Friday, November 24, 2017

T. W. Springfield: Alabama preacher and music teacher

I find it exciting when my research interests (in this case Baptist history and Sacred Harp singing) intersect at the same place. I’m searching for information on a “unity meeting” called by Free Will Baptists in 1889 to organize in the South “Baptists who believe in free will, free salvation and free communion.” Woods Springfield was a Free Will Baptist preacher of the Mount Moriah Association in Alabama, who also supported the unity convention. I thought his name was unique enough to garner some special hits while researching. In doing so I found he was also a Sacred Harp singer and music teacher!

Pickens County Herald and Alabamian, September 22, 1886

The Lamar Democrat, May 24, 1922

And from The Guin Gazette, April 2 1897:

The first session of the Marion County Music Teachers Institute was held at Guin commencing on Saturday March 20th, 1897.
Institute was opened with singing by the class and prayer by Rev. T. W. Springfield, after which the following order of business was transacted.
Election of Officers
J. A. Hamilton was elected President.
M. A. Springfield Secretary
Address of Welcome - by T. W. Springfield
The need to a Musical Institute - by Prof. J. T. Allen, M. A. Hamilton, and J. L. Smith.
A Blackboard Illustration - by J. L. Smith and T. A. Vaughn.
A Musical Measure - by A. M. Stanford and J. T. Allen.
The use of Flats and Sharps at the beginning of a Composition - by T. T. Vaughn, J. L. Smith and T. W. Springfield.
Is Punctuation observed in Music as indicated literally - by J. T. Allen and J. L. Smith.
How many real kinds of keys - by J. T. Allen, J. L. Smith and A. M. Stanford.
Should votes culture* be taught in Primary Singing Schools - by J. L. Smith and J. T. Allen.
Why is minor music not used at the present time - by T. A. Vaughn and J. T. Allen.  Adjournment until 9:30 a.m. Sunday
SUNDAY 9:30 a.m.
Institute met and reported as follows A. M. Stanford, J. T. Allen and J. H. Holcomb conducted the music 15 minutes each.  Recess 15 minutes.
House called to order and music conducted by J. H. Holcomb, A. M. Stanford, J. L. Smith, and J. T. Allen. Guin was selected as the place for holding the next Institute commencing on Friday before the third Sunday in July 1897.  J. H. Holcomb, J. L. Smith, and A. M. Stanford were appointed committee on program, adjourned until 1:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m.
House called to order and the music was conducted by J. A. Hamilton, A. M. Stanford, and J. H. Holcomb. After prayer by Rev. A. A. Smith, the Institute adjourned.
M. A. Springfield, Secretary

* perhaps “vocal culture” is intended?

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