Few things are as immediate as the human voice. Shape-note singing, the practice of singing music to syllables designating pitch, is one of the oldest forms of social singing. It dates back to the 11th century, when Italian monk and music theorist Guido d’Arezzo first assigned syllables to notes. On Saturday, Nov. 7, St. John’s Church holds the 24th annual James River Sacred Harp Convention from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The Richmond Shape Note Singers will sing from both the “Sacred Harp” and the “Shenandoah Harmony” tune books. Given the nature of the American a cappella tradition, all are welcome to join the vocal festivities regardless of previous experience. A dinner social follows the inclusive performance. Free. richmondshapenote.com or saintjohnsrichmond.org.