Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Union Musical Convention

Big Creek Primitive Baptist Church, Alpharetta, Georgia

July 29-30, 2000

Saturday, July 29

The one hundred thirty-second session of the Union Musical Sacred Harp Convention was called to order by Vice Chairman John Plunkett leading song on page 49t. Kenneth DeLong offered the morning prayer.

Richard DeLong led the following songs for the introductory lesson: 90, 103, 102, 109, 271t, 511, 395, and 396.

Leaders: Faye Pettis 498, 61; Andy Anderson 178, 117; Bill Hollingsworth 551, 236; Andy Morse 448t, 455; Chris Tweedy 369, 535.

RECESS

The class was called to order by John Plunkett leading song on page 276, and Helen Bryson leading songs on pages 428 and 522.

On orderly motion, the convention entered into a business session. The following officers were elected or appointed: Chairman—John Plunkett; Vice Chairman—Scott DePoy; Secretary/Treasurer—Helen Bryson; Memorial Committee—Kenneth DeLong and Jeannette DePoy; Locating Committee—Helen Bryson; Finance Committee—Don Bowen and Andy Anderson; Resolutions Committee—Richard DeLong and Eric Tweedy; Chaplain—Jesse Roberts; Arranging Committee—Judy Mincey and Faye Pettis.

Under new business—Richard DeLong asked the class to consider changing the date of the convention from the first fifth Sunday and Saturday before after the 4th of July to the first fifth Sunday and Saturday before after Labor Day. A short discussion was held. The business session was closed.

Leaders: John Plunkett 463; Susan Roberts 146, 40; Carlene Griffin 155, 448b; Don Bowen 37b, 521; Everette Denney 335, 405; Jack Corley 332, 340; Violet Thomason 112, 318, 358.

LUNCH

Scott DePoy called the afternoon session to order with song on page 45t. Leaders: Eric Tweedy 183, 532; Jeannette DePoy 142, 456; Jesse Roberts and Micah Roberts 480, 192; Judy Mincey 475, 516; John Hollingsworth 147t, 196; Allison Ivey and David Ballinger 454, 300; Scott DePoy and Jerrod Dall 497, 32t; Charlene Wallace 49b, 63; Lela Crowder 34b, 452; Richard DeLong 72b.

As there were a number of visitors present, Richard DeLong gave a short talk on the history of Sacred Harp and a the history of the convention. Visitors were encouraged to stand in the square with leaders.

RECESS

John Plunkett called the class to order leading song on page 168. Leaders: Kenneth DeLong 316, 34t; Helen Bryson 163t; David Ballinger and Allison Ivey 384, 270; Violet Thomason 189, 343; Faye Pettis 447, 105; Andy Morse 99; Jesse Roberts 380; Jerrod Dall 515.

Announcements were made. John Plunkett led song on page 46 as the closing song. Jesse Roberts offered the closing prayer.

Sunday, July 30

The day of singing began with Chairman John Plunkett leading songs on pages 77b and 82b. Loy Garrison offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Scott DePoy 82t, 123b; Richard DeLong 35, 123t; Andy Anderson 49t, 479; Helen Bryson 217, 205; Loy Garrison 74t, 171; Everette Denney 61, 274t; Laura Akerman 224, 170; Don Bowen and Jerrod Dall 515 (for Lee Rogers), 348b (in memory of Don’s father, Mr. E.C. Bowen); Eric Tweedy 277, 200; Jeannette DePoy 475 (for her husband, Scott DePoy), 56b.

RECESS

Scott DePoy brought the class to order leading song on page 159. Leaders: Jack Corley 421, 430; Charlene Wallace and Kay Mauvahill 40, 101t; Faye Pettis and son, Wayne Day 235, 45t; John Hollingsworth 460, 186.

The memorial lesson was led by Jeannette DePoy with comments of how difficult it is to imagine singings without those that we remember today. At all memorial lessons, we remember those singers who have gone on before.

Richard DeLong spoke of his grandmother, Mrs. Dollie Hudgins, and how she had accomplished the introducing of Sacred Harp and the musical tradition to him. He spoke of the special bond that he shared with her, and that they shared a friendship not often found today between grandchildren and grandparents. Richard DeLong led song on page 285t for the deceased: Dollie Hudgins, Karen House, Virgil Phillips, Ray Richard’s sister, Don Wilkerson (Oklahoma), and Flora Bells.

Jeannette DePoy spoke of the prayer that is always answered: Thy will be done.

Jesse Roberts quoted from the scripture, Romans Chapter 8, and led song on page 229 for the sick and shut-ins: Herman Thomason, Euna DeLong, Elder Roy Davis, Mary Davis, Charlotte Allison (Doug Allison’s mother), Mozelle Sheppard, and Jack Smith. Loy Garrison closed the memorial with prayer.

LUNCH

John Plunkett began the afternoon of singing with song on page 64. Leaders: Oscar McGuire 57, 276; Jesse Roberts 320, 351; Stephen Latimer 178, 455; Susan Roberts 344, 155; David Yeager 68b, 72b; Kenneth DeLong 338, 301; Hannah Roberts 86, 181; Judy Mincey 50b, 454; Richard DeLong 494 (by request).

RECESS

Scott DePoy called the class to order by leading song on page 179. Leaders: Andy Anderson 63; Helen Bryson 532; Kevin Webb 457, 401; Wayne Day 383; Loy Garrison 498; Everette Denney 405; Laura Akerman 499; Don Bowen 347; Eric Tweedy 442; Jesse Roberts 153.

The class was called into a business session. Richard DeLong put forth the following motion: to change the date of the convention to be the first fifth Sunday and Saturday before after Labor Day. The reasoning is that on this date, there would be less conflict with other singings and enable more support for this convention. The motion was seconded and passed by the class.

Locating Committee—Camp Creek Primitive Baptist Church will sponsor the convention to be held at Sweetwater Chapel on the fifth Sunday and Saturday before in September 2001.

Finance Committee—The collection for both days was $270.37. Total on account before expenses was $3,327.96. After expenses were deducted, the total on account is $3,448.33.

Resolutions Committee—The one hundred thirty-second meeting of the Union Musical Convention in convention these 29th and 30th days of July, A.D., 2000, WITNESSETH:

WHEREAS: The tradition of shape note singing has survived on this continent for more than 200 years; and

WHEREAS: During those two centuries, countless thousands of souls have been supported, strengthened, and inspired by the divine poetry of the Christian faith set with music suitable for the uplifting of the heart and the human spirit; and

WHEREAS: The Sacred Harp has for 155 of those years comprised a collection of the finest specimens of the tune writers art representing all that is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworth; and

WHEREAS: The fellowship, kindness, and camaraderie of Sacred Harp singing are openly available to all who would partake regardless of age, race, gender, or experience; and

WHEREAS: We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses of those who have gone before, who sought the old paths and walked therein, who through a community that transcends the bounds of time and place continue to teach us how to walk even today; and

WHEREAS: The Union Musical Convention has propagated the Sacred Harp tradition through annual conventions for the past 130 years; and

WHEREAS: The loving memory of those Sacred Harp singers that have been members of this convention but who now wait for us to join them, forms in us a sacred obligation to celebrate their memory by continuing in their means of expression of faith;

THEREFORE: Be it resolved by this convention and all present:

That the Union Musical Convention continue to carry forward the tradition of Sacred Harp singing by meeting annually for that purpose;

That all present and associated with the convention strive to perpetuate not only the tradition of Sacred Harp singing but also the spirit of goodwill and faith that attends it;

That we honor those who delivered the heritage to us by passing the tradition down to succeeding generations; and

That we honor our Creator through our singing, and our care and love for each other.

RESOLVED this 30th day of July, A.D., 2000; To GOD be the praise and the honor and the glory forever. Amen. Submitted by Eric Tweedy.

The reports were accepted into the minutes. The business session was closed.

Announcements were made. John Plunkett, Scott DePoy, and Helen Bryson led song on page 62 as the closing song. Jesse Roberts dismissed the class with prayer.

Chairman—John Plunkett; Vice Chairman—Scott DePoy; Secretary/Treasurer—Helen Bryson.