Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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National Sacred Harp Convention

Unitarian Universalist Church, Birmingham, Alabama

June 16-18, 2005

Thursday, June 16

The twenty-sixth session of the National Sacred Harp Convention was called to order by Chairman Buell Cobb leading 52t. The opening prayer was offered by Chaplain Jesse Roberts.

Leaders: Mark Davis 42; Kathy Williams 47t; John Redman 236; Don Bowen 503; Helen Brown 492; Rosemary Greenaway 34b; Mike Hinton 373; Jesse Roberts 40; Sharona Nelson 36b; Pat Temple 195; Marlin Beasley 498; Phil Summerlin 30t; Mary Wright 173; Edward Houghton 434; Sharon Kellam 66; Ruth Wyers 565; Judy Chambless 489; Jim Helke 198; Billy Thompson 335; Joe Nall 430.


Dan Huger brought the class back together leading 38b. Leaders: Willie Israel 114; Wilton Donaldson 480; Joe Todd 65; Bruce Coates 176b; J.L. Hopper 71; Robert Stoddard 142; Uel Freeman 64; Robert Dove 228; Travis Keeton 179; Frank Strickland 388.

A business session was called to order for the election of officers, as follows: Chairman—Buell Cobb; Vice Chairman—Mark Davis; Secretary—Kathy Williams; Chaplain—Jesse Roberts; Arranging Committee—Dan Huger, Berkley Moore, Sandie Scott, Helen Brown, and Hubert Nall; Resolutions Committee—Victoria Bolles, Pat Temple, and Mary Wright; Finance Committee—Rosemary Greenaway, George Pomfret, Jim Helke, Don Bowen, and John Redman; Memorial Committee—Sharona Nelson, Beth Todd, and Mike Hinton.

Leaders: Dan Brittain 543; Kit Pfau 171; Brenda Peña 325; Victoria Bolles 299; Judy Caudle 564; Cathryn Baker 216; Beverly Coates 472; George Pomfret 352; Vernell Amason 143; Cora Sweatt 159; Beth Todd 319; Walter Hartley 178; Sarah Smith 129; Leah Wilde 155; Ila Ingle 436. Jesse Roberts offered the blessing for the noon meal.


Dan Huger reconvened the class leading 32b. Leaders: Henry Johnson 230; Lee Bradley 127; Daphene Causey 196; Midge Harder 328; Reed Coates 330t; Bridgett Hill 276; Gail Doss 191; Andrew Farris 408; Brice Reid 45t; Sandie Scott 551; Hubert Nall 448b; Bufrey Dean and Justin Dean 438; Richard DeLong 439; Delone Cobbs 150; Lee Rogers 338; Becky Briggs 225t; Eleanor Soler 277; Anita Landess 314; Andy Anderson 323t; Warren Steel 32b; Virginia Douglas 49b; John Plunkett 466; Carroll Lunsford 289; James S. Wagner 494.


Mark Davis called the class back to order leading 123t. Leaders: James M. Wagner 354b; Eugene Forbes 168; Corissa Sweatt 145b; Paul Lindholm 419; David Ivey 135; Beth Branscome 163b; Gary Smith 569b; Kennon Smith 189; Joan Aldridge 475; Gaston White 186; Marilyn Burchett 108b; Julietta Haynes 222.

Buell Cobb and Mark Davis led 46 to close Thursday’s session. The closing prayer was offered by Elder J.L. Hopper.

Friday, June 17

Friday’s session was opened by Chairman Buell Cobb leading 31b. Leaders: Mark Davis 29t; Kathy Williams 369; John Redman 358; Dan Huger 36b; Rosemary Greenaway 171; Don Bowen 77b; Sharona Nelson 180; Jim Helke 313b; Beth Todd 501; George Pomfret 365; Sandie Scott 353; Hubert Nall 47t; Mary Wright 312t; Helen Brown 542; Berkley Moore 123b; Pat Temple 232; Cheryl Foreman 492; Lomax Ballinger 300; Jeremy Shipp 268; Sandra Wilkinson 448t; Louis Hughes 546; Lela Crowder 203; Larry Brasher 385b.


The class reconvened with Helen Brown leading 217. Leaders: Linda Thomas 474; Davis Rust 161; Ginnie Ely 196; Earl Ballinger 331; Josie Hyde 507; William Reynolds and Hugh McGraw 225t; Tim Reynolds 64; Bernice Harvey 335; Elene Stovall 182; Tor Bejnar and Alice Bejnar 479; Dorothea McCowan 442; Henry Jackson 185; Leon Ballinger 195; Corissa Sweatt 391; David Carlton 228; Hannah Goldman 107; Natalie Davis 354b; Ruth Johnson 172; Charles McCravy 143; Hugh McGraw 413; John Hyde 275b; Janet Fraembs 378b. The blessing of the noon meal was offered by Louis Hughes.


David Carlton brought the class together after lunch with 101t. Leaders: Louise Holland 144; Robert Walker 477; Amber Davis 142; Eric Schedler 456; Shirley Berrey 313t; Jim Carnes 436; Susan Allred 399b; Pauline Griggs 43; Katie Zukof 504; David Light 318; Jennifer Allred 208; John Etheridge 398; Janice Johnson 288; Cricket Campbell 337; Tim Reynolds 312b; Rachel Allred 215; Lance Phillips 454; Charlene Wallace 481; Seth Allred 112; Matt Hinton 42; Will Allred 87; Anne Heider 475; Caleb Allred 282; Cassie Franklin 76b; Ann Ballard 77t.


Kathy Williams brought the class back to order leading 108t. Leaders: Richard DeLong 240; Marlin Beasley 47b; Judy Caudle 345b; Joe Nall 272; Ila Ingle 530; Becky Briggs 480; David Ivey 121; Ellie Soler 269; Uel Freeman 82t; Rosalynn Fairless 59; Travis Keeton 57.

Buell Cobb and Mark Davis led 323t as the closing song. The closing prayer was led by John Etheridge.

Saturday, June 18

Saturday’s session was called to order by Buell Cobb leading 75. Bruce Coates offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Mark Davis 39t; Kathy Williams 48b; Helen Brown 411; Don Bowen 283; Rosemary Greenaway 384; John Redman 532; George Pomfret 84; Sharona Nelson 66; Jim Helke 510; Pat Temple 566; Berkley Moore 290; Sandie Scott 472; Hubert Nall 341; Mary Wright 148; Dan Huger 474; Willie Israel 86; Jo Pendleton and Jonathan Taft 72b; Judy Mincey 367; James S. Wagner 276.


Henry Johnson brought the class back to order with 70b. Leaders: Larry Ballinger 50b; Victoria Bolles 551; Jeremy Shipp 267; Rosemary Greenaway 68b; Buell Cobb 358; Amanda Denson 142; Gene Pinion 569b; Sharon DuPriest 189; Nate Green and Norma Green 479; William Reynolds and Tim Reynolds 128, 159; Arlene Woods 30b; Tim Cook 24 (t? b?).

The Memorial Committee conducted the memorial lesson. Sharona Nelson spoke of death, the feelings we have when it is mentioned, and the comfort we receive from singing Sacred Harp to help us in times of grief. It’s one of the things that first made this music special to me—that we set aside a formal time to remember those who are now passed on, and those who can’t be here because they are sick. Someone told me the first time I came south to sing, that there will come a day when the memorial lesson is the sweetest part of the singing. The lyrics of our songs remind us, bluntly at times, that we shall all die, and all those we love shall die. But we have a hope of Heaven, “where pains and sorrows are no more,” where we will reunite with loved ones and sing this glorious music “around the throne in sweet accord.” We have a long list to remember this year: John Hocutt, Ivalene Donaldson, Sherry Guthery, Hershell King, A.D. Chandler, Gerstile Nail, Vera Blakeley, Jap Walton, Ellen Childers, and Ida Dorrough Hartsfield—Alabama; Kelly Beard and Frances Daniels—Texas; Preston McClendon, Naomi Sailors, and Elvera Lee—Georgia; Roxanne Mennella, Allen Fannin, and Phyllis Flandreau—New York; Dean Slaton—Indiana; Ruth White—Illinois; Laurette Elizabeth Wojcik—Vermont; Austin Burchett and Phil Taber—Tennessee; Mark Ayers—South Carolina; Merton Pomfret—Massachusetts; Edward Whitworth—Mississippi; Tom Gibney—New Jersey; Alan McInnes—Maryland; Peter Whitehall—England; Robert Goddard. Mike Hinton led 146 for the deceased; Beth Todd led 340 for a long list of sick and shut-ins.

Leaders: Karen Rollins, Barry Rollins, and Randa Harris 268; Carolyn Bonifay 234; Jeff Adcock 354b; Charles Woods 517; Beth Branscome 35. Robert Dove offered the blessing for the noon meal.


The singing reconvened with Richard DeLong leading 216. Leaders: Warren Steel 362; Carroll Lunsford 162; Seth Holloway 274t; Marilyn Burchett 254; Corissa Sweatt and Cora Sweatt 145b; Sharon Kellam 344; Virginia Douglas 36b; Gaston White 236; Joe Todd 58; Cheryl Foreman 71; Kit Pfau 497; Bruce Coates 49b; Anita Landess 297; Anne Heider 528; Sarah Smith 108t; Robert Dove 287; Janet Fraembs 186; Leon Ballinger 425; Paul Lindholm 424.


Cathryn Baker brought the class back together leading 179. Leaders: Andy Anderson 535; Julietta Haynes 200.

A business session was called to order to hear committee reports. The Finance Committee thanked the Convention for contributions that were graciously sufficient to cover expenses.

The Resolutions Committee gave the following report: Be it resolved that the 26th meeting of the National Sacred Harp Convention renders grateful thanks to the Lord for providing us with this opportunity to sing his praises, and thanks:

  • The officers and committees for their hard work in bringing the convention together and keeping it flowing smoothly;
  • The many hands who prepared and contributed food for the nourishment of our bodies;
  • The singers whose abilities kept us all on pitch;
  • The many singers from near and far whose voices have made this Convention outstanding.

The Secretary reported that 496 people from twenty-three states and the United Kingdom registered during the Convention. There were 165 leaders who led 236 songs. The numbers by state and country: Alabama—329; Georgia—35; Tennessee—19; Florida—13; Texas—9; Illinois—8; Massachusetts—8; Virginia—6; Mississippi—6; North Carolina—6; Arkansas—4; Alaska—4; Colorado—3; California—3; Ohio—2; Maryland—2; New York—1; Minnesota—1; New Jersey—1; Oregon—1; West Virginia—1; Connecticut—1; Louisiana—1; United Kingdom—3.

A motion was made and carried to accept the reports and add them to the minutes. The business session was closed.

Leaders: Robert Stoddard 91; Cricket Campbell 277; Hannah Goldman 178; David Rust 332; Leah Wilde 117; Reed Coates 306; Midge Harder 163t; Brenda Peña 39b; Gail Doss 137.

The officers led 62 as the traditional closing song of the Convention, and those who wished took the parting hand. Mike Hinton offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

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