Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Fohs Hall Four Note Singing

Marion, Kentucky

January 24, 1998

The seventh annual four note singing was called to order at 9:00 a.m. by Chairman Wm. Ralph Paris. There being several newcomers to shape note singing in attendance, Ralph Paris explained some of the conventions and history of the shape note tradition.

The first session was sung from William Walker’s “The Southern Harmony”. Ralph Paris opened the singing with song on page 8t.

Michael Alexander, Mayor of Marion, Kentucky, welcomed the singers to Marion on behalf of the City and the Community Arts Foundation. Leaders: Bill Hunt 299; Paul Fourshee 165t; Ralph Paris 292, 252; Kenny Hise 51; Ann Taylor 103; Michele Cull 64, 123; Phyllis Beck 109; Michele Cull 50; Drew Foster 322; Ralph Paris 10.

In response to some inquiries as to what the time signatures meant, Ralph Paris did his annual demonstration of William Walker’s method of measuring time with a plumb bob swung on a string from knots located at specified intervals along the string.


The second session was sung from the “The Sacred Harp”. Leaders: Ralph Paris 89; Sherry Parry 133, 107; Faye Melton 45; Drew Foster 159, 117; Ralph Paris 145b; Sherry Parry 49t. The morning session was dismissed with prayer by Rev. Bill Hunt.


Following the wonderful barbecue and potluck meal, the afternoon session began with an hour of singing from “Southern Harmony”. Leaders: Sherry Parry 51; Ralph Paris 1; Paul Fourshee 83; Dixie McGregor 308; Nancy Paris 3t; Michele Cull 275; Bill Hunt 66, 71; Nancy Paris 7t; Sherry Parry 77; Ralph Paris 78; Drew Foster 48t; Dixie McGregor 46; Nancy Paris 181t; Ann Taylor 94t; Ralph Paris 111.


The Sacred Harp” was used for the final session of singing. Leaders: Sherry Parry 178 (she said she had come to Marion last year for her first singing and had during this past year come to love this music and the people who gather to sing it); Michele Cull 147t, 268; Sherry Parry 87; Michele Cull 82t, 146; Ralph Paris 155,72b.

Announcements of upcoming singings were made. A dismissal prayer was offered by Rev. Bill Hunt for safe journeys home for the singers.

Chairman—Wm. Ralph Paris; Secretary—Nancy Paris.