Pathways - How the Lord brought us together

Sonnie Hudgins Harp

Sonnie Hudgins Harp comes from a heritage that is rich in ministry and music. Her grandfather, C. Ray Kinney, was an evangelist and minister in the Seventh-day Adventist church for many years. Her father, Franklin W. Hudgins, was a pastor who served many years in both departmental work and ministry with Faith For Today, Voice Of Prophecy, and the church's General Conference. Her mother, Lorraine Hudgins, served as secretary for many years to such Adventist leaders as Elders H. M. S. Richards, Sr. and H. M. S. Richards, Jr.

Growing up in a musically talented family, she and her two brothers and two sisters contributed to the music of the churches her father was pastoring. Sonnie and her sisters have always possessed a wonderful vocal blend and have sung often as a trio as well as performing with the entire family. In the early 1960's, Sonnie took her love for music to new heights when she enrolled at Southwestern Junior College in Keene, Texas, where she studied voice under the tutelage of Professor Harold Lickey.

Later, Sonnie studied under Paul Hill and sang with the Mizpah Choraliers. Under his direction, Sonnie discovered her deep love for music and made an early commitment to excellence in her music studies and performances. Paul Hill had this kind of impact on his students. He instilled a professionalism that inspired his students to excel. Paul later became the choral director at Columbia Union College where Sonnie was privileged to be a part of that college's elite touring group, Pro Musica.

Sonnie continued her contribution to her church by singing, playing piano, and directing the choir. She often sang and played for revivals, evangelistic crusades, and camp meetings. Also, she joined community chorales and kept alive her deep love for classical choral music.

Throughout her life, Sonnie had always written poetry, but realized she should be setting it to music. She has always possessed a God-given gift for expressing herself through words. Sonnie has come by this gift very naturally, for her mother has been writing and publishing her stories, poems, and prose for years. Sonnie began to write of her life's experience and love and gratitude for God. Her first song You Promised Me was an instant success. The words expressed Sonnie's faith in God's promise that He would "save our children." Other artists have recorded this song along with others of Sonnie's compositions. In 1999, she published her first songbook in a collection entitled Sonnie's Songs. In 2005, she released Sonnie's Songs, Volume Two. Using her Apple Computer and Cubase 4.1 music software for scoring and arranging via midi, she scores her new songs for publication and creates the musical arrangements for performance.

Herman Harp

After taking up violin at age 9, Herman realized early that music was to be an important part of his life. He was 12 when he began singing in the church choir in his hometown of Amarillo, Texas. He was fortunate to have a mom that encouraged him from his early years to express himself through music. It was here in Amarillo that he was invited by Ken Cox, a young pastor in Clayton, New Mexico, to assist him in a crusade. Herman was 16 years old at the time. That series of meetings inspired Herman and from that first crusade he made a commitment to assist in the evangelistic outreach of the church at every opportunity. Herman has assisted in the music of over 25 crusades and revivals since 1957.

Herman's early music experience included touring with two very fine male quartets-The Four Steps and The Coachmen. While singing with The Coachmen, Herman made time to work for several recording studios and professional promotional agencies. It was during this time that he sang stage backup vocals for several recording and touring artists. He did backup vocals on a 1960's hit, Please Mr. Custer, I don't Want To Go. This comical hit sold over a million copies.

The 1960's also marked the beginning of a friendship with Marvin Ponder-a relationship that has lasted for over 35 years. In 1961, Herman and Marvin began a folk singing career that lasted through the early 70's. From 1961 through 1965, they joined with others to form The Knights of Harmony, a men's quartet that sang throughout the United States. Members of that group included such singers as Jerry Mathis, Elliot Fortner, and Jim Stephens. Herman and Marvin continued to sing as a duet through these years and in 1974, they joined with their friends Gene and Marie Jennings to form the singing group, Ponder, Harp, and Jennings. Marvin had met Gene and Marie at Andrews University while he was attending seminary. Herman was part of the Ponder, Harp, and Jennings gospel team for over 23 years. This group recorded several projects with Chapel Records and in the 1990's won two Angel Awards.

Herman & Sonnie's Paths Cross
And A Music Ministry Is Born!

In 1989, Herman married his childhood sweetheart, Sonnie Hudgins. Combining their talents and their love of music, they began a weekend music ministry. Even with full-time jobs, they scheduled about 80 concerts annually. It was in 1994 that, after seeking God's will through prayer and the counsel of others, they made the decision to enter a full-time music ministry. In the summer of that year, they scheduled their first tour to the Northwest. This first excursion took them through Northern California, Oregon, and Washington. A four-month trip covering the midwestern United States soon followed. In the first year of their full-time ministry, they performed 225 concerts. Currently, they present approximately 250 concerts per year for many different denominations in a wide variety of venues.

Since establishing Daybreak Christian Artists in 1993, Herman and Sonnie have released a number of cassettes and CD's and two songbooks featuring Sonnie's original music. Their immediate plans include continuing their busy concert schedule and producing more recorded projects in the near future. God has blessed their ministry and they look forward to many more years of serving Him with their Christian music and testimony.

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