Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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New England Convention

Irasburg Town Hall, Irasburg, Vermont

September 28-29, 2001

Friday Night, September 28

The twenty-sixth annual New England Convention was called to order by Chairman Larry Gordon leading song on 31t. Mary Alice Amidon gave the opening prayer, asking that “our singing be a healing balm in troubled times.”

Leaders: Larry Gordon 131t; Laura Timmerman 371; Dennis O’Brien 162; Marilyn Burchett 81t; Bob Parr 475; Floy Wilder 142; Eric Bean 70b; Berkley Moore 473; Fred Emigh 159; Chris Noren 362; Barbara Swetman 145b; Jackie Hall 217; Matt Wojcik 340; Nate Green and Norma Green 30t; Mary Alice Amidon 228; Richard Schmeidler 474; Eugene Forbes 155; Ginnie Ely 196; Susanne Garmsen 163b; Sarah Beasley Smith 108 (t? b?); Paul Gauthier 565; LaRue Allen 215; Larry Gordon 168.

RECESS

Larry Gordon brought the class to order leading song on page 34t. Leaders: Katie Shimizv 209; John Redman 344 (in memory of Susan Garber); Lou Cotney 218; Seth Houston 107; Lyra O’Brien 430; Paul Setford 28b; Gloria Thompson 146; Gary Smith 569b; Mary Neville 497; Pearl Guier 448b; Roger Garberg 117; L.H. Spencer 250; Diane Mennella 503; Susan Jaster 486; Seth Holloway 388; Erik Moore 82t; Scott Luscombe 195; Bobbie Goodell 510; Marcia Tucker 86; Patty Cuyler 216; Sue Hanson 49t; Francis Bliss 300; Peter Amidon 318.

Larry Gordon led song on page 208 as the closing song. Mary Alice Amidon offered a closing prayer.

Saturday, September 29

Larry Gordon called the class to order for the Saturday session by leading song on 47t. Lyra O’Brien gave the opening prayer. Leaders: Laura Timmerman 448b; Dennis O’Brien 297; Marilyn Burchett 335; Bob Parr 270; Floy Wilder 350; Charles Cofone 66; Eric Bean 163t; Chris Noren 299; Phill Wisor 107; Jackie Hall 528; Barbara Swetman 229; Ann Kazlauskas 284; Nate Green and Norma Green 310; Mary Alice Amidon 203; Mattie Townsel 68b; Lynette Combs 178; Richard Schmeidler 254; Eugene Forbes 480; Ginnie Ely 454; Judy Holst 95; Susan Garmsen 313b; Kelsey Wessels 162; Paula McGray 573; Mary Ann Hagen 48t; Mary Ann Morrison 547; Sarah Beasley Smith 129.

RECESS

Paul Gauthier called the class back to order leading song on 34b. Leaders: Linda Shea 171; Berkley Moore 30b; LaRue Allen 302; John Redman 358; Lou Cotney 189; Lyra O’Brien 94; Paul Setford 273; Bill Holt 148.

Dan Hertzler gave the memorial lesson. He first read a list of names of 25 people known to singers, who died on September 11 at the World Trade Center and invited the class to a minute of silent prayer for all those who passed away on that day. Dan spoke of the power of music to comfort and unite those of us who are left behind. When we sing together we open ourselves to receive the gifts of singing to experience fellowship and to open the portals to the spirit. When we die, our love doesn’t die; it’s right here in this room. Remembered by singing song on page 319 were: Elmer Conwill, A.C. McGough—Alabama; Tera Alston—California; Susan Garber and George Nichols—Connecticut; Mary Kay Friday—Washington D.C.; Hans Reif—Florida; Mabel Dennison—Maine; Bunny Bean, Priscilla Hertzler, and Richard Hooke—Massachusetts; Ray Fitzsimons—Montreal; Joshua Rychick—New York; Franze Atherton, Joanna Sorlien, and Bob Todd—Pennsylvania; George Kanoff, Don Sunsen, Thomas Sustic, and Lee Viets—Vermont; James Jordan—Virginia; Melissa Rickerman—Texas.

Eric Bean spoke of the strength of friendship and led song on page 285t for the sick and shut-ins. Those remembered were: Elsie Beasley, Jeff Sheppard, and Shelbie Sheppard—Alabama; Bill Jordan—California; Dot Garber—Connecticut; Everette Denney, Moena Denney, Felton Denney, and Josephine Denney—Georgia; Orlela Combs—Kentucky; Harriett Bean and Henry Bean—New York; Elisabeth Bollinger—Ottawa; Kate Brinton, Arthur Brinton, and Dinah Breunig—Vermont. Chairman Larry Gordon led song on page 383.

Larry Gordon led song on page 72 (NH) as a grace for noon meal.

LUNCH

Larry Gordon called the class to order with song on page 151. Leaders: Matt Wojcik 274t; Allison Schofield 277; Diane Mennella 542; Mary Neville 163b; Ann Pierce 191; Pearl Guier 282; Roger Garberg 288; L.H. Spencer 442; Gary Smith 31t; Susan Jasper 441; Pat Gertiz 523b; Seth Holloway 354b; Erik Bellinger 276; Liz Thompson 269; Fred Emigh 306; Mona Lewondashi 131t; Scott Luscombe 481; Bobbie Goodell 228; Gloria Thompson 198; Marcia Tucker 147t; Patty Cuyler 91.

Announcements of singings were made. Next year’s New England Convention will be in eastern Massachusetts on October 4-5, 2002.

RECESS

The class was called to order by Brenden Taafte leading song on page 410t. Leaders: Peter Amidon 77t; Sue Hanson 479; Kitty Kagey 108b; Bob Parr 546; Laura Timmerman 452; Matt Wojcik 38b; Barbara Swetman 35; Dennis O’Brien 417; Eugene Forbes 112; Allison Schofield 81t; Ginnie Ely 349; Kelsey Wessels 499; Paul Gauthier 448t; Larry Gordon 538.

Susan Miller-Coulter gave the closing prayer, asking that our spiritual work and bonds of love might strengthen us in days to come. The class then took the parting hand with song on page 62.

Chairman—Larry Gordon; Treasurer—Peter Amidon; Secretary—Laura Timmerman.