Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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National Sacred Harp Convention

First Christian Church, Birmingham, Alabama

June 14-16, 2012

Thursday, June 14

The 33rd session of the National Sacred Harp Convention was called to order by Mark Davis leading 36b. The opening prayer was offered by Elder Jesse Roberts.

Leaders: Hubert Nall 31b; Gaston White 155; Buell Cobb 52t; Kathy Williams 108t; Jesse Roberts 76b; Helen Brown 313t; Mary Whitehurst 556; Henry Guthery 331; Judy Chambless 548; Glenn Keeton 475; Richard Mauldin 378t; Sarah Vaillancourt 395; Don Bowen 145b (for Syd Caldwell); Floy Wilder 120; Robert Chambless 163b; Bea Carnathan 283; Kyle Hearn 49t; Joe Nall 430; Cora Sweatt 159; Arlon Gardner 67; Elene Stovall 500; Leon Pulsinelle 48t. Ed Spencer, pastor of the church, greeted the convention and offered a prayer of welcome.


Jonathan Smith called the class back together leading 73t. Leaders: Marlin Beasley 318; Randy Webber 173; Charlotte Ehrman 401; Daniel Lee 171; Louise Holland 217; Katie Campbell and Elizabeth Campbell 268, 72b; Corissa Sweatt and Natalie Davis 79; Micah Roberts 176t; Taylor Ward 59.

The Convention went into a business session with the following officers and committees elected/appointed: Chairman—Mark Davis; Co-Vice Chairmen—Buell Cobb, Gaston White, and Hubert Nall; Chaplain—Jesse Roberts; Secretaries—Cheryl Foreman and Kathy Williams; Arranging Committee—Helen Brown, Mary Whitehurst, Sarah Ellen Vaillancourt, Scott Kennedy, and Mary Ellen Schrock; Resolutions Committee—Gary Smith and Janet Fraembs; Memorial Committee—Mike Hinton and Scott Kennedy; Finance Committee—John Redman, Don Bowen, Randy Webber, Eddie Mash, and Robert Kelley.

Leaders: Bufrey Dean 39t; Janet Fraembs 91; Gary Smith 344; Lela Crowder 445; Sean Francis Conway 178; Eddie Mash 216; Lisa Geist 528; Robert Walker 99; Earl Ballinger 177; Rebecca Over 480; Carroll Lunsford 426t; Frank Strickland 384; Eugene Forbes 186; Claudia Dean 361; Dan Brittain 419; Martha Beverly 504. The blessing before the noon meal was offered by Jesse Roberts.


John Redman called the class to order by leading 66. Leaders: Sarah Beasley 340; Marion Pierce 282; Larry Ballinger 224; Margaret Gillanders 391; Mike Hinton 61; Leon Ballinger 454; Caleb Dillehay 440; Karen Clark 534; Robert Kelley 315; Henry Johnson 205; Melanie Hauff 421; Ted Brown 176b; Morgan Bunch 47t; Ila Ingle 436; Jonathon Smith 296; Judy Mincey 367; Jack Nelson 236; Nathan Rees 298; Mary Ellen Schrock 203; Warren Steel 126; Jim Aaron 503; Judy Hauff 411; Richard Schmeidler 474; Brian Sears 373.


Henry Guthery reconvened the convention leading 431. Leaders: Jeff Begley 547; Scott Kennedy 162; Ginnie Ely 349; Karen Ivey 182; David Ivey 140; Douglas Fower 299; David Brodeur 472; Becky Briggs 405; Walter Olson 532.

Mark Davis led 46 as the closing song. The closing prayer was offered by Jesse Roberts.

Friday, June 15

The Friday session of the National Sacred Harp Convention was called to order by Mark Davis leading 37b. The opening prayer was offered by Elder Jesse Roberts.

Leaders: Gaston White 68b; Hubert Nall 40; Buell Cobb 74b; Kathy Williams 180; Jesse Roberts 432; Helen Brown 411; Mary Whitehurst 225t; Richard Mauldin and T.J. Mauldin 358; Sue Bunch 107; Delone Cobbs 30t; Lincoln Richardson 313b; Sarah Kahre 330b; Don Bowen 77b; Beverly Dayton 503; Geraldine Sharpton 318; Alvin Beasley 72b; Matt Hinton 189; Ann Webb 282; David Carlton 198.


Nathan Rees called the class back together by leading 129. Leaders: Charles McCravy 121; Jenna Bond Tompkins 278t; Phillip Denney 168; Jennifer Clay, Mary Francis Clay, and Bekah Lauren Clay 87; Corissa Sweatt and Natalie Davis 288; Beth Anne Clay and Anna Grace Sipe 542; Micah Roberts 146; Dennis George 345t; Sarah Vaillancourt 59; Virgel Campbell 167; Laura Lee Earles 430; Brian Sears 569b; Sonja Sipe 32t; Stanley Smith 273; Charlene Wallace 220.


Helen Brown and Ted Brown reconvened the singing by leading 111b. Leaders: Rebekah Gilmore 428; Tammy Heinsohn 178; Rodney Ivey 377; Dan Brittain 375; Paula Gilmore 75; Jeff Sheppard 299; Russ Pope 117; Joe Nall 448t. Jesse Roberts offered prayer before the noon meal.


Jesse Roberts led 136 to bring the class back to order. Leaders: Mary Ellen Schrock 335; Vella Dailey 452; Taylor Ward 63; B.M. Smith 497; Amber Davis, Carson Davis, and Claire Davis 82t; Eugene Forbes 280; Lomax Ballinger 144; Cassie Allen 500; Warren Steel 214; Pam Nunn 216; Karen Rollins 297; Jonathon Smith 326; Eddie Pierce 47b; Janet Fraembs 378b; Sean Francis Conway 163t; Mark Davis 236; Elene Stovall 192; Arlon Gardner 565; Margaret Gillanders 564; David Brodeur 276; Judy Hauff 434; Ila Ingle 530; Mike Hinton 456; Floy Wilder 402.


Stanley Smith called the convention back to order by leading 277. Leaders: Judy Chambless 527; Carroll Lunsford 339; Rebecca Over 114; Ginnie Ely 454; Henry Johnson 398; Melanie Hauff 306; Nathan Rees 294; Charlotte Ehrman 365; Douglas Bower 148; Ted Brown 546; Louise Holland 28b.

Mark Davis led 378t as the closing song. The closing prayer was offered by Marlin Beasley.

Saturday, June 16

Mark Davis opened the Saturday session of the National Sacred Harp Convention by leading 123t. The opening prayer was offered by Jesse Roberts.

Leaders: Gaston White 66; Hubert Nall 34b; Buell Cobb 462; Kathy Williams 271t; Jesse Roberts 553; Helen Brown 234; Mary Whitehurst 348b; Mary Ellen Schrock 270; Scott Kennedy 149; Marlin Beasley 480; Jim Aaron 163b; Virgel Campbell 421; Seth Holloway 236; Bea Carnathan 438; Randy Webber 355; Laura Lee Earles 148; Walter Olson 142.


Matt Hinton reconvened the class by leading 42. Leaders: Gary Smith 441; Ann Webb 318; Corissa Sweatt and Natalie Davis 445; Mark Davis 45t; Connor Campbell 217; Sarah Vaillancourt 373; Micah Roberts 268; Morgan Bunch 227; Carolyn Thompson 500.

The memorial lesson was conducted by Mike Hinton and Scott Kennedy, who both spoke on behalf of the sick and homebound and the deceased. Marlin Beasley spoke on behalf of the sick and homebound, read the list of names, and led 340 in their honor.

Mike Hinton read the following list of deceased: Harrison Creel, Travis Keeton, Clarence McCool, Dr. Julietta Haynes, Marie Ivey, Matthew Long, Earnie Jett, Annie Long, and Ed Ferris—Alabama; Lonnie Rogers—Georgia; Becky Schildman and Matthew Long—Illinois; Joan Fritz and John Sawyer—Minnesota; John Merritt and Junie McNeal—Mississippi; Virginia Cowart and John Grant—Arkansas; Betty Moomau Browder—California; Jeanne Schaffer—Colorado; Sam Thomas—Ohio; Leland Owen—Texas; Maureen Gamlin—Derby, United Kingdom. Scott Kennedy led 347 in memory of the deceased. The memorial lesson was closed with prayer offered by Marlin Beasley.

Leaders: Elene Stovall 384; Judy Mincey 538; Jeff Begley 372; Emma Rose Brown 192; Phil Summerlin 112; Jenna Bond Tompkins 165; Lou Warren Cotney 218; Richard Schmeidler 543; Rachel Rudi 554 (?); Sarah Kahre 186; Laura Kitchens 178. Jesse Roberts offered the prayer before the noon meal.


Marlin Beasley led 370 to begin the afternoon session. Leaders: John Redman 358; Tammy Heinsohn 159; Ellen Guinn 76b; Caroline Parsons 481; Michael Thompson 426b; Amy Armstrong 276; Beth Branscome 442; Rodney Ivey and Helen Brown 30b; Sue Bunch 448t; Susan Cherones 107; Nathan Rees 44; Theresa Westmoreland 200; Vicky Neyman 146; Mike Hinton 532; Claudia Dean 157; Carly Westmoreland 335; Matt Hinton and Jesse Roberts 171; Beverly Dayton 515; Bobby Neyman 479; Carroll Lunsford 322; Sean Francis Conway 33b.


Gaston White, Mary Whitehurst, Julie Vaillancourt, and Sarah Vaillancourt reconvened the class by leading 99. Leaders: Melanie Hauff and Judy Hauff 536; Janet Fraembs 504; Margaret Gillanders 556; Rebecca Over 208; Ted Brown and Helen Brown 77t; Charlotte Ehrman 383; Doug Fower 385b; Ginnie Ely 196; Mark Davis and Natalie Davis 460; Sarah Beasley and Cora Sweatt 145b.

A business session was called in order to hear committee reports. The Finance Committee thanked the convention for donations sufficient to cover the expenses of the convention.

The Secretary reported that 688 people registered for the convention over the three days, representing 24 states, the United Kingdom, and Brazil. There were 144 leaders who led 218 songs. The numbers by state and country: Alabama—584; Georgia—21; Florida—14; Tennessee—13; New York—7; California—6; Texas—6; Mississippi—6; Illinois—5; Massachusetts—3; Kentucky—2; South Carolina—2; Arkansas—2; Virginia—2; Washington—1; Colorado—1; Minnesota—1; New Jersey—1; North Carolina—1; Ohio—1; Connecticut—1; Michigan—1; New Hampshire—1; Maryland—1; United Kingdom—4; Brazil—1.

The Resolutions Committee gave the following report: We, individually and collectively, as the thirty-third annual National Sacred Harp Convention, hereby resolve: To thank God for the will, desire, and ability to come together to sing this glorious music which He has preserved for us; to thank the pastor, staff, and congregation of First Christian Church for the gracious hospitality and warmth they have shown to us in offering this magnificent space for us to sing and fellowship in; to thank the officers of this convention for the tireless efforts they have made to insure that our meeting has proceeded with such seeming effortless grace; to thank Ginnie Ely and Warren Steel for conducting the Alternative Singing, giving new compositions a chance to be sung and judged by the most honest and severe critics—the singers; to thank Sarah Beasley for hosting the Friday evening social at her beautiful home, giving us a chance to fellowship and enjoy our friendships; and, finally, we resolve to come together again next year, to reflect on the events of the year, both major and minor, and once again to sing around the hollow square. A motion was made and carried to accept the reports and add them to the minutes. The business session was closed.

The officers led 62 as the traditional closing song of the convention, and those who wished took the parting hand. Jesse Roberts offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Mark Davis; Vice Chairmen—Buell Cobb, Gaston White, and Hubert Nall; Secretaries—Cheryl Foreman and Kathy Williams