Harmony every Wednesday
Although summer weather took its time getting here this year, the season finally got off to a rousing start with the July 1 Community Sing at the Tabernacle, the first in a series that runs through July and August every year. Despite the downpour, thunder, and lightning that filled the afternoon that day, the first sing shone through the cloudy day with patriotic songs, hymns, and a family favorite sing-along.
Community Sings are sponsored by the Martha's Vineyard Camp-Meeting Association, and have been held at the Tabernacle since 1904.
In the early years the Campground community gathered together to sing hymns. But over time, people also wanted non-religious sings. Since then, the Community Sings have evolved, grown, and broadened so that they now feature a broad sampling of songs.
Sings are held every Wednesday at 8 pm and are designed for the whole family to enjoy together. "You never know what to expect. The events are never dull, and the audience is always different," said Bob Cleasby, program director at the Martha's Vineyard Camp-Meeting Association. "The atmosphere is comfortable. It's great fun with an evening of movement and participation. It gets you caught up in the spirit of the singing."
Although the recession has most people concerned, at Community Sings people can enjoy an inexpensive night out and a chance to forget about their worries by singing along to old-time favorite songs.
The program celebrates old family tunes while mixing in songs of honor. The songbooks that are handed out during the program date back to 1932. Songs such as "Home on the Range," "Bingo," "Star Spangled Banner," and "Amazing Grace" are sung. During the patriotic songs, some people wave the American flag in the air, signaling their honor for the country.
"The songs are never the same each week. We get a lot of input from the audience with suggestions or recommendations for the next week's program," Mr. Cleasby said. "The songs aren't difficult, so even people who are shy can sing along to them. Everyone's voices meld together, you don't just hear one voice, you hear a combination of everyone's."