Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Central Louisiana Sacred Harp Sing

Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, Dry Prong, Louisiana

September 7, 1996

This was the first meeting of Sacred Harp singers in Central Louisiana. The opening prayer was led by Elder R. J. Wade, pastor of Harmony Primitive Baptist Church. Jim Fields gave an introduction to the shapes, and led songs on pages 101t and 39t. Nancy Van Den Akker led 31t. Since this was the first meeting of this group, officers were elected to conduct the sing. Those elected were: Chairman—Jim Fields; Treasurer—Rick McLain; Secretary—Nancy Van Den Akker. Leaders: Jim Fields 105; Virginia Fields 452b; Rick McLain 49t; Elizabeth Muhleisen 128; Judy Papa 354b; Harry Eskew 47 (t? b?), 40; Wallace McKenzie 155; Jim Fields 108b; Nancy Van Den Akker 361; Virginia Fields 323b. Prayer before lunch was offered by Cleamon Downs.


The class was called back to order by Jim Fields, who offered a few words on the Rudiments and led song on page 63. Thanks were offered for the food provided by church members. Names were gathered for the Memorial Lesson: Joanne Lewis, Linda Scott, Don Harvey, Faye Fields, Albert Shows, and Jonathan Lang. Harry Eskew led song on page 31b for the deceased and ill. Singing continued and leaders called were: Cleamon Downs 133; Elizabeth Muhleisen 178; Rick McLain 85; Elder R. J. Wade 101t; Judy Papa 165; Harry Eskew 159; Wallace McKenzie 45t; Jim Fields 186; Nancy Van Den Akker 569b; Virginia Fields 72b; Elizabeth Muhleisen 82t; Cleamon Downs 79; Rick McLain 341; Judy Papa 314; Jim Fields 358.

An announcement was made for the State Sing, to be held October 5 in Baton Rouge. A collection was taken in the amount of $115.00. There was some discussion of a location for next year’s sing, with several attendees expressing interest in hosting it at their churches. It was decided to return to Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, Dry Prong, Louisiana next year, and in the meantime to collect invitations for succeeding years and other times of the year. Elder R. J. Wade offered some comments on the value of the Sacred Harp tradition. He said many of the young people were interested in reconnecting with their cultural roots, and the Sacred Harp was a good example of one that was worthwhile. Harry Eskew offered the closing prayer, and Wallace McKenzie led song on page 62 for the closing song. Attendance was 45.

Chairman—Jim Fields; Treasurer—Rick McLain; Secretary—Nancy Van Den Akker.