Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Kentucky State Sacred Harp Convention

Pisgah Presbyterian Church, Versailles (near Lexington), Kentucky

May 20, 1995

The Kentucky State Sacred Harp Convention met on Saturday before the third Sunday in May. At 9:00 a.m. Ron Pen (KY) welcomed the class and started the singing by leading song on page 58. Leaders called in the first morning session and songs led were as follows: Don Waggener (KY) 182, 339; Raphael Finkel (KY) 528, 479; Eloise Clark and Josie Bealle (OH) 480, 66; Bob Sears (KY) 73b; Caroline Simmons (KY) 183; John Bealle (OH) 278t, 29t; David Rust (IN) 146, 14.


Fred Todt (OH) began the second morning session by leading songs on pages 47t, 268. Leaders: Mary Brinkman (KY) 269, 147b; Phil Cullum (KY) 523, 569b; Carolyn Craig (IN) 126, 373; Donna Purdon (IN) 40, 454; Keith MacAdam (KY) 209, 196.


The third morning session started with the memorial lesson. Ron Pen eulogized John Stephenson, President Emeritus of Berea College, Berea, Kentucky who, having retired on July 31, 1994, died following a sudden illness in early December. The class sang 128 in memory of John Stephenson. This song had been requested by his wife and sung at his funeral service by members of the local Appalachian Association of Sacred Harp Singers. Faith Shine (KY) remembered Barbara Newman, a singer from the same local group, who had died May 19, 1995, the previous day, following a 2-year struggle with breast cancer. Caroline Simmons led 107 in Barbara Newman’s memory. Paul Foster (OH) spoke of two deceased friends, Jean Lathrop and the Rev. Jeffery Thompson, and one who is incapacitated by severe illness, Tammy Webster. The class sang 547 in remembrance of them led by Paul Foster. Mitchell Martin, Jr. (TN) memorialized a friend, Ray Clabo. Bob French (KY) suggested and led 30b in Ray Calob’s memory. The session continued with the following leaders and songs: Charles Coulston (KY) 31t, 155; Robert Meek (KY) 178, 63; Paul Foster 300, 344; Marlen Rust (IN) 148; Wm. Ralph Paris (KY) 135, 137. Ron Pen dismissed the class at noon for a potluck lunch on the grounds with Caroline Simmons saying a prayer and Keith MacAdam leading 49 (t? b?).


At 1:00 p.m. the class was called to order for the afternoon sessions by Keith MacAdam. In appreciation for their work in organizing the food that was brought in for the potluck, Keith recognized Pat Meek (KY), Norma Sears (KY), and Roxanne Coulston (KY), and he led 457 to thank them. Requests were taken from those who did not wish to lead the class. Those who made the requests, the songs, and the leaders were as follows: Norma Yost (KY) 59 by Ron Pen; Sara Baskin (TN) 497 by Fred Todt; Keith MacAdam led 455 to give Ruth McDowell (KY) an opportunity to hear the class from the center of the square; Bob Sears 232; Christine Cox (OH) 491 by Eloise Clark; Mitchell Martin, Jr. (TN) 77b by David Rust; Raphael Finkel led his own composition called “Lansdowne” based on a Sephardic melody and an 11th century text by Solomon ibn Gabirol (translated from the Hebrew by Raphael); Mary Brinkman 186; Carolyn Craig 273; Jean Kaenzig (KY) 46 by Donna Purdom.


After announcements and a brief break, the last session of the day started at 2:00 p.m. These are the songs and leaders: Keith MacAdam 145 (t? b?); Bob French 245; Caroline Simmons 117; David Rust 164; Phil Cullum 32t; Nancy Paris (KY) requested 64 led by Wm. Ralph Paris 47t; John Bealle 335; Keith MacAdam 159; Ron Pen 236 for Robert Meek; Raphael Finkel 524; Bob Sears 551, 354 (t? b?) led by Keith MacAdam. In closing, the convention sang both 62 and 267. The Kentucky convention will be held next year on Saturday, May 18, 1996. For information, contact Keith MacAdam (606) 268-0998 or phy156@ukcc.uky.edu.

Secretary—Charles Coulston.