Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Kentucky State Sacred Harp Singing

Pisgah Presbyterian Church, Versailles, Kentucky

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The 37th annual Kentucky State Sacred Harp Singing, hosted by the Appalachian Association of Sacred Harp Singers (AASHS), was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by Zach Davis, who made a few announcements about the singing, schedule, and facilities. The Sacred Harp, 1991 Edition, and Southern Harmony were used throughout the day. Jim Thobaben offered the morning prayer, after which Zach led 58 to open the singing.

Leaders: Zach Davis 87 (for Jim Thobaben); Zach Davis 31t (for David Beshear); Ally Talbot 86; Erin Fulton 327 (SoH); Mary Brinkman 178; Mike Grimes 40 (for Jo Ann Grimes); Donna Kwon 47t; Diane Arnson-Svarlien and Zach Davis 163b; Joy Dunn 63; Randy Webber 277 (for Brenda Stone); Randy Webber 411 (for Amy Pemberton); Tim Gregg 99; Rafi Finkel 66; Randy Webber 504; Tom Morton 313b; Mike Grimes 268; Zach Davis 448t (for Bradley Stone).

RECESS

Zach Davis brought the class back together by leading 452. Leaders: Ally Talbot 480; Zach Davis 53 (for David Beshear); Annaliza Cull 49t; Michele Cull 441; Zach Davis 479 (for Howard Carlberg); Jo Ann Grimes and Mike Grimes 236; Erin Fulton 348t; Donna Kwon and Randy Webber 335; Diane Arnson-Svarlien and Zach Davis 457; Joy Dunn 209; Randy Webber 556 (for Brenda Stone); Amy Pemberton and Zach Davis 82t; Tim Gregg 29t; Rafi Finkel 159b (SoH); Randy Webber 28b; Tom Morton 496; Mike Grimes 146; Brad Stone 569b; Justin Bowen 187.

RECESS

Zach Davis brought the class back together by leading 95. Leaders: Ally Talbot 532; Justin Bowen 103; Ben Fink 505; Zach Davis 62 (for David Beshear).

Erin Fulton conducted the memorial lesson. She shared some personal comments, remembering that Michele Cull had spoken of Joe Fothergill several years ago, and other names she’d heard memorialized over the years at other singings. These past memorials, and the numerous singings Erin has attended over the years, have had strong personal meaning for her. Erin then read the names on the memorial list. Zach Davis made remarks about Charles Thobaben, father of Jim Thobaben, who had had to leave the singing early. Charles was a Kentuckian, and had died in a car accident. From his own knowledge of Charles, Zach commented on how kind Charles was, and how many people will miss him. Jim had asked Zach to lead 128 in memory of Charles.

Michele Cull made remarks about Darrell Swarens, an Indianan and well-known Sacred Harp singer, who died in 2018. Darrell had driven many miles to attend many singings, and had encouraged Michele and other singers to do the same. He felt that attending lots of singings was a good way to get to know new people and new songs. Michele led 208 in memory of Darrell.

Randy Webber’s mother, Dorothy Webber, from Augusta, Georgia, had died in December of 2017. Randy shared that his mother had been sarcastic, but that he got his work ethic from his dad. Randy led “Benton”, a song he had just written the music for.

Rafi Finkel and Diane Arnson-Svarlien memorialized Cathy Scaife, a Kentuckian, who died in April of 2018. Diane said that Cathy was a great person, that she would really miss her, and that she had died about a month ago. Rafi echoed Diane’s comments, and led 47b in memory of Cathy. Zach Davis, who also knew Cathy and her three grown sons, remarked that they were now without their parents, since Cathy’s husband was previously deceased.

Ally Talbot memorialized Judith McDowell, a shape note singer from Columbus, Ohio, who died in 2018. Judith sang with the Columbus group, provided leadership for that group and loved a challenge. Ally led 72b in memory of Judith.

Bob French led 312b in memory of Tony Whalen, who passed away in 2017. Tony had been Bob’s foster son. Erin had written Ray Rechenberg’s name on the sick and shut-in list, not because he was ill, but because of the arduous journey he was on, attending singings out of the United States. That concluded the memorial lesson. Randy Webber asked a blessing before the noon meal.

LUNCH

Randy Webber called the afternoon class together by leading 565. Leaders: Pearl Marshall 350; Annaliza Cull 547; Michele Cull 300; Susan Liddle and Zach Davis 159; Mary Brinkman 147b; Erin Fulton 172; Donna Kwon and Zach Davis 497; Joy Dunn 45t; Michele Cull 59 (for Brenda Stone); Amy Pemberton 117; Rafi Finkel “Lansdowne” (his own transcription of a Sephardic melody); Randy Webber 76 (SoH); Tom Morton 503; Randy Webber 107 (for Howard Carlberg); Ally Talbot 148 (for Brenda Stone); Zach Davis 408; Ally Talbot 327; Ben Fink 50 (SoH); Tim Gregg 228; Bob French 454; Pearl Marshall 551; Annaliza Cull 155; Michele Cull 36b; Mary Brinkman 147t; Erin Fulton 134 (SoH); Donna Kwon 344.

RECESS

Randy Webber reconvened the class by leading 303. Leaders: Joy Dunn 133; Amy Pemberton and Zach Davis 65; Rafi Finkel 269; Tom Morton 68b; Randy Webber 322 (SoH); Tim Gregg 373 (for Brad Stone); Zach Davis 242; Ally Talbot 365; Charles Coulston 276.

Announcements were made, after which Randy Webber gave the benediction. The class sang 267 as the closing song. All who wanted shared the parting hand, and the class was dismissed at 3:06 p.m.

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