Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Kentucky State Sacred Harp Singing

Pisgah Presbyterian Church, Versailles, Kentucky

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The 36th annual Kentucky State Sacred Harp Singing, hosted by the Appalachian Association of Sacred Harp Singers (AASHS), was called to order at 9:03 a.m. by Ron Pen. Ron made a few announcements about the singing, schedule, and facilities. The Sacred Harp, 1991 Edition and the Southern Harmony were the books used throughout the day. Jim Thobaben offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Ron Pen 73b; Shawn Fenton 39t; Joy Dunn 40; Charles Coulston 299; Tom Morton 209; Tim Morton 89t (SoH); Amritpal Singh 216; Don Waggener 58; Ginny Langdorf 276b (SoH); Randy Webber 128; Stephen Huffman 31t; Judy Taylor 502; Ed Walton and Randy Webber 524; Mary Huffman 186; Ray Rechenberg 145t; John Huffman 49b; Erin Fulton 528.


Ron Pen called the class back together. Leaders: Josh Walton 105; Rafi Finkel 535; Mary Brinkman 504; Randy Webber “Cincinnati”; Ron Pen 455; Donna Kwon 47b; Bob French 496; Pearl Marshall 454; Erik Schwab 548; Alana Boltz 440; Michele Cull 441; Annaliza Cull 155; Shawn Fenton 38 (SoH); Joy Dunn 183.


Randy Webber conducted the memorial lesson. He read the following list of names of the sick and shut-ins: Melanie Hauff, Michael Appert; Darrell Swarens, Hugh McGraw, and Evi Melberg.

Ron Pen memorialized Keith MacAdam, who loved music and singing, and had been a member of the AASHS since its inception. Keith, a Kentuckian, died very suddenly in the fall of 2016, which was a major shock to everyone who knew him, and has left a considerable void in our shape note group. He had taught in the Physics and Astronomy Department at UK before retiring, created the MacAdam Observatory in 2008, and established two major endowments for the Niles Center for American Music, where our group holds their regular monthly singings. Ron led 85 in memory of Keith. Jack Meiners, Sr. died in May of 2017 and was from Illinois. He was the father/father-in-law of Jim and Marcelyn Thobaben, and loved singing shape note music and sea shanties. Randy Webber led 53 in memory of Jack. John Bayer, from Ohio, died in 2016. Randy commented that he had learned a lot about pitching from John, and that John had composed numerous shape note songs. Ray Rechenberg shared that John was a melon farmer. Randy led 29t. Erin Fulton remembered her “Auntie” Heather Wiegert, a Kansan who died in 2017. Auntie Heather was one of the first people Erin sang shape notes with. Erin led 39 (SoH). Janelle Davis, from Illinois, was remembered by Ginny Landgraf. Ginny first met Janelle at the 2013 Illinois State Sacred Harp Convention. The last all-day singing Janelle attended was the Mid-Michigan singing in 2016. She died from cancer in July, 2016. Ginny led 480. Erik Schwab memorialized his father, Gerhart Schwab of Ohio, who died in 2017. He had immigrated to Ohio from Germany and had a great love for music. Erik led 523. Charles Coulston led 497 for his father, Gael Coulston, an Indianan who died in 2016. Norma Yost memorialized Dr. Wayne H. Bell who had died in 2017. When he was the minister of Vine Street Christian Church in Nashville, he performed the marriage ceremony of Norma Yost and Ron Pen. When he moved back to Lexington, he became President of the Lexington Theological Seminary. Norma and Ron led 92b (SoH) for Dr. Bell. Anna Stone’s father, James Bedsole, died in 2017. Music, praise, and worship were a large part of his life. Anna led 276 for him. Randy Webber concluded the memorial lesson by recognizing the contributions of those who have gone before us, and then offered the lunch blessing.


The afternoon session was called to order by Rafi Finkel leading 269. Leaders: Pearl Marshall 282; Bob French 38b; Joseph Wrightson and Ron Pen 45t; Tom Morton 146; Erin Fulton 49 (SoH); Ron Pen 236; Josh Walton 556; Tim Morton 254 (SoH); Ed Walton 143; Amritpal Singh 112; Mary Huffman 362; Mary Brinkman 147t; Don Waggener 256 (SoH); Randy Webber 265 (SoH); Shawn Fenton 474; Ray Rechenberg 564; John Huffman and Kay Huffman 503.


Announcements were made, after which Rafi Finkel led 159b (SoH). Leaders: Joy Dunn 66; Laura Earles 448t; Ginny Landgraf 507 (in memory of Janelle Davis and for Darrell Swarens); Erik Schwab 68b; Alana Boltz 278t; Charles Coulston 569b; Michele Cull 171 (for her ancestors who had helped start Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Keene, Ky., which is still going strong); Randy Webber 16 (SoH) (for Jim Thobaben); Doug Trent and Brenda Waters 515; Annaliza Cull 313b; John Huffman, Mary Huffman, Stephen Huffman, Gary Huffman, and Marilyn Huffman 198; Judy Taylor 479; Rob Coulston 117.

Rafi Finkel led 267 as the closing song, while all who wished shared the parting hand, and the class was dismissed.

Chairperson and Treasurer—Charles H. Coulston; Secretary—Mary Brinkman