Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Shiloh Sacred Harp Singing

Shiloh Museum, Springdale, Arkansas

Saturday, April 1, 2000

The second annual session of the Shiloh Sacred Harp Singing was held on Saturday before the first Sunday in April, and met in the building that formerly was Springdale’s General Store and Post Office, and is now located on the grounds of the Shiloh Museum in Springdale, Arkansas.

The class was called to order at 10:00 a.m. by Syd Caldwell who welcomed everyone and led songs on pages 335 and 75. Mary Ellen Wilkinson led the morning prayer.

The class organized with the following officers appointed: Chairman—Syd Caldwell; Vice Chairman—Dan Brittain; Arranging Committee—Hugh McGraw; Secretary—Berta Anderson.

Attending were John and Holly Ruth Gale, and their two daughters, who are making a documentary film on shape note music.

Bob Beeson, Director of the Shiloh Museum, welcomed everyone and expressed gratitude for all who carry on this tradition. Special welcome was given to those coming from Texas, Georgia, and Oklahoma.

Leaders: Syd Caldwell 73t; Dan Brittain 177, 176t; Lee Strickland 423, 310; Holly Ruth Gale 85, 159; Bunny Strickland 143, 87; Mary Ellen Wilkinson 196; Cheryl Foreman 324, 448t; Susan Young 49t, 388.


The class was called back to order by Syd Caldwell leading song on page 78. Hugh McGraw, who directed a singing school held the previous week, led songs on pages 119 and 52t. Leaders: Lois Graney 145b; Leon Ballinger 269, 384; Denny Keithley 25, 59; Elizabeth Bullock-Rest 61.

Dan Brittain opened the Memorial Lesson with the recognition that the “Hollow Square” is holy ground and expressed gratitude for those who have passed on but who have helped preserve this tradition. The deceased remembered: Virgil Phillips—Alabama; Verla Ross, Larry Napier, and Ivey Strickland—Florida; Ed Craig—Texas; Horace DeLong and Dollie Hudgins—Georgia. Leon Ballinger led songs on pages 137 and 475 in memory of these friends.

Dan Brittain read a list of shut-ins being remembered: Ruby Phillips, Rosa Hughes, and Marie Aldridge—Alabama; Alcie Craig, Myra Palmer, and Myrl Jones—Texas; I.V. McWhorter and Myrtle Smith—Georgia; Ed Caldwell—Missouri; and Vedie Touchstone. Syd Caldwell led songs on pages 477, 318, and 284 for the sick and shut-ins. The memorial was closed.

The singing dismissed to the museum with gratitude being expressed to those present and to those who provided the lunch.


The afternoon session began with Syd Caldwell leading songs on pages 378 (t? b?), 436, and 434. Dan Brittain was requested to lead his songs from “The Sacred Harp, 1991 Edition” which were: 472, 313b, 481, and 353 (written for Hugh McGraw).

Leaders: Leon Ballinger 120, 212; Cheryl Foreman 66, 133; Holly Ruth Gale 358; Mary Ellen Wilkinson 83t, 124; Lee Strickland 271t, 270; Syd Caldwell 410t.

Hugh McGraw led 516 after expressing his gratitude to Dan Brittain, telling us he would be leaving at the break and that he hoped we would continue to grow.


The class was called to order by Syd Caldwell leading songs on pages 97, 155, 154, and 228; Denny Keithley led song on page 457; and Cheryl Foreman led song on page 209.

Announcements were made. Thanks were expressed for our week of instruction with Hugh McGraw and for the help received from Dan Brittain. Note was taken of singings near our region with a special invitation from Cheryl Foreman to come to the 100th session of the Southwest Texas Convention in McMahan, Texas to be held this month.

Syd Caldwell led song on page 36b as the closing song. The class was dismissed with prayer given by Mary Ellen Wilkinson.

Chairman—Syd Caldwell; Vice Chairman—P. Dan Brittain; Secretary—Berta Anderson.