Savannah Sacred Harp Singers

Old-time songs sung powerfully

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Forum Home > How Did You Become A Sacred Harp Singer? > Good for the heart and soul

Nancy Wheless
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Posts: 1

My introduction to Sacred Harp Music came when I was about 14 years old.  The year was 1970 and, while at Hillview Primitive Baptist Youth Camp near Metter, GA, I joined a small group of fellow campers who had gathered in the chapel to sing Sacred Harp or "Old Line" hymns.  Growing up in Savannah, GA as a "Progressive" Primitive Baptist, the hymns I was used to, were usually sung softly and always with an instrumental accompaniment.  This music was quite new to me and the haunting sound reached in and touched something deep inside me.  I could hear my grandfather, Elder A. R. Crumpton, in every song, remembering his strong and powerful, yet woeful singing from the pulpit.  While I never heard him sing actual Sacred Harp music, he was originally an "Old Line" Primitive Baptist from Shelby County Alabama where the Sacred Harp influence was quite evident.  He then became a "Progressive" Primitive Baptist preacher and moved to Georgia in 1925.  He was also a teacher and an author with a sweet and gentle soul who touched many lives during his life here on earth.

 

Well, I as I grew older and experienced many life changes, I did not hear Sacred Harp Music again for many years.  Then, in 2005, while reading the Savannah Morning News, I came across an article announcing the meeting time and location of the Savannah Sacred Harp Singers.  The announcement welcomed all singers, experienced or not (I took that to mean good or bad) so I attended my first Sacred Harp singing since being introduced to it 35 years ago.

 

Now, not a day goes by that I do not sing or listen to Sacred Harp.  It ministers to my heart; it uplifts my soul, and can bring tears of joy and sadness as it stirs sweet memories of loved ones waiting for us in a better place.

 

And I can still hear Grand Daddy...

 

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February 26, 2009 at 1:23 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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