Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer

Manchester Sacred Harp

Join Manchester Sacred Harp for an afternoon of uplifting social singing.

Manchester Sacred Harp

Join Manchester Sacred Harp for an afternoon of uplifting social singing. Our door is open – sit and sing with us if you want to give it a try – or pop in to listen.

Sacred Harp event dates

All sessions are free to attend a drop-in. Pop in to listen or feel free to sit and sing with the group if you would like to give it a try.

Upcoming dates:

*Sunday 8 October 2023, 1pm-4.30pm – special extended event!
Location: The Whitworth, Grand Hall

*COVID TESTING – important information from the Sacred Harp group.

As a one-off on Sunday 8 October, we are having a special extended session, with invited singers who will be travelling from far and wide. To safeguard our guests, we have agreed to make COVID tests a mandatory requirement for entry on this special occasion. All singers wishing to participate will need to show proof of a negative lateral flow test at the door.

We require all attendees to the Sacred Harp singing sessions to take a COVID test prior to arriving.

Please bring proof of either the test itself or a photo of the negative result of the test.
We will have spare tests available on the day, however, if you choose to test at the gallery you will need to arrive at least 20 minutes before the session, to allow enough time to take and develop the test before the singing starts. For children aged 7 and under, lateral flow tests are at the discretion of parents and evidence of their tests will not be asked for.

To protect the wellbeing of singers and their loved ones, stay home if you have a positive result, cold or flu-like symptoms, or have been in close contact with someone with COVID.

Please note that the singing takes place in a self-contained room on the first floor of the gallery. Access to the room and to toilet facilities is via public areas.

Click this link to find out more on Scared Harp's Facebook page.

Note that COVID testing is only an essential requirement for participation on this one occasion on 8 October 2023. If you’d prefer not to test, join us instead on one of these other dates when there are no testing requirements:

Future dates:

Sunday 12 November 2023, 2pm-4.30pm – Location: The Whitworth, Office of Arte Útil
Sunday 3 December 2023, 2pm-4.30pm – Location: The Whitworth, Office of Arte Útil
Sunday 7 January 2024, 2pm-4.30pm  – Location: The Whitworth, Office of Arte Útil
Sunday 4 February 2024, 2pm-4.30pm  – Location: The Whitworth, Office of Arte Útil

General information about the singing sessions:

Participating is FREE and drop-in. There’s no obligation to stay for the whole session. It is very useful to have an idea of numbers though, If possible please let us know you're coming by email: or let us know on Facebook: Manchester Sacred Harp.

We can usually accommodate everyone, however, please note that seating is limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

For the best first-time experience, we recommend arriving at the start of a session. If you wish to sing, we'll aim to seat you near someone experienced and make sure you have access to a songbook, please ask for details at the session.

History of Sacred Harp Singing

Sacred Harp is an American choral tradition dating back to the 1800s. With its roots in the hymns and folk tunes of the time, it was created as an accessible way of singing in four-part harmony.

The four voice parts (treble, alto, tenor, bass) sit facing each other in a square formation, singing into the centre of the room. Together the massed voices make a massive sound.

Sacred Harp is sung for pleasure, not performance. It's about connection rather than perfection – so we don't practice, we just sing.

All voices are welcome, no experience is needed. People from all faiths and none are welcome, our focus is purely on the camaraderie of making music together.

Image: Manchester Sacred Harp Singer. Photo: Joyce Smith. Courtesy, Manchester Sacred Harp.

Previous 2023 event dates

Sunday 18 June, 12.30pm-3pm 
Sunday 23 July, 2-4.30pm
Sunday 6 August, 2-4.30pm
Sunday 10 September, 2-4.30pm