Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Mercer University Singing

Newton Chapel, Mercer University Campus, Macon, Georgia

Saturday, March 20, 2004

The first annual Mercer University Singing was held on Saturday before the third Sunday in March at Newton Chapel on the Campus of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.

Beginning at 8:30 a.m., Hugh McGraw gave a short lesson on how to sing using shaped notes. He explained the origination of this form of singing and gave some of its history. Following this lesson, Kirby Godsey, President of Mercer welcomed the singers.

Stanley Roberts, faculty member who arranged to hold the singing, welcomed everyone and called for the nomination of officers. The following officers were duly elected and appointed to serve: Chairman—Harry Eskew; Vice Chairman—Stanley Roberts; Secretary—Rita Haley; Chaplain—Bryan Whitfield; Arranging Committee—John Plunkett; Memorial Committee—Helen Bryson and Judy Mincey; Finance Committee—Charlene Wallace.

Harry Eskew opened with 73b. Prayer was offered by Chaplain Bryan Whitfield.

Leaders: Stanley Roberts 159; Rita Haley 63; John Plunkett 155; Helen Bryson 568; Andy Anderson 282; Bill Hogan 480; Charles Woods 410t; Charlene Wallace 347; Tony Hammock 135; Wesley Haley 198; Deborah Grosse 270; Lela Crowder 99; Wallace McKenzie 40; Cathy White 178.

RECESS

The class was called back to order by Chairman Harry Eskew leading 59.

Hugh McGraw and John Plunkett came forward to pay tribute to Mr. Raymond Hamrick for his contribution to Georgia Sacred Harp. Mr. Hamrick came forward to receive a plaque inscribed with words of appreciation for his music and his dedication to the art. Mr. Hamrick gave his remarks including how he feels Sacred Harp is a “way of life” and stated that as a group “we are family.” He thanked the singers for the tribute. John Plunkett led 492 after which he introduced Mr. Hamrick’s daughter, Patty Dancy, who was in attendance. A collection of $235.00 was received.

Leaders: B.M. Smith 273; Jeannette DePoy 217; Sandra Wilkinson 384; John Hollingsworth 460; Mary Brownlee 151; Lee Rogers 218.

The memorial lesson was conducted. Helen Bryson led 340 in memory of the deceased which included: Ruby Anderson, Patricia Wright, Leo Lambert, Grace Lambert Keaton, Mona Durham, Margaret Pauline Hodges, Mozelle Sheppard, Edna “Roxie” Chesser, Ben Brady, and Robert Kendrick—Georgia; Elder Donald Smith, Ruth Brown, and Willie Carolyn Denson—Alabama.

The sick and shut-ins remembered were: Barbara DePoy, Bobby Jackson, Lonnie Rogers, Jeff Sheppard, Shelbie Sheppard, Bill Green, Loy Garrison, Dorothy Garrison, Violet Thomason, Nancy Allen, and Myrtle Smith. Judy Mincey led 50b in their honor. Chaplain Bryan Whitfield closed the memorial lesson with prayer.

Leaders: Loyd Landrum 81 (t? b?); Elise Eskew 551; Sharon Hamrick 276.

LUNCH

The class was called together by Chairman Harry Eskew leading 47t. Leaders: Don Bowen 569t; Rosemund Watson 94; Scott DePoy 274t; Martha Almond 490; Judy Mincey 571; Richard DeLong 540; Raymond Hamrick 354t; David Grant 75; Ellie Soler 277; David Cole 35; Andy Lane 72 (t? b?); Oscar McGuire 441; Matt Hinton 148; Bill Hogan 143; Wallace McKenzie 284; B.M. Smith 313t; Stanley Roberts 58; Lela Crowder and Erica Hinton 323t; Harry Eskew 236; Oscar McGuire and Katy McGuire 452.

Announcements were made. Stanley Roberts was presented with a signed copy of “The Sacred Harp, 1991 Edition.” Raymond Hamrick led 62 as the closing song. Chaplain Bryan Whitfield offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Harry Eskew; Vice Chairman—Stanley Roberts; Secretary—Rita Haley.