Introducing Vol. 5, No. 1 of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company Newsletter

The tenth issue of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company Newsletter looks behind the scenes, exploring fascinating processes of composing, singing, and documenting Sacred Harp.


Printable version of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company Newsletter, Vol. 5, No. 1 (3.5 MB PDF).

Our issue opens with Andy Ditzler’s interview with prolific Sacred Harp photographer Robert Chambless, showing how Robert captures “all the in-between moments, the physicality, the spills as well as the smiles, of Sacred Harp.” David Wright describes how contributors to the 1960 Original Sacred Harp were influenced by earlier compositions and unveils for the first time John Hocutt’s astonishing method of composing his much-loved song “The Resurrection Day.” Two remembrances honor recently deceased singers who were awarded the Sacred Harp Publishing Company’s posthumous citation. Jason Stanford’s tribute to Carlene Griffin and Karen Rollins’s to B. J. and Evelyn Harris reveal humble, loving supporters of Sacred Harp singings in West Georgia, East Alabama, and across the country and beyond. Joe Jones’s portrait of a less recently departed singer, his grandfather, Sacred Harp composer Millard Fillmore McWhorter, offers a glimpse of how Sacred Harp singings were central to the social fabric across Alabama and much of the South. Mairye Bates’s report on the January All-California Convention draws readers into lively singing by a strong class, while reminding us of just how many other facets to a convention weekend there are besides singing. David Brodeur and David Smead focus on a new presence at Sacred Harp singings, the FaSoLa Minutes app by Mark T. Godfrey and Lauren Bock, illuminating the meaning of the entropy number that has intrigued many singers since the app’s release in 2013. Finally, in this issue’s “Just a Minute” column, UK singer Helen Brown tells us the story behind a unique event—a performance by an English group of West Gallery singers at the 1997 National Convention.

As always, the Newsletter team welcomes your comments on these articles and invites your suggestions of future article topics. Please get in touch.

Vol. 5, No. 1 Contents

Newsletter Team

  • Editor, Jesse P. Karlsberg
  • Associate Editor, Nathan Rees
  • Design (web edition): Leigh Cooper
  • Design (print edition): Elaena Gardner

About Jesse P. Karlsberg

Jesse P. Karlsberg is the vice president of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company. He edits the Sacred Harp Publishing Company Newsletter. Born in Boston, he lives in Atlanta and is senior digital scholarship strategist at Emory University.

About Nathan Rees

Nathan Rees is a member of the Board of Directors of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company and associate editor of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company Newsletter. Originally from Utah, he lives in Carrollton, Georgia, where he is assistant professor of art history at the University of West Georgia.
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