Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Garden State Unconventional Sunday

Judson Memorial Church, Washington Square, New York City

May 21, 2000

For the past four years the Garden State Sacred Harp Singing Convention has taken the opportunity to share the music of The Sacred Harp with a different local church congregation each year. The Unconventional Sunday is so named because it is not officially part of the convention, and songs from books other than the 1991 Sacred Harp may be sung. The morning’s service included songs from The Sacred Harp, then a well received sermon by Rev. Peter Laarman, “Shaping a Song of Praise,” concerned with the significance of Sacred Harp singing both in the present day and in the history of the various American religious traditions connected with it. Singers were struck by the depth of Rev. Laarman’s insights into the meaning that singing has for present day singers and his grasp of both the commonalities and the (less important) differences between twentieth-century and earlier singers. The congregation, seated in a hollow square, joined the singers from the Garden State Convention in several songs from The Sacred Harp, 1991 Revision.


The class resumed singing with Blake Morris leading song on page 40. Leaders: Allen Fannin 31t; Rosemary Greenaway 501b; Karen House 276; Bradford West 386; Marty DeNys 147t; Tom Tucker “The Angels’ Song”; Ginny Landgraf 76 (EH); Charlotte Ehrman 178; Frank Evans 298; Bradford West 90 (EH); Laura Densmore 98 (CB); Mary DeNys 162; Catherine Oss 92 (EH); Roland Hutchinson “Earthquake Anthem” (by William Knapp).


The class resumed singing with Roland Hutchinson leading song on page 77b. Leaders: Guy Bankes 45t (EH); Tim Slattery 228; Blake Morris “Bankes”; George Seiler 58 (EH); Hal Kunkel “The Stone Forever Stands”; Gabriel Kastelle “Mariposa”; Eileen Metzger “Ten Thousand Charms” (by Hal Kunkel); Jean Seiler 53b (EH); Richard Schmeidler 110 (EH); Diane Mennella and Ellie Soler 278 (t? b?).


The class resumed singing with Gina Balestracci leading song on page 78 (EH). Leaders: Thom Metzger 504; Rosemary Greenaway 384; Ginny Landgraf 79 (EH); Michael Kaye 51 (EH); Bradford West 38 (EH); Barbara Swetman 1 (EH); Brenda Peña 64 (EH); Walter Olson 532; Laura Densmore 574 (CB); Catherine Oss 477; Guy Bankes 297; Michael Kaye and Roland Hutchinson “Lansdowne”; Roland Hutchinson 106 (EH).

The class was dismissed with prayer led by George Seiler.

Chairman—Roland Hutchinson; Locating Committee—Ellie Soler and Jerry Dickason; Secretary/Arranging—Gina Balestracci.