Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Camp Fasola Europe, 2014

Wichrowe, Wzgorze, Chmielno, Kazuby, Poland

September 22-26, 2014

Monday, September 22

Arrival, check-in, and orientation

Campers arrived to check in, receive their t-shirts, room assignments, and schedules, and settle in. After supper in the Dining Hall, staff and campers met in Oaza Zdrowia for an orientation meeting with Camp Director David Ivey.

Class Singing

Led by Group 1. The class was called to order by Steve Helwig leading 47t. Leaders: Gail Doss 86; Blazej Matusiak 346; Ruth McNamara 34t; Judy Whiting 441 (for Curtis and Edith Owen); Colleen Jones 344; Joanna Mankiewicz 87; Justyna Orlikowska 56t; Claire Hogan 71; Ophir Ilzetski 171; Jessica Sligter 82t; Andreas Manz 133; Yotin Tiewtrakul 276; Ethan Hardy 545; Jacek Borkowicz 49b; Joanne Fuller 406; Corinna Frische 39t; Alberta Hardy 448b; Magdalena Osthaus 30t; Susan Cherones 63; Jesse Karlsberg 313t; Bridgett Kennedy 440; Olgierd Orlikowski 101t. Following the devotional, campers enjoyed an ice cream social in the Dining Hall.

Tuesday, September 23

Each day offered lessons, electives, opportunities for recreation or relaxation, recess periods with snacks, and an evening class singing, along with opportunities to socialize. At 7:00 a.m. each day, campers could choose a recreation. Breakfast followed at 8:00 a.m.

Lesson: Rudiments I/Basics

9:00 a.m. David Ivey began the class by introducing the building blocks of singing Sacred Harp—tune, time, and accent. Today’s class focused mainly on tune. David explained the tonic note and how to determine the key in which a song is written. The class practiced matching the tone sounded by the keyer. He referred to the Rudiments, pg. 20, which specifies the quality of singing as firm, pure, full, and certain. He noted that loud is not mentioned. He talked about music as a language in shapes, time value, rests, and repeats. He talked about the musical forms found in the Sacred Harp (odes, anthems, set pieces, fuging tunes, and hymns). The class practiced singing the major and minor scales. Class dismissed.

Lesson: Rudiments I/Advanced

9:00 a.m. Dan Brittain introduced himself and related his singing localities. His class focused on sight reading skills and local traditions. He discussed the history of shaped notes, noting Guido as a pioneer in using names (giving tones names) as a teaching tool. Dan advised recognizing note patterns as a sight reading aid. He discussed accidentals, and encouraged campers to follow local customs. He addressed volume, and encouraged singers to adjust the volume of the voice to blend with others around the square. Other topics discussed during the class were two-song lessons, choice notes, and songs with time changes. Songs used during the class were 183, 351, 240, 111b, 320, 216, 217, and 278b.

Elective: Sacred Harp Etiquette and Traditions

10:45 a.m. Buell Cobb welcomed the class. He shared with campers various observations concerning etiquette and traditions based on his experiences. He touched on several different topics, noting that times change and so does decorum. For example, he mentioned that singings were once much more reserved and the manner of dress more conservative, but one of the most obvious changes is that everyone is given the opportunity to lead in singings these days. He advised that since such a diversity of cultures exists within the square, care should be taken to focus on the things that unite us, and avoid things that might divide us. In closing his remarks, Buell encouraged campers to enjoy singing and all that it entails, and not to over-learn the rules: there’s a whole world that exists above the pages of the songbook.

Elective: Learning Songs

10:45 a.m. Bridgett Hill Kennedy and the class practiced singing and leading songs. Leaders and selections: Zack 134; Phillip 528; Chris 485; Zack 442; Chris 468; Werner 236; Adam 185.

Elective: Music of Edmund Dumas

1:00 p.m. Dan Brittain and the class explored the life and writings of Edmund Dumas. Leaders: Dan Brittain 34t; Ethan Hardy 378t; Eddie Mash 83b; Steve Helwig 405; Judy Whiting 323t; Helen Brown 418; Hannah Land 111b; Ellen Lueck 329; Helen Brown 310; Jessica Sligter 288; Karen Willard 115; Hannah Land 176b (JB); Gosia Percyz 444b (JB); Corina Frische 438t (JB); Ophir Ilzetski 372 (JB); Gail Doss 292b (JB); Dan Brittain 433 (WB), “Ceylon’s Isle” (Handout). The class was dismissed.

Lesson: A Memoir: The Densons

2:15 p.m. Buell Cobb read excerpts from his book Like Cords Around My Heart, and related personal experiences about his friendship with Ms. Ruth Denson Edwards, Amanda Denson Brady, and other members of the Denson family.

Lesson: Leading and Bringing In Parts

3:30 p.m. Bridgett Hill Kennedy began her lesson by relating some of her experiences as a relatively new Sacred Harp singer. The class practiced beating time in the exercises on pages 15 and 16 of the Rudiments. Bridgett encouraged campers to know their song selection, and be prepared before stepping into the square. She advised campers to eliminate extraneous movements of the hand, arm, and other body parts and use smooth leading strokes to indicate time and tempo. Leaders: Kathy Williams 108t; Eva Striebeck 542; Pamela Minor 34b; Chris Brown 425.

Lesson: How to Beat the 7 Modes of Time

3:30 p.m. Jesse P. Karlsberg defined time as duration. The modes of time, along with pitch, are how we organize that element. Modes of time tell us tempo, and the manner of beating that tempo. The characters that set the modes of time are found on the staff on the left after the clef and key signature. Referring to page 15 of the Rudiments, Jesse made note of the modes of time found in the tunes of the Sacred Harp. The class practiced hand motions in Common Time, Compound Time, and Triple Time. Jesse touched on the importance of accent. Leaders: Aaron Kahn 313b; Andreas Manz 82t; Jesse 274t, 33b.

Elective: Keying Music

4:45 p.m. David Ivey stated that keying music cannot be taught, but must be learned by experience. He referred to page 17; Chapter III, section 4, in the Rudiments, which states that music should be pitched so that all singers can reach their parts comfortably. He encouraged campers to listen to recordings or practice with accomplished keyers to learn. Members of the class practiced pitching the tunes on pages 129, 37b, 383, 331, 47b, and others.

Elective: History and Anatomy of the Fuging Tune

4:45 p.m. Jesse P. Karlsberg welcomed the class. He stated that fuging tunes, songs in which the parts enter in turn creating textual counterpoint, are among the most popular and engaging songs in The Sacred Harp. The first fuging tunes were composed in 18th century England, and the style achieved great popularity in the Revolutionary War-era northeastern United States before declining in the early 19th century. The style has seen a resurgence in the 20th century, thanks to its continuing popularity among Sacred Harp singers. Jesse led “Psalm 34 (t? b?)” (handout) and “Taunton” (handout). Other songs used during the class were 40, 313t, 383, 444, 434, and 454. Dan Brittain led 472. Class dismissed.

Class Singing

led by Group 2. The class was brought to order by Chairman Joanne Fuller, who led 52t. Gail Doss offered the evening prayer. Leaders: Eddie Mash 35; JoDell Albi 501; Werner Ullah 49t; Karen Willard 70t; Rojana Wings and Cath Tyler 29t; Ted Brown 119; Margaret Bradshaw 148; Eva Striebeck 351; Zack Lindahl 134; Kate Coxon 480; Richard Schmeidler 271t; Buell Cobb 131b; Kathy Williams 186; Aaron Kahn 300; Karen Turner 270; Chris Coughlin 145b; Chris Brown 541; Cath Tyler 531; Anna Spruch 209; Helen Brown and Buell Cobb 77t (in memory of Amanda Denson); Dan Brittain 435; Alma Moledys and Justyna Orlikowski 33b (dedicated to Sister Ada); Karen Ivey 560; Charley Ramm 544; Hannah Land and Adam Lord 383; Linda Thomas 85; Gosia Perycz 100; David Ivey 461; Edmund Richardson 492. Joanne Fuller led 521 as the closing song. The devotional was conducted by Yotin Tiewtrakul. The class was dismissed.

At 8:45 p.m. campers were assembled to enjoy the Kashubian Folk Dance performance.

Wednesday, September 24

Lesson: Rudiments II/Basics

9:00 a.m. David Ivey and the class warmed up by singing the major and minor scales with intervals. He taught the class the anatomy of a song, noting the title, meter, key, composer of the music, and author of the poetry. He explained how to recognize repeat marks, first and second endings, slurs, ties, triplets, joined flags, choice notes and holds (bird’s eye). The class discussed the non-optional repeat in “Dura”, pg. 531, and sang “The Garden Hymn”, pg. 284, observing the repeat. The class sang 111t, an example of a song where a class rarely gives the second ending its full duration of time. David reviewed modes of time, tempo, and accent. There was discussion about triple time, and the class sang 512. Compound time was discussed, and the class sang 131b and 75. David read from a letter written by Marcus Cagle, encouraging singers not to race through songs or drag them, but to sing at a pace where words and tune are recognizable.

Lesson: Rudiments II/Advanced

9:00 a.m. Dan Brittain welcomed the class. He reviewed modes of time, tempo, and primary and secondary accents. He discussed the method of beating time in each mode of time. The class sang 48t. Dan discussed some of the history of his writings, including “Novakoski” and “Akin”. He demonstrated how to start a song, first with a rest at the beginning (98), and second, without a rest at the beginning (99). The class discussed the tricky beginnings on pages 44 and 64. Time changes were discussed, and the class sang 387 and 43.

Elective: Sacred Harp Harmony and Style

10:45 a.m. Dan Brittain related a summary of local customs he has observed during his years as a Sacred Harp singer, pointing out some idiosyncrasies; for example, no leader of the class, preferences to raise the 6th, and preferences to ignore accidentals. He discussed texts and elements of style of composers that have strongly influenced his own writing. The class sang songs on pages 47t, 123b, 329, 82t, 77t, 278b, 345b, 419, 428, 429, and 375, taking time between songs to notice specific aspects of each tune.

Elective: Unwritten Traditions

10:45 a.m. David Ivey led 234. David pointed out that it is traditional practice to sing the last two measures very slowly. He referred to pages 542 and 124, stating that many local customs observe three-peats on these songs. He continued by pointing out some songs that traditionally are repeated in the chorus when no repeat is marked (270, 76b, 148, 267, and 117). He referred to pages 183 and 291 where tempo changes are traditionally observed, though not marked. David led 376, first traditionally, where measures and specific notes are extended, and then as written. David encouraged campers to watch the leader, and be mindful of local traditions.

Elective: Singing Favorites with Buell Cobb

1:00 p.m. Buell began this class by leading 131b, one of his favorite tunes. Buell stated that he had many favorites, and pointed out his reasons as the class sang with him. He led 72t and 121, stating that these songs are not used very often. Buell said he loves compound time, and the class sang 103 and 205. He enjoys singing the bass part on 52b and 129. He likes the treble part in 31t. Another favorite is 69t, which has a wonderful tenor and high counterpart. An essential southern fuging tune is found on page 208, and it has marvelous movement and echoing parts. Other songs that are Buell’s favorites are 37b, 472, 349, 26, 303, and 142.

Elective: Organization and Conduct of Singings/Conventions

1:00 p.m. Jesse P. Karlsberg led 59, a traditional opening song at many singings and conventions. He and David Ivey referred to page 25 of the Rudiments, and discussed each section with the class.

Lesson: The Memorial Lesson

2:15 p.m. Bridgett Hill Kennedy led 168. She explained what the memorial lesson means to her, and further explained the components of a memorial lesson. She then turned the class over to the memorial committee. Colleen Jones spoke on behalf of the sick and shut-ins. Werner Ullah read the following list of names of the sick and homebound: Bill Kerridge, Margaret Long, Edith Owen, Curtis Owen, Sister Pippa, Margaret Steel, Derek Winstanley, Henry Johnson, Paul Wyatt, Ploon, Toney Smith, Lavoy Smith, Barbara Willard, Rodney Willard, Alison Zunklei, S.T. Reed, Jewel Wootten, Sammie Oliver, Harald Grundner, Evelyn Harris, Daphene Causey, Margaret Oswald, Ula Jakuczun, Delores Lee, Pam Regan, Aine Ui Cheallaigh, Allan Jones, David Sillito, Liliana Sillito, Daragh Regan, Ray McGregor, and Elli Manz. Corinna Frische led 77t.

Gosia Perycz gave a homily for the deceased. Karen Turner read the following list of names of the deceased: Jeff Sheppard, Shelbie Sheppard, Josie Hyde, Stanly Edwards, Mike Nunn, Betty Wright, Hobert Ivey, C.T. Williams, Tat Bailey, Josephine Denney, Carlene Griffin, Teenie Moody, Kathleen House, and Mayer Shevin—USA; Bill Gillanders, Dorothy Williams, Protag, and Geoffrey Nathan—England; James Burgess—Scotland; Marko Van Der Horst—Netherlands; Vita Ilzetski—Israel; Harry Dorney—Ireland. Gail Doss led 285t. Claire Hogan closed the memorial service with prayer.

Lesson: Leading Workshop

3:30 p.m. Bridgett Hill Kennedy gave instructive advice to leaders during this class. Leaders: Yotin 189; Anna 193; Aaron 455; Zach 406; Eddie and Aaron 320; Jo 301; Hannah 362; Justyna 383; Philip 163t; Magdalena 69b; Colleen 485.

Lesson: Accent

3:30 p.m. David Ivey referred to page 16 of the Rudiments, specifically noting section 14, which explains the meaning and purpose of accent. He focused on accent patterns for each mode of time. The class practiced singing with accent on the following tunes: 213b, 313b, 569t, 436, 400, 39t, 84, 345b, 354t, 229, 348b, 98, and 360.

Elective: Arranging Committee

4:45 p.m. Jesse P. Karlsberg spoke about how important the Arranging Committee is to a singing. Arranging directly affects the flow of a singing and being on an Arranging Committee is a great way to contribute to a singing. Good arranging takes a great deal of pride and attention to detail. Jesse said there should be three goals to have on an Arranging Committee: ensure that all people get to lead; make sure people leave happy; make the singing good. Determining and announcing the order of song leaders at a singing is more than just calling names. It is one of the key ingredients in an excellent singing.

Elective: Dr. Isaac Watts: The Man With 146 Hymns in The Sacred Harp

4:45 p.m. Chris Brown spoke of the importance of words. He said that good songs have good words as well as good music. Judy Whiting led 49b. Chris explained the historical situation and biography of Dr. Isaac Watts. Leaders: Kathy Williams 306; Judy Whiting 464; Gosia Perycz 66. Chris stated that Watts did not attempt a faithful rendition of the Psalms. He then read Psalms 39 (t? b?), and compared it to the text of “Poland”. Justyna led 86. Chris encouraged the class to pay attention to the words in order to fully appreciate the song. Gosia led 447. Chris explained the links between Isaac Watts and the churches of New England. He spoke about the structure of Watts’s poetry, and mentioned that it was often edited for the American audience, but, he said, the appeal of Watts’s poetry for modern composers of the Sacred Harp is strong. Leaders: Chris Brown 211; Judy Whiting 150; Hannah Land 430; Eddie Mash 290; Linda Thomas 503.

Class Singing

led by Group 3. The following officers were elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—Eva Striebeck; Arranging Committee—Kate Coxon, Ethan Hardy, and Jacek Borkowicz; Chaplain—Zack Lindahl. Eva Striebeck led 47t to bring the class to order. Zack Lindahl offered the opening prayer. Leaders: Alberta Hardy 418; Werner Ullah 228; Ruth McNamara 496; Steve Helwig 462; Ophir Ilzetski 538; Philip Jacobs 163b; Ellen Lueck 112; Eddie Mash 88b; Magdalena Osthaus 421; Edmund Richardson 280; Chris Coughlin 76b; Judy Whiting 222; Susan Cherones and Gunnar Thorsteinsson 300; Andreas Manz 350; Ted Brown 391; Kathy Williams 217; Blazej Matusiak 155; Hannah Land 276; Claire Hogan 277; Cath Tyler 81t; Aaron Kahn 448t; Anna Spruch 288; Yotin Tiewtrakul 30b; Charley Ramm 82b; Olgierd Orlikowski 159; Richard Schmeidler 84; Linda Thomas 73t; Helen Brown 475. Eva Striebeck led 146 as the closing song. Zack Lindahl gave the devotional, and then offered the closing prayer.

Favorite Stories by Buell

8:45 p.m. The class met with Buell Cobb as he read excerpts from his book Like Cords Around My Heart. These included his memories of Ruth Denson Edwards, a quote from Dewey Williams, and a Civil War story from the Miller family about the song “Antioch”. The class sang 277 and ended with a great round of applause.

Thursday, September 25

Lesson: Rudiments III/Basics

9:00 a.m. David Ivey reviewed the basics, placing emphasis on the importance of practicing singing scales. The class sang major and minor scales and practiced intervals. David led 569b, showing an example of how to beat time and indicate a hold. The class sang 48t. David reviewed the modes of time, and gave some practical tips about leading. He read from page 20 of the Rudiments about dynamics. The class sang 38b, 25, and 24b.

Lesson: Rudiments III/Advanced

9:00 a.m. Dan Brittain led 354b. He reviewed several topics that had been mentioned during the week, including meter, pitching, and beating time. The class sang “Call John” (handout). Other songs sung or discussed were 314, 225b, 346, 359, 414, 185, and 353.

Elective: Songs of L.P. Breedlove

10:45 a.m. Dan Brittain and the class sang many of the compositions by Breedlove, including, but not limited to: 285t, 407, “Cross of Christ” (handout), “Meditation” (handout), and “Prosperity” (handout).

Elective: Dinner on the Ground

10:45 a.m. Karen Ivey talked about the traditions associated with dinner on the ground. She said it is an important part of an all-day singing, not only for feeding hungry singers, but also for social interaction. She gave campers practical tips about dishes to prepare, presentation, placement on the table, and transport. The group made punchbowl cakes to share for dessert at the evening meal.

Elective: B.F. White-Master Collaborator

1:00 p.m. Jesse P. Karlsberg talked about White’s life, his involvement in early Sacred Harp compositions, and various publications of editions of the Sacred Harp songbook. The class sang a number of White’s songs both in the 1991 Edition and previous editions in a packet. Leaders: Jesse “Jerusalem” (handout); Gosia 76b; Jesse 83t; Hannah 90; Jesse “Hamilton” (handout), “Piety” (handout), “The Red Sea Anthem” (handout), “Joyful in God” (handout), and “Home” (handout).

Lesson: The Singing Creel Family

2:15 p.m. Buell Cobb read an excerpt (“An Endearing Prickleness”) from his book Like Cords Around My Heart. The chapter is about his acquaintance with several members of the Creel and Reid families. He said that the families provided support to Sacred Harp singing, and brought spirit and great personality to the Sacred Harp community.

Lesson: Leading Workshop

3:30 p.m. Bridgett Hill Kennedy led 101b. Class members practiced leading skills while Bridgett gave instructional tips. Leaders: Pamela 63; Zack 34t; Karen 79; Jessica 196; Blazej 176t; Corinna 142; Rojana 228; Gosia 524; Andreas 65; Kate 383; Eddie 269; Chris 138t; Karen 388.

Lesson: Time and Tempo

3:30 p.m. Jesse P. Karlsberg reviewed qualities of time and tempo in each time signature. He referred to the Rudiments, pages 15 and 16. He explained the various modes of time and how to beat time in each. Jesse led 65. He continued by describing the relationship between poetry meter and time signature. Jesse led 384 and 329.

Elective: Reflections on a 50 (t? b?)-Year Sacred Harp Journey

4:45 p.m. Buell Cobb talked of the impact that tradition has had on Sacred Harp singing: an inheritance that is transportable, and sculpted by past practice. When he began attending singings in the mid-1960s, he was one of the few young people there. He said that at that time many were concerned that Sacred Harp might not last into the twenty-first century.

Buell also told of a group of African American singers in Central Alabama, who had been singing in isolation for years, that he discovered in the late 1990s. Though they kept many of the forms and rituals of their more than 100-year-old tradition, they no longer kept time when they sang, had little part singing, and used only a limited number of songs.

Buell told of his experience of singing with the “Wiregrass singers,” African American singers in Dothan, Ozark, and surrounding areas in southeast Alabama, beginning in the late 1960s. Dewey Williams, the unquestioned leader of that group, was, in Buell’s estimation, the most charismatic leader he ever saw. He talked of individual leading styles he had been impressed by over the years. In Buell’s opinion, Hugh McGraw was the most dynamic leader, and the best overall, with the sometimes sweeping movements of his style; “He was absolutely fearless.” Buell said he was somewhat amazed at the resurgence in popularity of Sacred Harp singing outside the south, and it’s growth in other countries.

Elective: Ungreatest Hits

4:45 p.m. Jesse P. Karlsberg welcomed the class. He said the focus of this class was to sing some of the songs in the Sacred Harp that seldom appear in the minutes. Leaders: Jesse P. Karlsberg 285b; Justyna Orlikowska 213b; Bridgett Hill Kennedy 109; Hannah Land 325; Edmund Richardson 421; Aaron Khan 286; Kathy Williams 536; Chris Coughlin 289; Magdalena Osthaus 410 (t? b?); Eddie Mash 374; Zack Lindahl 414; Gosia Perycz 450; Chris Brown 223; Ethan Hardy 81b; Ophir Ilzetski 398; Steve Helwig 399t; Eva Striebeck 165; Chris Brown 274b; Yotin Tiewtrakul 316; Kate Coxon 45b.

Class Singing

Led by Group 4. The class was brought to order by Kathy Williams leading 145t. The opening prayer was offered by Linda Thomas. Leaders: Karen Willard 27; Karen Turner 565; Chris Brown 468; Joanna Mankiewicz 503; Margaret Bradshaw 105; JoDell Albi 301; Colleen Jones 442; Rojana Wings 114; Gail Doss 400; Zack Lindahl 235; Jessica Sligter 31t; Ethan Hardy 147t; Joanne Fuller 426t; Jacek Borkowicz 313t; Kate Coxon 88t; Corinna Frische 224; Justyna Orlikowska 215; Pamela Minor 63; Dan Brittain 176t; Karen Ivey 182; Bridgett Hill Kennedy 434; Jesse P. Karlsberg 417; Gosia Perycz 352; David Ivey 360; Germany singers 102; United Kingdom female singers 318; United Kingdom male singers 373; Polish singers 445; USA male singers 481; USA female singers 475, 37b; singers from Hong Kong, Australia, Czech Republic, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, and Israel 99; Gosia Perycz, David Ivey, Karen Ivey, Dan Brittain, Buell Cobb, and Jesse Karlsberg led 521 as the closing song. The closing prayer was offered by Ophir Ilzetski. Chris Coughlin conducted the devotional.

Gosia Perycz presided over the presentation of gifts to the teachers at Camp FaSoLa Europe, 2014. There were many expressions of thanks to the teachers for their preparations and willingness to share. David Ivey made closing comments, stating that there were sixty-one campers representing eleven countries. The class was dismissed. Campers met on Friday morning for breakfast, and then departed.

Camp Director—David Ivey