Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Illinois State Sacred Harp Convention

Petersburg, Illinois

September 22-23, 2001

Saturday, September 22

The seventeenth annual session of the Illinois State Sacred Harp Convention was held at the Wagon Wheel, Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site, Petersburg, Illinois.

Co-Chair Peggy Brayfield opened the singing at 9:30 a.m. with comments relating to events of September 11 that are so heavy on all our hearts. She concluded with some words by Karen House from the fasola message line to remind us that Sacred Harp singing is “prayer that restores our understanding that no one can be separated from the love of God. It is poetry that gives word to the speechless. . . harmony in the face of chaos. . . the still small voice after the fire.” She then led 49t and the “Doxology”. Lee Steinmetz offered the opening prayer.

Previously elected or appointed officers and committees included: Co-Chairs—Peggy Brayfield and Becky Schildman; Secretary—Janet Fraembs; Arranging—Berkley Moore; Memorial—Berkley Moore and Susan Lied; Finance—Billie Mowery, Mark Graber, and Barbara Brown; Chaplains—Lee Steinmetz and Susan Lied.

Leaders: Co-Chair Becky Schildman 146; Lee Steinmetz 565; Lori Graber 47t; Bob Meek 209; Berkley Moore 33b; Penny Kujawinski 180; Joan Aldridge 300; Terry Hogg 147t; William Shetter “Anniversary” (original composition).


The class was brought to order by James Page leading song on page 222. Leaders: Janet Fraembs 74b; Dean Slaton 383; Johanna Fabke 373; Mike Veech 277; Conrad Wetzel 84; Melanie Hauff 216; Don Baker 312b; Judy Hauff 142.

Chair Peggy Brayfield took this time to relate that there is evidence that the Missouri Harmony was used for singing in Lincoln’s New Salem, and a copy of the book was found among Ann Rutledge’s possessions after her death. Peggy thanked the Missouri singers for bringing copies of songs from the Missouri Harmony and invited singers to lead from that book. Leaders: Karen Isbell 34 (MH); Jeanette Lowry 46 (MH); Ted Johnson 12 (MH); Lou Kujawinski 503; Pete Ellertsen 72b.


Becky Schildman brought the class back leading 128. Leaders: Peggy Brayfield 448t; Don Baker 354 (t? b?); Melanie Hauff 38 (MH); Lee Steinmetz 491; Conrad Wetzel 314; Lori Graber 352; Joan Aldridge 270; Johanna Fabke 32b; Mike Veech 547; Penny Kujawinski 23 (MH); Dean Slaton 436; Robert Meek 268; Terry Hogg 344; James Page 20 (MH); Janet Fraembs 532. Chaplain Lee Steinmetz asked the blessing and the class was adjourned.


Berkley Moore brought the class back together leading song on page 145t. Leaders: Karen Isbell 11 (MH); Judy Hauff 52 (MH); Jeanette Lowry 28 (MH); William Shetter 534; Ted Johnson 269; Lou Kujawinski 515; Pete Ellertsen 89; Jerome Colburn 229; Peggy Brayfield 523; Becky Schildman 163b; Don Baker 81 (t? b?); Melanie Hauff 83t; Lee Steinmetz 154.


Terry Hogg brought the class back leading 112. Leaders: Conrad Wetzel 85; Lori Graber 384; Robert Meek 408; Johanna Fabke 198; Mike Veech 421; Penny Kujawinski 480; Dean Slaton 434; James Page 411; Janet Fraembs 475; Karen Isbell 137; Judy Hauff 215; Jeanette Lowry 168; Jerome Colburn 159; William Shetter 347; Ted Johnson 485; Lou Kujawinski 63; Pete Ellertsen 473. The Saturday session was brought to a close with Chaplain Susan Lied offering the benediction.

Sunday, September 23

The Sunday morning session of the convention was called to order by Chair Peggy Brayfield leading song on page 46. The morning prayer was led by Chaplain Susan Lied.

Leaders: Becky Schildman 335; Lori Graber 31t; Presley Barker 474; Berkley Moore 99; David Ressler 142; Luke Barker 79; Janet Fraembs 129; Rebecca Browne 36b; Gary Gronau 39b; Jo Dell Albi 34b; Lissa Blood 28b; Lou Kujawinski 497; William Shetter 171; Johanna Fabke 236; James Page 38 (MH).


Mike Veech brought the class back leading 385t. Leaders: Terry Hogg 535; Penny Kujawinski 125; Joan Aldridge 475; Don Baker 133; Presley Barker 16 (MH); Dave Ressler 276; Luke Barker 215; Janet Fraembs 440; Rebecca Brown 344; Gary Gronau 564; Jo Dell Albi 32t; Lori Graber 299; Johanna Fabke 378b; William Shetter 477; Lissa Blood 192; Berkley Moore 278b; James Page 216; Mike Veech 86.


The memorial lesson followed. Berkley Moore spoke for the deceased in our Sacred Harp family. He noted that the first verse of “Arnold” invites us to join our friends above right here and now, not by waiting until after we die. We are able to do this because our common worship in singing Sacred Harp together and maintaining its traditions, as well as our diverse private faiths, both create a sense of community of love so strong that it overcomes the separation caused by death. He reminded us that we are a community that loves and includes others. Terrorists also share a community but theirs is based on exclusion. Whatever our spiritual beliefs may be and however we interpret God, we all love and support one another. Our common worship is a true gift; we do join our beloved dead; and we will be comforted. He then led 122 for these honored friends: Tommye Denson Mauldin—Alabama; Jerilyn Schumacher, Mary A. Stander-Quinfez, and Brandy Niño—Illinois; Alok Melta—New York.

Susan Lied then talked about the way the national crisis might affect those who are sick and shut-in. They need to feel their loved ones are near them. We should tell those who are gravely ill what they need to hear from us: I love you, thank you, forgive me, I forgive you. Following a prayer, Susan Lied and Berkley Moore led 45t for them. Peggy Brayfield closed the memorial lesson after this eloquent message.

“We are coming together at a time of immense and mixed, even contradictory emotions: mourning, sorrow, anger, fear, uncertainty, love, determination, and courage; a time for soul-searching. We seem to feel a closer sense of family with each other across the country, as we mourn with the victims of September 11, and ponder what may lie ahead. The thought comes to me that now, we here in the United States have also been initiated into the sad fellowship of ordinary, decent people in many countries around the world whose everyday lives are shattered by senseless acts of violence and the blind brutality and chaos of war. Now our national borders, too have been violated, and we have become painfully aware of how vulnerable our way of life, and our individual lives really are in a world where violence and an eye for an eye are mistaken for justice. Truly every human being needs God’s guidance every day, but now, more than ever, we as a country, and our leaders, need to seek God’s own wisdom to guide us through the crisis that thrust itself upon us on September 11. Our songs deal so powerfully with all aspects of human existence, from the mountain tops, to the valley of the shadow. Especially, they deal powerfully with the tragic aspects of human existence. We need such songs today more than ever. With the tragic events of recent day on our hearts, let us sing song on page 70 (t? b?), ‘Gainsville’, and let that serve as a prayer for this difficult time.”

Leaders: Presley Barker 155 (with an added verse from 409); Terry Hogg 212.


Co-Chair Becky Schildman brought the class back leading 203. Leaders: Pete Ellertsen 82t; Dave Ressler 547; Jerome Colburn 42; Luke Barker 354 (t? b?); Don Baker 49t; Janet Fraembs 501; Joan Aldridge 228; Becky Browne 560; Gary Gronau 270; JoDell Albi 32b; Lori Graber 49b; Johanna Fabke 71; Bill Shetter 393.


The class was called back by Co-Chair Peggy Brayfield leading 145b. Leaders: Lissa Blood 100; Penny Kujawinski 2 (MH); Peggy Brayfield 556; Berkley Moore 8 (MH); Becky Schildman 178; Jim Page 29 (MH); Presley Barker 23 (MH); Dave Ressler 46 (MH); Becky Browne 217; Gary Gronau 222; Johanna Fabke 163 (t? b?); JoDell Albi 180; William Shetter 59; Lissa Blood 207; Lou Kujawinski; Jerome Colburn 107.

In lieu of Resolutions, Peggy Brayfield extended thanks to the following:

(1) All who came to make the singing so meaningful and successful;

(2) New Salem singers and others who provided the delicious food;

(3) The “handyman” committee of Mark Graber and Mike Veech and all others who assisted in the work of setting up, cleaning up, and making the premises singer-friendly;

(4) Lincoln’s New Salem Historic Site for providing the site;

(5) Musicians for the Saturday night social;

(6) Janet Fraembs and Dave Ressler for pitching.

The convention then added thanks to the Co-Chairs, Peggy Brayfield and Becky Schildman, and their helpers for making the singing so welcoming.

Following announcements of future singings the class sang 347, “Christians Farewell”, and the class was dismissed with prayer led by Susan Lied.

Co-Chairs—Peggy Brayfield and Becky Schildman; Secretary—Janet Fraembs.