Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association

Annual Meeting

Saturday, November 22, 2003

The annual meeting of the Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association (SHMHA) was held at Mount Pleasant Home Primitive Baptist Church on Saturday, November 22nd. Forty members were present. President Jeff Sheppard called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m., welcomed the assembly, and thanked the members for their support this past year. Secretary David Ivey provided the following report to the assembly.

SHMHA successfully edited, published, printed, and distributed the “Directory and Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings” for the seventh consecutive year. The number of books distributed in 2003 was approximately 2,800. SHMHA and the Sacred Harp people are indebted to the Editor, Mrs. Shelbie Sheppard, for her tireless contribution of hundreds of hours of work in typing, arranging, and editing the minutes. The 2003-2004 edition will include the first collection of historical information for the births, deaths and places of burial of Sacred Harp singers. Singers were encouraged to continue to collect and provide this information for future editions. Office equipment will be purchased this year for the Editor’s use in producing the annual publication. The price for singings will remain $30 per day for 2004. Shelbie Sheppard made a number of suggestions and recommendations regarding submittal of minutes by secretaries.

SHMHA held the first-ever summer camp for the purpose of teaching and traditional practice of Sacred Harp singing. 73 full time campers from 18 states, 22 of which were youth, participated in Camp Fasola. Other singers also participated in the community singing. SHMHA plans to hold the second annual camp in 2004. More information on Camp Fasola dates and registration will be provided at fasola.org.

Thanks were extended to Janet Herman and Jane Hancock for their contribution of “In Sweetest Union Join” CDs to SHMHA for its primary fundraiser over the past four years. Thanks were extended to Susan Harcrow, Rodney Ivey, John Plunkett, and Joyce Walton for their contribution of “United Sacred Harp Musical Association Historical Booklets” as a SHMHA fundraiser. Bethanne Hill, Max Berueffy, and Elene Stovall were recognized for their contribution of proceeds from the sales of Bethanne’s “Pleasant Hill” painting depicting aspects of all-day Sacred Harp singings.

The 2003 financial report was presented with handouts provided to all members present. All receipts and expenses were itemized. The report recognized contributors and a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.

It was reported that SHMHA received a “Final Letter of Determination” from the Internal Revenue Service in 2003 confirming their preliminary finding in 1999 that SHMHA is properly operating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

President Jeff Sheppard made concluding remarks and adjourned the meeting. The meeting was dismissed with prayer by Louis Hughes, Sr.

President—Jeff Sheppard; Secretary—David Ivey.