Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

Soulful Singing

Workshop Number: 
Ruth Fitz
Who may register?: 
Open to all adults and high school
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

    Each session will begin with warming up our bodies and our voices, then singing some light fare together, with energizing, fun songs and light rounds. We will progress to songs with layered harmonies, interspersed with shorter songs and sacred chants, allowing space for worship and reflection as the Spirit guides.  Each session will close with a time of worship or worship sharing.  We will build our repertoire throughout the week, increasing confidence as the words and music become familiar, and experiencing 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. Wear comfortable clothing for ease of movement. As a workshop leader, I hope that participants will experience "where words come from" as we sing together, and will leave this workshop feeling joyful, refreshed, and connected to the larger community--with many songs, warm memories, new friendships, and maybe some fresh insights for the journey.

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 2014 and 2015 gatherings, for the Junior Yearly Meeting at Baltimore Yearly Meeting's annual sessions, and Soulful Singing workshops during the past three FGC Gatherings.