Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Camp Fasola, Adult Emphasis

Camp McDowell, Double Springs, Alabama

June 11-15, 2017

Arrival, Registration, and Orientation.

Campers arrived at 4:00 p.m. and received their room assignments, schedules, and t-shirts. Campers had free time until dinner at 6:00 p.m. At 7:00 p.m. staff and campers met with David Ivey at Hall Hall for an orientation meeting, followed by a class singing.

Class Singing 7:30 p.m.

Led by Nativity Lodge campers. Shari Harrison began by offering the opening prayer. Leaders: Gillian Inksetter 318; Margaret Gillanders 76b; Sue Bunch 178; Idy Kiser 39t; Sandra Wilkinson 46; Robert Stoddard 76t; Bill Hayes 551; David Ivey 131b; Katie Kellert and Lauren Bock 45t; Morgan Bunch 203; Lela Crowder 278b; Pam Nunn 186; Michael Darby 67; Jeannette DePoy 460; Joel Bassett 422; Derek Buckland 68b; Judy Caudle 430; Hazel Heinze 99; Jesse P. Karlsberg 432; Winfred Kerr 36b; Karen Ivey and Vivian Ivey 146; David Brodeur 433; Ruth Wampler 209; Alex Forsyth 101t; Matthew MacLellan 345b; Joanna Bennett 207; Ted Brown 303; Sasha Hsuczyk 349; Elizabeth Stoddard 201; Jonathan Skeet Surrency 448t; Bridgett Hill Kennedy 277; Frank Griggs 535; Helen Brown 542. Dan Comstock and Ann Mashchak conducted the evening devotion. Shari Harrison offering the closing prayer.

Monday, June 12

Lesson: Rudiments I/Beginner 9:00 a.m.

Teachers—Lauren Bock and Jonathon Smith. The class emphasized starting from the very beginning (page 13 of the Rudiments). Lauren explained the basics of pitch, rhythm, and tempo. Fun tips and words were used to help campers remember and understand. “Amazing Grace” was used as a song example showing lines and spaces, braces, and staffs (staves). The class participated in various active demonstrations to learn. The name of each shape was described using easy word association, such as diamonds are for me (mi). Scales, octaves, and intervals were introduced and practiced. The class was dismissed.

Lesson: Rudiments I/Basics. 9:00 a.m.

Teacher—Nathan Rees. Nathan led 32t to begin the class. He stated that the main resource for learning Sacred Harp singing is the Rudiments found in the front pages of the songbook. He recommended that new singers begin by learning the tenor part. Nathan asked campers to introduce themselves and to share their Sacred Harp backgrounds. A consistent theme in singing schools from the 1920s to the 1950s was singing scales. The class sang scales and intervals. Nathan suggested practicing intervals and scales, over and over. The class practiced some songs with tricky intervals, such as the tenor in 52b, the treble in 306, and the bass in 303. The class sang minor intervals in the bass part of 315. Nathan led 547, and the class was dismissed.

Lesson: Rudiments/Advanced 9:00 a.m.

Teacher—Stuart Ivey. Stuart began by saying that fundamentals lay the foundation in singing. The four main aspects are pitch, rhythm, volume/dynamics, and accent. The class focused on pitch (how high or how low), and rhythm (how long or how short). Stuart explained that singing the right note at the wrong time, is a wrong note, especially when there are rests. The class sang the major scale, including intervals. Stuart referred the class to the song on page 351, asking each part to find their entry note from the tonic sound. For rhythm practice, the class was asked to find the whole notes, eighth notes, and sixteenth notes. After a short discussion on word painting in 351 and 344, the class sang 351 to close the lesson.

Elective: Learning Songs/Basics 10:45 a.m.

Teachers—David Ivey and Stuart Ivey. The teachers suggested learning new songs by listening to recordings, while following along with the songbook. Advice was given to sing the tenor line when leading. The class looked at 49t, and the anatomy of the song was explained, noting the title, meter, scripture verse, the top left as the source of the text, the top right as the source of the music, the key of the song, the time signature, and the composition of a measure. The class sang in unison each part of 49t. A short review about accent and repeats was discussed. Volunteers led 35 and 339. The class was dismissed.

Elective: Curiosities and Oddities in The Sacred Harp 10:45 a.m.

Teacher—Jonathon Smith. Jonathon provided campers with a handout named “Musical Mutations”. The class explored oddities from various editions of The Sacred Harp that were curious and odd. The following songs were included: from the James Book—“Wanderer’s Grave”, “St. Paul”, “Dayspring”, “Hermon”; from the Social Harp—“The Drunkard’s Burial”, “Musgrove”, “Holy War”; “The Shouting Pilgrim” by William Walker; “Land of Rest” and “Love Beyond Degree” by Whitt Denson; “The Love of God” by Owell Denson. The class moved on to modern music such as “Tribulation”, “Child of Grace”, “Devotion” and “93rd Psalm”. Joe James wrote songs to be sung with piano. The class sang “Northfield” and “Cullman” with piano accompaniment by Justin Bowen, followed by “Not Too Late” by William Walker. The class was dismissed.

Elective: Team Tunesmith I, Sacred Harp Composition 101 (t? b?)/Advanced 10:45 a.m.

Teacher—Aldo Ceresa. Aldo led 101t. He quoted William Billings who said, “air can be a flight of fancy, do whatever you want! It’s hard to teach how to write a melody—it’s felt.” The class was composed of beginning writers who participated in a round robin style writing exercise to be sung at the Composium Session. Aldo offered the following tips on how to prepare to compose: listen, study the book, look for common musical phrases, learn from living composers, use correct mode of time, learn characteristics of word parts, keep accent in mind, sing it, pay attention to poetry, use folk tunes or camp meeting tunes and start with a text you like. Aldo gave the order for part writing beginning with tenor, and then bass, and then treble, and last alto. The song needs to have a good melody (tenor), a good mixture of step-wise and skip-wise motion, a comfortable voice range, and in the correct key. For harmony writing: bass—anchors the chords and rhythms, often on root of the chord, occasionally crosses above the tenor and the last note is always the tonic; treble—adds harmonic definition and fills in the chord, has about an octave range, crosses the tenor line in contrary motion, often sits on the fifth and ends on the fifth; alto—often moves step-wise, but not exclusively, has about a sixth in range but generally avoids the sixth in minor, avoid three note parts, add variety and make it fun! The class participated in a writing exercise and handouts of chord charts and major/minor scales were provided to assist tunesmiths in their compositions. The class was dismissed.

Elective: Songs of P. Dan Brittain 1:00 p.m.

Teacher—Dan Brittain. Dan shared with campers that he started composing around twenty-four years of age. In college, he majored in music composition. To him, the Who’s-Who in the shape-note world were Hugh McGraw, Raymond Hamrick, and Kelly Beard. Dan led “Beard”. He told the class that he was sitting in his barracks during war time when he saw an ad in the paper about a singing convention in Poplar Springs, and having the weekend off, he went. The first person he saw was Kelly Beard. Dan led “Chmeilno”, named after a village in Poland. Dan said that as soon as his pen leaves the paper he feels the song no longer belongs to him. The following songs were provided on a handout and led by Dan: “Dow”, “Dean St.”, “Garden State”, “Hamrick”, “Gray”, “Hauff”, “Iowa”, “Redding”, “Maquoketa”, “Polnick”, “Self Examination”, and “Steele”. The class was dismissed.

Elective: What I Learned from My Sacred Harp Elders 1:00 p.m.

Teacher—Kathy Williams. Kathy welcomed the class and led 108t. She related that when she was ten years old her grandfather, Jim Fields, took her to a singing school conducted by H.N. “Bud” McGraw. She immediately fell in love with the music, warmth, and welcoming hugs. Her grandfather was worried she might not like Sacred Harp singing, and would not want to go back, but she knew immediately she liked it and began her love affair with Sacred Harp music and the Sacred Harp family. As a newcomer, Kathy stayed on the tenor part in order to learn to lead before trying to sing another part. Her first song to lead was 108t. In addition to her Papa, Jim and Lillie Belle Ayers were a strong influence in Kathy’s singing life. They became her surrogate grandparents and took her to singings. They were unselfish with their time and their love. Kathy led 506. Kathy said she learned to sing alto from Charlene Wallace and Joyce Walton. Sitting beside either of them was a learning experience, and she enjoys singing beside them still. Kathy led 77b. She attended singing schools taught by Bud McGraw, Jeff Sheppard, George Phillips, Lloyd Redding, Buford McGuire, Euclid McGuire and others. Collectively, Kathy learned from them that there is always something new to learn, someone new who needs help, and someone new to love and encourage. Kathy told some Jeff Sheppard stories and remarked how fun it is to get to know her fellow singers on a different level. She led 464. Kathy shared several Lonnie Roger’s stories. Growing up, Kathy knew all of the Roger’s family. She led 343. In closing, Kathy gave the class some bits of advice she has learned through the years: the book on the chair is a sacred covenant, when there is a book on a chair, that chair is spoken for; if you need to get up during a song, go around the perimeter of the group; responsible front bench singers always beat time with the leader; have your song ready when called to lead and have a back-up choice ready; if you lead immediately before or after the memorial lesson, choose a fitting song; let the person keying have some space; be aware of how a singing is flowing, with highs and lows during the day; singers have a wide range of belief systems, respect that right; it is okay to make mistakes and not do well or just listen and follow along; find your elders, the ones who have helped you along the way, and let them know how important they have been to you. Kathy led 37b for her mother, Louise Holland. She led 56t as the closing song, and the class was dismissed.

Lesson: The Georgia McGraws and Legacy to Sacred Harp 2:10 p.m.

Teacher—Rebecca Over. Rebecca began her lesson by dedicating it to the memory of Hugh Winfred McGraw (February 20, 1931-May 28, 2017). Rebecca stated that she is from the United Kingdom, and began extensive research and documentation of the McGraw family during her travels in Georgia and Alabama from 2011 to 2016. A compilation of her research was provided in a handout. Rebecca welcomed Charles Woods, grandson of H.N. “Bud” McGraw. A family tree was included in the handout for class members to refer to during the presentation. Rebecca stated that it was likely the original McGraws came to America from Ireland in the late 1600s. Rebecca’s story of the McGraws began with the Civil War generation, Ephraim and Jemima McGraw. Their children were Roland Jackson McGraw, a daughter, and third child, William Alexander McGraw. Roland and William were the founders of the two Georgia branches of the McGraw family that include singers of the present day. Roland and Gussie McGraw had eleven children, and joined the Chattahoochee Convention in Coweta County, Georgia, in 1889. Bud and Lydia McGraw eventually settled in Bremen. Bud learned Sacred Harp from T.J. Denson, and later taught singing schools, particularly at Mount Zion in Carroll County, Georgia. The Mount Zion Memorial Singing has for many decades been known as the McGraw Family singing. There are four songs by Bud McGraw in the present edition of our book. A fifth, “Endless Life” was removed from the 1991 edition. The class sang this song from the handout. Bud and Lydia’s children were singers, and his grandson, Charles Woods, son of Bud and Lydia’s daughter Verdie, sings today.

Charles Woods showed the class a 1936 edition of the Sacred Harp, and also, the 1960 and 1970 editions, for which Hugh McGraw was on the committees. Charles shared several stories of growing up with his grandparents, and that he never attended a singing without a relative. Charles’s Grandpa Bud built the house Charles grew up in and his grandma taught him how to cook. Charles lived with Bud for seventeen years. Charles led “The Throne of Grace”, composed by Thomas Buford McGraw.

Buford and Gladys McGraw made sure all of their children learned to sing, and attended their grandfather Bud’s singing schools. Their daughters, Carlene and Carolyn both sang alto, as does their sister Judy Henry today. Eldest son, Earlis McGraw, loved nothing better than to sing treble next to his father. Aunt Charlene Wallace held practice sessions in her house for the children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Charlene continues to help newcomers sing today. Tom McGraw was the youngest of Roland’s and Gussie’s composer sons. Two of Tom’s songs in the current book (381 and 420) reflect events in the life of his family. Tom wrote the tune and Octavia’s poetry became 420, which they named “Bishop” in memory of Octavia’s parents. The class sang 420. Another of Tom’s songs, “Crown Him” was removed in 1991. The class sang it from the handout.

William and Edna McGraw’s second child was John Wesley McGraw, who married Lillie Mae, and had an only surviving child, Hugh Winfred McGraw. Young Hugh was taken to singings, but much preferred to be playing outside. In 1947; Hugh married Donnie Mert Todd and built a house near Bremen where Hugh lived the remainder of his life. Hugh learned to sing mostly from his Uncle Bud. He later spent a lot of time with Marcus Cagle, and began composing with Raymond Hamrick in the 1950s. The class sang a song from the handout called “Redemption’s Free”. It is a song of Hugh’s only published in a book of music by contemporary composers in 1993. Sacred Harp became Hugh’s passion. He taught singing schools, traveled all over the United States and abroad teaching, guiding, setting up new conventions, and appeared in the films “The Long Riders” and “Lawless”. Rebecca said she knew many of us have at least one Hugh McGraw story to tell and he is why she is here today. After visiting Hugh’s home and learning a good deal of family history information that had been compiled for him some years before computers were in common use, she decided to see if she could fill in the gaps for him and that is how her McGraw research got started. Rebecca ended the lesson in the same way that Bud McGraw would often end singing schools, by leading 209. The class was dismissed.

Lesson: Conduct of Singings and Conventions/Basics 2:10 p.m.

Panel—Jesse P. Karlsberg, Helen Brown, and Judy Caudle. Jesse began with introductions, and then noted that conventions were not among the types of assemblies listed in the Sacred Harp when first published. Now, there is a chapter in the Rudiments devoted to the organization of singings. Conventions are a set of practices that are important because they are transportable to different places. Practices of conventions have changed, yet we continue to do things that have always be done since the first singing conventions. Also, there is a great variation in practices in different areas. Jesse recommended thinking of this diversity as a resource. Judy told the story of being appointed to a Resolutions Committee without knowing what that committee did precisely. She consulted old minutes to determine what to do. This demonstrates the importance of keeping minutes. Helen mentioned the importance of singers knowing what to expect wherever they go to sing. Jesse referred to the Rudiments in regard to what officers to have and how they are selected. The panel agreed that chairman or president is the preferred term rather than chair. Judy discussed the variety of practices around electing officers, whether at a business meeting during the singing, or via committee beforehand. Judy prefers submitted minutes to include all of the information about elected officers and committees. There was further discussion of variety in electing officers as in Henagar-Union by ballot, and Western Massachusetts having candidate statements. Jesse talked about the importance of having mentors in situations about how to start and sustain a regular singing and to enlist younger singers along-side experienced singers in roles like secretary and arranging. Judy suggested accompanying a yearly singing with a singing school. Jesse added that a singing school might help form a core group in an area that is heavily dependent on support from the outside and also important, is having someone who can lead strongly and someone who can key. Helen mentioned the importance of local singers recognizing that their responsibility is to help newcomers. Substantial discussion ensued to the advantages and challenges on expanding a one-day singing into a two-day singing. Class was dismissed.

Lesson: Beating the Seven Modes of Time/Basics 3:40 p.m.

Teacher—Stuart Ivey. Stuart directed the class to page 16, number 12 in the Rudiments. He simplified the seven modes into two modes: down-up and down-down-up. The class reviewed the modes of time: Common time (down-up) is 2/2, 4/4, and 2/4; Triple time (down-down-up) has a 3 on top of the time signature (3/2 and 3/4); Compound time (down-up) has a 6 on top of the time signature (6/4 and 6/8). A fermata was explained as holding the beat at the top so the class can see. Stuart stated there are no exact tempos for songs. Watch, listen, and then lead like you want. When choosing a song, think of the time of day, but also sing what you know. Stuart gave the following songs in varied modes of time for campers to practice: 49t, 418, 29t, 178, 490, 146, and 64. Class was dismissed.

Lesson: Leading Workshop/Basics 3:40 p.m.

Teachers—Bridgett Hill Kennedy and Judy Caudle. Bridgett welcomed the class and led 32t. Bridgett addressed front row responsibilities and duties as singers. A front row singer has an obligation to beat time so everyone in the class can see someone. If you get tired, then let someone else sit on the front. The hollow square is sacred and we should be reverent and communicate as effectively as possible with the front benches. Judy spoke on modes of time referring to page 15 and page 16 of the Rudiments. Tempo, at the discretion of the leader, does not mean to lead so slowly the front bench falls asleep or so fast that nobody can hear the words. It is recommended to sing tenor when leading, but do not sacrifice your time in the square if you cannot sing the tenor. Judy recommended learning at least the first two or three measures of the song to get it started. On bringing in parts, Judy said it is not required, and gave Charlene Wallace as an example of an excellent leader who never brings in parts, and on a repeat she often just gives a little nod. Campers led songs for the remainder of the class with instruction and assistance from teachers. The class dismissed.

Elective: Accent/Basics 4:50 p.m.

Teacher—Nathan Rees. Nathan defined accent in music as stress or emphasis, and directed the class to page 16 of the Rudiments. A discussion was held on why music has accent. Nathan explained the primary and secondary accent and led the class in exercises adding accent to the notes in common, compound, and triple time. The class sang the following songs for practice: 96, 30b, 347, 230, 360, and 301. Class was dismissed.

Elective: Keying Music 4:50 p.m.

Teacher—David Ivey. David stated keying cannot actually be taught, but gave pointers to the class. To be a good keyer, one must be a good listener. Listen and critique every song that is keyed at every singing. A person does not have to know music theory to key music. Songs should be keyed so that all parts can be reached comfortably. Set the tonic note first, and then sound all the parts, ending with the tenor. Volunteers practiced keying songs with critique and assistance from David. Class was dismissed.

Class Singing 7:30 p.m.

Led by Stough and St. Luke Lodge campers. The class was called to order by Pam Nunn and Linda Berkemeier leading 155. Bridgett Hill Kennedy offered the opening prayer. The following campers served as officers: Co-Chairpersons—Pam Nunn and Linda Berkemeier; Secretary—William Hayes, assisted by Lorene Gilliksen; Arranging Committee—Laura Ann Russell and Susan Cherones.

Leaders: Laura Ann Russell 300; Susan Cherones 564; Bill Hayes 338; Giles Simmer and Alexander Simmer 63; Chris Brown 42; Molly Bagley 122; Vivian Ivey and Stuart Ivey 176b; Daniel Lee 147t; Lauren Bock 351; David Smead 321; Karen Matthews and Bridgett Hill Kennedy 277; Liora Goldensher 546; Lisa Bennett 142; Inga Huebner 94; Mary Skidmore 192; Steve Daniel and Andy Ditzler 276; Dan Brittan 121; Rebecca Over 483; Dan Comstock, Ann Mashchak, and Dan Brittan 334; Nicole Collins 86; Leon Pulsinelle 59; Janie Short 350; Davida Johns and David Brodeur 40; James Nugent 168; Justin Bowen 200; Donna Carlson 496; Aldo Ceresa 98; Karen Flagg and Jesse Karlsberg 345b; Kerry Cullinan 547; Jacob Stebly 417; Linda Booth 344; Judy Whiting 150. The closing prayer was offered by Roni Robbins. The devotional was given by Lorene Gilliksen. An ice cream social followed the singing.

Tuesday, June 13

Lesson: Rudiments II/Beginner 9:00 a.m.

Teachers—Lauren Bock and Jonathon Smith. The teachers welcomed the class and referred campers to page 14 of the Rudiments that explains musical notation, arrangement of notes, and rests in time. On page 15, the class reviewed length of notes and modes of time. The class practiced the major and minor scales. Class was dismissed.

Lesson: Rudiments II/Basics 9:00 a.m.

Teacher—Nathan Rees. The lesson began by singing the scales. Nathan split the class in half to sing intervals separately and then together. A giant cube (affectionately called Rees’s cube) was rolled out to set a practice line of notes, and campers participated in an exercise of singing intervals. A review of time notation, notes, rests, tempo, how to beat time, and accent was done, referring to pages 13 through 15 of the Rudiments. Rhythmic characteristics of common time, triple time, and compound time were discussed. Songs led were 70t, 435, 83b, and 103. Class was dismissed.

Lesson: Rudiments II/Advanced 9:00 a.m.

Teacher—Jesse P. Karlsberg. Jesse stated that the Rudiments are made up of three departments—melodics, rhythmics, and dynamics. Melodics concern pitch and patterns of successive pitches. An interval is the distance between two notes. Campers practiced interval exercises in ascending and descending order, and different degrees of intervals. Campers practiced chromatic exercises on page 19 of the Rudiments. Rhythmics were explained, referring to page 14 of the Rudiments, and modes of time on page 15. Dynamics concern volume (loud or soft). Jesse remarked that fortissimo (ff) appears in the book from time to time, and that would imply that one should not be singing very loud all the time. Jesse led 450 as an example. The song begins soft and slow for six measures, and then the text changes to something livelier, indicating at that point to sing louder. Class was dismissed.

Elective: Moving to the IV (Chord) 10:45 a.m.

Teacher—Aldo Ceresa. Aldo began the session leading 31t. The IV chord in the major mode is often described as a distinctly bright, even harsh sound. The IV (or subdominant) chord has drifted in and out of favor among Sacred Harp writers throughout the years. The IV chord appeared most commonly in the music of New England composers, notably William Billings. Early southern writers including William Walker, B.F. White, and E.J. King made frequent use of the subdominant. The IV chord made its way into the 1991 edition appearing in the music of Raymond Hamrick and others. The fourth degree on the major scale is cited as both a concord and a discord when sounded simultaneously. It is more often associated with gospel music, church hymns, and pop songs. Early English examples are “Old Hundred” and “Mear”. The IV chord appears on accented beats in about 135 tunes in the 1991 edition. Of these, its use is limited to single instances in about 63 songs. The class sang 49b, 438, 436, 454, 534, 32t, and “Brown” (CB) focusing on the IV chords. Aldo remarked that “Heavenly Vision” has the most IV chords with eleven, followed by “Heavenly Anthem” with eight, and “Easter Anthem”. The class sang 250, and was dismissed.

Elective: Thoughts on Sacred Harp Etiquette 10:45 a.m.

Teacher—Buell Cobb. Buell began by encouraging discussion and questions during the class. Buell quoted Dewey Williams, “Anybody who don’t know more than’s in the rudiments ain’t learnt but mighty little.” Buell began his thoughts. Time changes and Sacred Harp is not immune to the relaxing manner of society at large. Women no longer regularly wear hats and gloves. Our tradition has admitted changes. What constitutes a lesson—In the nineteenth century, only the top, usually male leaders, led thirty minute lessons. That dwindled to twenty minutes and then to two songs. A style developed that those two songs be compatible; both major or both minor. At about 1980, with the beginning of the National Convention, this dropped to one song and practice quickly spread to Cullman and other places. Singers who do not have loud, carrying voices now often indicate verse choices by holding up their fingers. This never happened before the nineteen-seventies. Singings used to be governed by a constitution and by-laws, which included a number of restrictive rules. The exclusion of discussion of politics and religion dates back to this period. We concentrate on the things that unite us, not divide us. Memorial Lessons used to include only singers and lovers of Sacred Harp. This has now expanded to the loved ones of singers, but with discretion. Causes and public figures should generally be avoided. Orchestrations of the singing is to be avoided. The front bench tenors are responsible for helping the leader, and also, for bringing the class along. Ginny Ely’s article on this topic is useful. It is important to stop clearly or to signal repeats clearly so the class knows what to expect. Buell led 425, lining out a second verse to demonstrate the willingness of the class to follow and create new traditions. Uncle Bob Denson and George Woodard often added a second repeat, which was adopted by visitors and became a fad. This practice should be employed sparingly and largely left to experienced singers, however, leaders should not abuse the privilege. Many singers announce their verse choice in advance, which reduces the flexibility of the leader. Observe what good leaders do. Begin conservatively. Bringing in the parts is not strictly necessary, but helpful and it indicates to the class that the leader is engaged with the song and appreciates the way the class is singing. The leader should take their eyes out of the book when possible. Arrangers should spread out good leaders and intermix them with others to maintain the interest and energy of the class. Finally, do not over-learn the lesson. Season what you hear with your own experience, other singings, and common sense. Class dismissed.

Elective: Field trip to Winston County Courthouse 1:00 p.m.

Teacher: Aldo Ceresa. Campers carpooled to Double Springs, and sang in the Winston County Courthouse. Winston County was the center of the Sacred Harp world in the early part of the 20th Century. Many Denson family members lived in the area.

Aldo led 82t, which was the first song led at the 1942 Alabama State Convention. Aldo introduced recordings of the 1942 Alabama State Convention that were made by Alan Lomax and George Pullen Jackson. He recently obtained the full set of recordings from the Library of Congress, including hours of material that is not commercially available. The recordings include full sessions, with speeches by Paine Denson that include information, such as 433 McKay was named for S.M. Denson’s singing school teacher.

Aldo led 176t, which was the second song of the 1942 Alabama Convention, and 392, which was named for the town of Manchester in Winston County.

The class listened to excerpts from the recordings, including comments by George Pullen Jackson and Paine Denson, and the class singing 402, 300, 342, the bass part of 342 by request of George Pullen Jackson, 445, and the tenor of 346 sung by Paine Denson.

After a group photo, made as campers gathered round the Sacred Harp monument on the Courthouse grounds, the class went to Fairview Cemetery, where T.J. Denson is buried near his wife Amanda, his children Howard, Paine, and Ruth Denson Edwards, and granddaughter Amanda Denson Brady. The class sang in the cemetery. Justin Bowen led 505. Lela Crowder shared her memories of Amanda Denson Brady and led 499. Aldo Ceresa shared his memories of Amanda Denson Brady and led 330t. Susan Cherones offered prayer, and the group returned to Camp McDowell.

Elective: Music of Edmund Dumas 1:00 p.m.

Teacher—Dan Brittain. Dan greeted the class, and stated that Mr. Dumas was a Primitive Baptist minister, who lived in Monroe County, Georgia, and is buried at Forsyth, Georgia. He was musical and a splendid director of large classes of vocal singing. A full history of him can be found in “James History of the Sacred Harp” 1904, page 107. He was a fine teacher of music. Tunes of Edmund Dumas are found in the Denson, Cooper, James, and White books. The class was provided a hand-out of the following songs that were sung: “Come On, My Friends”, “The Good Physician”, “Missouri”, “Endless Distress”, “The Wonder”, “The Teacher’s Farewell”, and “Ceylon’s Isle”. Class was dismissed.

Elective: Q&A/Basics 2:10 p.m.

Teachers—Judy Caudle and Bridgett Hill Kennedy. Campers attended an informal question and answer session with Judy and Bridgett. Among the topics of discussion were how to lead a bird’s eye (for practice, Judy and the campers sang 48t and 48b); the raised sixth; repeats and dotted notes; southern traditions and regional differences; names of songs and where they came from, if known. The class was dismissed.

Lesson: Leading Workshop 3:40 p.m.

Teachers—Bridgett Hill Kennedy and Judy Caudle. Bridgett led 82t to bring the class together. Teachers critiqued class members, including new leaders, who led the following songs: 330t, 30b, 159, 504, 146, 492, 147t, and 383. Final comments from the teachers were to enjoy your time in the square. Class was dismissed.

Lesson: And Then I’ll Be At Rest 3:40 p.m.

Teacher—Aldo Ceresa. Aldo quoted Paine Denson who said, “It’s just as important to rest when the time comes as it is to sing when the time comes.” Class members led and sang songs paying special attention to commonly missed or poorly executed rests. Leaders: Aldo Ceresa 77b; Lisa Bennett 149; Lela Crowder 71; Morgan Bunch 39t; Karen Mathews 457; Janie Short 38t; Sara Sandberg 354t; Aldo Ceresa 365. Class was dismissed.

Lesson: Time and Tempo 3:40 p.m.

Teacher—Jesse P. Karlsberg. Jesse began by asking “What do modes of time tell us about a song?” When thinking of modes of time, think moods of time. Modes of time tell us accent, general tempo, and how to beat time. Moods of time give personality to music. Jesse explained 3/2, 6/4, 2/2, and 6/8 time signatures and compared 4/4 versus 2/4. The class sang 503, 348b, and 310 for examples. Class was dismissed.

Elective: Concords and Discords 4:50 p.m.

Teacher—Jesse P. Karlsberg. Jesse provided campers with a hand-out named “Concords and Discords”. According to B.F. White’s Rudiments of Music, “the notes which produce harmony, when sounded together, are called concords. There are but four concords in music: unison, a third, a fifth and a sixth, and their octaves. The notes which when sounded together, produce a disagreeable sound to the ear are discords. The discords are a second, a fourth, a seventh, and their octaves.” He referred to page 22, section 8 of the Rudiments. The class sang the unison, a fifth and its octave concords and sang the second and seventh discords. The class looked at 348b as an example of different voicing of the tonic chord, including different inversion and closed versus dispersed voicing. The example on page 22, section 6 of the Rudiments was sung with and without the third scale degree to hear how it changes the sound of the chord. Examples of other chords explored were the Dominant found in 36b and 59. The Dominant is the third most common chord. Submediant chords were found in 406, 76b, and 303. Submediant is the second most common chord in major songs. The Supertonic chord is the most popular chord, and were found in 406 and 549. Class was dismissed.

Elective: Old Minutes—What They Tell Us & What They Don’t 4:50 p.m.

Teacher—Buell Cobb. A hand-out was provided for campers that included old minutes excerpts. Buell remarked that we care about old minutes to know what singings and conventions consisted of that were different, give us perspective on what our fore-bearers intended the Sacred Harp tradition to be and how they found it practical and meaningful to operate. Buell shared from the following minutes and information: Jaybird Convention minutes, 1902: they do not tell us where it is or what songs were led, they do tell us who gave money and how much.

Warrior River Music Convention, Alabama, 1882: a committee of deceased members were formed, a memorial lesson was given, declared that the accent of the music should yield to the poetry.

Alabama State Convention, 1925: the 1920s were an important time for the proliferation of Sacred Harp conventions. A piano was sometimes used. A memorial lesson was given fifteen minutes. A committee was assigned to identify deceased members, and if possible, find a relative to choose a leader. Words only were often sung in memorial lessons.

Clear Creek Convention, 1925: articles to the constitution stated no leader can select a song for you unless you solicit a suggestion. The Chairman can call down any leader who refuses to keep up and down time. There shall be no scriptural queries or arguments introduced into the convention. The convention shall not be opened with an introductory sermon.

Alabama State Sacred Harp Musical Association, 1930: committees were arranging, entertainment, music improvement, finance, deceased members and resolutions. Presentations were given on efforts to continue promoting Sacred Harp. An organ was used during these sessions. Delegates were named to attend other conventions.

Union Musical Convention, 1916: provided a pamphlet with the order of business. A unanimous vote carried the omission of the reading of the constitution and minutes. Minutes from 1921 reported a fifth Sunday singing that drew three to four thousands singers.

Alexander City Sacred Harp Convention, 1935: a resolution stated the favor of consolidating the books (Cooper). Class dismissed.

Class Singing 7:30 p.m.

Led by Gribbon Lodge campers. Nicole Collins called the class to order leading 330t. Leaders: Mary Grahame Hunter 330b; Nathan Rees 371; Betty Denton 156; Nancy Novotny 426b; Sherri Mitchell 73t; Jacob Lindler 32b; Peter Crockett 126; Sara Sandberg 144; David Jackson 75; Jonathon Smith 132; Gary Davis 480; Rachel deVitry 339; Eric Sandberg 27; Cathy Jordan 481; Ted Brown 179; Karen Mathews 569b; Margaret Gillanders 128; Matthew MacLellan 212; Helen Brown 475; Jonathan Skeet Surrency 455; Joanna Bennett 222; Joel Bassett 423; Donna Carlson 163b; Derek Buckland 72b; Inga Huebner 118; Jacob Stebly 504; Molly Bagley 276; Chris Brown 447. A devotional was held before campers settled down to listen to Buell Cobb, reading excerpts from his book “Like Cords Around My Heart”.

Wednesday, June 14

Lesson: Rudiments III/Beginner 9:00 a.m.

Teachers—Lauren Bock and Jonathon Smith. Lauren explained how the scale extends both directions indefinitely. Jonathon worked with the class on singing minor scale intervals. Lauren referred campers to page 274t, and explained time signature, repeats, and the road map of the tune. She used 48t to explain ties and bird’s eyes. Campers participated in a minor scale game in which, unknown to the class, paper shaped notes were placed beneath chairs. Class members who had a note under their chair had to go up and stand with their shape with others who had shapes in the correct order to make up the minor scale. For practice, the class worked on 45t for beating time in 3/4 time, and 146 for beating time in 6/4 time. To conclude, Lauren reviewed the week’s lessons. Class was dismissed.

Lesson: Rudiments III/ Basics 9:00 a.m.

Teacher—Nathan Rees. Nathan welcomed the class, and interval exercises and scale practice was done. Nathan referred the class to 47t to sing and practice listening and blending together. Nathan gave suggestions on what to consider when choosing a song, such as the time of day, the theme, the energy of the class, and the difficulty of the song. He offered things to think about before starting a song, such as the meter, the tempo, how many verses, and the repeats. Leaders: Rachel deVitry 159; Sara Sandberg 29t; Mary Grahame Hunter and Steve Daniel 276. The class concluded with a question and answer session. Class was dismissed.

Lesson: Rudiments III/Advanced 9:00 a.m.

Teacher—Dan Brittain. Dan began the lesson by leading 316, followed by a question and answer session. For accent practice, Dan led 28b. Volunteers led 376, 34t, 408, and 137. For practice in tempo, volunteers led 360, 383, 302, 183, and 351. Class was dismissed.

Elective: Dinner on the Ground 10:30 a.m.

Teachers—The Creel Ladies. David Ivey introduced the class to the Creel family, and shared memories of Harrison Creel. The Creel ladies presenting dishes were Lucy Heidorn, Ann Jett, Wanda Capps, Cindy Tanner, and Cassie Allen. Cindy said that a cabinet of paper supplies are kept stocked by Lucy Heidorn at County Line Church for their singings. She stated that the ladies communicate before a singing to make sure they bring different dishes. The dishes the class prepared were Broccoli Salad, Grape Salad, Texas Caviar, Angel Food cake with pineapple filling, and Cream of Coconut cake. The ladies offered their tips and suggestions for each of the dishes. Cindy stated that the dressing for the broccoli salad is best made the night before. Cassie told the class how she made her angel food cake, using a bundt pan for baking. Ann showed her cream of coconut cake, and Wanda showed her grape salad. Wanda also showed her Texas caviar, a snack or a dip, that is good for socials. Along with making the dishes, the class enjoyed many family stories from Lucy and the ladies. Stories also included small food disasters, like dropping cakes and crock pots spilled, with the message that mishaps happen when preparing and bringing food to singings. Cassie shared about the Calvert side of the family and singings at Addington Chapel. Lucy shared that her mother, Marie Aldridge, loved to bring lemon pies with a crust made from cornflakes to singings. The ladies’ recipes were made available to those in attendance. Class was dismissed.

Elective: Scots & Scots Irish Tunes/ Words in Shape Note Books 10:45 a.m.

Teacher—Chris Brown. Chris Brown provided the class with a handout. Chris remarked that there are many links between America and Scotland, and that many people involved in Sacred Harp have a Scottish or Northern Irish heritage. In 1700, there were about 7500 Scots in British North America in New England. Most were Presbyterians, some were adventurers, some were refugees. Dan Brittain led “York” from the handout. The Scottish Reformation was greatly affected by John Knox, who was influenced by John Calvin. In 1615; Andrew Han published one hundred fifty Psalms of David. Elizabeth Stoddard led “Dundee” from the handout. Dan Comstock led 126 where the first line of the text is from the Scottish Psalter. James Maxwell’s (1759 “Hymns and Spiritual Psalms”) work survives in the Cooper Book. Jonathon Smith led “Heavenly Grace” from the handout. Judy Whiting led 569b, the tune adapted by Hugh Wilson. In 1892, the Scottish Psalter was revised with some of the words in 558. Lela Crowder led 558. The English government issued grants for Protestants to settle in Ireland and they brought a lot of people in from Scotland. In 1717, the Irish Scot migration began and lasted fifty eight years. Leaders: Jacob Lindler 457; Ted Brown 111b; Helen Brown 162; Robert Stoddard 175; Eric Sandberg 338; Rebecca Over 376; Andy Ditzler “Bruce’s Address”; Aldo Ceresa “Bonnie Doon”. Chris closed by saying that folk music was adapted for religious purposes and that American music continued to go to Scotland peaking in the 1860’s. Class was dismissed.

Elective: Singing Favorites with Elder Hopper 1:00 p.m.

Teacher—Elder J.L. Hopper. Judy Caudle introduced Elder Hopper to the class as her Daddy. She remarked that Daddy took us to singings schools and Momma taught us to sing at the cradle. Elder Hopper opened with a reading from one of Paul’s letters about singing with spirit and singing with understanding. Elder Hopper highlighted singing in the spirit as singing to God the Father, Christ Jesus, and God the Spirit. Elder Hopper read the text of 211 with reflections on its application to the history of America. Elder Hopper led 569b, stating the corrected line was “free to take away”, rather than the amended “free to make a way”. Elder Hopper led 163t. He turned to page 16 of the Rudiments, and discussed the tempo notations. He stated he had been quiet about how fast songs are led for a long time, leaving the unlearned listener without understanding. He felt he needed to address the issue. Elder Hopper thanked the Lord for the gift of a voice to sing, but said we are to sing with understanding if we are to get something out of it. He shared a story about his Uncle Jack who was very animated when he led. When Elder Hopper was a little boy, a singer wanted to put him on top of the communion table to see him better, but he did not want to because he wanted to run around like Uncle Jack! He stated we are to be an example in the square. Elder Hopper led 161 with closing remarks to lead the song as the author intended to honor them and God. Class was dismissed.

Elective: Mapping Sacred Harp 1:00 p.m.

Teacher—Jesse P. Karlsberg. Jesse discussed and presented changes in the spread of Sacred Harp over time due to the digitizing of Sacred Harp minutes books from the 1950s until present. The result being a new database of thousands of locations of Sacred Harp singings. A handout was provided showing the mapping of the homes of Sacred Harp contributors to successive editions of the Sacred Harp, and how it had changed over time; the mapping of The Sacred Harp’s one hundred most used songs from 1995-2014; the mapping of the most used songs over ten regions in the United States and their trends. Jesse remarked that adding GPS coordinates to singings in the annual minutes have made it possible to visualize the growth of Sacred Harp since 1995. Class was dismissed.

Lesson: The Memorial Lesson 2:10 p.m.

Teachers—Helen Brown and Ted Brown. Ted and Helen spoke of their first experience of a memorial lesson. They both shared the acknowledgement of the love and respect that was obvious during this special service. Ted reminded the class that we sing for those passed, to express our appreciation, and to preserve the tradition. Helen stated that in the memorial lesson, we are welcomed to ruminate on our own mortality and to remember our names will one day too, be on that list.

Margaret Gillanders read the following list of names of the sick and shut-ins: Concetta Branson, Betsy Jeronen, Tom McTighe, Cornelia Stanton, Joe Todd, David Elliott, Curtis Owen, Edith Owen, Melanie Hauff, Joe McPartland, Sophie MacDoughall, Connor MacDoughall, Karen Rollins, Eloise Wootten, Tommie Spurlock, J.R. Scott, Barry McIntyre, Jack Weber, Annalisa Winje, Ju-Lyn Tan, Velton Chafin, Johnnie Chafin, and Julia Poston. Giles Simmer, Alexander Simmer, and Mary Grahame Hunter led 430.

Matthew MacLellan spoke about how singing was an act of grieving. Linda Berkemeier read the following list of names of the deceased: Gravis Ballinger, Elsie Moon, Steve Adams, Kermit Adams, S.T. Reed, Kenneth Fannin, Toney Smith, Lavoy Smith, Gary Smith, Levon Wootten, Edna Ruth Phillips, and Calvin Phillips—Alabama; Hugh McGraw, B.M. Smith, Geneva Prichard, Johnny Lee, and Delorese Lee—Georgia; Joe Nall—Florida; Chris Holloway—Germany; Sister Frances Carr—Maine; Collette Miller—Minnesota; Carl Jordan—Missouri; John Bayer—Ohio; Michael Sensor, Betty Hanpf, and Jean Comfort Hallowel—Pennsylvania; Arlene Dayton, Jane Goforth, and Jimmie Foreman—Texas; Jean McDonald, Ruth Steggles, Don Grimshaw, Ros Taylor, Gordon Hoyland, Norman Johnson, and Winifred Elliott—United Kingdom. Inga Huebner led 339. Mary Grahame Hunter offered prayer to close the memorial lesson. Class was dismissed.

Elective: Singing, Leading, and Remembering Jeff and Shelbie 3:20 p.m.

Teachers—Rene Green and Pam Nunn. Rene and Pam shared stories about their parents, Jeff and Shelbie Sheppard. Class members shared their memories and experiences with Jeff and Shelbie. A lottery system was used to select leaders, who led songs that were challenging to them. Leaders were rewarded prizes from the personal belongings of Jeff and Shelbie. Leaders: Eugene Forbes 122; Judy Whiting 468; Betty Denton 147t; Gillian Inksetter 189; Jonathan Skeet Surrency 213t; Elizabeth Stoddard 181; Chris Brown 273; Linda Booth 319; Liora Goldensher 320; Alex Forsyth 362; Elizabeth Stoddard, Pam Nunn, and Rene Green 155. Class was dismissed.

Elective: A Story Most Lovely I’ll Tell 4:30 p.m.

Teacher—Lela Crowder. Lela stated that reading and reading well has become a dying art. There is joy in the right word at the right time. In regard to classic or contemporary texts, Lela states that some texts are windows and some texts are mirrors. The class toured through literature where familiar hymns pop up as literary devices in order to relate religious, moral, or historical ideas. Examples of this can be found in the book “Stars Fell on Alabama” that has a whole chapter about an all-day singing on Sand Mountain, and Delia Sherman’s “Young Woman in a Garden” that has a short story called Sacred Harp. Songs and texts discussed were 57, 36b, 24 (t? b?), and 410t. Class was dismissed.

Community Singing 7:00 p.m.

Led by Advent Lodge campers. Alex Forsyth and Jacob Lindler called the class to order by leading 60, followed by the opening prayer. Leaders: David Smead 145t; Jennifer McDonel and James Nugent 457; Winfred Kerr 516; Sue Peters 82b; Kerry Cullinan 34b; Hazel Heinze 43; Charlotte Pritchard, Lauren Bock, and students 47t; Leon Pulsinelle 549; Ottis Sides and Linda Sides 530; Daniel Lee 410t; Dorothea Maynard 442; Linda Booth 481; Morgan Bunch 492; Susan Cherones 460; Eric Sandberg 270; Laura Ann Russell 564; Jerry Kitchens 30t; Lisa Bennett 68t; Sue Bunch 547; Mary Skidmore 168; Amber Davis 380; Janie Short 373; Judy Whiting 441; Giles Simmer and Alexander Simmer 82t; Linda Berkemeier 122; Liora Goldensher 517; Ruth Wampler, Sasha Hsuczyk, and Katie Kellert 56t; Idy Kiser and Eugene Forbes 280; Aldo Ceresa 528; Michael Darby 123t; Dan Brittain 387; Mark Davis 193; Richard Mauldin 446; Judy Caudle 428; Andy Ditzler 419; David Jackson and Estes Jackson 45t; Gillian Inksetter 534; Nicholas Thompson 216; Lela Crowder 391; David Brodeur 459; Rebecca Over 353; Elizabeth Stoddard 374; Katie Kellert 146; Frank Griggs 491; Sandra Wilkinson 177; Justin Bowen 560; Robert Stoddard 88t; Ruth Wampler 394; Bridgett Hill Kennedy 215; Karen Ivey and David Ivey 498; Sasha Hsuczyk 511. Alex Forsyth and Jacob Lindler led 347 as the closing song. The class was dismissed with prayer.

Thursday, June 15

Following breakfast at 7:00 a.m., campers departed, some headed for the National Convention in Birmingham, and some for other parts of the world. “Jesus, grant us all a blessing; Send it down, Lord, from above. May we all go home a-praising and rejoicing in Thy love.”

SHMHA President and Camp Director—David Ivey