Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

Soulful Singing

Workshop Number: 
Ruth Fitz
Who may register?: 
Open to All
Experiential Activities: 
part-time attenders welcome (can come any day; some might only attend Thursday or Friday)
half gathering attenders welcome
First half (Monday-Wednesday)
Second half (Wednesday/Thursday-Friday)

Strong and shy singers are welcome to join this circle of f/Friends singing rounds, spirituals, sacred chants, peace, fun and world songs in the oral tradition. Singing together will energize our bodies and nurture our souls, with music that affirms our diversity, reflects our beauty, and celebrates our unity.

Workshop Description

    We will begin each session with a gentle warm up of our bodies and our voices, then sing some light fare together, with energizing, fun songs and rounds. We will progress to songs with layered harmonies, interspersed with shorter songs and sacred chants, and will allow space for worship and reflection.  Each session will close with a time of worship or worship sharing.  As we build our repertoire throughout the week, participants can expect to grow in confidence as the words and music become familiar, and also experience community as we work together.  No singing or music reading experience is necessary to participate, just a willing spirit and a desire to sing. We will revisit songs learned in this workshop in past Gatherings, as well as learn some new ones to add to the repertoire.  Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing for ease of movement and may choose to bring a small recording device. As a workshop leader, I hope that friends will leave this workshop feeling joyful, refreshed, connected to Spirit, and connected to the larger community--with many songs, warm memories, new friendships, and perhaps some fresh insights.


Leader Experience

For 15 years I led singing with youth and adults in large gatherings and conferences; I also directed youth music camp, youth choirs, and intergenerational musicals. I have led singing in BaltimoreYearly Meeting's Friendly Sings, in Spiritual Formation Retreats, in BYM's Annual Session workshops, and in individual Monthly Meetings in Philadelphia and Baltimore Yearly Meetings.  I led intergenerational singing for Arizona Half Yearly Meeting's gatherings, for the Junior Yearly Meeting at Baltimore Yearly Meeting's annual sessions, and Soulful Singing workshops during the past four FGC Gatherings.