Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

Find in all years, or only checked years:

Or, view 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 or all years.

Song use statistics are also available.

Camp Fasola 2010 Adult Session

Camp Mcdowell, Near Double Springs, Alabama

June 13-17, 2010

Sunday, June 13

Arrival, Check-In, and Orientation

Campers arrived at 4:00 p.m. to check in, receive their t-shirts, room assignments, and schedules, and settle in. After supper at Stough Dining Hall staff and campers met in the chapel for an orientation meeting with Camp Director, David Ivey. He told campers that Camp Fasola began in 2003 with a single session at Camp Lee near Anniston, Alabama. Its success led to the scheduling of two sessions annually, one emphasizing youth and the other focusing on adults, beginning in 2008. Camp Fasola is a non-profit endeavor of the Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association (SHMHA). SHMHA has no paid staff; all are volunteers. SHMHA accepts donations and is a 501 (c) (3) organization. SHMHA board members present during the week were: Jeff Sheppard, President; Shelbie Sheppard, Assistant Treasurer; Judy Caudle, Minutes Secretary; David Ivey, Secretary; and Henry Johnson. The t-shirt logo was designed by Lauren Bock. Eighty-seven fulltime campers are registered, eight day campers, plus teachers. Ages of campers range from 16 to 82 (t? b?) with four octogenarians. We have come from four countries (USA, Canada, Phillippines, and UK); three provinces of Canada (Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia); and 29 states. Many campers are attending their first Camp Fasola session; two have never attended any Sacred Harp event before this camp. Several have attended camp every year.

Evening Singing

David Ivey and Jeff Sheppard 37b; Chaplain Sam Sommers offered the opening prayer; Henry Schuman 318; Roberta Strauss 480; Rob Kelley 38t; Anne Drexler 350; Fred Hoerr 285t; Angela Myers 40; Bonnie Davis 26; Erik Mason 86; Tom Malone 97; Paul Clazing 49b; Richard Schmeidler 155; Ian Quinn 183; Caroline Helmeczi 48t; Eddie Mash; Janie Short 276; Daniel Lee 84; Sally Langendorf 401; Katie White 312b; Sonny Erwin 454; Leon Pulsinelle 171; Judy Caudle 76t; Lela Crowder 57; Martha Rogers 270; Elizabeth Muhleisen 163b; Sam Sommers 437; Martha Beverly 176t; Caleb Dillehay 472; Jo Dell Albi 39b; Frank DeBolt 503; Andrew Mashchak 326; Gerry Hoffman 42; Gillian Inksetter 31t. Eddie Mash led the devotional with mediation on being thankful, for our health, for this gathering together of singers. We should always be aware of our thankfulness. David Ivey reminded us to sound our pitch before we lead our song, and to stay together as we sing. Watch the leader! The campers were then dismissed to socialize at Pradat and to get a good night’s rest.

Monday, June 14

Every day there are lessons, electives, opportunities for recreation or relaxation, recess periods with snacks, and an evening class singing, along with opportunities to socialize.


7:00 a.m. Campers could choose to hike, swim, participate in Pattie Doss’s exercise class, or sing from the Lloyd’s Hymnal, led by Eugene Forbes and Tom Malone. Breakfast followed at 8:00.

Lesson: Rudiments I / Basics

9:00 a.m. Samuel Sommers opened the class with 56t and prayer. The class sang the major and minor scales in ascending and descending order and with intervals. The importance of tonic or root was discussed. The tonic can be found as the last note of the song that is sung by the basses. The tonic for songs in major is Fa, and for the minor songs it is La. The written key in the Sacred Harp tradition is not the primary factor in keying a song; Music is a succession of pleasing sounds which can be produced by tones at intervals such as Fa to La (major 3rd) or Fa to So (major 5th). Modes of common time are 2/2, 4/4 and 2/4. The class sang 49t as an example of 2/2. All internal repeats are mandatory. Terminal repeats are at the option of the leader. The two modes of triple time are 3/2 (slower) and 3/4. Students were advised to avoid flourishes as they lead in triple time. The class sang 358 to demonstrate scales and intervals. Rests were defined as periods of silence: no talking, singing, or toe tapping. Students were directed to beat all rests at beginning and end of a verse. Each song is important to someone or may remind you of someone, and songs can be a strong spiritual connection. A fermata placed over a note or rest prolongs it at the discretion of the leader; watch the leader. D.C. means return to the sign. Hold your book up when you sing so that you can see the leader.

Lesson: Rudiments I / Advanced

9:00 a.m. Warren Steel opened class with 138b. While he is not used to beating the rests at the beginning of tunes, he encourages it. He led the class in singing intervals. Martha Beverly led 503b. Warren spoke about gamut, a range. A mini-gamut is the scale. Guido, an 11thcentury monk, developed a way to notate sounds so that they could be read by others. This gamut was a graphical representation of the human vocal range from a man’s low G to high E in the treble clef, in a boy’s range. Guido used seven letters, A to G, and included flat and natural signs. Later the fa-so-la scale we use was evident in England and Ireland of the 1500 and 1600’s. Mi is the most important note, so the rare diamond is used. B.F. White’s Rudiments from 1911 are in the new J.L. White book, recently republished. White says that minor tunes should be sung softer and with a lighter bass. Then Katie White led 39t, a minor tune. Warren led 383, emphasizing that we sing the solos in the fugue faster. We sang 39b with the words for 39t, both in Common Meter. Then we sang 39t with the words for 384, a tune in 8s! Warren concluded his class by leading the original version of Daniel Read’s Lisbon before Lowell Mason rearranged it.

Elective: Sightreading and Learning New Songs / Basics

10:30 a.m. Rob Kelley handed out a page of exercises and intervals from the 1844 B.F. White book. Locate the tonic by finding the last bass note; an alternative is to find “Mi” and move up one note to locate the tonic in major, move down one note in minor. The class sang the exercises and intervals. Then Rob led us in singing “words” which are strung-together notes comprising commonly-used musical phrases. B.F. White tells us to sing slurred and fast notes quieter. Practice this! If you know the Denson book well, get practice by singing from other books. Raymond Hamrick’s Georgian Harmony is a great resource to use to sharpen your sight-singing skills. Rob led some lesser-sung tunes for the class to practice: 308, 502, 368.

Elective: Sacred Harp Composition and Style

10:30 a.m. Warren Steel

Lesson: Sacred Harp Heritage, The Sheppards Have Guided

1:00 p.m. Tom Malone & David Ivey—This celebration of the lives and contributions of Jeff and Shelbie Sheppard began at lunchtime with a slide show of the young couple, their daughters, and much merriment across the years. Tom Malone and David Ivey spoke about their contributions to Sacred Harp singing. The Sheppards are blue collar folks who have worked all their lives to promote the traditions. They have cooked, keyed, started the Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association, and revamped the Minutes Book. Daughter Rene Greene and Tom Malone led 28b. Jeff Sheppard spoke about his family moving from Alabama to Texas. Jeff was born in late 1930. Jeff’s dad paid Tom Denson nine chickens, a milk cow and two pigs to come to Texas and teach singing schools there. Jeff’s dad liked 140; Jeff led it. Shelbie spoke about her younger days. She was the youngest child in her family. She went to singings on weekends, the only child in the family who would go. Folks thought she was an only child. They would put her up on a table to lead. Her favorite was 332. Back then a family member was called to lead at singings, and women didn’t lead. Jeff and Shelbie met at a singing in March 1955 in a cement block building with a dirt floor. Jeff sang alto with Shelbie until they got married on November 21, 1955. Then he realized that male trebles were needed, so he moved over there. Later he started pitching. Shelbie recounted: “When we got married, we were so poor. Rene came along quickly. To pay for the doctor, we saved dimes and quarters. Those were good times. We took Rene to a singing when she was three weeks old. We went almost every weekend. You know, Jeff hugs every woman.” Shelbie rolled her eyes. They have two daughters, five grandsons, and seven great grandkids. Daughter Rene Greene thought that everybody went to Sacred Harp singings. She was shy, afraid to lead. Her parents paid her to lead, sometimes a quarter or a dollar. Pam, her sister, told her that she, Rene, was quality and Pam was quantity. Jeff and Shelbie led 183; then Rene joined them to lead 195. Tom Malone asked long-time singer friends to send letters, and read some of them. Daphene Causey wrote about Jeff, the red-headed boy, and reminisced about bus trips together to singings. Shelbie spoke about housing up to twenty-four singers in their home and recounted all the fun and memories. Shelbie spoke about her long friendship with Marcia Johnson from Chicago. Letters were read from Judy Hauff and Lonnie Rogers. Andrew Mashchak led 303; Jeff Sheppard led 556; Tom Malone led 439 to close the session.

Elective: Rudiments, Modes of Time, Basics

2:30 p.m. Rob Kelley

Elective: Keying Music

2:30 p.m.

Elective: Dinner on the Grounds

2:30 p.m. Richard DeLong has been keying music since he was fifteen. Lloyd Redding taught him the most about keying. When Hugh McGraw was out traveling, Charlene Wallace made Richard key. She would give him the tonic and then he built the chord. Richard keyed an A major tune, 100, and led it. Then he led 101t, pitching fa-la-so, retaining the A from the previous tune. He told the class to begin keying major tunes. When you first start to key, hit the tonic. You can find whether the tune is in major since the last bass note will be fa. If the last bass note is la, it is a minor tune. To pitch a minor tune, begin by sounding la-fa-la. He led 29t in A minor. When you key an all-day singing, start low, raise the pitch before lunch, bring it higher after lunch, then down as folks wear out an hour later. You need males in the treble section, and you must key so that males can reach those notes. Only the leader and the pitcher should discuss the pitch. Everyone else should be quiet. Sometimes elderly leaders want a slightly more moderate pitch. The pitcher should sit at center tenor unless it’s a really small singing and the pitcher is needed elsewhere. Richard pitched and led 318, 45t, 44, 155. Some tunes need to be pitched a half step up: 299, 436, 186, 127, 62. Some need to be pitched a half step lower: 434. Then there are tunes which are odd, like 385b; give the la, then sol for the tenors. For 378b, sound the tonic, then go up to fa, then down to sol. He said that 285t is often used for funerals. Raise it a half step. You need to learn to separate tunes in B and C somehow. Don’t pitch B tunes too high. Then there are the “doosies”, the difficult tunes to pitch. Number 212 has a high tenor and alto and is in D major. Pitch it lower, like a bright B tune. For 290, pitch it lower, in A. And the impossible-to-pitch tunes are 535 (pitch in E or F) and 359, just practice! 2:30 p.m. Shelbie Sheppard Shelbie Sheppard spoke about her experiences when trying to feed a crowd of people. First, plan your menu. Then make out a shopping list by dividing dishes into meats, vegetables, desserts, and non-edible items such as plates, cups, and napkins. Then check what you have on hand and cross those things off the list. Do preparation ahead of time as much as possible. Start with the dish that takes the most time to prepare. When packing, use towels, blankets, newspapers or similar items to diaper-wrap hot items to keep them warm. You can also use a cooler to keep hot things hot. Chop and pack vegetables for salad the day before.

Lesson: Leading, Basics

4:00 p.m. Rob Kelley

Lesson: Leading and Bring in Parts, Intermediate

4:00 p.m. Judy Caudle

Lesson: Rudiments, Accent

4:00 p.m. Tom Malone quoted from the Rudiments that “music is a succession of pleasing sounds”. Music consists of time, tune and accent. Accent is unequal emphasis. There are seven modes of time: Common Time 2/2, 4/4, and 2/4; Triple Time 3/2 and 3/4, and Compound Time 6/4 and 6/8. The accent is different in each mode of time. Properly done accent unites the music and poetry. You should beat the time to better understand where to accent. If singing primary accent at full voice, sing secondary accent with less voice and non-accented notes very quietly. The Rudiments page 15 lists the modes of time and page 16 gives the accent description. Tunes in 2/2 time are slow, like 49t. Accent the first beat while your hand beats down, and give the upbeat, the second beat, half the volume as you sing. The first beat gets the primary accent, the second beat gets the secondary accent. In 4/4 time, strongly accent the first beat, light on second beat, secondary accent on third beat, again light on fourth beat. Using a money analogy, the first beat gets a dollar, second gets a dime, third beat gets a quarter, fourth beat gets a dime. In 2/4 time, the first beat gets the primary accent, and there usually is no secondary accent. In triple time, the first beat gets the primary accent, the second beat gets none, and the third beat gets secondary accent. Compound time has six components; the first beat gets the primary accent, the fourth beat gets the secondary accent. Tom said that there are exceptions to accenting which occur when the words demand it or the music varies from the usual. Look at 109: when a 2/4 bar is broken into four equal parts, accent like 4/4. In 170 in 2/2, the verse ends with two fa’s in tenor, and only the first should be accented. Also, when there are flagged notes, only accent the first. Tom then moved to compound time on page 119. Accent the first/primary and fourth/secondary beats. Tom pointed out page 360 and told campers to practice this, get confident leading it. It’s beautiful with the correct accent.

Elective: The Lives of Sacred Harp Composers

5:00 p.m. Warren Steel

Elective: History and Structure of Singing Conventions

5:00 p.m. Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg said that B.F. White and others were involved in an effort to improve “Southern Music”. Many facets of a convention have changed, but many remain the same, like prayer to open and close the day. Parting Hand has been part of conventions from the beginning. Memorial Lessons have always been part of conventions, but years ago each person was memorialized with a couple of lines of description. Historically conventions were longer with more attendees; there were more officers and many were elected by ballot; leaders led for a certain amount of time and had to be qualified to lead.

Elective: Landmark Tunes

5:00 p.m. Tom Malone asked class members to name the first tunes they led, and he wrote them on the board, in the book’s sequence. He only wrote down tunes which have always been on the same page in the book. Tom spoke about each tune. Hugh McGraw wrote the alto and tenor parts to 569b. Number 87 should be one of the first tunes for beginners. It begins with a rest which teaches that a tune may not start with sound. There’s also a chorus and repeats in the verse, lots to learn. Happy Sailor, 388, is another good beginner song. The first tune in the book is 27; Bethel. It has always been there. In the 1936 revision, Maggie Denson submitted her song late. The music committee removed a page of the Rudiments to place the tune, Samaria, on page 26. The Young Convert was added in 1991. Technically it’s in the Rudiments. B.F. White chose 27; Bethel, to be the first tune in his book, and it’s minor. Sing it slowly. Then Tom spoke about the sections of the book and that they tell a story. B.F. White called the songs up to page 162 songs for assemblies, collective hymn songs which people knew. Tunes from page 163 (t? b?) to page 224 were once Part II of the book, songs for singing schools and singing societies. These tunes required more leadership, and many are fugues. Part III, odes and anthems, began on page 225 (t? b?) to page 262 (?). Anthems usually are a passage from the Bible set to music. An ode is a sophisticated special piece sung with certain poetry. Page 262 (?); Farewell Anthem, ended the 1844 edition of The Sacred Harp. In 1850 an appendix was added of one hundred pages. Many old tunes and tunes by living composers were added; new Southern folk hymns and New England chestnuts. Leonard Breedlove was one of the major composers of this section. The last tune was Southwell, pages 365-366, with the final and repeated word, “complete”. The next addition, the 1859 appendix, begins with page 367 and ends with page 429; Christian’s Delight, which concludes with the words, “to the end”. The 1869 revision begins with page 430. Esther, 37t, was added; it has a very 1869 feel. The James book is scattered throughout the book; look for 1908 and 1911 dates. This begins the Denson-Cagle-McGraw era and includes Present Joys, Jasper, Arbacoochee, Logan, Morgan. The 1960 supplement begins on page 462. A.M. Cagle was the chair of this revision. It goes to the end of our current book. The 1936 Denson Revision is scattered throughout the book; look for 1936 dates. Tom told the class that The Sacred Harp is like a place with various neighborhoods. Look where you hang out in the book, and go to places you don’t often visit.

Class Singing

7:30 p.m. led by Mullen House Campers—John Hoerr led 178 to open the singing. Michael Walker offered the prayer. Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg 432; Marla Elliott 208; Pattie Doss 61; Bill Beverly 547; Robert Stoddard 289; Phillipa Stoddard 411; Elizabeth Stoddard 354t; Jim Glaser 569t; Ellen Lea 114; Eugene Forbes with Idy Kiser 168; Buck Lea 228; Wendy Futral 145b; Warren Steel 296; Gail Doss 542; Andrew Mashchak and Dan Comstock 148; Solomon Ossa 203; Al McCready 347; Somen Goodman 569b; Gillie Campbell 66; Cathy Love 159; Jonathon Smith 130; Michael Walker 140; Ginnie Ely 349; Sally Langendorf 337; Aldo Ceresa and Karen Ivey for Jerry Enright 30b; Rachel Ingraham 162; Caroline Helmeczi 457; Ian Quinn 323t. David Ivey thanked Mullen Lodge for leading the singing. Campers walked to the campfire pit where Michael Walker spoke about the power of the Sacred Harp family. Socializing followed until campers reported to their lodges and enjoyed some much needed rest.

Tuesday, June 15


7:00 a.m. Campers could choose to hike, swim, participate in Pattie Doss’s exercise class, or sing from the Lloyd’s Hymnal. Breakfast followed at 8:00 a.m.

Lesson: Rudiments II, Basics

9:00 a.m. Samuel Sommers welcomed the class and led 24b, then offered prayer and reviewed yesterday’s lesson. The class sang the major scales and practiced exercises on page 14 of the Rudiments. Sam introduced rhythmics and spoke about compound time. J.L. Hopper led 438 as an example of 6/8 time. Then other tunes were led in the different modes of time. Sam introduced his “frame of modesty” to help students learn moderate motions when leading. Fred Hoerr led 70t; Marty Hoerr led 138b. Sam spoke about deportment at singings and encouraged students to observe and find those traditions that they would wish to emulate. He reviewed the section in the Rudiments on accent and Tom Malone led 82t as an example. The class sang more exercises, paying attention to accent.

Lesson: Rudiments II, Advanced

9:00 a.m. Warren Steel led 234, a song containing three modes of time. Today’s lesson focused on time, rhythm, and accent. Warren pointed out that there were different authors of the Rudiments. The Denson Rudiments have been redone three times. B.F. White never mentioned quarter or half notes; he used different words, such as crotchets and quavers. The quarter note and half note come from Germany where Lowell Mason, a music teacher in U.S. schools, studied. B.F. White’s Rudiments are in the J.L. White book. His Rudiments were streamlined to teach music to beginners. He gave the actual time for time signatures, for example 3/4 time is three beats in two seconds. Early composers like Billings used pendulums to keep time. Then Warren presented his Sacred Harp tape measure, marked for all time signatures! In Sacred Harp singing, the speed at which you choose to sing a tune is not completely arbitrary nor is it totally up to the leader. The Rudiments should guide us in how we lead. Bonnie Davis led 47b, a 3/2 song; Sonny Erwin led 68b, a 3/4 song, paying attention to speed based upon the Rudiments. Don’t lead China, 163b, fast or New Britain, 45t, slowly. B.F. White actually slowed down the pace of 4/4 songs with his rhythmic pace. Warren led 276 using B.F. White’s pace, a bit slower than we usually sing this, to grand effect. Tunes written more recently assumed a faster pace. Tunes written in 4/4 have more scope and variation in pace than any other mode of time. Approximately seventy percent of the songs in the book are written in 4/4. Many western Mississippi singers beat 4/4 tunes in 2/4. This makes them faster but removes the secondary accent! Richard Schmeidler led 269, a 4/4 tune. Warren led 320 which begins in 3/2 time, but contains several time changes. Note the words which change the accent pattern: Bless-ed are the Dead that... Then he led 268, a 2/4 tune, with further changes to the accent pattern based on the words, Would to GOD... o AB sa lom, my SON, my SON. Warren led 260, pointing out the brief time changes on the second page.

Elective: Singing Favorites with Elder J.L. Hopper

10:30 a.m. J.L. Hopper introduced himself to the class and welcomed everyone. He told the class some of his background in Sacred Harp singing and led 46. He talked about the way he learned to sing Sacred Harp. Being raised in a singing family, he heard singing every day. He discussed other ways to learn to sing: reading the Rudiments and applying oneself to study, buying recordings and singing along, attending singings. Then he led a favorite song, 269. He spoke about the arrangement of the songs in the Sacred Harp. Most are written is “dispersed harmony”. He led 452 to give an example of “close harmony”. Dispersed harmony demonstrates many changes in chords throughout the song. Close harmony will demonstrate less, three or so chords, throughout a song. He chose several songs to point out certain places where classes may have difficulty rendering the notes properly. Examples: 143, 174. He led another of his favorites, 534, before his closing remarks.

Elective: Sacred Harp Composition Workshop

10:30 a.m. Aldo Ceresa

Elective: May I Never Read in Vain

10:30 a.m. Lela Crowder Lela Crowder said that the music is a vehicle for the words in our tunes. The Sacred Harp words are beautiful; they’re life. We love the tunes: they comfort us, they give us joy. We have elevated composers to the level of hero worship. Today we’ll look at the left side of the page to discuss the poets, the people who put humanity to the page. Joyce Walton is a gentle Southern Steel Magnolia. She commands the square. She leads beautifully and attends to the words. The poet wrote that text for a reason. Does the tone calm us, soothe us, bring us peace? Does it excite us, bring us joy? Literature is art; art is universal and brings people together. Lela drew a diagram with purpose opposite message, speaker opposite audience, and tone opposite form. There are a finite number of purposes, but an infinite number of messages. Consider the concepts of grace, love, death, joy, communication, grief. Art helps us deal with these. The Sacred Harp does, too. We gather with our friends to deal with our lives, and in the hollow square these songs help us get through all these occurrences in our lives. The Sacred Harp is a vehicle which is timeless. We get to imaginatively participate. Even if we don’t lead, if we just listen, we still participate. Roberta Lacefield and Frank DeBolt led 45t. This is an iconic song about transformation in first person voice. The writer, John Newton, was a scoundrel, a salty character who used foul language, a slave trader. There’s the tale of him being on a ship in a storm and he prayed to be saved. He became a preacher. This tune was originally sung in a town named Olney. Who is the speaker in this song? It’s in first person; we all identify with it. What is the purpose? Sharing his experience, thanking God, humility, a real conversion experience. The first stanza is an act of identification and salvation; the second is learning; in the third he still deals with temptation; the fourth shows his faith; the last, growth and reliance on God. This song was written in plain language, easy for all to understand. Literary devices are used in the poetry; look at 48t. Alliteration, ‘s’ sounds; similes, ‘like David’s harp and ‘like holy oil’; a lovely first line, ‘sweet is the day of sacred rest’. The imagery is beautiful, hopeful. Page 76t is filled with allusions, Biblical references. See also page 116, second verse. Look at the conflict in 113.

Lela spoke about archetypes: objects representing emotions, changes, conflicts. For example, water always represents change, either chaos or cleansing. Water relates to Christian symbolism. The flag represents patriotism. Lela led 128. The archetypes of water and change run throughout the poetry. Jordan represents Heaven; Canaan is mentioned; crossing over, death. First person perspective is present here. It begins with stormy banks and ends with rivers of delight. Lela spoke about wonderful words in the poetry: concept words such are friendship and grace; condition words like happy, sad; people words like family and Jesus; praise words, hallelujah; question, time, wonder words like awe. Isaac Watts is the most prolific poet used in The Sacred Harp, but others are Newton, Stennett, Charles Wesley, Cowper. Sacred Harp songs are personal; the poets allow us to relate to them. The purpose fits our need emotionally; the language is understandable.

Lesson: Sacred Harp Heritage, A Window into Paine Denson

1:00 p.m. Aldo Ceresa provided a handout with biographical material, photos, and tunes which Paine Denson composed. He was born in 1882 to teenage parents T.J. and Amanda Burdette Denson, near Arbachoochee, Alabama. He was bright, a good writer. His family moved around a lot while he was young. He graduated from high school in Winston County, Alabama. Both his parents were accomplished singers, his father a singing school teacher. Paine’s name first appears in the Minutes in 1899 at the Chattahoochee Convention at the age of 16. He became a lawyer and moved to Cullman. He wrote the Rudiments for the 1936 edition and was its architect. This was the beginning of the association of the Denson name with that book. Paine sang a lot. The Cullman County Convention drew 5, 000 people. He sang in the Denson Quartet with siblings Howard, Maggie Denson Cagle and Ruth Denson Edwards. Michael Walker led 447, his earliest work in the Sacred Harp. Mike Hinton spoke about Paine. He was a big man with a deep laugh. He and Ruth wrote letters to each other. Paine always dressed well; he wore seersucker suits in the summer with a flat-brim hat. He was very proper. He had strong opinions about singing. He led with one hand on a hip, the leading hand in a fist. He was a poor driver; drove an old Henry J. which was bright yellow and brown. Paine died in 1955. Five more tunes by him were added to the 1960 revision, including three anthems and his 532 Peace and Joy, perhaps his finest piece. Martha Beverly led 294, a tune he wrote in collaboration with J.C. Brown, son of S.M. Brown. Jeff Sheppard led 524. Cagle wrote a letter saying that Paine Denson wrote some anthems the equal of Billings. They had not spoken in twenty years over a disagreement regarding 455 and the barring of the second section. Paine Denson was outspoken and critical. He had high expectations and was a strong leader. He expected others to respect the songs and get the best out of them. He felt that leading was a conversation with the class. Warren Steel led 396. Paine noted that, “It’s just as important to sing when the time comes and rest when the time comes.” Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg led 292, cautioning the basses to watch for their rests; there’s a neat interplay between basses and tenors here. Tom Malone led 330t. Paine told his wife, “If you go get me a glass of lemonade, I’ll name this song for you.” Her name was Mary Horton; the tune includes six verses from five different hymns. Helen Brown led 330b. This concluded the 1936 additions. When the 1960 revision committee chose several of his tunes, they put the year 1959 on them. Paine died in 1955. Later the dates were corrected except for 532. Judy Caudle led 518, his least-used anthem. David Ivey led 502. Rob Kelley led 553. Hugh McGraw said that he sang with Paine for a few years in Paine’s home along with Paine’s sisters, Ruth and Annie. He made a client wait an hour for a signature until their singing was done. Aldo led Paine’s Fairhope, a tune which has not been sung since the 1930’s. Mike Hinton led 532, a favorite song of many people, composed by Paine Denson in the 1930s. Camp presentations like this are living links to the past and bring these people to life with their friends and relatives telling stories about them.

Elective: Birds of Prey

2:30 p.m. Camp McDowell Environmental Center’s David Hollaway brought a great horned owl, barred owl, and red-tailed hawk, all injured and rehabilitated. These birds are used by the Center to educate campers about being mindful about the environment. Fascinating!

Lesson: Leading Workshop, Basics

4:00 p.m. Judy Caudle

Lesson: Leading Workshop, Intermediate

4:00 p.m. Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg

Lesson: Leading Boot Camp, Advanced

4:00 p.m. Shelbie Sheppard Shelbie Sheppard told campers to announce their tune number, and repeats and verses before the pitch is given. Once the pitch is given, no more talking from the leader! Always put your hand up at the beginning of a song so that the altos can see it. Beat any beginning rests. If you haven’t already given verses and repeat information, use your hand to signal it after the pitch has been given. Lean into the front bench and show them what you want if you need to change the tempo after the song begins or if it begins to slow down. Lean in and beat faster while making eye contact with the front bench. They should be watching you and will help you. When you complete a song, your hand should be up at the top. We’re cutting the last notes too short these days. Be clear about ending the tune: repeating the chorus or moving to the next verse. The leader should pause briefly between verses. Then Shelbie and Cassie Allen worked with campers to improve their leading technique. Adjust your clothing before you enter the square, both men and women. Don’t move too much, pat your feet, or jiggle your body. Beat shoulder to hip, relaxed; no flexing of the wrist. Don’t keep your palm up on the upbeat. Be graceful in your movements. When you bring in parts, you must turn to the part with the pickup (first part, usually the bass) in any fugue or repeat. You don’t have to bring all the parts. Don’t twist your body; you can use either hand. To gracefully turn your page while leading, put a thumb under the page so that it will flip easily. When asked whether we should lead without the book, Shelbie reminded people that once leaders led with one arm behind the back with no book!

Elective: Long Time Trav’lin, Folk and Camp Meeting Tunes

5:00 p.m. Aldo Ceresa told the class that popular tunes were handed down, changed, handed on. Many preachers were also travelers and learned tunes along the way. The book that first put these tunes in print was Jeremiah Ingalls’ Christian Harmony. D.H. Mansfield’s The American Vocalist, 1848, was the single most valuable source of folk hymns. Mansfield traveled south to Virginia, learning many tunes in his travels. Billings wrote down page 173 which was really a folk melody called Hatfield. Another version of this is in the Ingalls book. Aldo, Jesse, Warren and Michael Walker sang page 52b which comes from a man who moved to South Carolina and wrote the harmony. It’s also in the Southern Harmony. It went into The American Vocalist with different words, sweeter, Mansfield style, like Ingalls’ forty years earlier. In 1805 Jeremiah Ingalls published The Shouting Song. Variations are available in various books. In The Sacred Harp, it’s 42; Clamandra. The class sang the Ingalls piece, then page 42 which was published later. The melody changes with later publication. Aldo’s quartet sang Far From My Thoughts, written down in 1848 in Maine. Another tune which traveled and changed is Wondrous Love/Captain Kidd/Clover Green. Sacred words were put to a popular tune. It’s in Ingalls’ book from 1805. The quartet sang Captain Kidd from the Southern Harmony and page 159. They sang Weary Traveler from the Ingalls 1805 book which was related to 201b in The Sacred Harp which Gerry Hoffman led. There were regional styles to the written tunes. The quartet sang a tune related to the Prodigal Son with a bit of barbershop in it. Then all sang 113.

Elective: Rudiments, Review Q&A

5:00 p.m. Samuel Sommers

Elective: The Alto Part

5:00 p.m. Cassie Allen discussed the history of the alto part. In 1859 twenty-five percent of the songs had alto parts. Most alto parts in the Denson book were written by S.M. Denson and Joe James. Alto was added to modernize the music and get rid of the dissonance of the open fifths. Thirds were added for the alto which fills out and sweetens the music. Most alto voices sang tenor before the alto part was added. Altos sing loudly because the notes are in the comfort zone for the voice. Alto also tries to match the tenor voices. Read in the Rudiments, pages 20-21 about the mechanics of singing. Avoid vibrato; it can cause discord. Learn to tune your voice to others around you. Cassie encouraged altos to sing other parts, especially if there is a shortage of tenors. For three-part songs Cassie recommends singing the bass part in the upper octave. The keyer doesn’t always give the alto pitch. Singers can request the pitch if they can’t get it. Sing the pitch back to help the keyer know you have it. Sound it as soon as the keyer gives it. Some tunes have very high alto parts; sing them an octave lower, if needed.

Class Singing

7:30 p.m. led by Holy Comforter Lodge Campers—Sonny Erwin opened the singing with 441. Katie White offered the prayer. Ellen and Buck Lea 496; Katie White and Gerry Hoffman 377; Ann Mashchak 277; Margaret Gillanders 182; Samantha Pirnak and Anita Landess 170; Lincoln Richardson 313b; Helen Brown 542; Bonnie Davis 159; Judy Caudle and Eddie Mash for Jerry Enright and Karen Freund 27; Roberta Strauss 56b; Ted Brown 176b; Andrew Mashchak and Dan Comstock 146; Caleb Dillehay 410 (t? b?); Frank DeBolt 515; Marty and Fred Hoerr 421; Gillian Inksetter 311; Masti Mayrand and Somen Goodman 82 (t? b?); Janie Short 551; Anne Drexler 282; Richard Schmeidler 474; Daniel Lee 155; Sally Langendorf 32t; Angela Myers and Cassie Allen 300; Leon Pulsinelle 142; Robert Kelley 562; Martha Beverly and Martha Rogers 480; Jo Dell Albi 419; Samuel Sommers 386; Rachel Ingraham 448b. Rachel Ingraham led the devotional. She spoke about learning how people began singing Sacred Harp music and told her own story. David Ivey told the class some things that J.L. Hopper had said during his session today. He noted that singing too fast destroys the harmony. He said that his daddy was a good leader; he could get the class to sing. Proper accent requires NOT singing too slow or too fast. And he urged campers to render the songs so that the listeners can understand the music. The campers were then dismissed to gather at Pradat for evening socializing. General merriment ensued as campers gathered for another round of the Rocking Chair Convention, followed by lights out at 11 o’clock to prepare for another busy day.

Wednesday, June 16


7:00 a.m. Campers could choose to hike, swim, participate in Pattie Doss’ exercise class, or sing from the Lloyd’s Hymnal. Breakfast followed at 8:00am.

Lesson: Rudiments III, Basics

9:00 a.m. Samuel Sommers led 313t and offered prayer. He reviewed the previous days’ lessons and led the class through scales, intervals, and keys. Then he introduced the minor scale and the common triads in major and minor. The class practiced singing the minor scale. John Hoerr led 285t and Craig Korth led 133, demonstrating the difference between major and minor. Sam reviewed deportment, addressing respectful and appropriate attire and answered a question about time of day to lead certain songs. Then the class discussed the musical forms found in the Sacred Harp. Sam and Judy Blain led 512 as an example of a set piece. After more Q & A, Sam led 62 and the class took the Parting Hand.

Lesson: Rudiments III, Advanced

9:00 a.m. Warren Steel led 141. Today we will look at the words in our songs. No author is attributed for 141, a spiritual song, a personal or communal expression of religion. Warren will differentiate between Hymns, Psalms and Spiritual Songs. Hymns are poetry set to music. It is rare for a composer to write his own words. A piece of poetry is frequently set to more than one tune. When singing from the Lloyd’s Primitive Hymns, choose the poetry for its sentiments, then pick a tune to sing it to. Psalms are Biblical text, some attributed to Daniel. They were written in Hebrew, are poetic and strongly rhythmic, and they don’t rhyme. They were translated into Greek, Latin, English which turned them into prose. When put to music, their lack of meter is somehow dealt with by the composer. They once were chanted with a drop in tone at the ending. In The Sacred Harp, psalms are versified to sing in segments. The words can be repeated to some music and they will fit together. Strophic refers to these constructed verses, sung to repeated music. During the Reformation many tunes were written to bring text to commonly-used church songs. The meters used were those most frequently found in the secular music of the time. Many tunebooks are arranged with all the tunes of one meter together to make it easy to switch texts. Warren led 34t, and then the class sang the words to 34b to the same tune. Both are S.M., short meter, which allows the words to be interchangeable. Singing strophic tunes of psalms enables a person to also sing these words to secular tunes. Isaac Watts, the most popular writer of texts for The Sacred Harp, put a great many Biblical texts into poetry. He did not use Psalm 137, about throwing children again the wall! The class then sang 49b; Mear, which is Psalm 74 (t? b?), and 126; Babel’s Streams, another psalm. Psalms are from Biblical text, but it’s not easy to tell if a Sacred Harp song comes from a psalm. Helen Brown led 63. It glorifies God. Tunes 138 (t? b?) and 139 also glorify God. Then Warren spoke about Spiritual Songs, songs about the life of the Christian Community, about Christian experience. He referred to 141; The Great Complainer. Then Gerry Hoffman led 45t, written in 1775, and not a camp meeting song. It’s mostly about grace, but more about the self. Holy Manna, 59, in the fourth verse, you see a picture of a camp meeting. You find various characters there who meet to worship: sinners, women who are exhorters, us. Many social taboos were loosened during camp meetings. Individuals who needed to be saved were taken to women exhorters who worked them over, demeaning them first, then encouraging them to repent. George Aitken, the poet, was a Methodist camp meeting preacher. The primary characteristic of most of our songs is that they are strophic. Most tunes have verses; look in Lloyd’s, Rising Hymns, Mercer’s Cluster, denominational hymnals. Robert Stoddard led 300. In this poetry Watts wrote “Nature owns her sov’reign Death.” It means that we all acknowledge death. Then there are tunes which really don’t fit under the three types of songs we’ve been discussing: 112, 334, 346, 323 (t? b?), 191.

Warren then had the class look at page 21 of the Rudiments under Meter. He spoke about the feet, or the accent present within the meter. Both meter and stress pattern must match to interchange lyrics to other tunes. He led 384, questioning whether the words really fit with this music. The emphasis is off. Look at 180: the second line breaks the pattern. Poets in the English language are not confined to one pattern. Look at 180; changes in emphasis from the metric pattern. Warren told the class that psalm and hymn tunes are often grouped together in hymnals. Next he listed the Odes: Claremont, Ode on Science, Doddridge, Christian Song. These are through-composed, not strophic, pieces which use new music for new words. They are set pieces based on elevated themes. And next Anthems, songs with prose text, not necessarily scriptural. These include 268 and 512. Then Warren talked about tunes with refrains of which The Sacred Harp contains many. The refrain was once called the chorus. An example is 76b. Camp songs were really popular in the 1840s, and The Sacred Harp was well-positioned at that time and contained some. Warren led 76b and related it to 179; poetry about spiritual war. Then Warren quickly threw out some other groupings: plain tunes like 45t; tunes with extension and repetition like 68b, 63, 84; double tunes with two groups of four lines to make up the verse; declamation which are songs which emphasize specific words like 222 and 327. Rob Kelley led 512. Warren ended by saying that many people came to Sacred Harp singing because of the music and later began to appreciate the words.

Elective: Songs in Major and Minor, Basics

10:30 a.m. Tom Malone urged campers to practice singing, beating time, and working on accent. Sing the tenor part, first beating time to the shapes, then the words, first verse only. Many songs are related to others, and you’ll begin to recognize this as you practice. Always sing in time, in tune, and with accent. Tom said that Sacred Harp tunes are different than other music; the scale and the intervals are different. Practicing the major and minor tunes will lead you to instinctively sing them correctly. Tom handed out lists of tunes to practice, organized by key. He told campers to always begin and end a tune with your hand at the top. Every measure in the tune book is full, full of music or full of rest. Beat a full measure, every measure. A minor tunes to practice: 47b, 312b, 108b, 83t, 148; A minor is the perfect 4th down. E minor tunes: 38b, 128, 101b, 102, 180; la is the perfect 5th up. Regarding 38b; Tom said that the composer wrote that sharp and wants us to sing it. B.F. White told singers to ignore it if they could not sing it properly. Hugh McGraw, who began singing in the 1950s, tells singers to sing the sharp and call it ‘see’. Jeff Sheppard began singing in the 1930s and calls it ‘so’. Make your own choice. Tom spoke about the minor scale, calling the first five notes the lower tetrachord and the top three notes the upper tetrachord. The upper is more important. There are different scales in the ascending and descending minor scales. See the James book’s Rudiments. The descending fa is much higher than the ascending fa in the upper tetrachord. F major tunes to practice are: 38t, 61, 121, 75, 170; sol is the perfect 5th up. F major tunes comprise about seventy percent of The Sacred Harp. Note the similarity of 75 and 121. B flat major tunes to practice: 31t, 82t, 89, 73t, 207; sol is the perfect 4th down. In 89, a syncopation is a short note before a long one; it changes the accent. When doing chores, practice these tunes. You’ll become a better leader.

Elective: Keying Music

10:30 a.m. David Ivey and Jeff Sheppard referred to page 17 in the Rudiments, which instructs to key so that all parts can sing without grunting or squealing. Pay attention to the keyer at singings. Listen to how each song is keyed. To key you must first master scales and intervals. The tonic is the last bass note, Fa if major, La if minor. The key is listed at the top left of each song. David said that there is no set order for keying. He prefers to pitch the tonic first and tries to give only the first notes for each part. Jeff says he is a stickler for going from part to part to make sure each had these opening notes. This is especially a good approach with small groups and beginners. You will learn from your mistakes and from practice. The important thing is to sound each pitch and any extra notes, if you need them to find your pitch. Jeff challenged the group to pitch 535. Other songs were practiced. David said to first get the tonic right. Next, give all the parts. Some songs are difficult to pitch: 414, 312t. David said to bring whatever you can reference to use in keying. Don’t ruin the pitch of a song for one high note. Find the comfortable pitch where it sounds good. Listen and you will know. Some etiquette: If you are doing the job of keying, give the leader time to get into the center and be ready. Focus on the leader. If the leader has someone who regularly keys for him/her, be ready to let that person key. A leader may also want to key his/her own music. If you are leading a song, don’t sound the pitch before you get into the square. The keyer is responsible for watching you.

Elective: Word Painting

10:30 a.m. Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg introduced himself and gave an overview of the subject. He led 191 and spoke about the text and how it appears many times. The words “rolling” and “fly” are sometimes quite irresistible to a song writer. William Billings uses word painting the most. Most are fuging tunes or anthems. Jesse led 297. Aldo Ceresa led 320. Rob Kelley led 240. Jesse talked about some of the different tools the composer may use to word paint. Anthems are not the only songs using word painting. Fuging tunes may have simple word painting on one word or two. Warren Steel led 351 as an example. Jesse spoke about 19th century composers and their use of word painting. Michael Walker led 417. Some of them seemed to be experimenting with fuging and word painting. Jesse talked about Ode on Life’s Journey, 227, where “reach” is on a high A note. He led 227. In the twentieth century, really great examples of word painting appear on 380 and 349. Jesse led 506. He spoke about the song Elder, 450, and pointed out the use of word painting throughout the song. Judy Caudle led 450 and the class was dismissed.

Lesson: Sacred Harp Heritage, 50th Anniversary of 1960 Revision

1:00 p.m. Aldo Ceresa told campers that the 1960 revision was both famous and infamous. The edition was of poor quality; ink rubbed off the cover onto clothes. Many copies of it were dumped in the Coosa River. Marcus Cagle served as chief architect of this edition. Several of his tunes were added to it. In all 103 tunes were added: 57 fuguing tunes, 11 plain tunes, 9 folk hymns, 7 part songs, 3 camp tunes, 4 anthems. Aldo spoke about some of the experiments the composers made with songs; for example, rewriting major songs in minor keys and vice versa. Some tunes that were added to the 1960 edition were altered in later editions, like 542 and 484 (which was 280 and in minor key). Aldo led 480 and spoke about the use of the third in the treble. Many tunes in the 1960 edition used this. Judy Caudle led 534; Jeff Sheppard led 500, the first song Hugh McGraw wrote. Raymond Hamrick’s first songs are in this book. Michael Walker led 499, a folk hymn. Other styles of songs also came in. There was some gospel influence, for example, 477. Robert Stoddard led 522, one of A.M. Cagle’s compositions added in 1960; Ginnie Ely led 564; Aldo Ceresa spoke about some of the songs which were removed in the next edition. Aldo led ‘For Me To Live Is Christ’ and ‘A Few More Years’; Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg ‘Land of Rest’; Tom Malone ‘Great Jehovah’; Aldo Ceresa the 1960 version of “I’ll Seek His Blessings”, 507 for Marcus Cagle.

Elective: Three Part Songs

2:30 p.m. Henry Johnson welcomed campers and told them that his class this year is not a repeat of last year’s class on this topic. He has examined an old hymn book, the Methodist Harmonist, which led him to new discoveries. This book was a four-shape oblong book, too. In it the alto part was designed for men to sing. The lead was designed for mostly women’s voices. He led the class through an exercise using the major scale and demonstrating pleasing chords and displeasing chords. Henry led 271b without alto, then with alto. He spoke about 414 as being a peculiar composition. It is one of the few that is written in major key, but begins on La. It has no three-part chords and uses some unusual intervals. Michael Walker led 230; Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg led 306, first without alto, then with alto. Rob Kelley led 348b. Henry encouraged the class to sing with full voice, but not straining. Dischords happen when a singer is straining in order to be loud. A more pleasing sound can be accomplished by singing without straining.

Elective: Sacred Harp Composium

4:15 p.m. Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg

Elective: Rudiments, Accent

4:15 p.m. Tom Malone notes that music is a succession of pleasing sounds. Sacred Harp music consists of time, tune and accent. Master the Rudiments! Never be satisfied; you can always improve! The listener should be edified. Marcus Cagle at the 1959 Convention spoke to the listeners and told them that they were just as important as the singers. In 1959 A.M. Cagle wrote in a letter that “it makes me ache all over when we pound out all the notes the same like a sledge hammer.” He taught beating down/up, singing heavy/light. Tunes in the first mode of common time, 2/2, beat and accent down/up, heavy/light: 49t, 313b. In the second mode of common time, 4/4, the down beat sweep includes first and second beats. The upbeat includes beats three and four. Beat down 1 `and give it a full dollar, then continue down on 2, giving it a dime. Beat up on 3, giving it a half dollar, continue on through 4, giving it a nickel. When the words don’t line up with proper accent, accent the word, rather than the position in the measure. Look at 82t, emphasize the word CA-naan, even though it’s not in the beat pattern. In 318, a Cagle tune, the basses have four fa’s in a row. Don’t sing them with equal emphasis. You have to sing slowly enough to get in good accent. When sustaining a note for a whole measure, there’s no secondary accent. Basses have a note held through three measures; use a swell to sustain it, increasing a bit after the attack, then tapering off. Look at 300; when the slur goes over the bar, it removes the primary accent on the first beat in the next measure. Bases have four quarter notes in some measures; each should be different. With 107 there are joined flags which are a type of slur; second note gets no accent. One syllable uses both notes, but there’s a drop-off on the second note. Look at 170 written in the third mode of common time, 2/4. There is no secondary accent in this mode, with one exception: when the measure is divided into four equal pieces of time, then add the secondary accent on the third note. In the two modes of triple compound time, 3/2 and 3/4, the accent is the same: heavy on 1, nothing on 2, moderate on 3.

Elective: Discussion on Future of Camp Fasola

4:15 p.m. David Ivey and Jeff Sheppard

Community Singing

7:00 p.m. led by St. Mary’s Lodge Campers David Ivey and Jeff Sheppard 177; Elizabeth Stoddard and Robert Stoddard 32t. Al McCready offered the opening prayer and led 452; Henry Schuman and Sam Sommers 112; Gail Doss 400; Bill Beverly 297; Wendy Futral 339; Michael Walker 134; Erik Mason 312b; Seth Poston 309; Gillie Campbell 68b; Jim Aaron 503; Pattie Doss 189; Jonathon Smith 211; Marla Elliott 335; Travis Keeton 340; Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg 187; Ginnie Ely 228; Mike Hinton 373; Cheryl Foreman and Sonny Erwin 66; Shelbie Sheppard and Karen Ivey 192; Gene Forbes and Idy Kiser 216; Caroline Helmeczi 29t; Mark Davis 391; Joy Jenkins and Tom Malone 568; Jim Glaser 348b; Solomon Ossa 348t; Warren Steel 74t.


Phillipa Stoddard brought the class back with 277; Lincoln Richardson 515; Katie White and Eugene Forbes 146; Hubert Nall 176b; Gillian Inksetter 36b; Marty and Fred Hoerr 285t; Ian Quinn 448t; Jo Dell Albi 180; Andrew Mashchak, Ann Mashchak and Dan Comstock 84; Daniel Lee 63; Sally Langendorf 378b; Caleb Dillehay 456; Faye Donaldson 430; Anne Drexler and Roberta Strauss 276; Aldo Ceresa 532; Rene Greene and John Hoerr 217; Eddie Mash and Jason Steidl 147t; Leon Pulsinelle 442; Martha and Mike Rogers 282; Gerry Hoffman and Les Doggrell 410t; Janie Short 168; Dorothy Robinson 33b; Judy Caudle and Angela Myers 440; Richard Schmeidler 475; Martha Beverly 456; Robert Kelley 278t. Elizabeth and Robert Stoddard thanked the visitors for coming and for allowing the campers to show off our improvement. They also thanked the arrangers, Henry Schuman and Samuel Sommers. The chairs closed the singing with 46, the first song we sang this week. Eddie Mash offered the closing prayer.

Thursday, June 17

7:00 a.m. Breakfast and depart camp

SHMHA President—Jeff Sheppard; Camp Director—David Ivey; Secretary—Martha Beverly