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Musical Marvels

By Catie Noyes • Editor Published: June 2, 2014 9:00 AM
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A year ago, I had the opportunity to go on a back roads tour with Amish Heartland Tours and the Brigham Young University-Idaho Symphony Band, as they got a taste of Amish country. One of the stops on the trip was to the Bell Valley School in Sugarcreek where the Amish students gathered to sing for BYU students.

When I found out that we would be hearing the Amish children sing, I was very excited. In perfect synchronization, with just the guidance of their teacher to match pitch, they began singing in the most mesmerizing four-part harmony. Without any instrumental guidance, they had learned basic harmonies and rhythms all from the instruction of their teacher. It was on one of the most beautiful experiences I had ever been a part of since becoming editor of Amish Heartland.

In this edition of Amish Heartland, I dug deeper into the Amish culture and learned a little more about the history of Amish singing and their social gatherings. Learn more about Amish singing in our feature story Simple Harmonies.

As you're planning your summer landscapes, consider a trip to Quailcrest Farm in Wooster. Their greenhouse holds some of the most beautifully colored flowers, shrubs and evergreens to create your garden oasis. Venture out into the display gardens and take a break from all your travels as the serene settings offers a place for reflection and relaxation.

I happen to be a fan of all things country and western and Berlin Leather offers a great selection of apparel and home décor for the western enthusiast. Meet an inspiring young man who paints the most beautiful watercolor works of art you have seen and works at Berlin Leather. Even though he was in a severe horse accident as a child, he doesn't let that slow him down from his dreams.

As a former choir student myself, I very much enjoyed learning about how the Amish learn to sing. It's amazing the beautiful chords and harmonies that can be produced just from a collaboration of voices. I know how hard it can be to match and maintain pitch in an a cappella performance, but to learn the music with little to no instrumental guidance at all takes a lot of hard work and practice.


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