Huntsville Sacred Harp Newsletter

Number 25, May 1996

David Ivey, Editor (
16021 Deaton Drive, Huntsville AL 35803
(205) 881-5291

Huntsville All-Day Singing Set for May 4

The date of the annual Huntsville All-Day Singing has been changed to the Saturday before the first Sunday in May. This has been done to move the singing away from Mother's Day weekend, a time when many folks have special family and travel plans. The singing will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at approximately 2:30 p.m. We extend to you a special invitation to attend this twelfth annual singing. Pam Wilkerson is the chairperson for this year's singing. Lomax Ballinger is Vice Chair. Please come and sing! For out-of-towners who may consider traveling to Huntsville for this singing, an all-day singing follows the next day, Sunday, May 5th, at Shady Grove Church on Sand Mountain near Dutton, Alabama. This is just over one hour east of Huntsville just off of Alabama Highway 71.

1996 Young People's Singing Set for Huntsville in September

The sixteenth annual Young People's Singing will be held this year at Burritt Museum on Saturday, September 28th. Don't be misled by the name of this singing! This singing is for everyone of all ages. The singing, however, is an opportunity for the Sacred Harp "young people" (age 30s and under) to be the officers, organizers, and committee members. Plan now to support this singing with your attendance, your covered dishes, your singing, and your encouragement and support.

Book Description Excerpts
from Steven Sabol's "Sacred Harp Resources" Compilation

The Sacred Harp: A Tradition and Its Music, by Buell E. Cobb, Jr. An excellent and unique scholarly account of all aspects of the Sacred Harp tradition. Required reading for every serious Sacred Harp singer. The author is an Alabamian who was drawn into Sacred Harp in his college years and later wrote a Master's thesis on the subject. Whereas other scholarly studies by musicologists examine the tradition from the outside, Mr. Cobb, whose phenomenal treble voice is heard at many singings each year, observes and analyzes the musical and social aspects of the Southern tradition from the inside,yet with objectivity and perspicacity. First published in hardback in 1978 and in paperback edition in 1989 with a new preface describing the status of Sacred Harp singing in 1988. The reader should be cautioned that the appendix listing all Southern singings, not revised since 1978, lists many singings that have since been discontinued. (For current singing information, see the 1995-1996 Directory and Minutes.) Paperback is $12.95 plus $2.00 postage from the University of Georgia Press, Athens, GA 30602. Also one can order it for $12 postpaid directly from Mr. Cobb at 2216 Shady Dell Lane, Birmingham, AL 35216.

Sacred Harp Singings 1995-1996: 1995 Minutes, 1996 Directory, compiled by Shelbie Sheppard. An indispensable annual book for singers desiring to network, travel, and sing Sacred Harp with others in authentic settings such as in the rural South. The newly redesigned book contains (1) schedules of annual singings and conventions for the current year, listed by date, (2) a schedule of local periodic singings with contact names and addresses, listed by state and city (compiled by Bob Hall and Ella Wilcox), (3) minutes of the previous year's 1991-Edition annual singings listing the songs sung (by page number) and the leader for each song, and (4) a directory of names, addresses, and phone numbers of roughly two thousand Sacred Harp singers throughout the world. Previously compiled by Nora and Walter Parker, the book this year has been compiled and redesigned by Shelbie Sheppard, assisted by Chris Thorman, Carolyn Deacy, David Ivey, Keith and Jenny Willard, Edith Tate, and Pam Nunn. Ms. Sheppard is the Minutes Book secretary of the Alabama State Sacred Harp Singing Convention, which now publishes the book. The price is $3 per book postpaid. Make checks payable to The Alabama State Sacred Harp Convention. Send orders to: Attn: Minutes Book Order, Jeff and Shelbie Sheppard, P.O. Box 5246, Gadsden, AL 35905. Limited quantities of the book are made available at no charge to singing groups sponsoring singings having minutes in the book. The minutes are also available in a superb searchable database format on the Internet's World Wide Web, thanks to Chris Thorman, Keith Willard, and others, at the following address: To receive a complete copy of Steven Sabol's excellent resources guide, find this resource on the World Wide Web at

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