Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Holly Springs Memorial Singing

Holly Springs Primitive Baptist Church, Bremen, Georgia

June 2-3, 2018

Saturday, June 2

The annual Sacred Harp memorial singing was held at Holly Springs Primitive Baptist Church, near Bremen, Georgia, on the first Sunday and Saturday before in June. Richard DeLong called the class to order leading 32t. Richard then welcomed everyone, and Philip Denney offered the opening prayer. Richard DeLong led 101t.

Leaders: Glenda Collins and Barbara Brooks 100; Michael Thompson 89; Jeannette DePoy 36b; Blake Sisemore 436; Robert Kelley 176b; Judy Chambless 318; Daniel Lee 354t; Wanda Capps 546; Lori Graber 317; Philip Denney 142; Karen Rollins 119 (in memory of B.M. Smith); Winfred Kerr 500 (in memory of Hugh McGraw); Matt Hinton 228; Rebecca Over 558; Bruce Coates 535; Robert Chambless 75; Henry Johnson 489 (in memory of Felton Denney); Travis Peet 448t; Abby Huckaby and Sarah Huckaby 99; Silas Huckaby 328.


Lela Crowder led 37b to bring the class to order. Leaders: David Smead 425; Virginia Dyer 340; Mark Graber 503; Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg 316; Margie Smith and Holly Smith 225t (in memory of B.M. Smith); John Plunkett 330t; Debora Grosse 189; Pam Nunn 216; Oscar McGuire 573; Kathy Williams 434 (in memory of her mother, Louise Holland); Eric Tweedy 368; Sandra Wilkinson 277; Joyce Peet 551; Buell Cobb 32b; Anna Hinton 455; Jesse Roberts 486; Don Bowen and Richard DeLong 77b (in honor of Charlene Wallace).

Richard DeLong asked Sacred Harp Publishing Company Board Members Danny Creel, Karen Rollins, and Kathy Williams to come forward. Danny Creel stated, “The Publishing Company started to present citations forty-nine years ago to honor and recognize loyal supporters and dedicated singers for outstanding work and untiring support to the cause of Sacred Harp music. The same six criteria hold true today. Those criteria are as follows: only deceased stockholders are eligible to receive a citation; the deceased stockholder must have been active in the formation of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company since 1935 and/or be a stockholder in said company; to be eligible to receive a citation, the deceased person must have been a teacher, writer, or an outstanding supporter and leader of Sacred Harp music; all citations presented must have been approved by a two-thirds majority of the Board of Directors; the citation must be presented to the person or persons approved by the Board of Directors; and the citation must be presented at the honoree’s memorial or home singing by an officer or member of the Board of Directors of said company. Danny Creel added that a lot of people fit some of this criteria, but this one is right at the top!

Karen Rollins then spoke, and said that Hugh was the Executive Secretary of the Board when this citation was started because he was Executive Secretary from 1958 to 2002. Many of you are probably here today singing because of Hugh McGraw. He was a good singer, especially when he was a young man. He was a vigorous leader and it was a pleasure to watch him in the square. He was a good caretaker. When he became Executive Secretary the records of the company were not in very good order. Hugh kept very good records. We have him to thank for a lot of what we do today. He was a good promoter. He went on a lot of Sacred Harp trips, taking trips to the Holy Land, to England, and all over the U.S. He wrote some of the best songs in our book and was an ambassador for Sacred Harp wherever he went, and of course, he led the revision of the book that we use now. Karen further stated that what I’ll remember most about him is what a good supporter he was of small singings. In the last years I know he didn’t always feel like going, but you could see him sitting in the bass; he would key when you needed him to. He encouraged a lot of young singers. He gave his stock certificates to young singers and I remember that he loved his family. He was very proud of them. Karen then asked Hugh’s family to come to the square. Kathy Williams read the citation, and presented it to Paula McGraw Hannah, Hugh’s youngest daughter. Kathy mentioned that Hugh had received many honors. He was recognized locally by the Haralson County Board of Commissioners and received a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship in 1982. Kathy said that what I’ll remember most was his generosity. Many years ago I asked if I could take my daughter on a trip to the New England Convention. Everything was already planned. Hugh said, “Sure, you can go!” Kathy then added, “I will definitely remember the drive on the New Jersey Turnpike!”

The class resumed singing with Charles Woods leading 283. Leaders: Ann Jett 88t; Micah Roberts 33b; Karen Morris 430; Dan Edwards 34t; Helen Brown 532; Lauren Bock and Lucey Rose Karlsberg 527. John Plunkett offered the blessing of the noon meal at the tables.


The afternoon session of singing began with Michael Walker leading 418. Leaders: Erica Hinton 314; Fallon Cook 168; Beverly Coates 229; Eli Hinton 148; Diane Avery 186; Louis Hughes 348b; Faye Hollis 78; Richard Mauldin 446; Judy Mincey 502; Ryan Konopka, Alex Rupp-Coppi, and Michael Walker 63; Greta Edwards 77t; Joel Bassett 298; Susan Cherones 349; Ted Brown 187; Danny Creel 485; Glenda Collins and Barbara Brooks 339; Tommy McGraw 268 (in memory of his daddy, Earlis McGraw, and his mother, Teenie Moody); John Kelso 185; Nathan Rees 103; Fred Eady 183; Jonathon Smith 348t; Phillip Langley 564; Silas Huckaby 344; Beverly Coates 432; Rebecca Over 531 (in memory of Hugh McGraw); Helen Brown 517; Abby Huckaby and Sarah Huckaby 354b; Bruce Coates 566; Ted Brown 74t; Sheri Taylor, and Christian Webb 294.

Richard DeLong led 318, and recognized Ms. Lurie Boyd (age 100). Ms. Boyd said she attended a singing school that Tom Denson taught many years ago.

A business session was held with the following officers elected or appointed to serve: Lifetime Chairman—Charlene Wallace; Vice Chairman—Richard DeLong; Secretary—Donna Bell; Arranging Officer—Michael Thompson.

The class agreed to convene at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. Announcements were made. Richard DeLong led 46 as the closing song. Jesse Roberts offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Sunday, June 3

The Sunday session of the Holly Springs Sacred Harp Memorial singing was called to order at 10:00 a.m. by Richard DeLong. He welcomed everyone, then led 34b. Tim Williams offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: Charlene Wallace 155; Richard DeLong 31t; Michael Thompson 59; Donna Bell 172 (in memory of her daddy, George Garner, and her uncle, C.W. Garner); Rebecca Over 470 (in memory of Lloyd Redding); Oscar McGuire 276; Karen Rollins 389 (in memory of Darrell Swarens); Robert Chambless 225t; Jeannette DePoy 171; Winfred Kerr 560; Lela Crowder 30t; Fred Eady 178; Scott DePoy 277; Esther Williams 148; Joel Baggett 70b; Virginia Dyer 137 (in memory of Florice Akin and Edward Cagle); Nathan Rees 374; Malinda Snow 96; Emmadene Williams 74t (for Daniel Williams).


The class was called back to order by Nathan Rees leading 313t. Leaders: Isaac Green 395; Amber Davis 88t; Michael Walker 380; Robert Kelley 215; Fallon Cook 146 (for Betty Mobley); Chrissy Glen 569b; Phillip Langley 460; Shane Brown 373; Judy Chambless 549; Cecil Roberts 75; Sheri Taylor, Christian Webb, Laura Frey, and Riley McKibben 119; Debra Langley and Phillip Langley 299; Michael Walker 369 (in memory of Hugh McGraw); Lori Goode 358, 294; Laura Frey 163b; Donna Bell 481; Oscar McGuire 441; Fred Eady 236; Winfred Kerr 36b. Shane Brown offered the blessing of the noon meal at the tables.


The final session of singing began with Michael Thompson leading 76b. Leaders: Amber Davis 192; Nathan Rees 126; Rebecca Over 353 (in memory of Earlis McGraw, Hugh McGraw, and other deceased McGraw family members); Robert Kelley 42; Joel Baggett 181; Malinda Snow 191; Chrissy Glen 27; Lela Crowder 157; Fallon Cook 196; Esther Williams 270; Phillip Langley 385b; Sheri Taylor 77t; Isaac Green 302; Debra Langley 209; Judy Chambless 37b; Shane Brown 260; Karen Rollins 136; Cecil Roberts 403; Robert Chambless 84; Emmadene Williams 523; Scott DePoy and Jeannette DePoy 274t; Cecil Roberts 312b.

Announcements were made. Richard DeLong led 62 as the closing song. Cecil Roberts offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Charlene Wallace; Vice Chairman—Richard DeLong; Secretary—Donna Bell