Article on Sacred Harp Composer Raymond C. Hamrick in Georgia Music News

Update (December 7, 2014): Thanks to Mary Leglar for granting me permission to post a copy of this article here in memory of Raymond C. Hamrick, who died last month at age ninety-nine.

Update (January 26, 2015): The Guardian and Georgia Music have recently posted lovely remembrances of Raymond C. Hamrick. Read,

Update (January 5, 2017): A substantially revised and expanded version of my essay on Hamrick appears in the new special issue of the Sacred Harp Publishing Company Newsletter on Hamrick as “Raymond C. Hamrick’s Contributions to Sacred Harp Singing and Scholarship.”

“Raymond Cooper Hamrick: Sacred Harp Craftsman,” in Georgia Music News.

An article of mine, “Raymond Cooper Hamrick: Sacred Harp Craftsman,” which contains a short biography of Hamrick and an account of his prolific output as a Sacred Harp composer, has been published as the “Historical Profile” in Georgia Music News, Volume 72, Number 2 (Winter 2011).

In addition to his six songs in the Sacred Harp, 1991 Edition, one hundred of Hamrick’s shape-note compositions are collected in the Georgian Harmony (2010). Sacred Harp singers are currently meeting to sing through an even larger selection of Hamrick’s music, in preparation for the publication of a second volume, expected in 2012.

Hamrick has been a gracious friend and mentor since I first met him six years ago. I am glad to have had the opportunity to write about him for this publication. In addition to Hamrick, I would like to thank John Plunkett, who improved my article by offering revisions, contributing research, soliciting materials and obtaining permissions for their use, and writing a first draft of the paragraphs in the article on The Georgian Harmony. He should properly be credited as a co-author. Thank you as well to Stephanie Tingler for soliciting the piece, and for commenting on a draft. My thanks to Mary Leglar and the staff of Georgia Music News for publishing the piece, and for their work in copyediting the manuscript and laying it out beautifully. Thanks to Pat Graham, Justin Levi, Sara Lynch-Thomason, and Jonathon Kelso for allowing me to include photographs and illustrations of theirs with the piece. And finally, thanks to Hugh McGraw and Charlene Wallace for identifying the date and location of a photograph of Raymond Hamrick from the 1970s.

4 thoughts on “Article on Sacred Harp Composer Raymond C. Hamrick in Georgia Music News

  1. I’d very much like to see your article. How can I find it in the UK? I met Mr. Hamrick at Holly Springs in 1996 and we are still in touch.

  2. Jesse,

    Uncle Raymond would love to get a copy of your article about him. We haven’t found a website to order the magazine. Do you have an address?


    Leesa (Hamrick) Rickman.

    1. Thanks Leesa and David for your interest in this article.

      It turns out that this issue of Georgia Music News was quite popular and that there aren’t any copies left for purchase. The editor, however, has provided me with a scanned PDF copy of my article. I am happy to pass the copy along to any who are interested in reading my piece. You can contact me by e-mail at

  3. I think I may be related to Raymond Hamrick on my father’s side of the family. My aunt Burnease Hamrick Alred was into Sacred Harp singing and was mentioned in the DVD Awake, My Soul. Thank you for writing this essay on such an impressive member of the Sacred Harp singing community.

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