Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Kentucky State Sacred Harp Singing

Pisgah Presbyterian Church, Versailles, Kentucky

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The 34th annual Kentucky State Sacred Harp Singing was called to order at 9:10 a.m. by Ron Pen. After making a few announcements, Ron led 73b. The Sacred Harp, 1991 Edition and The Southern Harmony were used through the day.

Leaders: Joy Dunn 63; Charles Coulston 40; Erin Fulton 56b; Nate Zweig 146; Pearl Marshall 282; Randy Webber “Charleston”; Donna Kwon 82t; Mary Brinkman 358; Darrell Swarens 441 (in memory of Bob Meek); Tim Morton 344; Johanna Sims 32t.

The following officers were elected or appointed to serve: Chairman and Treasurer—Charles H. Coulston; Organizing Committee—Ron Pen, Raphael Finkel, Jim Thobaben, Zach Davis, and Keith MacAdam; Secretary—Mary Brinkman.


The class was called back to order by Ron Pen leading 455. Leaders: Gabe Knott and Darrell Swarens 47b; Kay Huffman and Tim Morton 503; Debbonnaire Kovacs and Randy Webber 551; John McCluskey 459 (for Tanner Jones, who is in Korea); Joy Dunn 535; Charles Coulston 350; Erin Fulton 64; Nate Zweig 17t (SoH); Pearl Marshall 475; Randy Webber 236; Charles Coulston 481 (for Donna Kwon); Mary Brinkman 313b; Darrell Swarens 36b; Tim Morton 74b; Joanna Sims 175; Annaliza Cull 268; Doug Trent 480; Michele Cull 168; Matt Henson 479; Ron Pen 45t (for Mark Yokum).

Randy Webber conducted the memorial lesson. Randy remarked that we meet people throughout our lives, that they come and go, but that their influence remains with us after they’re gone.

Ron Pen commented that Kristen Stauffer Todd had graduated from the doctoral program in Musicology at the University of Kentucky, had grown up in Texas, but moved to Kentucky, and was a member of the Lexington-based Sacred Harp group for a number of years. She ultimately made Oklahoma her home, and lived there until she died in 2014. Ron led 118 in her memory. Randy Webber led 320 in memory of Kristen, as requested by her husband, Phil Todd.

Ed Walton’s mother-in-law, Wilma Lawson of Mississippi, died two days before our annual singing. Ed, a regular singer, could not attend the singing, but had asked Mary Brinkman to lead 524 in memory of Wilma, and for him, as he and his family dealt with the final trek through the valley of the shadow of death.

Terry White, a regular singer with the Lexington-based group and who had been ill for a long period of time, died the day before the annual singing. Terry was a life-long Kentuckian. Mary Brinkman led 410t in his memory.

Joe Fothergill was memorialized by Michele Cull and Annaliza Cull. Michele mentioned that, among other things, Joe was kind of a background guy but not shy, how much he loved Kentucky and music, and that he had given his shape note books to Annaliza. Joe died in February of 2015, and was from Ohio. Michele and Annaliza led 496.

Raymond Hamrick, from Georgia, died in 2014 at the age of 99. He was remembered by Darrell Swarens and Mark Yokum. Darrell shared that he first became aware of Raymond in 2005, after which Darrell started singing shape note music in 2006. Darrell and Mark led 503.

Jim Roberts died on May 5, 2015. He was a Kentuckian and had been in the Navy. Bob French led 388 in his memory.

Those remembered from the sick and shut-in list were Lillie Walton, Begi Rechenberg, and Loraine Bayer. That concluded the memorial lesson. Randy Webber offered the lunch blessing.


The afternoon session was called to order by Pearl Marshall leading 105. Leaders: Ron Pen 322 (SoH); Tim Morton and Joy Dunn 65; Charles Coulston 276; Erin Fulton 277; Randy Webber 330 (SoH) (for Carol Harlin); Nate Zweig 24 (SoH); Randy Webber 296 (SoH); Mary Brinkman 147t; Darrell Swarens and Annaliza Cull 507; Tim Morton 384; Johanna Sims 318; Annaliza Cull and Sophie Hackworth 155; Doug Trent 66; Michele Cull 300; Donna Kwon 178; Debbonnaire Kovacs 117.


Pearl Marshall called the class back together. Announcements were made. Leaders: Bob French 180; Nate Zweig 4b (SoH); Ron Pen and Annaliza Cull 448t; Joy Dunn and Darrell Swarens 198; Charles Coulston 209; Erin Fulton 299; Randy Webber 195; Mary Brinkman 159; Darrell Swarens 81t; Tim Morton 377; Johanna Sims 203; Michele Cull and Annaliza Cull 163b.

The class sang 267 as the closing song. All shared the parting hand, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Charles H. Coulston; Secretary—Mary Brinkman