Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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United Sacred Harp Musical Association

Neely Dining Room, Belmont University; Nashville, Tennessee

September 10-11, 2005

Saturday, September 10

The one hundred-second session of the United Sacred Harp Musical Association met at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, on the second Sunday and Saturday before in September. Richard DeLong brought the class to order leading 32t. The morning prayer was offered by Ron Harper.

Leaders: Richard DeLong 60; John Plunkett 52t; Nora Parker 317; Lynn deBenedette and Karen Freund 171; Henry Johnson 230; Judy Mincey 538; David Carlton 142; Rodney Ivey 564; Don Bowen 350; Ed Thacker 403; Sandie Scott 408; Bob Meek 198; Bridgett Hill 276; Ron Harper 379; Gary Smith 569b; Nate Green and Norma Green 568; Lauren Blankers 147t.

Dr. Dan McAlexander, Provost of Belmont University, welcomed everyone to the University for the two days of Sacred Harp singing.


The class resumed singing with John Plunkett leading 79. Leaders: Mike Hinton 480; Ray Turrentine 378t.

A business session was held with the following officers elected or appointed to serve: Honorary Chairmen—Dr. Bill Reynolds and Hugh McGraw; Chairman—Tim Reynolds; Vice Chairman—David Carlton; Secretary (permanent)—Nora Parker; Assistant Secretary—Charlene Wallace; Chaplains—Ron Harper and John Plunkett; Arranging Committee—Henry Schuman, Sandie Scott, and Jeannette DePoy; Memorial Committee—Richard DeLong, Mike Hinton, Alicia Williams, and Ted Mercer; Resolutions Committee—Bob Simmons, Sarah Smith, and Heidi Nolan; Finance Committee—Ray Turrentine, Don Bowen, Seth Holloway, and Lewis Frost; Locating Committee—David Ivey and Gary Gronau. End of business session.

Tim Reynolds commented as follows: “It is very appropriate that I am following in the steps of Richard DeLong as chairman of this convention. When I began singing regularly, in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, we had gotten to the point where we could not have a singing without the help of the van load pf singers that Hugh McGraw would bring up here. Among those singers were Charlene Wallace, Carlene Griffin, Buford McGraw, Lloyd Redding, Jim Ayers, and Richard DeLong. I want to thank Richard DeLong and those other singers for their support. They are, in part, responsible for our being here today.

Yesterday in the Conference on American Hymnody, Ron Pen referred to George Pullen Jackson as the “patriarch of Sacred Harp research.” Here in Nashville Dr. Jackson is our patriarch because he started the Sacred Harp singing here. The group of singers here has never been very large, but it has always had an academic flavor because of those early beginnings. So, it is very appropriate that we are meeting here on a college campus.

In the tribute to Dr. Jackson in the minutes of the 1965 United Convention, also held in Nashville, Dr. Irving Wolfe told how Dr. Jackson had taken him to his first Sacred Harp singing. In 1955, when my parents moved to Nashville, Dr. Wolfe took my father, William J. Reynolds, to his first singing at Peabody College. In the early 1960’s, my father took me to my first singing, the Mattox Memorial, in Lawrenceburg. That is my Sacred Harp heritage.

Now, I want to introduce some descendants of the members of that heritage. Jo Jackson Pendleton, of Waco, Texas, is the granddaughter of George Pullen Jackson. Charlotte Wolfe and Virginia Wolfe Stuart are the daughters of Irving Wolfe.

In 1965, when the United Convention was held at the Ellington Agricultural Center here in Nashville, the chairman was the Rev. Priestly Miller, pastor of Harpeth Presbyterian Church. It is also appropriate that we are meeting in Nashville this year, because 2005 is the centennial of Rev. Miller’s birth. We are pleased to have Mary Evelyn Miller and Mrs. Priestley Miller with us today.

Finally, I want to introduce Dr. Cynthia Curtis, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts here at Belmont University. She is going to help me to lead 64, “Nashville.”

The following people, whose names appear in the minutes of the 1965 United Convention, were present at this year’s convention: Reba Dell Lacy Windom, Hugh McGraw, Nora Parker, Dr. William J. Reynolds, Fay Thompson, Dr. J. William Thompson, and Charlene Wallace.

Leaders: LaRue Allen 492; Linton Ballinger 306; Joan Aldridge 473; Heidi Nolan 448t; Tim Cook 174; Ginny Landgraf 328; David Music 99; Harry Eskew 128; Brad Bahler 117.


The class reassembled with Tim Reynolds leading 85. Leaders: Randy Neufeld 102; Matt Hinton 42; Kristin Richardson 186; David Rust 477; Clayton Ezell 300; Fay Thompson 159; Gordon Wilkinson 380; Richard Mauldin 129; Jessica Findley and Coy Ivey 282, 384; Carroll Lunsford 103; Mary Wright 290; James Wagner 268.


The afternoon session was brought to order by David Carlton leading 101t. Leaders: Bobby Watkins 30b; Linda Sides 225t; Kiri Miller 224; Elene Stovall 215; Ted Mercer 352; Drew Smith 385b; Reba Windom 542; Ron Pen 209; Cora Sweatt 81t; Carolyn Deacy 77t; Daphene Causey 442; Jackson Harcrow 76b; Jerry Enright 330t.


The class was brought to order by Henry Schuman leading 270. Leaders: David Ivey 112; Susan Harcrow 269; Terry Wootten 345b; Judy Caudle 188; Donald Ross 419; Sarah Jenkins 29t; Pattie Doss 39b; Gary Gronau 430; Marcia Johnson 216; Chris Noren 236; Donna Bell 97; John Bahler 454; Rochelle Lodder 148; Marilyn Burchett 294; Jim Glaser 207; Charlotte Wolfe Stuart and Charlene Wallace 192; Warren Steel 418; Stephanie Fida 86.


Sandie Scott brought the class to order by leading 74b. Leaders: Susan Posey 178; Jeanette Mattox Dewberry 217 (Jeanette is the daughter of George M. Mattox, who was a member of the Music Committee for the first edition of the Denson Revision, published in 1936, and he was a member of the Arranging Committee for the 1965 United Convention); Lewis Frost 452; Doris Littrell 358; James M. Wagner 268; Fayrene Box 146; Ted Johnson 383; Vella Dailey 47b; Mike Thompson 121; Mary Harrison 457; Chris Nolan 236; Nick Pasqual 313b; Rose Mary Schuman 107; Amanda Denson, Beth Branscome, Mary Harrison, and Rose Mary Schuman 260.

Tim Reynolds led 312b as the closing song. The class was dismissed with prayer by Ron Harper.

Sunday, September 11

The Sunday session was brought to order at 9:30 a.m. by Tim Reynolds leading 34b. The morning prayer was offered by John Plunkett. Dr. Rick Hoffman, Associate Professor of Music at Belmont University, was introduced. He welcomed everyone to the University.

Leaders: David Carlton 27; Flarce Creel and Emily Creel 475; Charlene Wallace 218; Danny Creel 222; Martha Beverly 56b; Jim Helke 77b; Paul Figura 32t; Jackson Pendleton 72t; Teddy Creel 124; Bill Beverly 297; Shirley Figura 565; Marlin Beasley and Joey Findley 460; Cathy White 146; Harrison Creel 111b; Virginia Douglas 49b; Sarah Smith 385b.


The class was reassembled with Sandie Scott leading 287. Leaders: Megan Jennings 504; Steve Cobb 285t; Kay Huener 148; Mike Grimes 498; Marta Gossage 333; Diane Ross 543; Barbara Swetman 542; Pat Temple 232; Beth Branscome 277; Paula Springfield 380; Erin Cole 131t.

Richard DeLong, Mike Hinton, Alicia Williams, and Ted Mercer conducted the memorial lesson. The names of the deceased were read by Alicia Williams as follows: Ruth Aaron, Gerald Wootten, Maxine Lacy, Ivalene Donaldson, Jap Walton, John Hocutt, Hershell King, Sherry Guthery, Johnnie Blakeley, and Vera Blakeley—Alabama; Naomi Sailors, Preston McClendon, Berta Hanson, and Floyd Peters—Georgia; Phillip Alderman—Missouri; Kelly Beard—Texas; Alan Frank and Vi Stark—Illinois; Dean Slaton—Indiana; Allen Fannin and Phyllis Flandreau—New York; Tom Gibney—New Jersey; Darlene McDonaugh—Minnesota; Carl Ford—Tennessee; Graham Pugh—United Kingdom. Richard DeLong led 566 in memory of the deceased. Ted Mercer led 179 for the Illinois and Indiana deceased.

The sick and shut-ins were Oscar McGuire, Jerry Holbrook, Carlene Griffin, Bill Green, Homer Whitworth, Edith Tate, Clarence McCool, John Hyde, Josie Hyde, Charles Creel, Shelbie Sheppard, Julietta Haynes, Dick Mauldin, Denson Hinton, Beau Caldwell, Emily Boswell, Jeanette Lowry, Ophelia Matthews, Edith Owens, Myra Palmer, Jane Harrison, Libby Riordan, Brian Riordan, Sonia Matlick Jones, Pauline Childers, Bill Thomas, Darlene Thomas, Clayton Ezell, Thelma Ezell, and Larry Olszewski. Mike Hinton led 546 in honor of the sick and shut-ins. Tim Reynolds led 551 in memory of Margaret Wright. Mike Hinton closed the memorial with prayer.

Leaders: Jeannette DePoy 567; Carroll Lunsford 319; Dorothea McCowan 304; Warren Steel 396; Melanie Hardy 143; Matt Hinton 503; Sharon DuPriest 434; Lynn deBenedette and Karen Freund 182, 430; Kaylee Duncan and Bob Meeks 55; Jerry Enright 77t.


The afternoon session was brought to order by David Carlton leading 501. Leaders: Linda Sides 454; Mark Brown 448t; Becky Browne 270; Emily Creel 269; Barrett Patton and Rodney Ivey 101t; Jonathan Pendleton 354b; Jo Schultz 532; Aaron Wootten 480; Jeff Adcock 35; Carolyn Deacy and Masil Robbins 128; Shane Wootten 500; Max Berueffy 436; Reba Windom 196; Joel Jenkins and Sarah Jenkins 208; LaRue Allen 220; Ted Mercer 421; Alice Ann Vaughan Borge (granddaughter of Will Vaughan and niece of James Vaughn, members of Vaughan Quartet) and David Ivey 392.

A business session was held to hear reports from various committees. The following Finance Committee Report was given by Nora Parker: Balance brought forward, $1,336.72; Collection, $708.00; Total, $2,044.72; Expenses for minutes, paper goods, and food, $757.03; a balance of $1,287.69 is carried forward.

The Secretary, Nora Parker, reported that a total of eighteen states were represented during the two days of singing.

The Resolutions Committee Report was presented by Bob Simmons. Remembering the report of the Committee at last year’s meeting expressing concern that Sacred Harp singing seemed to be “endangered”, we note with pleasure and encouragement a resurgent enthusiasm for this honored tradition, and we resolve to further this spirit of vigorous support welling up in both the young and older among us. We continue our resolve to honor the memory of those singers of the past by keeping alive the traditions they have left us.

Remembering their lifelong dedication to the cause of Sacred Harp singing and their warm affection for these singers, we resolve to honor the work of our Co-Chairmen, Hugh McGraw and William Reynolds.

Remembering the sad and horrifying events in our national experience four years ago, on this day, we resolve to honor the memories of our fellow citizens who have given their last full measure of devotion in service to our country in the intervening years.

Remembering the more recent hurricanes along our Gulf Coast, the greatest disaster in our nation’s history, we resolve to make the words of our songs about love and compassion come to life as we seek to serve those who have lost so much.

Be it resolved that the Association thanks Belmont University for the kind invitation to meet on the University campus this year, and that we express our particular gratitude to Dr. Dan McAlexander, Provost, and to Dr. Cynthia Curtis, Dean of the School of Music, for their courtesies. Our special appreciation goes to Dr. Rick Hoffmann, Associate Professor of Music, for yeoman service in handling and settling many of the details involved.

For the mercies of God upon those of us here, and for the generosity of those who have prepared food and other amenities for our meeting, we resolve to be a more thankful folk and to grow in the grace of giving until we meet again as an Association of loved ones when God shall provide.

Respectfully submitted by: Bob Simmons, Sarah Smith, and Heidi Nolan.

The Locating Committee reported the one-hundred third session of the United Sacred Harp Association will meet in Birmingham, Alabama in 2006.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the reports and to adjourn the business session.

Charlene Wallace and Nora Parker were recognized for the work they have done for the convention for a number of years, and were presented a tote bag from the state of Tennessee.


The class was called to order by Heidi Nolan leading 278t. Leaders: Linda Thomas 303 (for Jeff Sheppard, whose birthday is today); Jackson Harcrow and Drew Smith 376; Mark Brown “Sweet Beulah Land”; John Plunkett 383; Ted Johnson and Marsha Johnson 440; Seth Holloway 388; Bridgett Hill 168; Michele Cull 155; Terry Wootten 39t; Susan Harcrow 426b; Ed Thacker 486; Henry Johnson 70b; Elene Stovall and Jessica Findley 430; Judy Caudle 343; Henry Schuman 318 (for Pauline Childers, who was unable to attend).

Announcements were made. Tim Reynolds led 142 as the closing song. The convention was closed with prayer offered by John Plunkett.

Chairman—Tim Reynolds; Vice Chairman—David Carlton; Secretary—Nora Parker; Assistant Secretary—Charlene Wallace.