Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Alabama Bicentennial Sacred Harp Singing

Jefferson County Courthouse, Birmingham, Alabama

Sunday, June 30, 2019

A special Sacred Harp singing was held celebrating Alabama’s two hundred years of statehood and commemorating the Alabama Sacred Harp Singing Convention held in the courthouse in August, 1942. The class was made up of singers from eleven states and three other countries. The class was called to order by Aldo Ceresa and David Ivey leading 82t. The opening prayer was offered by Bridgett Hill Kennedy. Commissioner Joe Knight made comments and welcomed the class. Joey Brackner representing the Alabama State Council on the Arts, welcomed everyone, and led 63. The following officers were previously asked to serve: Co-chairmen—Aldo Ceresa and David Ivey; Vice Chairman—Joey Brackner; Secretary—Judy Caudle; Chaplain—Bridgett Hill Kennedy; Finance Officer—Buell Cobb; Arranging Committee—Cindy Tanner and Cassie Allen; Food Coordinators—Elene Stovall and Linda Thomas.

Leaders: Judy Caudle 85; Bridgett Hill Kennedy 277; Buell Cobb 423; Philip Gilmore 76b; Stefani Priskos 426b; Scott DePoy and Jeannette DePoy 201; Hubert Nall 313t; Wanda Capps 203; Katlin Bailey 107; Em Ekelund 436; Aldo Ceresa and Joe Knight 159; Philip Denney and Gayle Denney 294; Charlotte Ehrman 486; Deborah Taube and Bill Bishop 49b; Mary Amelia Taylor 474; Waylon Blakeley and Chita Blakeley 377; Robert Chambless and Judy Chambless 527; Lisa Bennett and David Smead 441; Emma Calvert, Amelia Jett, and Ainslie Allen 146; Idy Kiser and Gillian Inksetter 230; Danny Creel and Ann Jett 269; Winfred Kerr and Jack Nelson 59.


Alvaro Witt Duarte led 472 to bring the class back together. Leaders: Samuel Sommers and Justin Bowen 502; Susan Allred and Jennifer Allred 183; Emily Stutzman and Brian Leanza 64; Lucy Heidorn and David Heidorn 87; Loyd Ivey and John Stiefel 89; Gail Doss and Ann Riley 142; Nicholas Thompson and Lisa Geist 304; Kathy Williams 186; Dan Brittain 360; Grace Gilmore and Rebekah Gilmore 215; Anna Hinton and Annaliza Cull 112; Jacoba Bruneel 440; Jim Carnes and Erin Carnes 48t; Mike Hankins 168; Joshua Lant 349; Philippe Doyle Gosselin 522; Marty Wootten, Jared Wootten, Jamey Wootten, and Cole Wootten 546; Carolyn Thompson 442; Katie Ahern and Laurie Skelton 475; Joyce Smith 100; Butch White 547; Holly Mixon 99; Gavin Blakeley 335; Sam Carter 270; David Jackson 37b; Suzanne Harp and Joey Brackner 45t. Bridgett Hill Kennedy asked a blessing before the noon meal.


The afternoon session began with Rebecca Over leading 392. Leaders: Barrett Patton and Caleb Harvey 411; Elsa Phemayotin 383; Nathan Rees 447; Leanne Carter 47b; David Brodeur and Andy Ditzler 192; Reba Windom and Pam Nunn 196; Chris Parris 454; Rodney Ivey, Cassie Allen, and Shelley Calvert 498; Jonathon Smith 432; Blake Sisemore 434; Elene Stovall 316; Larry Ballinger and Earl Ballinger 528; Jesse P. Karlsberg, Lauren Bock, and Lucey Rose Karlsberg 396; Ken Tate 147t; Karen Rollins, Matt Hinton, and Rodney Ivey 365; Richard Ivey, Kelsie Ivey, Everett Ivey, and Meredith Ivey 371; Sarah Trumbore and Tom George 272; Karen Ivey and Stuart Ivey 182; Daniel Lee and Susan Cherones 278t; Cindy Tanner and Lucy Heidorn 155; Marlin Beasley, Sarah Beasley, and Seth Holloway 61; Linda Sides and Nicholas Thompson 530.

Aldo Ceresa presided over a presentation of audio excerpts from the Alan Lomax recordings currently under restoration by the Library of Congress. Aldo commemorated the 1942 session of the Alabama Sacred Harp Singing Convention, which met here in the Jefferson County Courthouse in August of that year. The class listened to Doc Owen leading 387; Howard Denson leading 300, and George Pullen Jackson leading 342. The class also heard excerpts from a speech from the Convention floor by Paine Denson and excerpts from an interview with Paine Denson and Alan Lomax. Aldo concluded the presentation by playing the recording of Paine Denson singing the tenor part of “The American Star” (346).


Elene Stovall led 101t to bring the class together. Leaders: Beth Branscome 477; Hazel Heinze 413; Shane Brown 297; Vella Dailey 549; Tim Morton 300; Michele Cull 208 (in memory of Darrell Swarens); Cheyenne Ivey 222; Linda Thomas 217; Linda Booth and Tom Booth 204; Lucas Jordan 481; Jennifer Cogle and Matthew Cogle 30b; Loretta Whitman, Louise Yeager, and Margaret Keeton 480; Aldo Ceresa and David Ivey 532. Announcements were made.

Aldo Ceresa, David Ivey, and Joey Brackner led 62 as the closing song. Bridgett Hill Kennedy offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Co-chairmen—Aldo Ceresa and David Ivey; Vice Chairman—Joey Brackner; Secretary—Judy Caudle