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 Youth Camp 2010

Camp Lee, Anniston, Alabama

Monday, July 5

Registration for Camp Fasola 2010 began at 4:00 p.m. and campers had recreation time until dinner. Orientation began at 7:00 p.m. with class singing following. The class was called to order by Lauren Bock leading 47t. Blake Sisemore offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: Scott DePoy, Jeannette DePoy, and Holly Mixon 59; Cassie Allen and Julianna Jett 217; Rodney Ivey, Karen Ivey, and Judy Caudle 389; Blake Sisemore and campers 186; Lauren Bock and campers 274t; Drew Smith and campers 159; Lela Crowder and campers 87; Stuart Ivey and campers 89; Rachel Rudi and campers 37b; Joanna Lampert and campers 63; Julian Damashek and Sarah West 324; Alvaro Duarte and Konrad Tegtmeier 31t; Lynn Wilson and Laurie Dempsey 523; Adrian Eldridge, Virginia Eldridge, James Eldridge, Rebecca Eldridge, Katherine Eldridge, and James West 378b; Andrew Kiser, Caleb Kiser, Tony Kiser, and Idy Kiser 504; Elizabeth Betz, Jennifer Betz, Matthew Betz, and Robin Betz 323t; Tim Morton and Tom Morton 503; Darrell Swarens and Stephanie Fida 36b; Carol Munro Mosley and Michael Mosley 99; Shelbie Sheppard and Jeff Sheppard 216; Robert Kelley and Malinda Snow 168; Aldo Ceresa, Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg, Tom Malone, and Jonathon Smith 396; Justin Levi and Kelly House 182; Mike Nord, Caitlin Caulfield, Emma Rose Brown, and Liora O’Donnell Goldensher 155; Ruth Wampler, Rachel Hall, Myles Dakan, and Oliver Kindig-Stokes 288; David Ivey and Samuel Sommers 32t.

Blake Sisemore conducted the devotional. The class was dismissed for an ice cream social before lights out at 10:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 6

Lesson: Rudiments I / Youth I / Basics

9:00 a.m. The Ark—Teachers: Kelly House and Stuart Ivey—Kelly and Stuart welcomed the class. Kelly began by having the students do some stretching. They played a name game.

Stuart began by explaining that the sacred harp is the human voice. He said the purpose of attending Camp Fasola was to learn how to sing. He talked about using the vocal cords to make sounds but adding a musical element. He discussed the difference between talking and singing. Music consists of pitch, duration, volume, and quality. He gave examples of timbre (color of music), citing an opera voice as opposed to a pinched nose voice. He pointed out that Sacred Harp is sung with a full voice using consistent sound neither too soft nor too loud.

Kelly introduced the class to the four shapes used in the music of the Sacred Harp. She directed the class in singing the scales, and practiced intervals. She discussed relative pitch. The class sang “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, “Mary Had A Little Lamb”, and “Happy Land”. She had the class find the key note. She continued her discussion by noting that octaves are the same note but positioned at different heights on the staff and the vocal cords move at double the frequency of vibration on the higher note. The position of the notes on the staff differentiates the same shape notes.

Stuart stressed the importance of practicing the scale. He said the better one knows the scale and the relationships of the notes to one another, the more songs one can sing. He had individuals sing the scale with him, stating that “if you can do the zip line, you can sing the scale!” He directed the class in singing intervals. He continued his discourse on the scales by directing the class in singing the minor scale and some intervals in minor. He pointed out the different sound of the minor scale, noting that the notes are in the same order but have a different starting pitch and key note (La instead of Fa). Jonathon Pendleton led 503 with everyone singing the tenor line. The class was dismissed.

Lesson: Rudiments I / Youth II / Basics

9:00 a.m. Genesis—Teachers: Tom Malone and Richard Ivey—Tom Malone and Richard Ivey introduced themselves, and called on Blake Sisemore to offer prayer. Tom began by defining music as “a series of pleasing sounds”. He defined Sacred Harp music as being composed of three components—time, tune, and accent. The scales were sung, both in unison and then in harmony, male against female, with particular attention paid to the upper tetrachord of the melodic minor scale.

Richard instructed the class in the seven modes of time employed in the Sacred Harp by leading one song in each mode of time. Song selections included 49t, 82t, 79, 49b, 348b, 75, and 64.

Tom brought the class’s attention to the accent and syncopation in compound time. The instructors called on students to lead their own lessons as follows: Micah Rodgers 178; Christopher Mann 47b; Dylenn Nelson and Emma Rose Brown 101t; Liora O’Donnell Goldensher 163b; Mike Nord 58; Cristin McMurray 155. Ruth Wampler closed the session with prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Lesson: Rudiments I / Young Adults / Basics

9:00 a.m. New Building—Teachers: Samuel Sommers and Judy Caudle—Samuel Sommers began the class by leading 495, and then offered prayer. Sam and Judy introduced themselves and welcomed everyone. Sam told the class that the only requirement to sing Sacred Harp was the desire to sing. If you have the desire, you are a Sacred Harp singer. Sam reviewed the notes and the scale, adding that one cannot practice the scale too much. He quoted Hugh McGraw saying “a pound of practice for an ounce of Rudiments.” The class practiced the scale.

Sam talked about modes of time (Rudiments, pg. 15, sections 11-15) and noted that leaders should always begin leading a song with their hand up so that every part can see, even if everyone knows the song (Amazing Grace is an example).

Sam moved on to explain rests. Rests are characters which represent periods of silence. Rests have the same duration of time as corresponding notes. A breach of silence would include singing, talking, and audible foot patting. Silence during a rest should be so quiet that one could hear a bird chirp. Rests (periods of silence) were put in songs on purpose by the writer.

Sam explained the importance of keeping time with hands even when one is not leading the song. He encouraged everyone to do so. This practice is helpful in order to know where the class is in a song, and it can help in finding one’s place when leading fuging tunes.

Sam talked about the heritage of Sacred Harp and remarked that the definition of a tradition is (“I pass on that which I first received”) being taught how to sing correctly via teachers and singers that came before us.

He returned to the subject of rests, discussing the different types of rests (Rudiments pg. 15, section 8), also mentioning other aspects of keeping time (Rudiments pg. 14, sections 4-6). Sam discussed accent (Rudiments pg. 16, section 14). He talked about the “frame of modesty”, referring to keeping time within a space, vertically, not horizontally. He stated that there is a train of thought, that he agrees with, that one must be able to lead a hymn before leading an anthem.

Judy Caudle discussed tempo referring to Rudiments pg. 16, section 15. She stated that one must know the definitions of words that compose a sentence in order to understand the thoughts expressed in that sentence. She examined the definitions of leader, discretion, prudence, and circumspection. A leader is one that leads or guides; one who is in charge or in command of others. Discretion is the quality of being discreet; circumspection; the ability or power to decide responsibly; freedom to act or judge on one’s own. Prudence, circumspection, and discretion are synonyms and refer to the exercise of good judgment, common sense, and even caution, especially in the conduct of practical matters. She stated that leading a class of singers is a practical matter.

She explained that confidence is obtained by experiencing leadership in the square. One must take charge of the class, not just follow the leadership of the front bench. She also stated that we, (the class), should let each leader conduct their song selection in the manner they choose, no matter how long it takes. She mentioned that if one can’t lead a song, don’t pick that song to lead, especially in a convention setting. Practice in smaller groups first, and then try leading something new in a larger singing.

Judy talked about the time of day to lead certain songs, such as anthems. While there are no set rules about leading songs at certain times of day, a leader should give consideration to the class before leading anthems. She addressed a question about stopping the class during a song, if things were not progressing properly. She said it is okay to stop a class, but again use discretion in your decision process. A class is usually willing to sing with the leader.

Sam Sommers reviewed the topics of discussion, and encouraged singers not to make lists of favorites or non-favorites. A song one doesn’t particularly like may be the last song one ever sings. In closing, Sam mentioned that the only time we should sing a song that has already been sung is when that particular leader is someone we don’t know or is a child.

Sam led 87 as the closing song, and the class was dismissed.

Lesson: Sacred Harp Heritage—Our Sheppard’s Guide

1:00 p.m. New Building—Teachers: Tom Malone and David Ivey—Tom Malone hosted a slide show presentation depicting the life of Jeff and Shelbie Sheppard. It included pictures from their childhood, marriage, and present-day events.

Blake Sisemore led 445, which was the first song Jeff could remember hearing. Jeff talked of his memories of his family and Sacred Harp singings. Robert Kelley led 225b.

Shelbie recalled her family preparing for a singing at Muscadine. She also talked about her first meeting with Jeff. Jeff Sheppard led 556.

Pam Nunn, their daughter, shared memories of Jeff and Shelbie with the class. Pam and her sister, Rene Greene, led 269 (Grandmother Cates’s favorite song).

Rene Greene shared memories of her childhood with her parents, grandparents, and Sacred Harp singing. Rene led 551.

Shelbie shared a story about the Chicago singers coming to Alabama, and spending time at the Sheppard’s house. Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg led 464. Justin Levi led 211.

Tom Malone talked about Jeff’s participation in the revision of the Sacred Harp tunebook. Andrew Kiser led 303.

David Ivey talked about Jeff’s and Shelbie’s contributions to the creation of the Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association and Camp Fasola. David Ivey, Richard Ivey, Stuart Ivey, and Shelbie Sheppard led 195. Tom Malone presented “More than a Lifetime” Achievement Awards to Jeff and Shelbie. The class was dismissed.

Elective: Keying Music

2:30 p.m. Genesis—Teacher: Richard DeLong—Fifteen students gathered in the Genesis Building to hear Richard DeLong talk about keying music. He began with a story about learning to key music with Loyd Redding. He said the first time was too low and re-keyed for the third time before the song was singable. He talked of the frustrations during the learning process, but it just takes time and practice.

He said everyone has a different way of keying. He “hears” a song in his head, and keys from that. He suggested the class master one key (A, F, C, or B) to start, and then begin to distinguish between F and G, and so on.

Richard talked of how to determine major or minor tunes. He said to check the last note of the bass. If it is a Fa, the tune is major, and if it is a La, the tune is minor. This is true of all the songs in the Sacred Harp book. The class sang the song on page 100.

Richard continued, stating that the key person traditionally sits in the front row of the tenor. He said that it is okay to ask someone other than the key person to key a song. No one should make humming noises when someone is trying to key. The person leading or keying is the only one that should change a key.

He suggested that each student find a song in the key of A, F, and C, and get to know it as a representation for keying other songs in those keys. The class sang 318. Richard said to choose simple tunes to begin with. Try to master the key of F first. There are many songs in the Sacred Harp written in the key of F. He further instructed the class to be mindful of the male voices in the treble section. Try to build chords from the tonic note and go up. He suggested that students should practice with a recording; put the recording on pause, key, sing, and then play again to check. The class sang 32t, and was dismissed.

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

2:30 p.m. New Building—Teacher: Aldo Ceresa—Aldo welcomed the class. The class sang some of the folk hymns and camp meeting songs included in his handout.

Lesson: Rudiments / Accent

4:00 p.m. Teacher: Tom Malone—Tom Malone welcomed the class and began by defining accent. Accent is the third head of the Rudiments: Time, Tune and Accent; degrees of power, variations of loud and soft, within each measure; unequal emphasis on some words or musical sounds more than others; different in every mode of time; the unity of poetry and melody.

He continued by describing and illustrating the modes of time and hand strokes as follows: 2/2 One-two d u (down, up); 4/4 One-two-three-four d d u u (down, down, up, up); 2/4 One-two d u (down, up); 3/2 and 3/4 One-two-three d d u (down, down, up); 6/4 and 6/8 One-two-three-four-five-six d d d, u u u (down, down, down, up, up, up).

He referred to Poetic Meters Rudiments pg. 21, chapter VII, and discussed the following: Iambic—C.M., L.M., S.M., example “Amazing grace...” 45t; Trochaic—7’s, 8’s, 7’s, example “Savior visit...” 335; Dactylic—12’s, 11’s, example “How tedious ...” 127; Anapestic—12’s, example “Oh how happy ...” 399b.

Rules of Thumb: the hand falls to indicate the primary accent; the hand rises during the secondary accent; when poetic accent and musical accent disagree, the poetry rules—until the two accents coincide again.

Singing with accent doesn’t mean punching the “one” harder; if you are already singing downbeats at full voice, try singing the other notes softer.

This will give your singing a tuneful ‘lilt’ and keep your voice healthier. You will also think more about the words you are singing.

Joined flags are a type of slur. The second of any pair of eighths gets less... always. It’s not swing. It’s unequal emphasis and it’s in the Rudiments, so do it (Rudiments pg. 17, section 20-21).

Remember 2/4 has no secondary accent unless it is divided into 4 equal parts, then it takes on the pattern of 4/4 as long as that configuration persists. The song on page 109 is a good example. Other songs practiced during the class included 49t, 82t, 318, 87, 119, and 360.

Tom closed the class by encouraging everyone to enjoy the music and practice time, tune, and accent!

Lesson: Leading—Adult Basics

4:00 p.m. New Building—Teacher: Robert Kelley—Robert Kelley welcomed everyone to the class. He passed out copies of information about “How to Lead a Song”.

  • Know in advance what you’re going to lead, and practice leading the song. Have some backup songs in case your selection gets used.
  • When you are called to lead, come to the square quickly and call out your page number loudly. After you call your number, wait just a moment until most of the class is on the right page.
  • Key the song or ask someone to key it for you. Unless you have a good reason, don’t ask someone other than the designated keyer to pitch the song. Don’t ask someone who is sitting in the back to key your song.
  • Make sure that each part has their starting pitch correct. If the class doesn’t sound the first chord, ask them to do so. If you’re not sure that they have their first chord correct, ask them to sound the chord again.
  • Begin your song. Lead in the first note with your voice.
  • Be very clear about whether you want to take any of the optional repeats. If you don’t want to repeat, you must stop beating time.
  • Stop the song between verses. Stop beating time at the end of the notes and at the end of each verse. Between verses is when you can give instructions about what verse to sing next and whether to repeat.
  • Limit your verses and repeats. Don’t wear out the song. It’s better to leave the class wanting to sing more of it than to make the class tired of it. Don’t repeat the chorus on every verse. Save it for the last verse. If you want to repeat the last part of the song on the last verse, you may repeat it on the notes too. In fact, you should repeat the notes of fuguing tunes.
  • Give the last measure its due. Unless it will cause confusion, keep beating time all the way through the last measure of your song. Give a little gesture to stop the last note. (You can also do this at the end of every verse.)

When the song is over, thank the class for singing it well for you. Don’t leave the square until the song is actually over. Most of all, be confident and crystal clear about how you want your song to go.

Robert reviewed the handout, and then began a question and answer session. He addressed the question about building enough confidence to be able to direct the class. He said it comes from practice, and offered some techniques for better communication with the class. Ashton Rodgers led 128. Stephanie Fida led 124. Tim Morton asked about bird’s eyes and discussion ensued about how to deal with indefinite tone lengths. Tim led 94. Grace Gilmore led 144. Rebecca Eldridge led 186.

Rob made closing remarks, and the class was dismissed.

Elective: Isaac Watts and the Poetry of the Sacred Harp

5:00 p.m. New Building—Teacher: Malinda Snow—Malinda Snow welcomed the class and began by asking the following question: “If the Sacred Harp Publishing Company printed money as well as songbooks, whose picture do you think would be on the face of that money?” If prominent figures are usually featured on currency, then Isaac Watts would definitely be a consideration for the Sacred Harp currency. There are many hymns in the Sacred Harp book written by Isaac Watts. It is estimated that about 3/4 of the hymns in the Sacred Harp were written by Watts, or by others that he influenced.

I. Who is Isaac Watts?

   A. English writer, poet, and minister

   B. His lifetime 1674-1748

II. What did Watts write?

   A. Collections of poems and hymns

  1. Horae Lyricae 1706, 2nd ed 1709
  2. Hymns and Spiritual Songs, 1707, 2nd ed. 1709
  3. Divine and Moral Songs, 1715
  4. The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament, 1719

   B. Many books on varied topics, as well as sermons and theological works

III. Is Watts the first English hymn-writer? No.

IV. Why have editors of The Sacred Harp, beginning with B.F. White and E.J. King, chosen to include so much of the Englishman Watts’ work?

   A. His popularity in the United States as well as in the United Kingdom

   B. The result of his skills as a writer and his ideas about what hymns should be

V. Why is Watts important to Sacred Harp singers?

   A. His ideas about psalms and hymns

  1. People in church should sing songs written by modem writers.
  2. People in church should not be limited to singing only the Psalms.
  3. Clergy and laypeople needed songs suited for daily uses, such as for Sunday, for baptism, for communion, and for days and seasons such as Christmas, Good Friday, or Easter.
  4. Hymns should be written in simple, concrete, clear language that the singers can understand and identify-with.

   B. His work as a poet and writer of hymns

  1. He composed hundreds of hymns and psalm imitations, in meters already familiar to people of his day.
  2. His work provided (and still provides) models for writers of hymns.

   C. His challenge to us: Grow and try new things.

Malinda discussed with the class the things that make a good hymn: it’s easy to remember; it touches the heart, mind, and soul in some way; it teaches or answer questions a person may have about life.

Malinda stated that Watts was not strongly partisan. His work appealed to many because he wasn’t denominational. His work came to the forefront of the New England colonies mainly because he was not denominational. In his poetry, it seems his intention was to give stopping places. The poems of Watts became a quarry for composers of music because they could take pieces of different works and make something new.

Class Singing

7:30 p.m.—Led by Youth Girls—The class was brought to order by the Youth Girls singing an original arrangement of 37b. Chairlady Ashton Rodgers led 128.

Leaders: Arranging Committee—Paula Oliver, Cheyenne Ivey, Rebekah Gilmore, and Serenity Manning 47b; Secretaries—Fiona Nugent and Dylenn Nelson 142; Nathan Rees and Guy Bankes 189; Jennifer Mosteller and Donna Bell 299; Corbin Rodgers and Caleb Kiser 59; Lori Rodgers 276; Blake Sisemore and Christopher Mann 40; Will Schnorenberg and Henry Schuman 178; Jonathan Pendleton and Richard Ivey 97; Sheila Nugent and Idy Kiser 532; Justin Levi and Tony Kiser 277; Tom Malone and Oliver Kindig-Stokes 121; John Plunkett 90; Jackson Harcrow 448t; Andrew Kiser and Konrad Tegtmeier 504; Mike Nord 475; Ethan Corbett and Justin Corbett 146; Scott Ivey and Stuart Ivey 203; Malinda Snow 191; James Eldridge and Katherine Eldridge 162; Rodney Ivey and Russ Pope 34t; Ruth Wampler 209; Virginia Eldridge and Adrian Eldridge 549; Julian Damashek and Sarah West 411; Rachel Hall 474; Robin Betz, Matthew Betz, and Elizabeth Betz 323t.

A devotional was held at the campfire site. Campers enjoyed the evening outside, along with the frogs croaking, the cicadas chirping, and the mosquitoes biting!

Wednesday, July 7

Lesson: Rudiments II / Youth I / Basics

9:00 a.m. The Ark—Teachers: Kelly House and Stuart Ivey—Kelly began this class by using an introductory game for students to get to know each other.

Stuart introduces Velcro notes. Students pick a Velcro shape and collaboratively construct the scale. Eight volunteers hold shapes, then they line up in height order and trade shapes to form the major scale. Each student sings the tone of the shape they are holding and the class joins in to practice the scale.

Kelly discusses the heartbeat of music... rhythm. Everyone can sing in rhythm, but how is it represented? She discusses note values, stating that duration is the same, no matter the shape. Duration is determined by the color of the note (white or black) and whether or not it has a stem or flag attached. Kelly passes out Velcro notes, each of different note value, and a small group constructs a measure of music in 4/4 time. She continues by explaining measure bars, phrase bars, and double bars. She takes the class through a song character by character discussing clefs, key signature, time signature, beats per measure, and rests. She also discusses slurs and ties. The class sings the tenor part of 47t. The class practices keeping time by singing the exercises in the Rudiments, pg. 15, section 11.

Lesson: Rudiments II / Youth II / Basics

9:00 a.m. Genesis—Teachers: Tom Malone and Richard Ivey—Tom Malone and Richard Ivey welcomed the class of thirty or so scholars. James Eldridge brought the class to order by leading 58. Blake Sisemore offered an opening prayer.

Tom reviewed the previous evening’s singing and some of the improvements in the quality of the singing to be made. He then reviewed the lessons of Tuesday’s Rudiments class. Scales were sung. Modes of time were reviewed, as was accent in the different modes, by singing the exercises in the Rudiments, pg. 15 and 16, section 11. He led 448b.

Richard discussed notation (Rudiments pg. 14, section 10-12) and examined songs to illustrate particular examples—27, 48t, 31t, 188.

Tom and Richard then invited students to lead their own songs. Leaders: Oliver Kindig-Stokes 318; Serenity Manning and Ashton Rodgers 178; Liora O’Donnell Goldensher 375; Cheyenne Ivey 176b; Grace Gilmore 208; Paige Gilbert and Micah Rodgers 146; Emma Rose Brown and Dylenn Nelson 63. Tom and Richard assigned the students to find a song in each mode of time in major for tomorrow’s lesson. Ruth Wampler offered the closing prayer.

Lesson: Rudiments II / Young Adults / Basics

9:00 a.m. New Building—Teachers: Samuel Sommers and Judy Caudle—Sam Sommers reviewed the lessons of the previous day. Scales were sung. The class practiced intervals and modes of time using the exercises on pg. 15 and 16 of the Rudiments. Students were encouraged to lead the class in singing songs of their own selection.

Elective: May I Never Read In Vain

10:30 a.m. New Building—Teacher: Lela Crowder—Lela Crowder welcomed the class and began by saying the poetry of Sacred Harp music is an art form. Many of the words in the Sacred Harp have endured the test of time. These words still reach out to people in this day as they did 100 years ago.

Lela read the poetry of “New Britain”. The author, John Newton, used first person pronouns in this poem. She challenged the class to determine his purpose in writing this poem... describing grace from God and praising God.

“The nearest perfection in singing we arrive at is to pronounce the words and make the sounds as feeling as if the sentiments and sounds were our own. If singers, when performing a piece of music, could be as much captivated with the words and sounds as the author of the music is when composing it, the foregoing directions would be almost useless; they would pronounce accent, swell, sing loud and soft where the words require it, make suitable gesture, and add every other necessary grace.” -1844 & 1860 Rudiments

“A written word is the choicest of relics. It is something at once more intimate with us and more universal than any other work of art. It is the work of art nearest to life itself.” Henry David Thoreau

Lela reviewed the six things every reader needs to know: purpose, speaker, audience, tone, form, and message. She talked about art appreciation. “Literature is an art form, characterized by beauty, craftsmanship, and technique. With literature, we focus not only on what is said but also on how it is said.” (Ryken 16). She briefly covered the aspects of art appreciation as follows: Art affects the sense and/or the emotions; Appreciation is subjective; Relationship to the human experience, therefore, it has universal appeal; Conceptual Connections; Vehicle for expression or communication; Timeless; Imaginative Participation.

In closing, she quoted Tom Stoppard “Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little”. She said many of the texts in the Sacred Harp are conceptual. Most texts are understandable and therefore comfortable to us. The class was dismissed.

Lesson: Sacred Harp Heritage—A Window into Paine Denson

1:00 p.m. New Building—Teacher: Aldo Ceresa—Aldo Ceresa welcomed the class and led 392. Aldo reviewed the history of the Denson Family.

Heir to a rich singing legacy, chief architect of the 1936 Denson revision, and song leader of the highest order; few have equaled Paine Denson’s contributions to the Sacred Harp tradition. Whatever his accomplishments as a singer, leader, and editorial visionary, Paine’s most enduring legacy may be the music he contributed to the to the Sacred Harp songbook itself. Along with his father T.J. and uncle Seaborn M. Denson, Paine Denson ranks among the top Sacred Harp composers, not only of the twentieth century, but of all time. Today we will celebrate the life and music of this remarkable man in story and song.

“It’s just as important to sing when the time comes, and rest when the time comes...”—Paine Denson admonishing singers at the 1954 Chattahoochee Convention, before singing the words to 149.

“My cousin Amanda’s father died when she was young. After Uncle Howard died, Amanda spent her summers with Uncle Paine in Double Springs and with Aunt Ruth (Denson Edwards) in Cullman. She told me that she could wear shorts when they were at Uncle Paine’s house. But when it was time to go to the store or to the post office, she had to put on a dress to go with him. He did not want her to be seen with him in shorts!”—Mike Hinton, remembering his uncle Paine Denson, June, 2010

Leaders: Julian Damashek 447; Sarah West 294; Tom Malone 524; Justin Levi 396; Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg 292; Lauren Bock 330t; Drew Smith and Blake Sisemore 330b; Robert Kelley 518; Oliver Kindig-Stokes 502; Judy Caudle 553; Aldo Ceresa “Fairhope”; Rebecca Eldridge 532.

Lesson: Learning Songs / Youth Basics

1:00 p.m. Genesis—Teachers: Stuart Ivey and Richard Ivey—Stuart and Richard welcomed the class. They instructed the class on good leading techniques. Stuart stated that there are more components to leading than just moving your arm. The class practiced holding the book and applying leading techniques.

Leaders: Ashton Rodgers and Eli Hinton 112; Ailee Martin and Anna Grace Sipe 45t; Fiona Nugent and Paige Gilbert 346. The class practiced “The American Star” with detailed attention to rhythm. Leaders: Ethan Corbett and Russ Pope 487; Micah Rodgers and Michael Mosley 142.

Richard and Stuart continued leading practice by instructing the class on bringing in parts. Leaders: Holly Mixon and Anna Bowen 354b; Jaycee Ferguson and AnnaMarie Bethune 37b; Karen Ivey and Samuel Sommers 49t.

Stuart and Richard discussed position in the square and variations of arm movements while being both correct and developing one’s own style of leading. Leaders: Jennifer Betz and Dylenn Nelson 323t; Matt Betz and Justin Corbett 59; Paula Oliver and Rebekah Gilmore 268; Katherine Eldridge and Hannah Tate 124; Conrad Tegtmeier and Jonathan Pendleton 388; Christin McMurray 171.

Stuart talked about the importance of knowing your songs and practicing, in order to be a good leader. The class was dismissed.

Lesson: Leading Practice / Youth Basics

4:00 p.m. Genesis—Teachers: Kelly House and Stuart Ivey—Kelly and Stuart welcomed the class. This session was for the purpose of learning to lead, so students were given the opportunity to practice.

Leaders: Ethan Corbett 82t; Holly Mixon 99 (practiced bringing in parts); Jonathan Pendleton 354b (practiced leading style); Anna Bowen and Elizabeth Betz 163b (practiced triple time); Justin Corbett 101t.

Stuart talked about showing how you feel about singing a song, and letting your feelings show while leading a song. Micah Rodgers led 142. Kelly talked about choosing a tempo to match the ability to accent the song properly. Practice continued, and then the class was dismissed.

Lesson: Rudiments / Accent

4:00 p.m. Teacher: Tom Malone—Tom Malone welcomed the class and repeated his class on accent that was presented on Tuesday.

Class Singing

7:30 p.m.—Led by Youth Boys—The class was brought to order by the Youth Boys singing an original arrangement of 282 in minor. Chairman Oliver Kindig-Stokes led 60 and offered prayer.

Leaders: Vice Chairman James Eldridge 81t; Cheyenne Ivey, Paige Gilbert, and Serenity Manning 111b; Darrell Swarens and Paula Oliver 424; Matt Hinton and Eli Hinton 37b; Jonathan Pendleton and Jo Pendleton 566; Annamarie Bethune and Jaycee Ferguson 59; Alex Jones, Julian Damashek, and Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg 319; Eugene Forbes 212; Jennifer Betz and Dylenn Nelson 146; Alvaro Duarte, James Eldridge, and Rebecca Eldridge 344; Holly Mixon and Anna Bowen 163t; Jennifer Mosteller and Lori Rodgers 426b; Fiona Nugent, Hannah Tate, and Aston Rodgers 247t (?); Micah Rodgers 142; Sarah West, Rebekah Gilmore, and Grace Gilmore 68b; Ruth Wampler, Rachel Hall, and Emma Rose Brown 472; Katherine Eldridge and Anna Grace Sipe 335; Ailee Martin and Stephanie Fida 354b; Tom Morton, Tim Morton, and Justin Levi 209 (for Bob Meek); Donna Bell, Carol Munro Mosley, and Idy Kiser 540; Nathan Rees, Myles Dakan, and Caitlin Caulfield 378b; Cristin McMurray and Joanna Lampert 155;Guy Bankes, James West, and Jonathon Smith 474.

A devotional was conducted by the Youth Boys, and the class was dismissed.

Thursday, July 8

Lesson: Rudiments III / Youth I / Basics

9:00 a.m. The Ark—Teachers: Kelly House and Stuart Ivey—Stuart began the class by having a new group of students arrange the velcro notes to form the scale. He reviewed note durations. He told the students to close their eyes, then name a note duration, and asked the class to hold up the number of fingers that the note has counts. The game with velcro notes continued with students lining up in shortest to tallest order and switching notes to form the major scale. The class sang the scale in order, and then out of order to practice intervals. He referred to the Rudiments, pg. 13 stating that the necessary basics for singing are found therein. He discussed holds (indefinite tone lengths) and the class sang 48t for illustration.

Kelly discussed triplets and repeats. The class sang 31t to illustrate triplets and 145b to illustrate repeats and the use of D.C. in music. Stuart talked about choruses and time changes using 111b and 43.

Kelly and Stuart asked students to form a small square. They sang through the melody of 32t a few times, and then the class sang the words. Kelly asked students to imagine their neighbor’s voices coming through themselves. Now, pick someone across the square and try to match their voice. “You have to sing louder!” Kelly told the class everyone is responsible for keeping time; everyone is a Sacred Harp singer; everyone gets to pick a song; everyone is important. She closed the class by having everyone repeat the sentence “My voice is powerful!”

Lesson: Rudiments III / Youth II / Basics

9:00 a.m. Genesis—Teachers: Tom Malone and Richard Ivey—Tom Malone and Richard Ivey welcomed the class. The class was brought to order by Ethan Corbett leading 421. Ruth Wampler offered prayer.

Tom and Richard reviewed the previous day’s lessons with a question and answer period. Katherine Eldridge and Paige Gilbert led the class in singing the scales. Katherine Eldridge and Richard Ivey led 270 to illustrate a song in 2/4 time. Justin Corbett led the words of 270 to practice accent. Tom and Richard led 348b to demonstrate 3/4 time and choice notes. To practice 6/4 time, Justin Corbett led 346. Richard Ivey and Cristin McMurray led 376. Tom Malone led 374 with the class singing only the slurs to reinforce that joined flags are a type of slur. Konrad Tegtmeier and Dylenn Nelson led the same song with the class singing all of the poetry. Stephanie Fida led 313b as the only minor tune in the Sacred Harp written in the first mode of common time. Christopher Mann led 38b. Drew Smith and Ashton Rodgers led 224.

Tom talked about how the poetry shifts the accent in 224, and Jennifer Betz led the same song again with greater attention paid to the accent of the poetry. Ashton Rodgers led 155. Mike Nord led 155 again to practice bringing in parts. Leaders: Katherine Eldridge 107; Justin Corbett 107; Grace Gilmore 208. Tom worked with the basses and their accent: to withhold secondary accent when there is a run of three quarter notes followed by a rest, and to swell on long held notes. Leaders: Emma Rose Brown 218; Will Schnorenberg 300; Micah Rodgers and Serenity Manning 142; Fiona Nugent 268.

Tom and Richard led 278t as the closing song. Drew Smith offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Lesson: Rudiments III / Young Adults / Basics

9:00 a.m. New Building—Teachers: Sam Sommers and Judy Caudle—Sam and Judy welcomed the class, and led them in singing the scales. Sam reviewed the previous day’s lessons, and the class practiced intervals, modes of time, and accent. The students were given the opportunity to lead songs of their choice for practice.

Elective: Word Painting

10:30 a.m. Genesis—Teacher: Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg—Jesse began by talking about the importance of the union of words and music in The Sacred Harp, and how that union draws singers to a certain song. The class sang 173 to illustrate a musical phrase that climbs the scale with text that reads “my voice ascending high”. “High” is the most common word used by composers for word painting. He pointed out changes that were made in the tenor and treble parts of the current version of the tune from the original version.

Emma Rose Brown led 218 to demonstrate the second most common word utilized by composers for word painting—fly. The song on page 245 was discussed. Malinda Snow brought the class’s attention to the play of ascent and descent between the tenor and treble parts, illustrating the parting of spirit and flesh in death.

Nathan Rees led 91. Myles Dakan noted that the fugue creates a “rainbow” on the page.

Julian Damashek led 172. Jesse pointed out that many of the early songs that feature word painting often contain only a single verse, as adding a second verse that is appropriate to the music is often very difficult.

Aldo Ceresa led 227. Jesse mentioned that all of the 19th century examples he found were connections to B.F. White, who were inspired by 18th century composers.

Lauren Bock led 408. Jesse had the class sing the discord on the word “nailed”, and talked about the ascending “cloud” created by the traditional song ending. Interestingly, neither was written in the original version.

Jesse led 428 with a slight tempo increase on the fugue, as originally indicated. Oliver Kindig-Stokes led 522. Rachel Hall led 297.

Jesse closed the session by leading a previous version of “Elder”. The class was dismissed.

Lesson: Learning Songs / Youth Basics

1:00 p.m. Genesis—Teachers: Stuart Ivey and Richard Ivey—Stuart and Richard reviewed the previous day’s lesson, and continued leading practice.

Lesson: Sacred Harp Heritage—50th anniversary of the 1960 edition

1:00 p.m. New Building—Teacher: Aldo Ceresa—This year, 2010, marks the fiftieth anniversary of the 1960 Denson revision of The Sacred Harp. In use for only six years, the 1960 book was a unique entry in the lineage of Sacred Harp songbooks. With scores of misprinted pages, frail binding, and a charcoal cover that stained the hands and clothes of singers (much to the chagrin of singers decked out in their Sunday best), this edition was fraught with inconsistency and difficulty from the outset. Likewise, though it boasted 103 new tunes, several of these that had serious printing errors, were misattributed, or were in slightly less than “perfect accord with the other songs in the book”, as the editor’s preface advertised.

Yet, with all of its shortcomings, this edition also featured many highlights, and has left an enduring legacy. With tunes like 480, 486, 500, 507, 512, 522, 528, 532, 542, 543, 546, and 550; the 1960 revision introduced the singing public to a cadre of songs that have since become favorites among Sacred Harp singers around the world. Indeed, this book marked the debut of some of our best tune writers, including Hugh McGraw, John Hocutt, the Frederick brothers, Doris DeLong, and A.A. Blocker. It also included the first editorial contributions by Raymond Hamrick (though no songs were credited to him in the book). Several of these names would play prominently in future editions of The Sacred Harp.

Truly, the 1960 revision was a labor of love for Marcus Cagle. Today, let us celebrate his efforts, along with those of Hugh McGraw, Raymond Hamrick, Ruth Denson Edwards, and all the other contributors, as we explore the highlights (and a few of the curiosities) of the 1960 edition of The Sacred Harp.

“We were all excited about having a new book with new songs by living authors ... There were a lot of misprints in that book. They cleaned up a lot of those in 1966 ... Every time I went to a singing I’d come home with ink on my dress. Mama put shellac on the cover of my book to keep the ink from getting on my clothes.”—Joyce Walton, remembering her early experiences with the 1960 edition in June, 2010

Aldo asked Joyce Walton to speak to the class, and during her discourse, she presented her 1960 edition to Aldo as a gift.

The class sang “A Few More Years” by O.A. Parris; “Heavenly Joys” by A.A. Blocker; “I’ll Seek His Blessings” by A.M. Cagle; “For Me to Live Is Christ” by M.H. Woodard. The class was dismissed.

Community Singing

7:00 p.m.—Led by Young Adults—The class was called to order by Chairman Julian Damashek leading 82t. Blake Sisemore offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: Liora O’Donnell Goldensher 36b; Emma Rose Brown 32t; Jonathan Pendleton and Stuart Ivey 299; Ariella Perry 430; Justin Levi 216; Pam Nunn and Rene Greene 217; Blake Sisemore, Kennedy Wootten, Cole Wootten, and Camp Lee staff 171; Malinda Snow and Jo Pendleton 35; Myles Dakan and Rachel Hall 481; Joyce Walton 392; Drew Smith and Christopher Mann 38b; Richard Ivey and Kelly House 556; Ken Tate and Hannah Tate 318; Samuel Sommers 473; Jordan-Leigh Taylor and Joanna Lampert 74b; Ruth Wampler and Oliver Kindig-Stokes 394; Daniel Lee 328; Darrell Swarens, Joan Aldridge, and Stephanie Fida 198; Cristin McMurray and Idy Kiser 122; Ricky Harcrow 138b; Philip Gilmore, Rebekah Gilmore, and Grace Gilmore 393; Ashton Rodgers and Paige Gilbert 155; Jeffrey Wootten 460; Alex Jones and Robert Kelley 319; Katherine Eldridge, Dylenn Nelson, and Justin Corbett 300.

David Ivey and camp counselors presented certificates to the campers.


The class was brought back to order by James Eldridge and James West leading 44. Leaders: Betty Shepherd, Reba Windom, Angela Myers, and Judy Caudle 196; Eugene Forbes and Donna Bell 186; Russ Pope, Ethan Corbett, and Vella Dailey 354b; Rodney Ivey and Richard DeLong 270; Carol Munro Mosley and Michael Mosley 464; Tom Malone and Jeff Sheppard 188; Alvaro Duarte, James Eldridge, and Rebecca Eldridge 440; Caitlin Caulfield and Mike Nord 500; Holly Mixon 99; Guy Bankes and Anna Bowen 350; Corbin Rodgers and Caleb Kiser 159; Jaycee Ferguson, Annamarie Bethune, Ailee Martin, and Anna Grace Sipe 59; Henry Johnson 439; Fiona Nugent 224; Andrew Kiser, Tony Kiser, and Will Schnorenberg 497; Tim Morton and Rachel Rudi 376; Karen Ivey and Tom Morton 564; Loyd Ivey 97; Adrian Eldridge and Virginia Eldridge 406; Lauren Bock and Lela Crowder 166; David Ivey and Zach Burgess 45t; Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg and Aldo Ceresa 297; Jonathon Smith, Nathan Rees, and Reba Windom 542.

Julian Damashek, Liora O’Donnell Goldensher, and Emma Rose Brown led 146 as the closing song. The closing prayer was offered by Elder Ricky Harcrow, and the class was dismissed.

Friday, July 9

Following breakfast, campers took the parting hand and said good-byes in The Ark.

SHMHA President—Jeff Sheppard; Camp Fasola Director—David Ivey