Who are we?
Sheila Girling Macadam
Incorporating the services of
Cawthorne, Nick Hall and Dilwyn Scott
were the idea of Tony Singleton, who, in 1993, got us together as a four
part harmony group to sing American
The Sacred Harp,
on a monthly basis. Our early sessions
took place in Jill Thompson’s house in Brighton,
1994 we practised at Rachel’s home in Lewes. We
called ourselves ‘Southern Harmony’ at the time, and our first public
appearance as a quartet was in an ‘American Evening’ concert with the
West Gallery quire,
at St Thomas à Becket church in Lewes, on Tuesday 4 July. We were all
members of Sussex Harmony (Edwin was a co-founder) and as a group
between 1995 and 1997 we made contributions to Sussex Harmony concerts.
Belcher Supply Company?
In 1996 the quartet
had an opportunity to appear in the Bracknell Folk Festival, and decided
to look for a name with a unique selling point! Sheila and Rachel had
met Bruce Randall, musician, composer, trombone and sackbut player
extraordinaire from Haverhill, Massachusetts at the
New England Sacred Harp Convention in Vermont,
the previous year, and he coined the phrase in a letter to Sheila in
March 1996. It was a pun on
Supply Belcher, who was a prolific psalmody
composer from 18th century Maine, and some of whose music was
already in our repertoire. She responded saying it sounded a good name
for a singing group, and could we use it? Bruce was delighted and the
rest is history. We continued to sing as a group until Sheila and
Edwin moved to Oxford early in 1998. Tony, Sheila and Edwin still
perform together with Steve Fletcher as
In March 2010 we reformed to run a very successful shapenote workshop at
Teignmouth, Devon. We had so much fun then, we’ve gone back into
business as a group, and have expanded into The Belcher Supply Company
Inc., recruiting the services of Lin Cawthorne, Nick Hall and
Dilwyn Scott for a workshop in Stroud on 19 November 2011.
Supply Belcher (29
March 1751 - 6 June 1836), of Farmington, Maine, was a tavern keeper and
tax collector. Compiler of The Harmony of Maine, pub. 1794.
Composer of nearly 70 psalm and hymn tunes, including The Lily and
Conversion (Sacred Harp 297).
Belcher Supply Company Inc.
offer workshops in shapenote music, using material from;
the 1991 edition
The Sacred Harp,
the 1998 edition of
Northern Harmony, and
the 2005 edition of
as well as contemporary compositions in the genre by English writers.
There is no charge for these workshops to community groups, although
TBSCo. Inc. would
request a contribution to travel expenses, and overnight accommodation
TBSCo. Inc. also offer workshops and singing schools to traditional folk
festivals, and other musical and educational organisations on a
negotiable basis, to include travel and other expenses.
information on The Belcher Supply Company please contact Sheila and
Edwin Macadam Tel: 01865 865773 e-mail: