Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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National Sacred Harp Convention

Trinity United Methodist Church, Birmingham, Alabama

June 14-16, 2001

Thursday, June 14

The twenty-second session of the National Sacred Harp Convention was called to order by Chairman Buell Cobb leading song on page 52t. Henry Guthery led the morning prayer.

Leaders: Mark Davis 61; Kathy Williams 474; Don Bowen 34b; Richard Mauldin 40; John Redman 362; Sharona Nelson 36b; Ottis Sides 530; Patricia Mauldin 63; Freeman Wootten 97; Flarce Creel 297; Mike Hinton 373; Gaston White 35; Henry Guthery 543; Joe Todd 58; Ruth Wyers 206; Nate Green and Norma Green 153; Tim Cook 125; Kathy Lee 171; Linton Ballinger 81t; Bill Hogan 436; Phill Wisor 131b; Jewel Wootten 299; Elder Donald Smith 43; Lomax Ballinger 129; Cathryn Baker 472.


The class was called back to order by Cassie Franklin leading song on page 270, followed by Ken Tate leading song on page 426 (t? b?).

A business session was held with the following officers elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—Buell Cobb; Vice Chairman—Mark Davis; Secretary—Kathy Williams; Chaplain—Jesse Roberts; Arranging Committee—Cassie Franklin, Jenny Acton, Beth Todd, Linda Sides, Dan Huger, and Hubert Nall; Resolutions Committee—Pat Temple and Mary P. Wright; Finance Committee—Don Bowen and John Redman; Memorial Committee—Mike Hinton, Ruth Brown, and Bill Hogan.

Leaders: Lisa Webb 84; Amber Springfield and Ashley Keeton 155; Patricia Temple 107; Travis Keeton 142; Sheri Taylor 369; David Carlton 42; Edith Tate 532; Henry McGuire 183; Emily Jones 74t; Myra Dalton 542; Henry Zittrouer 68b; Laura Clawson 345b; LaRue Allen 220; Henry Bizzell 127; Dr. Bill Stewart 480; Liz Bryant 475; Edward Howton 434; Claire Simon 66; Sharon Kellam 49b; Floy Wilder 350; Bernard Collard 217; Carroll Lunsford 390; Eugene Forbes 203; Betty Jones 290. Elder Jesse Roberts led the blessing before lunch.


The class was called to order by David Lee leading song on page 76b. Leaders: Tommy McGraw 365; Cheryl Foreman 328; Jamie Dalton 383; Willie Mae Moon 441; Jessica Roberts 168; Elene Stovall 384; Tim Slattery 344; Mary Florence Smith 300; Alexandra Gilmore 162; Max Berueffy 187; John Plunkett 466; Bob Bonnell 503; Shelbie Sheppard 269; Judy Holst 499; Vernelle Amason 189; Melanie Hauff 216; Reba Windom 224; Berkley Moore 179; Linda Thomas 391; Gail Doss 277; Joanne Hoover 56b.


Beth Todd brought the class to order leading song on page 377. Leaders: Judy Mincey 538; Judy Hauff 411; Coy Ivey 222; Matthew Wojcik 456; Kathy Vlach 551; Danny Creel 182; Lisa Grayson 430; Warren Steel 360; Ginnie Ely 454; Teenie Moody 410t; Kennon A. Smith 268; Lou Cotney 218; Henry Johnson 70b; Johanna Fabke 122; Amanda Denson 159. Chairman Buell Cobb and Vice Chairman Mark Davis led song on page 46 as the closing song. Mike Hinton led the closing prayer and the class was dismissed.

Friday, June 15

Chairman Buell Cobb opened Friday’s session leading song on page 31 (t? b?). Elder Jesse Roberts offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: Mark Davis 176b; Kathy Williams 95; Jesse Roberts 327; Cassie Franklin 448b; Jenny Acton 340; Beth Todd 39t; Linda Sides 192; Dan Huger 32t; Mary Wright 71; Patricia Temple 72b; Mike Hinton 146; Bill Hogan 475; John Redman 236; Don Bowen 39b; Ila Ingle 436; Margaret Keeton 517; Morgan Bunch 82t; Hilda Morrison 45t; Miriam Kilmer 378b; Judy Caudle 80b; Pernie Pelfrey 83t; Betty Wright 482; Glenn Keeton 47b; Willodean Barton 416.


The class was called back together by Cassie Franklin and Jarrod George leading song on page 300. Leaders: Dan Hopper 413; Kurt Davis 274t; Tommy George 354t; Seth Holloway 388; Lee Rogers 52b; Velton Chafin 573; Douglas Foster 179; Mark Brown 68b; Alice Bejnar 34t; John Hocutt 225t; Louis Hughes 565; Lyra O’Brien 553; Uel Freeman 64; Lela Crowder 503; Leon Ballinger 269; Sarah Smith, Jorge Carillo, and Maria Carillo 129; Hunter Hale 163b; Jayne Fulmer 454; David Lee 282; Jeff Sheppard 347; Jeannette DePoy 411; Myrl Jones 302. Elder Jesse Roberts led the prayer before lunch.


Linda Sides brought the afternoon session to order leading song on page 480. Leaders: Dennis George 455; Scott DePoy 410 (t? b?); Cindy Tanner and Jackie Tanner 298; Jarrod George 137; Reba Windom 216; Rodney Ivey 430; Chris Noren 268; Lisa Davis 528; Richard DeLong 530; John Etheridge 385 (t? b?); Myra Palmer 441; Louise Holland 49b; Janet Fraembs 556; David Ivey 205; Ivan Mann 324; David Yeager 32b; Ann Ballard 277; Ms. Virgel Campbell 421; Linda Baird 148; Paula Gilmore and Phillip Gilmore 445; Gary Smith and Jairo Carillo 569b.


Kathy Williams resumed the singing leading song on page 273. Leaders: Nancy Yeager 479; Tor Bejnar 361; Hattie Kennedy 45t; J.L. Hopper 407; Kshama Ananthapura 33b; Philip Gilmore 448t; Megan Jennings 112; Dennis O’Brien 162; Hubert Nall 186; Vernelle Amason 143; Travis Keeton 73t; Kathy Lee 101t; Bob Bonnell 75; Johanna Fabke 312b; Amber Springfield 142; Bernard Collard 287.

Chairman Buell Cobb and Vice Chairman Mark Davis led song on page 323t as the closing song. Elder Jesse Roberts led the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Saturday, June 16

Saturday’s session was called to order by Chairman Buell Cobb leading song on page 82 (t? b?). Elder Jesse Roberts led the morning prayer.

Leaders: Mark Davis 87; Kathy Williams 506; Jesse Roberts and Susan Roberts 318; Jenny Acton 340; Beth Todd 122; Dan Huger 99; Mary Wright 180; Pat Temple 312t; Mike Hinton 288; John Redman 497; Don Bowen 510; Hubert Nall 299; Lori Forbes Hinesley 405; Tim Cook 50t; Phil Summerlin 112; Andy Morse 571; John Merritt 240; Cecile Cox 282; Briana Hirsch 272; Toney Smith 326; Claire Outten 106.


Buell Cobb brought the class back together leading song on page 32t. Leaders: Charlene Wallace 192; George Cox 348b; Pauline Griggs 49t.

The convention was turned over to the Memorial Committee. Mike Hinton made these comments: “Why do you like Sacred Harp Music? This is a special time at any Sacred Harp convention when we pause to remember singers who have died since we last gathered for this convention. It is a time observed at every convention, yet it is always a special few moments for Sacred Harp singers. I was with family members from my father’s family earlier this week in Jasper. These family members are not Sacred Harp singers. But they are still good folks! One of my cousins innocently asked me, ‘Why do you like Sacred Harp music?’ I gave her an answer that satisfied her, but, on reflection, did not satisfy me. I’m sure if I asked twenty people around this hollow square, I would get a wide variety of answers. And they would all be right. I also think that most of you would say ‘I love Sacred Harp.’ I make that distinction because of something Aunt Ruth Denson Edwards told me one time. She said, ‘The good Lord told us we should love everyone. But he didn’t say we have to like them!’ Why do we take time to remember those who were in our presence last year but are now gone? Because they, too love Sacred Harp music. For unlike many other activities in our lives, we have a very strong bond to this community. For many of us, we have a strong heritage in this music. Our families have been involved with Sacred Harp music for many, many years. But, the love of Sacred Harp transcends heritage. Is our love of Sacred Harp just the shaped note music? There are certainly other types of shaped note singing, but they just aren’t the same as Sacred Harp, are they? In Sacred Harp singing, we find a community of love, acceptance, care, and concern among singers that is truly a grand experience, and in many ways unique. We care about each other, and we love each other. We don’t care about what is in another person’s bank account nor what their social status may be. We aren’t concerned about occupation. We are concerned about those who are ill. We care about those who are dying. Those that we remember and celebrate today were part of the larger community of Sacred Harp singers. Some were great singers, some were not. Some did not sing at all, some brought food, some brought peppermints; some were singers for many years, some for only a few years. But all those we remember this day loved Sacred Harp music. They found a spirit of love and companionship with other singers that was special. We revere the memory of these dear ones, and we have gratitude to them for helping to preserve the traditions that make Sacred Harp music such an important part of our lives. For Christians, we also believe that the music we enjoy here around this hollow square is just a foretaste of that which is to come when we join that throng of Sacred Harp singers and sing for endless years around God’s throne. What a singing that will be! What a time we will have!” We will now hear the names of the deceased: Ruby Phillips, Rosa Hughes, Eloise Watkins, Ted White, Eron White, Grady Price, Betty Forbes, Woodie Walker, Mrs. Rupert Yarbrough, A.C. McGough, Volly Hardy, Rozelle Cowan, Arnold Hardy, Katherine Marsh, Royce Wilburn Wood, McLain Finley, Willie Floyd Ray, Marie Aldridge, Gene Wakefield, Bill Guthery, Bertie Jay Phillips, Austin Phillips, Anna Smith, Arthur Phillips, Herbert Phillips, and Mercedes Cagle Lambert—Alabama; Jack Corley, Jack Smith, and Herman Thomasson—Georgia; Nobie Smith, Pauline Cathey, Alcie Craig, and Mildred Edmonds—Texas; Carrie Mims—Louisiana; Mae Ola Nelson—Mississippi; Robert Logan Duncan—North Carolina; Susan Garber—Connecticut; Richard Coultas and Sally Owen Murphy—California; Miriam Pasqual—Illinois; Robert Todd—Pennsylvania; Wendy Hahn and Susan Motherway—Massachusetts; John Flandreau—New York; June Hall—Virginia; and Mary K. Friday—Washington, D.C.

Buell Cobb led song on page 209 in memory of Rosa Hughes. Mike Hinton and Buell Cobb led song on page 347.

The list of sick and housebound singers was then read, and Louis Hughes led song on page 57 to honor those listed. Mike Hinton closed the memorial lesson with prayer.

Leaders: Rosemary Greenaway 384; Myra Palmer 208; Jim Carnes 436; Erskine Vandegrift 59; Denice Burleson 196; Karen Clark 474.


Warren Steel brought the class back to order leading song on page 66. Leaders: Sharon Kellam 567; Ed Snell 460; Chris Green 220; Barney Roberson 429; Don Clark 171; Kiri Miller 224; Sharona Nelson 385b; Joe Todd 442.


The class resumed singing with Kathy Williams leading song on page 222. Leaders: Phill Wisor 37b; Cathryn Baker 430; Henry Bizzell 452b; Liz Bryant 542; Myrl Jones 142; Claire Simon 47t; Samuel Holloway 335; Carroll Lunsford 204; Eugene Forbes 155; Betty Jones 128; David McGinty 323b; Richard Mauldin 36b; Judy Mincey 540; Cheryl Foreman 74b; H.J. Jackson 400.


Chris Green called the class to order leading song on page 388. Leaders: Judy Hauff 215; Jessica Roberts and Micah Roberts 107; Tim Slattery 415; Alexandra Gilmore 457; Linda Thomas and Rodney Ivey 270; Judy Holst 31t; Bernice Harvey 176b; Melanie Hauff 271t; Berkley Moore 145b; Gail Doss 29t; Joanne Hoover 213t; Matthew Wojcik 380; Kathy Vlach 280; Lou Cotney 189; Lisa Grayson 528; Ginnie Ely 349; Henry Johnson 278b; Charlotte Ehrman 147t; Morgan Bunch and Sue Bunch 144; Amanda Denson 273.

A business session was held to hear committee reports.

The Finance Committee, Don Bowen and John Redman, reported that contributions were such that all expenses of the convention were covered.

Pat Temple and Mary Wright, Resolutions Committee, made the following report.

Be it resolved that the twenty-second annual National Sacred Harp Singing Convention gives grateful thanks to our Lord God who has given us the blessings of fellowship and music we have enjoyed.

Be it resolved that:

  1. Thanks be given to the officers of this convention who worked hard and faithfully for its success.
  2. Further thanks be given to all those who so generously provided food for our use and enjoyment.
  3. The Chaplain, Arranging Committee, Finance Committee, and Memorial Committee, are due thanks for their contributions to the success of this convention.

Special thanks are due to Buell Cobb for the sense of welcome and family he gives to this convention.

Let it be known that the twenty-second annual National Sacred Harp Convention owes much to all those singers from far and near who have sung mightily to the glory of God during these past days.

Secretary Kathy Williams gave the following report:

427 people from 22 states, the United Kingdom, Colombia, and Japan, registered over the three days of the convention; 275 leaders stood in the square to lead 260 songs. The numbers by state and country: Alabama—268; Georgia—29; Massachusetts—16; Florida—15; Mississippi—12; Texas—10; North Carolina, Tennessee, and Illinois—8; Virginia—6; Colombia and Washington—3; Japan, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, Missouri, and Louisiana—2; Connecticut, California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Wyoming, New York, and United Kingdom—1.

A motion was made and carried to accept the reports and include them in the minutes of the singing. The business session was closed.

Myra Palmer and Myrl Jones led song on page 299. The officers led song on page 62 as the closing song as singers took the parting hand to close the convention. Chaplain Elder Jesse Roberts led the closing prayer and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Buell Cobb; Vice Chairman—Mark Davis; Secretary—Kathy Williams.