Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association

Annual Meeting

Saturday, November 27, 2004

The annual meeting of the Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association (SHMHA) was held at Mount Pleasant Home Primitive Baptist Church on Saturday, November 27th. Approximately 50 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.

The Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association was delegated the responsibility for the publication, printing, and distribution of the Directory and Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings by the Alabama State Sacred Harp Convention in 1999. Minutes for 213 singings/conventions were submitted for publication in the 2003/2004 Directory and Minutes book. A total of 257 boxes (containing ten books each) were provided to the singings/conventions for distribution. The number of books distributed in 2004 was approximately 3,000.

Several sections have been added to the Directory and Minutes book through the years, including a very important addition in the 2003/2004 book. The “Historical Memorial” section lists the names of deceased singers, places of burial, and their dates of birth and death. We encourage you to submit this information for deceased singers who are not presently included.

The secretaries of singings and conventions were thanked for their work in recording minutes and submitting them on time. Secretaries were requested to limit the length of descriptions of resolutions reports and memorial lesson reports so that the overall length of the “Directory and Minutes” book would not become too large. It was noted that the electronic submittals have been a large help in reducing data entry.

The first Camp Fasola was held on June 29—July 3, 2003 at Camp Lee near Anniston, Alabama. A total of 73 full time campers from 18 states were represented. Of those 73 campers, 22 were youth. The second Camp Fasola was held in 2004 on June 28—July 2. A total of 115 campers and teachers attended. Of the 115 campers, 42 were 18 years of age and under; and eight were between the ages of 19 and 30. The curriculum ranged from basics/rudiments through advanced topics of Sacred Harp music; leading; history; keying; decorum; arts and crafts; recreation; lemonade-making; purple/pink food and packing lunches to carry to a singing; and lots of singing, fellowship, and food! The attendance of so many youth at this year’s camp was very rewarding and encouraging. It is especially thrilling to have so many of these young people attending singings, leading, and even carrying out the duties of leadership at singings.

The third annual camp will be held at Camp Lee in 2005 on June 27th—July 1st. For more information, http://fasola.org/camp

Thanks was expressed to the organizations and individuals who have made contributions in support of SHMHA and Camp Fasola over the past five years: Alabama State Council on the Arts; the Joe Beasley Memorial Foundation; the Sacred Harp Publishing Company; memorial gifts; and donations from many individuals. Janet Herman and Jane Hancock were acknowledged for contributing “In Sweetest Union Join” CD sets in 2000 as a major fundraiser. Keith and Jenny Willard were acknowledged for contributing Alabama State Convention tapes. Bethanne Hill, Max Berueffy, and Elene Stovall were acknowledged for their support to SHMHA through sales of Bethanne’s beautiful print “Pleasant Hill.” Susan Harcrow, John Plunkett, Rodney Ivey, and Joyce Walton were acknowledged for assembling a valuable historical record of the United Sacred Harp Musical Association and making these available for contributions to SHMHA. The grandchildren of George Pullen Jackson: Pam Helms, Jo Pendleton, Ellen Jackson, and Susan Martin, were acknowledged for their contributions of multiple copies of three of Dr. Jackson’s out-of-print books. These will be offered for sale as a fundraiser in the coming months.

The 2004 financial report was presented with handouts provided to all members present. All receipts and expenses were itemized. Shelbie Sheppard presented an overview of the financial status of SHMHA. The report recognized contributors and a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.

Several members made positive and encouraging remarks about the activities and projects of SHMHA, including Mr. Richard Mauldin and Mr. George Seiler.

President Jeff Sheppard made concluding remarks and adjourned the meeting. The meeting was dismissed with prayer by Sam Sommers.

SHMHA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, incorporated in Alabama, whose purpose is the perpetuation and preservation of Sacred Harp singing and its traditions. SHMHA’s interests include singing schools, singings/conventions, traditional singing practices, and the history and traditions of Sacred Harp.

We encourage you to help SHMHA with your time, talents, and financial support. All contributions are tax deductible. Without your support, SHMHA projects would not be possible.

President—Jeff Sheppard; Secretary—David Ivey.