Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Christian Harmony Singing School and Singing

Old County Line Church, Jefferson County, Alabama

February 7-8, 2009

Saturday, February 7

Danny Creel opened the singing school with announcements and thanked the Alabama State Council for the Arts for grant money provided to have the school. Steve Grauberger was present representing the Council. He also acknowledged the crew members present to film the singing school courtesy of the Beasley Foundation.

Danny Creel led 131 to open the singing school. Tim Cook began the lessons by going over the notes and having the class sing the scale. Tim went over individual parts in several songs, so each student would hear the different parts, and then the class sang 67b and 30b.

Bill Hogan began teaching about more rudiments, such as beating time and time signatures. The class sang songs to demonstrate these rudiments. He then began instructing the class in elements of learning to key music.

Cassie Allen taught the class about the history of the 1958 revision of the Christian Harmony songbook, and about its revisers, O.A. Parris and John Deason. She spoke of Alabama singers and their roots to this tune book through the present day. Cassie also gave details about the changes to the previous songbooks over the years and what revisions were made. The class sang songs by Parris (43, 131, 172); Deason (186, 322); John Hocutt (167b, 120); William Walker (307, 208b); William “Bennie” Rigdon (352); A.M. Cagle (54); Elsie Calvert Moon (10). Elsie was present to help lead the song she wrote when she was a teen. Cassie closed her session by leading 204t.

Leaders: Henry Johnson 261; SuNell Ellis 248; Lucy Heidorn and Ken Tate 346; Danny Creel and Kelly Isbell 155b; Emily Creel 238; David Daniel 165; Jane Spencer 133; Yancey Jett 287; Yancey Jett and Ann Jett 360; Yancey Jett 117.

Announcements were made. Danny Creel offered prayer, and the class sang 85b to close the day.

Sunday, February 8

Bill Hogan welcomed the class to the singing, then he and Tim Cook led 64 to open the singing.

The following officers were appointed serve: Co-Chairmen—Bill Hogan and Tim Cook; Secretary—Emily Creel; Arranging Committee—Cassie Allen. Tim Cook led 31t and Henry Johnson offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Emily Creel 57, 93 (for Harrison Creel); Cassie Allen 281t, 354t; Gary Smith 281b, 204t; Danny Creel 308, 149; Carolyn Thompson 54, 148; Mike Spencer 235, 361; Marlin Beasley 255, 325b; Billy Thompson 248, 277b; Nancy Hogan 274, 321.


Tim Cook brought the class back together by leading “Aberdeen” and “Fish Pond” (North Carolina Christian Harmony). Leaders: Hannah Tate 157b; Henry Guthery 59b, 4; Ann Jett 180, 264; J.C. Rutledge 178, 179; Joan Aldridge 19, 280t; Ed Thacker 163b, 309t; Judy Caudle 76b, 172; Steve Grauberger 35b, 77; Robert Walker 214, 128t; SuNell Ellis 143, 142.


Cassie Allen called the afternoon session to order by leading 170. Leaders: Jane Spencer 105t, 74; Yancey Jett 117, 109; Henry Johnson 105b, 80; Julianna Jett and Ann Jett 85b; Bea Carnathan 131, 189; Ken Tate 253, 186; Sarah Smith 238, 239t; Cindy Tanner 322, 51; Velton Chafin 332, 120; James Parker 323, “Sweet Beulah Land” (by request); Billy Williams 254, 272; Judy Caudle 172 (for video taken to Harrison Creel, who was in the hospital); Cassie Allen 10 (by request), 176; Bill Hogan 284 (by request).

Announcements were made. Bill Hogan, Tim Cook, and Cassie Allen led 50 as the closing song. Henry Guthery offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Bill Hogan and Tim Cook—Co-Chairmen; Emily Creel—Secretary