The Sing Me High Music FestivalAugust 25-26, 2017, celebrates music and faith in the Shenandoah Valley. The annual event is the perfect close to the summer season, and this year's two-day event features:

  • Music groups from the Shenandoah Valley and/or Mennonite & Brethren backgrounds;
  • Old-fashioned hymn singing;
  • Mennonite and Brethren artisans;
  • Children’s activities;
  • Local food trucks, pork barbecue, coleslaw, popcorn, and ice cream;
  • Cornhole tournament;
  • Guitar raffle, from local luthier Showalter Guitars;
  • Silent quilt auction with quilt made by member of the host band;
  • Heritage Center Harvest Day activities;
  • and a Pie Auction.

This year the festival is Friday, August 25 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM and Saturday, August 26 from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Sing Me High Music Festival jointly hosted by the Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center and the Walking Roots Band. The festival will be a family-friendly, alcohol-free event. Please make yourselves at home! Bring a blanket, your favorite camp chairs, or a sofa on wheels.

We invite you to join us at the Sing Me High Music Festival to listen, sing, laugh, eat, and play – all while you celebrate family, friends, and faith, whatever your tradition.

Restored 1829 log house at CrossRoads

Restored 1829 log house at CrossRoads

CrossRoads is the main campus of The Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center and is situated on Garbers Church Road in Harrisonburg, with a hilltop site providing vistas spanning the Valley. The Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center seeks to share and celebrate the story of Jesus Christ as it has been reflected in the lives of Brethren and Mennonites in the Shenandoah Valley. The 24-acre CrossRoads campus features panoramic views of the city of Harrisonburg. The CrossRoads campus is home to a reception center, 1829 pioneer log house, 1854 Civil War farmhouse, one-room school house, wash house, woodshop and blacksmith shop. A 1795 shoemaker shop is under construction.

The Walking Roots Band has its roots in Mennonite and Brethren communities in western and southeastern Pennsylvania, Holmes County, Ohio, and the thumb of Michigan. Their hymn-singing traditions went with them to college, and many of the members ended up together at Eastern Mennonite University in the Shenandoah Valley. Their friendships developed around shared interests like making applesauce, playing Euchre, and living simply, but they became family when they started singing together.

After college, the band took a more formal shape, and they started writing songs and crafting new arrangements of old hymn texts. The music they make together has seen the band through five albums, countless weekend tours, loss, sorrow, new life, and joy, and they continue to learn from each other about living as a community of faith and hope.

The Walking Roots Band is excited to serve as musical hosts for the Sing Me High Music Festival, which takes its name from a Walking Roots Band song written while members of the band bicycled through the rolling hills of upstate New York on their way to Michigan. The lyrics are ostensibly about a love for the Shenandoah Valley, but perhaps speak even more to music's power to carry us through the ups and downs of life as we live and sing praise to God wherever we are.

"Sing me high, sing me low,
Sing me when the cold wind blows,
In the rain or in the snow,
Sing to me, O Shenandoah."

by S. Crissman, J. Maust, and G. Yoder of the Walking Roots Band