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Glenn Winchester, a likeable young man, is one
of the leaders in this section. He is president of
the Fifth Sunday Convention and also is in charge
of the Mt. Moriah, his home church. His per
sonality and keen wit makes him an ideal person
for the job. Crockett Matthews, Holland Corn,
Hugh Bradburn, and many other Ecustans support
Glenn in his endeavors around the county.
Critics of such singing conventions point out
the music used is sometimes questionable, that
it is too swingy at times; and that more con
servative, recognized music should be used. The
singers and audiences alike seem to prefer things
just as they are and the huge success the conven
tions enjoy is proof that the music is what folks
like. They say that the spirit and enthusiasm that
is characteristic of their type of music exceeds
that shown in the more conservative music.
A typical convention attracts from five to fif
teen or twenty quartets, trios, etc. and each group
takes a turn at the "mike” and periodically the
audience is invited to join in on a number. The
"singing class,” made up of all the groups, sits
near the front of the auditorium and leads the
congregation hymns. Usually a well-known visit
ing singer is asked to direct these hymns and the
rafters echo the volume thus achieved.
Few of the events here are of a competitive
nature, but after the first round of appearances at
the mike, it is pretty evident as to the best
quartets or trios, and the healthy round of ap
plause calls them back for encores. The groups
come from Brevard, Rosman, Hendersonville,
Asheville, and many points in South Carolina—
Easley, Pelzer, Greenville, and elsewhere.
Names of the groups are varied—Mellotone
Quartet, Tonemasters, Harmony Four, or they
may be known by the vicinity, family, or church
In pictures on this and the preceding page,
The Echo has tried to capture the spirit of a sing
ing convention. The teen-age girls’ trio ivhich
effectively introduces the story appeared at a
recent Fifth Sunday Singing Convention at the
county courthouse. Above, right, on this page is
a portion of the large crowd at the same sing
ing; center is the Wilson Trio of Pelzer which
made such a hit with the crowd, and below is
the Riverside Quartet of Rosman. The pianist is
Irene Staton of Endless Belt. Glenn Winchester,
president of the Fifth Sunday Convention, is
shown in front of the microphone.
A collection is usually taken, with proceeds
going to defray expenses of some of the groups
coming the longest distance. This is not a profit-
making scheme by any means as most of the visit
ing singers bear their own expenses because they
love to sing.
All ages flock to the conventions and with as
many young people interested as are, the "sing
ings” will certainly not fade out in the next gene
ration or two. If anything, their popularity will
grow and larger auditoriums will be needed to
accommodate the gatherings.
We are not sure just how singing conventions
began, but the old-fashioned "dinner-on-the-
ground” rural church gatherings must have had
an influence on their birth. At these occasions,
singing was always a big feature since the meet
ing generally lasted all day and music provided a
pleasant break between the preaching services.