Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association

Annual Meeting

Saturday, November 23, 2019

The annual meeting of the Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association (SHMHA) was held at Jefferson State Community College on Saturday, November 23, 2019. Approximately thirty-eight association members were present including seven of the eight board members. David Ivey, President, called the meeting to order at 2:12 p.m. David welcomed the assembly and introduced the other Board members present: Lauren Bock-Vice President; Jeannette DePoy-Secretary; Judy Caudle-Minutes Secretary; Pam Nunn-Treasurer; Sam Sommers-Board Member; Jim Neal-Board Member. David thanked them for their service this year.

David presented a general overview of SHMHA and its purpose. He provided and reviewed an information sheet that summarized 2019 activities and the 2018 financial summary. He stated that SHMHA, as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, files an IRS Form 990 report annually. A full financial summary of 2019 will be available at the Jacksonville singing in February, 2020. David stated that SHMHA applied for and received a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts to fund a Sacred Harp singing as part of the Alabama Bicentennial Celebration in Birmingham, Alabama, which was a great success. Aldo Ceresa has applied with SHMHA as the funding agency for a third Alabama State Council on the Arts grant to continue work on the newly discovered recordings of the 1942 Alabama State Convention and for his research on Paine Denson. David reported that SHMHA received grant funding in 2019 for Camp Fasola from the Alabama State Council on the Arts for the fifteenth year. He expressed gratitude to the Sacred Harp Publishing Company for its continued financial support in the amount of $6,000 for Camp Fasola in 2019, and recognized the Publishing Company board members who were present. The Publishing Company has given annual grants for Camp Fasola since 2005. David stated that SHMHA now supports financial management for the National Convention, United Convention, State Line singing, Alabama State Convention, and Young People’s Convention.

Judy Caudle provided a report for the “Directory and Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings” (Minutes Book) project. The estimated expenses for the project, including printing and shipping in 2019, were $9,306.74. Judy stated that 276 singing events had submitted minutes as of November 19, 2019. This includes 230 one-day singings, 43 two-day conventions, two sessions of Camp Fasola, and one three-day convention. There have been 131 singings requesting not to receive Minutes Books next year. For those singings that do request Minutes Books, the cost of the books will remain the same at $30 per singing day for 2019. The estimated cost of the Minutes Books is going up in 2020 to $5.04 per copy. Judy praised her team who assists her with the Minutes Book publication: Sam Sommers, Chris Thorman, and Carolyn Deacy. David thanked Judy and the entire Minutes Book team for the contribution of many hours of work to produce a high-quality publication that is greatly valued by the Sacred Harp community.

David reported that SHMHA completed its seventeenth year of Camp Fasola operation in 2019. Thirty-three camps have been held since 2003. SHMHA has offered both Youth and Adult Camps for the past eleven years. The Board has decided to reinvent camp by holding both the Adult and Youth camps at the same venue in 2020. The camp is moving to Vision Ministries in Huntsville, Alabama. David distributed some informational brochures about the new camp. Four sessions of Camp Fasola Europe have been held: 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018. There will be another Camp Europe Session in Poland in 2020. Adult Camp had seventy participants and Youth Camp had one hundred five participants in 2019, approximately the same as in 2018. The camp dates for 2020 were announced: Adult Camp and Youth Camp—June 29 to July 3. Camp Europe will be held between the UK Convention and the Polish Convention on September 21-25, 2020.

Jeannette DePoy stated that the evaluations revealed that 90% of the Adult campers rated the singing classes excellent, and 10% rated them good. This year, 100% of the Adults rated the overall camp experience as excellent; 86% of the Youth rated the singing classes as excellent, with 14% rating classes as good; 91% of the Youth rated the overall camp experience as excellent, with 4% rating it as good. A total of thirty-nine scholarships totaling $9,450 were awarded in 2019: thirty-five for Youth Camp ($8,150), and four for Adult Camp ($1,300).

The members were given additional opportunity to provide input on SHMHA’s programs and operations.

There being no further business brought before the members, Sam Sommers led the closing prayer, and David Ivey adjourned the meeting at 2:43 p.m. SHMHA is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization, incorporated in Alabama, whose purpose is the perpetuation and preservation of Sacred Harp singing and its traditions. SHMHA produces the Directory and Minutes of Sacred Harp Singing, operates Camp Fasola, sponsors the fasola.org website, and supports sacred Harp conventions and singings and other activities related to Sacred Harp music.

President—David Ivey; Vice President—Lauren Bock; Secretary—Jeannette DePoy