Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Camp Fasola Session I (Adults Emphasis)

Camp Lee, Anniston, Alabama

June 27-30, 2008

Friday, June 27

Arrival and Check-In—Singers arrived in the late morning and early afternoon, enthusiastic about the prospect of Camp Fasola 2008. Friends from around the country greeted each other with joy and anticipation of the unforgettable experiences that awaited them.

Introductory Lesson—David Ivey. David Ivey called the class to order leading 32t. Sam Sommers offered the opening blessing. David welcomed the class to the sixth year of Camp Fasola. David said that the institution of the singing school was the vehicle for teaching, promoting, and preserving this type of singing over the past 200 years. We don’t just follow our traditions because they were passed to us. We do the things we do because they have been shown to work. The singing school has been proven to work.

David introduced the four shapes and the major and minor scales. He introduced the modes of common, triple, and compound time and how to keep time for the different modes of time. He discussed the concept of accent and explained which beats are accented for the different modes of time.

Genesis of the Southern Fuging Tune—Tom Malone. Tom Malone began his lesson by asking David to demonstrate what he had taught about accent by leading the class singing 99.

Tom’s session recounted the beginnings of the southern fuging tune by singing the songs chronologically. Page number 99 is the only fugue in the book written for the 1844 edition of the Sacred Harp. Several fuging tunes were added to the book when it was revised in 1850. Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg spoke about 432 and how it “introduced melodic building blocks that become a part of the style of Sacred Harp fuging tunes in the 20th century.” Leaders: Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg 432; Aldo Ceresa 306; Tom Padwa 362. Tom remarked that many of the fuging tunes added to the 1850 and 1844 Sacred Harp were reworked versions of earlier tunes. Tom introduced the 1859 Sacred Harp, the book which includes the first fuging tunes written by brothers, J.P. Reese and H.S. Reese. Leaders: Tom Malone 371; Aldo Ceresa 434; Joyce Walton 383; Sam Sommers 112.

Jesse spoke about how the 1859 edition of the Sacred Harp introduced the first collection of fuging tunes featuring original melodies; original alto lines; the bass, tenor, treble, alto entrance pattern; and prolific fuging tune writers: the Reese brothers and Sarah Lancaster. Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg led 460.

Moving to the 20th century, Tom remarked that the fuging tunes in the Sacred Harp from this period are dominated by the contributions of A.M. Cagle and members of the Denson family. Tom Malone and Jeff Sheppard led 316.

Aldo Ceresa spoke of the development of the Southern fuging tune as a conversation not only in our own time, but with tune writers who came before. Composers often look back 100 or more years for models for their own tunes. Aldo had the class look at 430 and then at 214, and noted the similar key and part entrances. Aldo then traced the la-mi-la-sol-la melodic figure through a variety of Sacred Harp songs from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Leaders: Aldo Ceresa 302; Stephen Kick 208.

Tom thanked the class and asked them to sing all the songs on his list by next year. David Ivey thanked Jesse and Aldo for their contributions to the lesson.


During a break, campers had a chance to further catch up with singing friends from around the country.

Three Part Songs in The Sacred Harp—Henry Johnson. Henry Johnson began his lesson noting that he loves the three-liners in the Sacred Harp, but that he also loves the alto part and even enjoys singing alto. Henry recounted that most alto parts in The Sacred Harp were added to songs that originally had only three parts in The Sacred Harp. About 350 songs in the book were originally written in three parts with no alto. However, there have always been alto parts in the Sacred Harp. In 1859, there were 101 (t? b?) four-part songs out of 421, almost 25%. There is no record of B. F. White or E. J. King ever composing a four-part song, but their friends, J. P. Reese, H. S. Reese, Sarah Lancaster, Edmund Dumas, H. G. Mann, and D. P. White did compose four-part songs.

Henry recounted that Lonnie Rogers, the oldest active Sacred Harp singer could not remember a time when there were no altos but he could remember when he used to go to a big singing and there would only be two or three altos. Terry Wootten and Dewayne Wootten said there was a time on Sand Mountain when there were no altos. Henry noted that many people remember the Scoggins sisters at Macedonia Primitive Baptist Church. These sisters were the first people the Woottens heard singing alto. Henry concluded that the presence of altos varied from place to place. He also recounted that altos did not use to have their own side of the square. Basses filtered over to what is currently the alto bench while the altos sat behind the trebles.

In the 1911 Sacred Harp, S. M. Denson takes credit for composing 327 alto lines. He left 82 (t? b?) three-liners in the book, 13% of the book, a drastic shift. The committee examined each song and “any song which cannot be improved by addition of an alto” was left as a three-liner. Henry noted that David Ivey has guessed that we might be 10-15 years away from a revision of The Sacred Harp. He made the following suggestions for a future revision. 1. Keep at least 4% of the songs in three parts. Three-liners are such a vital part of the tradition. If any are taken out, then replace them with other three-liners. 2. Give credit, in every case, to the composers of added alto lines. This was done in the 1911 Sacred Harp but was increasingly lax with successive editions. By 1971, half of the attributions were missing. Giving credit lets the singers know which altos were added.

What difference does it make whether the song has an alto line? One aspect is that alto lines close up a lot of open fifths. Henry Johnson led 435 and remarked on the “austere” harmony of the song, simple and free from decoration. All Sacred Harp harmony is simple, but it’s even simpler in three-liners.

Henry Johnson led 70b, 61, 47b, 39b, 101t with and without the alto. He noted that 174 was the only song to which an alto was added in the 1991 Edition. The line was written by Hugh McGraw and is as good as Billings’ original alto. The 1991 Music Committee removed some three-liners, but added some as well, and even included one newly composed three-liner by Judy Hauff. In closing, Henry Johnson led 138t.

Dinner and Orientation Meeting. The singers assembled for dinner in the Dining Hall, then attended an orientation meeting in the Ark.

Class Singing. David Ivey introduced Jeff Sheppard, President of the Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association (SHMHA), as well as SHMHA Board members: Henry Johnson, Jeannette DePoy, Terry Wootten (absent), and David Ivey. David said that the singing would be followed by an ice cream social. David overviewed the schedule for the rest of camp and announced that there were 96 full time campers plus seven part-time instructors in attendance for Session I. In all, 30 states, provinces, and countries were represented.

In the wake of her death, David recognized the contributions of LaRue Allen to Camp Fasola from 2003-2007 and recalled that when he first told Shelbie Sheppard about his plan to hold Camp Fasola, Shelbie immediately recommended LaRue as someone who would be excellent to help. He said that when he received word that LaRue had died, his first thought was “how will we have camp without LaRue?”

Leaders: Judy Caudle 177; Steve Helwig 162; Joanne Fuller 131b; Karen Ivey and David Ivey 182; Wade Kotter 122; Nancy Hogan 274t; Anita Shaperd 106; Oliver Kindig-Stokes 328; Roberta Goodell 218; Michael Thompson 384; Sandra Wilkinson 67; Ben Bath and Rodney Ivey 271t; Kristie Harju 345b; Jeff Sheppard 176t; Jeannette DePoy 410t; Kelly House 300; Tom George 480; Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg 470; Richard DeLong 431; Judy Crawford 163t; Marilyn Job 268; Justin Squizzero 145t; Scott DePoy 201; Chris Holley 229.

Karen Rollins gave a moving devotional which she based on the song New Britain. She spoke of the history of the song and the concept of grace. She remarked that “grace gives us hope and gratitude, and our response is singing.” The class recognized David Ivey for all that he does, and Tom Malone led 45t.

Ice Cream Social and Free Time. Hostess Pam Nunn served ice cream to eager campers in the Ark. Some campers relaxed there, while others availed themselves of the swimming facilities at Camp Lee.

Saturday, June 28

Breakfast. Campers began their day by assembling for breakfast in the Dining Hall.

Basic Rudiments I—Kelly House. Kelly House began her rudiments class listing some goals for the pupils in her singing school: understand the rudiments, sing some tunes with confidence, be able to read music, recognize the types of tunes in the Sacred Harp, recognize the roles of the different parts, be able to keep time, learn to listen actively, go back home and be a leader in their local singing community.

Kelly spoke about the voice and musical tones and described the components of musical notes: pitch, time (or length), accent (or emphasis), and volume (Sacred Harp uses natural dynamics). Relative pitch refers to the relationship between pitches. Kelly spoke on the history and practicality of shape notes. Kelly reviewed the four shapes and suggested that the class focus first on the big long notes, and reassured them that they would “get it bit by bit.” Kelly described the aspects of musical notation: lines and spaces, staves, braces, and discussed the four parts.

Advanced Rudiments I—Richard DeLong. Richard DeLong welcomed the class, and began by asking singers to answer several Sacred Harp trivia questions, all of which were answered correctly by members of the class, save for one. In his lesson, Richard pointed out important notes and phrases in several songs, including some that are often sung incorrectly. During the discussion, he also emphasized the importance of singing with good accent, as well as about Sacred Harp traditions generally, reminding singers that they are in place because they have been proven to work over time. He and Jeff Sheppard also shared several anecdotes about Paine Denson, Hugh McGraw, and other singers. Throughout the session, the class sang most of the songs that Richard mentioned in his remarks, including: 36t, 64, 43, 292, 44, 154, 41, 319, 496, 116, and 109. The class sang 465 to close.


Basic Rudiments II—Kelly House. Kelly House welcomed the class and began by asking the class to sing the major scale. She then offered hints for finding the key note and determining whether a song is in major or minor. The class sang “Joy to the World” on page 14 for further orientation to the major scale. Kelly demonstrated melodic contour by pointing out the movement of the melody of 34b, and the class sang it with her. She also discussed pentatonic or “five-note” scales, using 45t as an example.

Continuing in her examination of the rudiments, she touched upon Sacred Harp harmony, pointing out that most Sacred Harp songs use counterpoint (rather than homophonic “block harmony”), resulting in the typically melodic “feel” of most of the individual lines in the book, even in the non-melody parts (bass, treble, alto). Addressing rhythmics, she explained the function of measure bars, note and rest values, and the modes of time used in The Sacred Harp, stressing the importance of rhythm and proper accent in Sacred Harp singing. The class sang 49t, 47t and 76b to demonstrate the differences between the time signatures. Kelly then rounded out her lesson by discussing repeat marks and the use of “D.C.” in our book.

Advanced Rudiments II—David Ivey. David Ivey opened the lesson by having the class sing the major and minor scales. A member of the class asked about the raised sixth scale degree. David said to “raise it if you can.” David said that in this singing school we are studying what we are doing and learning to do things better. The purpose of singing school is to learn the right and best way to do things and to sing correctly, so this singing school would cover the correct practices for a number of “little things.” David Ivey led 39b and instructed the class to keep time through both of the last two measures at the end of a song. David mentioned several songs without written repeats and argued that repeating those songs in many cases is confusing. David remarked that for “three-peats,” the practice of taking a third repeat, there may be an occasional case where it is okay, but it should not happen more than 1-2 times at a convention. David next commented that “no loss of time” method of leading certain songs started about twenty years ago. David noted that he does not approve of the practice unless the leader clearly announces his/her intention because it can confuse the class. David noted that a leader should never repeat on a D.C. song, remarking that “you really wear out a song when you do that.” Quoting the rudiments, David commented that all notes and words in a song should be properly pronounced.

On the topic of tempo, David read a letter from A. M. Cagle written in January 1957 on the pace of songs. Tom Denson said that a tune could be rushed or dragged. In determining tempo, David said to consider the mode of time and select a speed that enables the class to accent properly and to sing all of the notes and words. David Ivey led 269 at a moderate pace. David Ivey led 417. He commented that a change of time should occur after the end of the last measure in the previous mode of time. David Ivey led 320. David slowed the tempo for each section in 3/2 and sped up for each section in 4/4. David noted that usually we sing in the same tempo for both modes of time in this song, but remarked that the tempo should change when the mode of time changes. David recalled that Raymond Hamrick has said that many of the “trademark moments” in Sacred Harp songs occur when some parts are resting and others are not and reminded the class to let go of their notes when rests come. To demonstrate this, David Ivey led 38b.

David Ivey led 29b and cautioned the class to give dotted notes their time. He also warned the class not to overcompensate as in 358, and suggested that this may happen at times if we sing too fast. David Ivey led 73t, 448t. In 448t, David spoke about tempo in relation to the 6/4 and 3/4 sections of the song.

David pointed out a number of tricky pronunciations or frequently misspoken words in the Sacred Harp. David spoke about changes that had been made to some songs and noted that on 507, the pickup at the start of page 508 (?) had been changed from an eighth note to a dotted quarter note, but that some leaders actually still sing it as an eighth note.


Singers broke for lunch, after which, campers assembled in front of the Dining Hall for the Camp Fasola group photo.

“River of Song”—Jim Carnes. Jim Carnes welcomed the class and asked the singers how long they had been singing Sacred Harp. He explained that the session would focus on the relationships between selected songs in The Sacred Harp by examining differences and similarities in harmonic language, “mood,” and other aspects. The class sang a large number of songs, with Jim calling on various singers to take turns leading them. Jim made a number of brief comments between tunes, touching upon harmony, history, and other aspects of the music, as he had promised. Leaders: Jim Carnes 87; Tom Malone 175; Oliver Kindig-Stokes 37b; Bill Hogan 142; Jim Carnes 444; Scott Kennedy 68b; Michael Walker 207; Judy Crawford 312b; Jim Carnes 49t, 28b; Nancy Hogan 162; Aldo Ceresa 354b; Joyce Walton 242; Bridgett Hill 110; Ted Mercer 82t; Judy Caudle 182; Scott DePoy 47b; Karen Ivey 201; John Plunkett 160t; Tom Malone 83t; Jeff Sheppard 334; Jack Nelson 410t; Jim Carnes 436.

Panel Discussion—Hugh McGraw, Charlene Wallace, Jeff and Shelbie Sheppard, and Joyce Walton. John Plunkett welcomed the class and introduced the panelists. The session began with each of the four panelists briefly outlining stories of their introduction to Sacred Harp and their early days of singing. These introductions included Joyce reminiscing about her friendship with Marcus Cagle, and Charlene remembering that her first singing school was taught by H.N. “Bud” McGraw. In addition, Hugh recalled that he attended his first singing at the age of 21 at Mt. Zion, and that the class was singing 196 when he arrived at the church. Hugh also pointed out that it takes four years to learn Sacred Harp, “just like a high school diploma.”

Jeff then shared several stories about his early singing background, pointing out that he had attended a singing school with T.J. “Uncle Tom” Denson in 1935, and that he remembered attending other singing schools—sometimes lasting a week—in his youth. He then recounted how he moved to South Georgia as a child, and how Jeff’s father had convinced T.J. Denson to move there in about 1926 or ‘27 to teach singing schools. In addition to lodging, Denson was given a wagon, a milk cow, and a pig for his efforts. The panel then shared a number of other stories and observations.

The conversation touched upon a number of topics, as Charlene and Shelbie remembered that there were very few altos when they started singing and Joyce recalled that 277 was a very important song in her early singing days. Several other favorites were named, including 176t (Jeff); 455 (Joyce); 216 (Shelbie).

Shelbie remembered attending her first singing after her serious car accident in 1962, and the poor printing quality of the 1960 edition that was being used at that time, adding that the ink from the covers often rubbed off on the singers’ clothes. Hugh then joined in, relating how Owel Denson (who had printed the books) suggested the idea of edging the pages in gold, “just like the Bible,” but only did so to mask the poor quality of the paper the was used in the book. Hugh also told how Owel had thrown a copy of the book against the Birmingham courthouse wall, exclaiming, “See, it’s still intact!” after Hugh complained about the poor binding. Hugh concluded the story by mentioning that he and others dumped 1,500 copies of the defective 1960 book in the Coosa River.

Hugh then told the story of the composition of 549, how George Phillips had written the poetry and given it to Hugh. Jeannette DePoy then asked Hugh what his first composition was. Hugh told the story of 500, and how he did not even know what meter it was in when he first wrote it. He also reminisced about Dr. Dura (after whom 531 is named), recalling how he used to wear patched shirts and swat flies at singings.

Hugh and the panel then spoke about the 1991 edition, as several questions were raised about the revision process. Hugh said that 46 songs were removed, and 64 songs added to the 1991 book. Tom Malone asked how long it took for a song to no longer be considered as “new.” Jeff recalled that some songs from the 1935 still sounded “rough” in the 1940’s. Francesca Cassara asked how the sound of Sacred harp had changed in the panelists’ lifetime. Hugh replied that songs are sung faster now, and that women were not allowed to lead in his early singing days. Hugh cited the latter as an improvement. Jeff jokingly disagreed. Aldo Ceresa asked how many songs were submitted for the 1991 edition. The panel answered that about 250 were submitted, that about 100 of these were considered and sung by the committee for final selection.

The panel touched upon several other topics before closing, including the removal of the footnotes from the 1991 edition. (This was done primarily because many of them were inaccurate.) Michael Walker inquired if any of the panel remembered singers leading 20-minute lessons at conventions. Jeff and Hugh replied that they did. Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg asked the panel to discuss the differences between the 1991 revision process and earlier editions. Ted Mercer asked if there was resistance to Sacred Harp singing from city people and religious leaders. Jeff and Hugh both said that there has been some resistance over the years.

Recreation. Some singers chose to enjoy the amenities of Camp Lee during this session, taking advantage of the rock slide, canoeing and other fun outdoor activities.


Basic Leading—David Ivey. David welcomed the class, and began by asking the class to turn to 37b. In the session, David outlined several fundamental aspects of leading, reminding singers to check for time signatures and opening rests; emphasizing that the hand should be upraised both at the beginning and ending of tune; and suggesting that beginning leaders should announce their verses and repeats before leading a song. He continued by advising singers to always sound the chord at the beginning of a song, and to always beat through the last measure of a tune, so that the class know when to stop singing, using 39b as an example.

David answered questions about proper hand motions, and the relative length of measures in 43, pointing out that the durations of the measure in both the 3/4 and 6/8 measures of the song should be about the same. He also encouraged singers to sing tenor parts while leading if they can, but not to worry it about if they cannot. Using 34t as an example, David showed the class how to lead a “bird’s eye” or fermata. Returning to the topic of tempos, he spoke briefly about the difference between 3/2 and 3/4 time, pointing to 73b and 512 as examples. David demonstrated his ideas by leading several songs throughout the session, including: 37b, 348b, 43, 155, 34t, 73b, and 512.

Intermediate Leading “Boot Camp”—Jeff and Shelbie Sheppard. Shelbie Sheppard called on members of the class to volunteer to lead 155 and have their leading style critiqued. Among other suggestions, Shelbie instructed leaders to hold their hand up at the start and end of a song, lead with a simple down, up motion, and turn to the parts naturally without jerking. Shelbie noted that when you turn to meet each part, “once you bring them in, you are through with them, forget them.” Shelbie noted that the leader should sing the tenor part. In response to a question from Jeannette DePoy about how to turn pages when “leading makes you quiver all over,” Shelbie said that the leader could put a finger in the page, and suggested flipping the page beforehand to be able to read ahead. Joyce Walton said that she gets the page ready and pinches it to flip it. Jeff Sheppard said that he puts his thumb on the next page.

Leaders: Nathan Barford 155; Francesca Cassara 155; Bill Walters 155; Joanne Fuller 155; Tom Padwa 155; Jim Carnes 436; Bridgett Hill 276; Stephen Kick 36b; Chris Holley 36b; Sam Sommers 283; Steve Helwig 228; Scott Kennedy 228.

Landmark Tunes—Tom Malone. Tom Malone led a session covering the sections of the book and songs added to revisions of The Sacred Harp since 1844.

Keying Music—David Ivey. David welcomed the class, pointing out that Camp Fasola workshops on keying music were the first of their kind. He relayed some of his own background as a key-person, and advised the class that mastering the major and minor scales is the first step to good keying. He advised the class to start with familiar songs, and then to use those songs as a reference for other songs in the same key, citing 37b for F major as an example. He mentioned a few songs that sound better when keyed higher than is usual for their keys, including 186, 147t, and 312t; and songs that sound better when keyed lower than is usual for their written keys, for example, 282. He also advised singers to watch for songs that do not begin on their tonic chord, such as 378b and 385b. Speaking in more general terms, he continued, suggesting that singers be considerate of the key-person at singings. He also encouraged singers to practice with recordings and at local singings, and to listen to the keys at conventions.

David closed by encouraging singers to not be discouraged by inevitable criticism that comes with keying, and to “keep at it,” reminding the class that learning to key takes time and practice for most people.

Composition for Absolute Beginners—Tom Malone. Tom Malone led a hands-on workshop on the basics of writing tunes in dispersed harmony style.

A Perspective on Leading—Kelly House. Kelly welcomed the class, and began by reminding singers to be humble when leading. She also encouraged beginning singers to lead, pointing out that leading is not a test or a performance, and that everyone has a right to lead at singings. She then discussed the mechanics of leading, suggesting that singers call their page numbers loudly, and that they make eye contact with the tenors in the front bench. She continued, discussing the importance of smooth arm motions and keeping the hand visible while leading. She also advised singers to try be relaxed while leading, and to demonstrate this in their posture. Limiting extraneous movements is also important, as it conveys confidence to the class. “Dancing” in the square is decidedly frowned upon.

Kelly then encouraged singers to “hear the words in your head” when choosing tempo. She also pointed out the importance of making eye contact with each of the sections when bring in the parts in a fuging tune. Kelly then asked several members of the class to lead, and commented upon their leading styles, offering praise and suggestions for improvement. Several songs were sung during the session, including: 277, 159, 72b, 143, 142, 30b, and 229. Kelly closed by exhorting shy or inexperienced singers to try leading while at camp. “If there’s anywhere safe to try it, it’s here.” She encouraged the class not to be intimidated by the experienced singers at camp, and reassured singers that everyone at camp wants newer singers to become better singers and leaders. This is the purpose of camp.

Best of the Ungreatest Hits—John Plunkett. John Plunkett introduced this lesson as a chance to lead under-used songs in the Sacred Harp. John looked recently at some of the oldest minutes, from 1890s in Gwinnett County and noted that some of the same songs were popular then as are popular today. The class decided that there would be no leaders for the session, and John began by leading 115. John spoke about the quality of 503, the most popular song last year. It has a moving text, is easy to sing, and has a good text-tune pairing.

John read the class a list of the songs that had been used least frequently from 1995-2007. The class then sang the following songs: 115, 325, 279, 169, 69b, 459, 458, 285b, 82b, 41. In closing, John suggested to the members of the class: find a good song toward the bottom of the list and make it your own.

Dinner. Campers broke for dinner and had some free time to socialize before reassembling at the Church for the class singing.

Class Singing. Jeff Sheppard brought the class together leading 61. Sam Sommers led the opening prayer. Leaders: Ted Mercer 123b; Jeffrey Haugaard 229; Stephen Kick 217; SuNell Ellis and Richard DeLong 146; Francesca Cassara 155; Pam Nunn and Bridgett Hill 440; Scott Kennedy 276; Ann Webb 282; Robert Kelley 450; Kevin Dyess 35; Joanna Lampert 32t; Michael Walker 172; Randa Harris 127; Aldo Ceresa 536; Terry Barber 500; Bill Walters 442; Lea Kouba 335; Bill Hogan 475; Dan Adams 56b; John Plunkett 466; Ruth Replogle 267; Annie Grieshop and Georgeann Evans 318; Danny Arms 304; Shelbie Sheppard and Richard DeLong 211; Joanne DeVoe 47t; Maggie Leonard 159; Nathaniel Zwieg 105; Sam Sommers 437; Nathan Barford 142.

Devotional followed by Free Time. Following the devotional, a number of campers again took a dip in the pool, while others relaxed and socialized in the Church and the Ark.

Sunday, June 29

Communion Service and Breakfast. The day began with an optional 7 o’clock communion service conducted by Aubrey Hemminger. Singers then assembled at the dining hall for breakfast.

Basic Rudiments III—Kelly House. Kelly House had the class sing all the different parts to 47t. Kelly spoke about the different parts. The bass is the foundation. It hits the first step and fifth step a lot as well as other anchor points. It tells our ear if there is a chord change. The treble crosses up and down in contrast to the tenor, and spends most time in the top half of the staff. The treble “illuminates the melody through contrast.” The alto has a smaller range. It’s the “peanut butter” in the sandwich. Kelly House led 47t, 47b, 45t.

Kelly discussed accent in triple time. Kelly House led 512 and spoke about accent on the eighth notes and its relationship to the text of the song. She compared the accent to a rocking chair. Kelly said that the accent was not marked in the music because if all the aspects of accent and singing practice were marked, the book would be too big. A song is only alive when it is sung, and the purpose of singing schools is to put a name to what you know.

Kelly House led 146 and spoke about compound time. She commented on the feel of compound time rhythm. Kelly demonstrated keeping time for compound time songs.

Kelly House led 378b and 378t. Kelly spoke about songs with a chorus and the importance of singing the chorus on the notes. Kelly spoke about ornamentation, saying that it is something best learned by sitting next to experienced singers. She spoke about text meters and how they match up with accented beats in music. Kelly thanked the class and encouraged them to review the rudiments. She remarked that the thing allowing each of us to sing is our joy for life and for those that we love. If we magnify that joy, we will always have great singing.

Advanced Rudiments III—Judy Hauff. Judy welcomed the class. She began by speaking briefly about the history of Sacred Harp and its roots in 18th century psalmody and the New England singing school movement. She then outlined a variety of Sacred Harp singing practices that differ from most other Western choral traditions. Among these aspects are its lack of conductor and emphasis on democracy; its use in social settings, without the intent of pleasing an audience; its universal a cappella practice; its use of dispersed harmony; the use of four-shape notation; its emphasis on rhythm and pulse; its placement of the melody in the tenor line, rather than the top line or “soprano.” Judy then addressed several topics relating to Sacred Harp conventions, including good “front bench etiquette”; as well as tips about good keying and arranging, and they contribute to the success of a good convention.

Judy concluded by briefly discussing the historical association between of Sacred Harp and the Primitive Baptist churches, citing that denomination’s exclusive use of a cappella singing, their reliance upon circuit preachers, and the availability of their meeting houses for singings that resulted from this. The class sang 551, 30b, and 183 to close.


Lesson and Devotional—Matt Hinton. Matt Hinton remarked that very many people would say that every singing they had attended was a worship service. Music is no more than half of Sacred Harp singing. Matt Hinton introduced the theme of free grace. Free grace is at the crux of the theology of the texts of our book. Many of our songs are either about grace or are founded upon the idea of grace. Matt Hinton led 31t and read scripture from Ephesians 2:4-10.

Matt suggested that the class not think of works as a means to grace, but as a response to grace, something one can do out of gratitude. Matt Hinton led 401. Matt read scripture from the Epistle to the Church in Rome, Romans 3:20-28.

Matt spoke about the dying lamb and its significance in scripture. Matt Hinton led 81t and 105 and quoted scripture from Romans 5:6. Matt spoke about “Agape,” or unconditional love. Matt Hinton led 354t and read scripture from Romans 5. He thanked the class and spoke about the rootedness of this theology to our book and our tradition.

Free Time and Lunch. Campers then enjoyed some free time, before assembling for lunch.

“The Real McGraws”—Tom Malone. Tom welcomed the class. He spoke briefly about Hugh McGraw, then introduced the “Brothers McGraw” (Lee A., Henry N. “Bud,” and Thomas B. “Tom”) and two of their sons (Bud’s son, Buford, and Lee’s son, Leon), all of whom contributed songs to The Sacred Harp.

Tom then introduced Charles Woods, a grandson of Bud McGraw. Charles showed the class photos of various members of the McGraw family from personal photo albums, and reminisced about his grandparents, Bud and Lydia McGraw. He mentioned that The Sacred Harp contains 13 songs written by the McGraw brothers, and that 3 more were included in the book until the 1991 edition came out. Charles mentioned that Bud had only four years of formal schooling, and that he passed away four days after his wife. He closed by saying that his grandfather “was a great Sacred Harp singer, and a mighty fine man.”

Hugh McGraw then spoke further about Bud McGraw, recalling how it was his Uncle Bud who gave him his first copy of The Sacred Harp, and mentored Hugh in his early years of singing. Charlene Wallace recalled briefly how her father used to drive Uncle Bud to singings. Joyce Walton spoke about Tom McGraw, and remembered how much she used to enjoy sitting with him and Ruth Denson Edwards. She then told how the music to 420 was first written on a brown paper bag and then given to Veeb Walton to try out. Charles briefly mentioned the Bishops’ famous cooking and recalled Bud and Tom’s fondness for Chrysler cars.

Tom Malone mentioned the correspondence between Marcus Cagle and Tom McGraw, in which Mr. Cagle had tried to persuade Tom to rework the harmony on some of his songs, adding that Ruth Denson Edwards apparently did not approve of Mr. Cagle’s efforts. A few other comments were made, including a reminder from Matt Hinton that Gladys McGraw had appeared in the Awake, My Soul film.

Leaders: David Ivey 283; Aldo Ceresa and Judy Hauff 453; Judy Caudle and Robert Kelly 483; Tom Malone and Joanne Fuller 544; Charlene Wallace and Carlene Griffin 476; Joyce Walton 420; Charles Woods 197; John Plunkett 558; Justin Squizzero 562; Michael Thompson 530; Samuel Sommers 386; Michael Spencer 472; Robert Kelly 381; Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg “Entrekin”; Tom Malone 395; Joanna Lampert 295.

David Ivey offered a few final thoughts and expressed thanks to Charles Woods for his contributions to the class and to the board members of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company for its financial support for Camp Fasola. The class sang 295, and Samuel Sommers offered the closing prayer. Sacred Harp and The Denson Family—Frances Robb. Frances Robb, granddaughter of Uncle Tom Denson, gave a lecture on the history of the Sacred Harp Denson family.

Dispersed Harmony Composition—Judy Hauff. Judy Hauff led her class as an open-ended discussion. She suggested that singers begin by selecting a text or a popular meter such as C.M. or L.M. Then, she suggested that singers study all the part writing in the book, learning its distinctive sound and characteristic gaps. Judy also suggested that singers could examine chords in songs they liked. She noted that 178 has “big fat chords,” not the “skinny, astringent” chords found in many other songs. She remarked on the importance of making sure every part is interesting to sing, and suggested that fat to thin to fat is more interesting than “too much frosting.”

Judy noted that you can learn harmony by studying the Sacred Harp, but not melody. Melody is personal, and cannot be constructed from the book. Judy noted she had trouble writing Granville because she had the structure in mind more than the melody. Judy remarked that she was amazed and delighted that people like some of her songs, and noted that with Wood Street “for once, [she] landed right!” Her model for 504 is 163t. Judy noted that she always attempted to write fluid, interesting alto parts. She likes to keep the altos busy and off-guard, so that they have to sight read. As an example of this, Judy cited Akin, in which the alto ranges from a low B up to a C.

As a rule of thumb, Judy suggested that singers write the tenor part first. Harmonic progression can come later. Judy noted that writing the tenor and then treble, or tenor and then alto could spur interesting harmony, and suggested singers try this method of composition and add an interesting bass last.

Recreation. Some campers elected to take some time out from singing and enjoy the zip line, while others attended Jeannette DePoy’s Pilates class.

Lemonade Lesson—Bud and Sammie Oliver. Eager campers watched and listened while Bud and Sammie Oliver demonstrated the method for making their famous lemonade. Singers were more than willing to test the product upon the conclusion of his demonstration.

“The Unsung Marcus Cagle”—Tom Malone. Tom Malone welcomed the class. He opened by pointing out the deeply personal nature of the songs that Marcus Cagle composed in the last years of his life. Throughout the session, Tom read from several of Mr. Cagle’s letters to Raymond Hamrick that were written around the time that the tunes were written. He also offered anecdotes about Mr. Cagle’s life and the unpublished songs that were contained in a packet prepared especially for the class to sing.

Joyce Walton also shared some of her memories of Mr. Cagle, and the class was honored to have three of Mr. Cagle’s nieces, Geraldine Sharpton, Elsie Hollingsworth, and Kenneith Calvert, as guests for this session. (Mr. Cagle’s nieces seemed pleased to have their uncle’s memory honored, and his music sung so enthusiastically.)

Leaders: Tom Malone “Tapley”; Robert Kelly “Seek The Old Path”; Tom Malone and Bill Hogan “Gladly Would My Savior See”; Justin Squizzero “This Blind Man”; Samuel Sommers “Bethesda Pool”; Tom Malone and Liz Kiser “Thou Art Needful”; Steve Helwig “My Cause Above”; Joyce Walton “Sweet Responses”; Aldo Ceresa “They Hear of Heaven”; Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg “They Raise Me Higher”: Tom Malone “Shining Angels.”

Cooking for Dinner on the Grounds. A lesson was taught on easy to prepare traditional dishes for serving at dinner on the grounds. Also, practical tips for transporting and wrapping dishes to keep them warm or cold were provided.

Dinner and Free Time. Campers then assembled for dinner and some free time before reassembling for the community singing in the Church.

Community Singing. Jeff Sheppard and David Ivey called the class to order leading 309. Samuel Sommers offered the opening prayer. Leaders: Jack Nelson 438; Anita Davis 30t; Bill Dunn 32t; Anne Dutton 45t; Jeff Breting 324; Jane Spencer 151; Claudia Dean 49b; Tom Padwa 34b; Janie Short 128; Tom Malone 142; Karen Rollins 327; Shannon Primm 446; Aubrey Hemminger 178; Shelby Sampson; 40; Peter Golden 277; Kelly House 270; Judy Hauff 506; Matt Hinton 99; Xaris Martinez 215; Ray Rechenberg 569b; Kathe Pilibosian 20b; Debra Brogden 268; Henry Johnson 113; Joan Aldridge 222; Eugene Forbes 143.


Michael Thompson brought the class back to order leading 111b. Leaders: Michael Spencer 191; Donna Bell 480; Reba Windom 189; Rene Greene 76b; Michael Mosley 137; Lela Crowder 430; Nathan Barford 84; Oliver Kindig-Stokes 392; Carol Mosley 370; Francesca Cassara and Tom Malone 318; Jo Pendleton and Jonathan Pendleton 354b; Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg and Joanna Lampert 208; Joyce Walton and Michael Thompson 456; Robert Kelly and Judy Crawford 48t; Bridgett Hill and Steven Kick 299; Kristie Harju and Suzanne Harju 282; Andrew Kiser 504; Geraldine Sharpton, Elsie Hollingsworth, and Kenneith Calvert 274t; Justin Squizzero 522; Liz Kiser 159; Nancy Hogan and Bill Hogan 378b; Joanne Fuller and Sandra Wilkinson 61; Danny Arms 304; Idy Kiser 448b; Carol Gardner 34t; Martha Rogers 85; Anita Shaperd and Steve Helwig 102; Annie Grieshop and Lea Kouba 496; Jeff Haugaard 229; Paige Gilbert and Joanna Lampert 146.

David Ivey thanked all who attended. Tom Malone asked the class to thank David for all of his organizational work. Samuel Sommers offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Parting Hand. David Ivey remarked that this interesting and enjoyable session of Camp had gone by quickly. David called on the class for announcements and singers announced upcoming singings in their home communities.

David recognized Danny Arms for his help with transportation, Jeannette DePoy for her work behind the scenes, and Pam Nunn for her work as camp hostess.

David thanked the teachers: John Plunkett, Tom Malone, Shelbie and Jeff Sheppard, Richard DeLong, Hugh McGraw, Frances Robb, Jim Carnes, Judy Hauff, Kelly House, and Joyce Walton.

Judy Caudle and Karen Ivey presented certificates to the female and male campers, respectively. David thanked Bridgett Hill and Scott Kennedy for arranging; recognized Aldo Ceresa and Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg for taking the camp history and minutes; thanked Joanna Lampert and Justin Squizzero for serving as videographers. David Ivey led 62, and the class was dismissed.

Monday, June 30

Breakfast. Campers assembled for a final Camp Fasola breakfast together, and then said their goodbyes before packing up and leaving the grounds.

SHMHA President—Jeff Sheppard; Camp Director—David Ivey; Historians/Secretaries—Aldo Ceresa and Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg