This exhibit celebrates one of southeast Georgia's most distinctive and cherished traditions: the style of three or four part, unaccompanied religious singing called "Sacred Harp" which has been a part of the local community since the mid 1800s. The Sacred Harp singing style originated in colonial New England and later spread to the American South where states like Georgia continue singing traditions of great power and beauty.

Overview

This series includes administrative files, oral interviews, field notes, video recordings, audio recordings, correspondence, and photographs dealing with southeast Georgia Sacred Harp traditions. Most of the series is focused around documentation of community and family singing traditions of the Lee Family of Hoboken, and the Hoboken Sacred Harp monthly sings that occur the Saturday before the third Sunday of each month in the Hoboken Elementary School. David I. Lee, his cousins Tollie Lee and Clarke Lee , and parents Johnny and Delorese Lee, are major consultants, although various other individuals were interviewed. Several special events are also documented: the annual Hoboken All-Day Sing (March); the Georgia-Florida-Alabama Tri-State Singing Convention, which is in Hoboken every third year; the Silas Lee Memorial Sing which took place at the 2000 Florida Folk Festival in White Springs; and the Library of Congress Local Legacies materials prepared by David I. Lee, including recordings of the Lee Family singing in the old "Hoboken-style" at the home of Johnny and Delorese Lee, Hoboken (1999). Related sings in Hilliard and Nathalene, Florida, both no longer extant, are also documented. A major sub-focus of the series is singing schools, which in Hoboken occur before the monthly sings in January and February; singing schools given by members of the Lee family to the national Sacred Harp community in various locations also are included. A rare singing of a "drone" is documented in both video and audio from the January, 2001, singing school.The series includes copies of various historic recordings of Hoboken-style singing, including recordings of Silas Lee, the late singing school teacher and song leader from Hoboken, along with family and friends at the 1958 Florida Folk Festival, and various family recordings assembled by David I. Lee of Hoboken and copied for archival preservation by Paul Butterfield of Winter Park, FL. Finally, the series includes materials used in creating "Let Us Sing": Southeast Georgia Sacred Harp, a permanent exhibit installed at the Okefenokee Heritage Center in Waycross (August 2001), co-curated by David I. Lee and Laurie K. Sommers with funding from the Georgia Council for the Arts.

Let Us Sing: Southeast Georgia Sacred Harp

Radio Programs

  • Sacred Harp, Hoboken, Georgia, from Wiregrass Ways, originally broadcast on Georgia Public Radio, 1999 Play
  • Singing Schools, with David I. Lee, Hoboken, Georgia from Wiregrass Ways, originally broadcast on Georgia Public Radio, 1999 Play
  • Chesser Homestead Open House, with members of the Chesser and Roddenberry families, from Sounds of South Georgia, originally broadcast on Georgia Public Radio, 2006 Play
  • Pulse of the Planet four-part ( 1, 2, 3, 4) feature on Sacred Harp in Hoboken, with Jim Metzner, originally broadcast on PRI, 2000 Play 1 Play 2 Play 3 Play 4
  • Sacred Harp, Hoboken, Georgia, from Wiregrass Ways, originally broadcast on Georgia Public Radio, 1999 Play
  • Sacred Harp, Hoboken, Georgia, from Wiregrass Ways, originally broadcast on Georgia Public Radio, 1999 Play
  • Hoboken-Style Sacred Harp from the Florida Folk Festival, produced by William B. Dudley for the Florida Humanities Council, 2000 Play

Reports

Photographs

Valdosta State University Archives - View my 'Sacred Harp' photos on Flickriver
Hands holding a shape-note hymn book.
A woman stands leading a sing from the middle of a seated group.
Exterior view of Hoboken, Georgia Highschool
A woman stands leading a sing from the middle of a seated group.
Old photo of the Chesser family on the porch.
Portrait of Lazarus Dowling
David Lee speaks to a seated group.
A woman stands leading a sing from the middle of a seated group.
A crowd makes their plates of food. A large feast is laid out on a long table.
Elvera Dowling and granddaughters.
David Lee and Clarke Lee walk time as they lead a sing in a seated crowd.
A group sings.
A seated group sings sacred harp hymns.
A congregation in an old-timey church.
Bryant Lee teaches a group.
A group sings in a living room setting.