Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Rocky Mountain Sacred Harp Singing Convention

Ft. Collins City Park Recreation Center, Ft. Collins, Colorado

September 15, 16, 17, 1995

The sixth annual Rocky Mountain Sacred Harp Singing Convention was held in Ft. Collins, Colorado on September 15, 16, and 17. On Friday, September 15, Hugh McGraw of Bremen, Georgia taught a singing school from 7:30-9:30 at the Empire Grange in Ft. Collins.

Saturday, September 16

The Rocky Mountain Sacred Harp Singing Convention was held at the Ft. Collins City Park Recreation Center, beginning at 9:30 a.m. on September 16. John Ramsey (CO) opened the convention leading songs on pages 176t and 59, and announcements. The opening prayer was offered by Don Klein. John Ramsey led songs on pages 128 and 40; Mary Ann Evans (CO) 66, 106; Judy Duerr (CO) 155, 535; Sandy Klein (CO) 551b, 523; Russ Nye (CO) 147 (t? b?), 122; Sandy Hill (CO) 148, 42. A short business meeting was held to elect officers: Chairman—Sandy Hill; Vice Chairman—John Ramsey; Arranging Committee—Mary Ann Evans, Judy Duerr, Howard Newell, Gene Hainer, Robert Hudgens, and Anne Hudgens; Treasurer—Deb Robson. Leaders: Deborah Johnson (CO) 384, 86; Sharon Kermiet (CO) 504, 383; Anita Landess (CO) 77 (t? b?), 479; Leon Simmons(CO) 147t, 178; Charlene Wallace (GA) 84, 283; Chris Kermiet (CO) 324, 65.


John Ramsey called the class together leading song on page 126. Leaders: Katharine O’Hara (WA) 442, 378b; Elaine Cullor (CO) 312b, 406; Carlene Griffin (GA) 85, 448 (t? b?); Deb Robson (CO) 452, 455; Mary Lou Van Laanen (CO) 180, 454; Lisa Ralston (CA) 160b, 114; Jeanne Schaffer (CO) 198, 168; Dave Hough (WA) 440, 101t. The blessing for lunch was led by Leon Simmons (CO) and the class was dismissed.


Sandy Hill called the class back together leadings songs on pages 274t and 47t. Leaders: David McPherson (NM) 569b, 127; Karen Willard (WA) “Redemption” (sheet music), 171; Donald Klein (CO) 493b, 571; Hugh McGraw (GA) 37 (t? b?), 163b; Russ Nye (CO) 159; Leon Ballinger (TX) 268, 269; Midge Harder (CA) 58, 430; Mary Oruc (TX) 77 (t? b?), 49b; Sandy Klein (CO) 117, 236; Margaret Bakker (CO) 457, 358.


John Ramsey called the class back leading song on page 271t. Leaders: Deborah Johnson (CO) 133, 207; Katharine O’Hara 183, 277; Alfred Sausotte (Guam) 189, 532; Rhonda Griswold (UT) 146, 276; Lisa Ralston 290, 350; Janet Dreifus (CO) 566, 47b. The class was dismissed with prayer by John Ramsey.

Sunday, September 17

The class was called together by Sandy Hill leading song on page 371. Leaders: John Ramsey 560b, 460; John Schaffer (CO) 34b, 391; Leon Ballinger 49t, 13t; David McPherson 50t, 178; Dave Hough 480, 73t; Charlene Wallace 99, 267; Alice Van Camp (NM) 32b, 181; Ann Ballard (AL) 284, 278 (t? b?); Karen Willard 39t, 294.


Sandy Hill brought the class back by leading songs on pages 145t and 344. Leaders: Elaine Cullor 89, 153; Mary Oruc 313b, 383; Sharon Kermiet 216, 567; Marlin Beasley (AL) 204, 406; Donald Klein 438, 494; Katharine O’Hara 29t, 547. The convention was then turned over to Sharon Kermiet for the memorial lesson. Leon Ballinger led song on page 87 for the deceased. Deborah Johnson led 48t for the sick and shut-ins. Leaders: Hugh McGraw 37b, 369; Anita Sanders 503, 408. The prayer for lunch was offered by Anita Landess.


John Ramsey brought the class back by leading song on page 282. Leaders: Midge Harder (CA) 217, 218; Becky Beasley Briggs (FL) 335, 336; Alfred Sausotte 184, 208; Cora Beasley Sweatt (TN) 111b, 145b; Carlene Griffin 171; Margaret Bakker 338, 339; Harlan Van Camp (NM) 501, 504; Lisa Ralston 196, 306; Joanne Hoover (WA) 28b, 72b; Sandy Klein (CO) 155; Anita Landess 143, 497.


Sandy Hill brought the class back leading song on page 415. Leaders: Elaine Cullor and Hugh McGraw 549. The states and territories present at the convention were then read. They were Utah, Illinois, California, New Mexico, Washington, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Guam, and Colorado. Leaders: Karen Willard 278b; Jeanne Schaffer 59, 66; David Hough 385t, 448t; the Beasley Family (8 leaders) 146; Leon Ballinger 340; Celia Brown (CA) and John Ramsey 45t for Celia Brown’s grandmother. A business session was convened. Karen Willard gave the Resolutions Committee report as follows. First, we want to thank the Master of the Universe for the opportunity we have been given to come to this place and sing together, and through our singing give glory to God. We all experience deep pleasure and satisfaction in this activity, but through it all we do not lose sight of the primary purpose of our activity—that is, to render our praise to our Creator. We wish to give thanks to the officers and organizers of this most successful Rocky Mountain Convention; to the hardworking members of the Arranging Committee, and the keyers throughout both days who have kept the songs coming thick and fast and in tune; to the housing arrangers and the most hospitable people of Fort Collins who have opened their homes to us visitors; to the set up and clean up crews who made sure we had chairs to sit in and well-supplied restrooms for this large crowd; to those who arranged the obviously successful publicity; to the Storm Mountain Folk Dancers and the City of Fort Collins, who most kindly allowed the use of the Empire Grange and this room, respectively. There are several who deserve our especial thanks and appreciation: Howard “Golden Throat” Newell for repeating in stentorian tones the song page numbers that all heard clearly; the local inhabitants here who must have a direct connection with whomever is in charge of the weather; the very cheerful and welcoming folks who sacrificed their own singing opportunities to staff the registration table. Their isolation was only increased when the locating committee suddenly discovered a better singing site in the middle of yesterday’s singing; kitchen crew boss, Sun Dance Saloon dinner arranger, and—with husband Don—host of our marvelous Saturday Night party: Sandy Klein. We must not fail to thank, also, the magnificent cooks of Fort Collins. In particular, the excellence of yesterday’s Peanut Butter Parfait pie almost resulted in an offer of matrimony to the anonymous cook—but we will settle for most satiated and satisfied gratitude. To you lifelong supporters of Sacred Harp, who come to help us newcomers learn what it’s all about by sitting in our square and, by example of arm and voice lead us to achieve heights of glory we’d never reach without you, our humble words of thanks. We hope to someday be able to follow in your footsteps and lend encouragement to the newcomers to come. Our final words of appreciation are reserved for our Singing School instructor, Hugh McGraw. You are perhaps the first and foremost of these conservers and imparters of this tradition. Thanks to you and the other supporters, we too are coming to love and cherish this tradition. We are humbly grateful for your nurturing words of instruction, correction, and guidance. The members of the Resolutions Committee were: Karen Willard, Charlene Wallace, John Ramsey, and Russ Nye. The Finance Committee then reported that the convention expenses had been met by the generous donations of those attending. Finance Committee members were: Deb Robson, Don Klein, and Mary Lou Dick. The Locating Committee announced that next year’s Rocky Mountain Sacred Harp Singing Convention will be the third Sunday and Saturday before in September in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The members of the Locating Committee were: David McPherson, Alice Van Camp, Sandy Hill and Carlene Griffin. A gift of appreciation was presented to Hugh McGraw for all of his support for this convention. The business meeting was then closed. Hugh McGraw, Sandy Hill, and John Ramsey led song on page 62, and invited all who wished to do so, to take the parting hand. Leon Simmons led the class in prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Sandy Hill; Vice Chairman—John Ramsey.