Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Smith County Sacred Harp Singing Convention (Cooper Book)

New Harmony Community Center, New Harmony, Texas

March 7-8, 1998

Saturday, March 7

The eighteenth session of the Smith County Sacred Harp Singing Convention was called to order by President Myrl Jones leading song on page 101t. The opening prayer was led by Rev. Patrick Walston. President Myrl Jones appointed Tammie Powell and Sarah Coates to act as the Arranging Committee for this year’s sessions. Officers called to lead one song each were: Vice President Tina Walston 573; Treasurer Marcelene Hard 200; Secretary Sharon Stephenson 571.

Myrl Jones appointed the following committees: Memorial Committee—Lawson Smith, Gaylon Powell, and John Morris; Nominating Committee—Myra Palmer, John Beard, and Azalee Barnett; Registration—Nobie Smith; Housing—Melba Sue Utz.

The Arranging Committee called the following leaders to sing two songs each: Montie Ross 49t, 488b; Kevin Powell 489, 331b; John Morris 73t, 553b; Marian Grant 264b, 370; Leon Ballinger 371, 217; Beverly Coates 106, 376; John Kanode 63, 229; Lawson Smith 129, 270.


Myrl Jones brought the class to order leading song on page 110. Leaders: Gaylon Powell 131t, 142; Myra Palmer 497; Erin Damon 404, 405; Thomas Smith 235, 192; John Beard 155, 282; Amanda Bol 475, 129; Edith Owen 293b, 559; Pauline Willis 572, 171; Dale Redmon, Jr. 40, 274t. Dallas Smith, resident of New Harmony community, gave the welcoming address, and led in prayer for the noon meal.


The afternoon session was opened by President Myrl Jones leading song on page 85. Leaders: Donald Ross 101b, 123b; Margaret Rounswall 61, 222; Louie Smith 217, 215; Curtis Owen 283t, 470; Reed Coates 381t, 358; Mona Short 39, 571; David Rousseau 127, 119; Sarah Coates 392, 369; Sue Utz 45t, 393t.

The convention held its business meeting. No old business, so president asked for the report from the Nominating Committee. The committee reported to elect the present officers by acclamation. Vote taken and carried. President—Myrl Jones; Vice President—Tina Walston; Treasurer—Marcelene Hardy; Secretary—Sharon Stephenson. A motion was brought to the convention to have our minutes printed in the Sacred Harp Singing Book of Minutes and Directory published in Gadsden, Alabama. The motion was seconded, voted on, and carried. The business session was closed.


Jayne McKnight called the class together leading song on page 540 by request. Leaders: Diane Ross 148, 168; Phyllis Costner 280, 112; Robert Vaughn 324, 50t; A. A. Smith, Jr. 383, 67; Azalee Barnett 447t, 516; Marcelene Hardy 172, 300; Sharon Stephenson 59, 418; Tina Walston 401, 285t; Beverly Coates 54t; John Beard 400. Myrl Jones closed the day of singing with song on page 183. The closing prayer was offered by Curtis Owen.

Sunday, March 8

The Sunday morning session began at 9:30 a.m. with Myrl Jones (alto), Lawson Smith (bass), Gaylon Powell (tenor), and Kevin Powell (treble) singing song on page 84 as an example of the traditional sound of Sacred Harp blend of voice music. The convention approved the example. The opening prayer was offered by Rev. Patrick Walston.

Leaders: Lawson Smith 384, 108b; Leon Ballinger 211, 212; Joe Nelson 98, 137; Kevin Powell 132, 543b; Tina Walston 450, 573; John Kanode 507b, 515; Ralph Walston 107t, 45t; Azalee Barnett 522, 572; Burl Russell 497, 418; John Morris 319, 38t; Marcelene Hardy 189, 172.


During recess President Myrl Jones, Myra Palmer, A. A. Smith, Jr., John Morris, Kevin Powell, Gaylon Powell, Lawson Smith, Joe Nelson, and Leon Ballinger led songs on pages 84 and 572 at New Harmony Baptist Church, New Harmony, Smith County, Texas by request of Pastor Robbie Caldwell and Deacon Dallas Smith. This was done to introduce the community to Sacred Harp music.

Vice President Tina Walston opened this session leading song on page 59. Leaders: Thomas Smith 143, 304; Harold Hill 168, 203; Sharon Stephenson 571, 541; Gaylon Powell 53, 558b; Sue Utz 406, 335; A. A. Smith, Jr. 470, 290; Myra Palmer 414b, 542.

The memorial service was held. Gaylon Powell read the names of the deceased: Ray Barnett, Opel Boyd, Gertrude Moncrief, Barbara Cooper, Lynn Hanna, Addie Hawkins, Gladys Hill, and Ann Barnett. Lawson Smith led song on page 155, and John Morris led song on page 337 for the deceased. Gaylon Powell led song on page 410 for the sick and shut-ins: Marie Smith, Buddy Kennedy, Ed Craig, Alcie Craig, Verna Powell, Louie Smith, Annie Mae Smith, Mildred Edmonds, Kelly Beard, and Ernestine Pipkin. Prayer for lunch was offered by Dallas Smith.


President Myrl Jones opened the afternoon service leading song on page 361. Leaders: Kevin Powell 277; John Morris 186; Burl Russell 491; Joe Nelson 49t; Harold Hill 300; John Kanode 395; Ralph Walston 500; Lawson Smith 142; Sue Utz 475; Thomas Smith 136; A.A. Smith, Jr. 137; Gaylon Powell 559; Marcelene Hardy 222; Myra Palmer 299; Sharon Stephenson 274; Tina Walston 135.


Announcements for future singings were made before singing continued. Leaders: Jane McKnight 440b; Nobie Smith 358; Azalee Barnett 563; Kevin Powell 182; Harold Hill 74b; Burl Russell 75; John Kanode 503; Ralph Walston 505; Joe Nelson 58; Sue Utz 145b; John Morris 36b; Thomas Smith 235; Gaylon Powell 36, 313 (by request). President Myrl Jones closed the singing at 2:30 p.m. leading song on page 62. The closing prayer was given by Gaylon Powell.

We congratulate our Secretary Shanon Stephenson and husband Michael on the birth of their son, Owen Kash Stephenson, born February 24, 1998. Owen Kash Stephenson attended his first Sacred Harp singing at the ripe old age of 11 days. We teach them to sing young.

President—Myrl Jones; Vice President—Tina Walston; Treasurer—Marcelene Hardy; Secretary—Sharon Stephenson.