Larson at 651-428-5170.
Schedule: 10:00 a.m. Registration, 10:30 -12:30 Rehearsal in small groups, 12:30 -1:00 Break, 1:00 -2:30 Tutti rehearsal, 3:00 p.m. Grand Performance.

Thomas Walker on lute, 8 p.m., August 7



Thomas Walker Jr., started classical guitar lessons at age 10 and a couple years later acquired an interest in the 12-string guitar stylings of Leo Kottke.  After college, he studied jazz guitar independently, and became increasingly fascinated with early music.  He bought his first lute in 1992. Since then, Thomas has performed with Ensemble Polaris, Consortium Carissimi (stateside), the Rose Ensemble, and various members of the Lyra Baroque. Tickets can be purchased online at, or at the door: $15 adult, $10 student.

Hootenanny At Olivet Church, June 8, 2016: Free, Open To All!!

Love 60’s style folk music, protest songs, gospel music?  Then join friends and neighbors at Olivet Congregational Church, 1850 Iglehart Avenue, St. Paul, 55104, on Wednesday, June 8, at 6:45 p.m., for a sing-along, led by guitars and other assorted instruments of the era.  Songbooks and snacks provided, all ages and musical abilities welcome!  Handicapped access available at courtyard entrance along Dewey Street, one block west of Fairview.  Bell bottom pants, flowered dresses and mini-skirts optional!

Dacotah Tipis Habitat for Humanity at Crow Creek Reservation

Olivet Congregational church will again go to the Crow Creek Reservation for its annual build with Dacotah Tipis Habitat. We invite you to join us. The trip starts after worship on August 14 and continues through August 20. Work includes new construction, home repairs and other service projects beginning Monday and through Friday morning.

While we are there we participate in cross cultural experiences with these people, descendants of our first Minnesotans. They arrived here in 1863 after they were banned from Minnesota following their deadly internment below Fort Snelling. Our trip concludes with their annual Pow Wow, which draws people from Canada to Southern California.

We are housed in a comfortable visitor's center in Fort Thompson, SD. Fort Thompson is at the center of the reservation and part of the poorest county in the US.

To learn more about Dakota Tipis visit their web site at and contact Philip Friedlund at for additional information. Please join us or choose another week for your group. You will find the experience life changing.

Rashad Turner, organizer of Black Lives Matter will speak on important issues

On April 13, Rashad Turner, candidate for the District 65A seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives and organizer of Black Lives Matter St. Paul, will speak on the issues which he hopes to be able to fight for in the state legislature. Please join us at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13, at Olivet Congregational Church, 1850 Iglehart Avenue in St. Paul.

Growing up in Frogtown and going to Highland Park High School, Turner wanted to become a policeman.  But after earning a BA in criminal justice from Hamline University and starting the law enforcement certification program, he had a change of heart.  For the next 5 years he devoted himself to working in education.  Then, at Selma’s commemoration of Bloody Sunday last March, he had another change of heart.   In a year in which more than 100 unarmed black people were killed by police, including Marcus Golden and Jamar Clark, Turner began organizing Black Lives Matter protests in St. Paul.

Turner will speak about the causes he will fight for if elected to represent District 65A in the Minnesota House — addressing the gaps dividing us in education, jobs, housing, and the administration of justice.

Jonathan Odell to speak on "How I Overcame My Soul-Crippling, Deep-South Addiction to Whiteness...”

Jonathan Odell, author of The Healing, and Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League will speak about “How I Overcame My Soul-Crippling, Deep-South Addiction to Whiteness…” at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16, at Olivet Congregational Church, 1850 Iglehart Avenue in St. Paul.

“In Mississippi, the drug of choice is racial superiority. But there are ways to kick the habit.

I am a Mississippian as well as my family’s most notorious drunk. But six years into sobriety, I discovered that alcohol wasn’t my only addiction. Even more insidious was my soul-crippling dependence upon whiteness. I couldn't get through the day without seven or eight stiff shots of feeling superior. That began to change when I decided to write novels about Mississippi. I knew very little outside the white-bubble in which I was raised, and therefore was blind to the story of nearly half the population. Only after interviewing hundreds of black Mississippians, listening to their stories, did I begin to fathom the immensity of the lie behind my superiority and the real cost of my addiction.” For more information on Odell, please check out

R.T. Rybak to speak on Closing the Achievement and Opportunity Gaps

R.T. Rybak, Executive Director of Generation Next, will speak about “Why Closing the Achievement and Opportunity Gaps is Our Greatest Challenge and Opportunity” at 6:30 p.m. on February 24, at Olivet Congregational Church, 1850 Iglehart Avenue in St. Paul. When it comes to developing the next generation workforce in the Twin Cities, it is the best of times and the worst of times.  On one hand, we face one of the largest achievement gaps in the country.  On the other hand, we have unprecedented student diversity with nearly unlimited global potential.  How can we fix the deficits and mine the assets of our next generation?


R.T. Rybak served as Mayor of Minneapolis from 2002-2013, and is currently Executive Director of Generation Next, a broad partnership of organizations and leaders from across Minneapolis and St. Paul dedicated to educational excellence and narrowing the achievement and opportunity gap.