Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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All-California Sacred Harp Singing Convention

Angels Gate Cultural Center, San Pedro, California

January 19-20, 2002

Saturday, January 19

The fourteenth annual All-California Sacred Harp Singing Convention was held on the third Sunday and Saturday before in January at Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro, California. Janice Hecksel called the class to order at 10:00 a.m. leading song on page 63. Steve Lazicki, who is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Pasadena, California, led the opening prayer.

Leaders: Rick Russell 52t; Janice Hecksel 106; Jerry Schreiber 350; Mary Rose O’Leary 203; John Rand 347; Pat Keating 142; Betty Herman 430; Ron Huss 474; Judith Black 107; Barbara Pavey 38t; Sara Eidem 159; Patricia Lazicki 29t; Duncan MacLeod 89; Steve Lazicki 148; Carla Smith 410b; Janet Herman 433; Catherine Horne 37t.

The class was organized with the following officers elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—Rick Russell; Vice Chairman—Chris Thorman; Secretary—Larry Arnstein; Treasurer—Duncan MacLeod; Locating Committee—Chris Thorman; Arranging Committee—Marilyn Murata, MaryLynn Bergstrom, and Beth Webb; Food—Karen and Ron Huss; Resolutions—Norman Gholson and Laura Boyd Russell; Memorial Committee—Mary Rose O’Leary, Richard DeLong, and Ted Mercer; Chaplains—Steve Lazicki and Jim Friedrich.

Leaders: Rick Russell 401; Chris Thorman 99; Larry Arnstein 198.


Chris Thorman called the class back to order leading song on page 28b. Leaders: Karen Huss 236; Marilyn Murata 247t (?); Norma Ruptier 84; Chris Thorman 448t; Laurie Fox 178; Jacob Affolter 34b; Tom Ostwald 277; Mark Miller 217; Midge Harder 73t; Carroll Lunsford 75; Leon Ballinger 269; John Schaffer 313b; Jim Friedrich 117.

Gaylon Powell offered the blessing for the noon meal.


Mary Rose O’Leary brought the afternoon session to order leading song on page 480. Leaders: Tom Payne 567; Henry Schuman 280; Ted Mercer 300; Natalie Hall 133; Gaylon Powell 442; Daniel Davis 481; David Rust 102; Marlen Rust 85; Jeanne Schaffer 66; Chloe Webb 146; Rachel Adelstein 218; Karen Stingle 385b; John Plunkett 492; Lela Crowder 224; Richard DeLong 475; Stephen O’Leary 340; Susan Turpin 371; Laura Boyd Russell 76b; Norman Gholson 470.


Larry Arnstein called the class back to order leading song on page 299. Leaders: Leon Ballinger 120; Judy Nahman-Stouffer 155; Norma Ruptier 276; Pat Keating 542; Janet Herman 30b; Neal Morgan 40; Betty Herman 464; David Robinson 32t; Midge Harder 197; Marcia Tucker 504; Carroll Lunsford 153; Chon Duc 333; Mary Rose O’Leary 536.


Jerry Schreiber brought the class to order by leading song on page 225t. Leaders: Jeff Vanderwilt 377; David Rust 528; Jean Olson 87; Jeff O’Toole 68b; Karen Huss 151; Ron Huss 486; John Rand 404; Rachel Adelstein 196; John Plunkett 354t; John Leicester 45t; Karen Stingle 254; Jacob Affolter 485; David Cowell 311.

Rick Russell led song on page 46 as the closing song, and Steve Lazicki gave the closing prayer.

Sunday, January 20

Rick Russell brought the first Sunday session to order leading song on page 31b. Jim Friedrich offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: Duncan MacLeod 168; Norman Gholson; Marilyn Murata 384; Bruce Hayes 180; Steve Warner 171; Chris Thorman 313b; Mimi Wright 312b; Jack Herbig 146; Robert Turk 294; Marion Black 53; Katherine Herbig 143; Laura Boyd Russell 202; Jeff O’Toole 63; Jeff Vanderwilt 47b; David Fetcho 547; Ted Mercer 302.


Daniel Davis brought the class to order leading song on page 34b. Leaders: Larry Arnstein 327; Tom Ostwald 128; Ann Heider 192; Susan Fetcho 147t; Dan Vosnick 147b; Carol Selleck 207; John Schaffer 515; Jim Friedrich 56b; Tom Payne 58; Susan Turpin 328; Stephen O’Leary 512; Henry Schuman 318; Daniel Davis 344; Jeanne Schaffer 569b; Chloe Webb 288; Lela Crowder 498; Carla Smith 475; Mark Miller 29t; Jerry Schreiber 550; Richard DeLong 411. Henry Schuman shared these last few songs with Pauline Childers in Michigan via cell phone.

Susan Turpin and Mary Rose O’Leary held the memorial lesson. Susan Turpin spoke on behalf of the deceased, and Mary Rose O’Leary for the sick and shut-ins; they both spoke movingly, with simple eloquence.

Richard DeLong gave a special remembrance for those whose lives were lost on 9-11, including the mother of a singer in Los Angeles, California, and several family members of a singer in Denver, Colorado. He remembered speakers from Sacred Harp conventions he attended when he was a boy who said they felt “small” or “unworthy” to give the memorial lesson, and he wondered what they meant, but now he felt the same way, as he confronted the task of speaking about the 9-11 tragedy. He said that Sacred Harp had changed his life, and that he felt it could provide comfort.

The following deceased were remembered: Jerilyn Schumacher—Illinois; Howard Stingle—Ohio; Lane Albritton—Florida; Jack Corley—Georgia; Nancy Keith—Kansas; Mildred Edmonds—Texas; Ned Shank—Arkansas; Donna Lin Tunison—Oregon; Rachel Webb—Virginia; Eleazer Rand—Washington, D.C.; Helen Lewis—Pennsylvania; Kells Minchin—British Columbia; Genine Melzer, John Lee, Erma Teachout, Gerald Teachout, Barbara Keating, Daniel Melnik, Jimbo Garcia, Carl Olsen, and Elsie Froeberger—California. Bill and Janis Falkenberg of Denver, Colorado lost their son, his wife, and two grandchildren in the Pentagon crash. Susan Turpin led song on page 122 for the deceased, and Richard DeLong led song on page 339 for the deceased of September 11.

The following sick or shut-ins were remembered: Loraine Lenzier, Carolyn Deacy, Catherine Callahan, Bob Brown, and Marcia Harris—California; Verna Powell—Texas; Hope Parson—Maine; Dr. Jerry Smith—Colorado; and Pauline Childers—Michigan.

Mary Rose O’Leary led song on page 31t to honor the sick and shut-ins. Ted Mercer noted that this was the first California Convention that Carolyn Deacy had been unable to attend, and spoke of her essential role in bringing Sacred Harp singing to California and in organizing the first California Convention. Ted Mercer, Mary Rose O’Leary, and Stephen O’Leary led song on page 501 in her honor. The memorial was closed.


Beth Webb brought the afternoon session to order leading song on page 178. Leaders: Leon Ballinger 490; Karen Stingle 216; Gaylon Powell 316; John Plunkett 295; Janet Herman 345b; Ann Heider 362; Steve Warner 99; Richard DeLong 419; Jon Giles 298; Susan Turpin 424; Beth Webb 203; Pat Keating 86; Mary Rose O’Leary 270; Mimi Wright 39t.


The class was called back to order by Jim Friedrich leading song on page 81 (t? b?). Leaders: Ron Huss 534; Stan Jensen 48t; Karen Huss 535b; Henry Schuman 532; John Schaffer 441; Marcia Tucker 497; David Rust 70b; Jenny Jensen 353; John Rand 385t; Judith Black 455; Polly Henninger 415; Midge Harder 159; Rachel Adelstein 107; Jack Herbig 504; Jon Giles 546; Jacob Affolter 368; Natalie Hall 383.

A business session was held for the purpose of hearing reports from the different committees.

Treasurer Duncan MacLeod reported that the expenses of the convention had been met.

Chris Thorman of the Locating Committee reported that the 2003 Convention will be held in the San Francisco Bay area, and that the Convention would continue to rotate between Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and San Diego. A suggestion that the convention include two full days of singing was spontaneously and enthusiastically received and approved by the class.

Secretary Larry Arnstein reported that 100 registration cards had been filled out; 161 songs had been called with 77 (t? b?) different singers leading during the two days. The following states were represented: California, Washington, Illinois, Indiana, Colorado, Georgia, New York, Texas, Oregon, Michigan, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.

Norma Gholson and Laura Boyd Russell gave the Resolutions Committee Report. In lieu of thanking the many individuals who contributed to the convention we would like to report on the ten biggest Sacred Harp myths:

  • Good conventions “just happen.” Officers are a tradition, but have no work to speak of. Thanks to all of the Convention’s officers.
  • Dinner coordinators aren’t necessary—why not just let things happen spontaneously? Thanks to Karen and Ron Huss.
  • Anyone can pitch. Just find a note that sounds good to you and let others adjust. Thanks to Gaylon Powell, Richard DeLong, and Laura Boyd Russell.
  • It’s best to cook just enough not to have anything left over—people don’t mind if the food runs out before the end of the line. Thanks to all who brought food.
  • Anyone can do the arranging; it’s easy—just shuffle the cards or better yet throw them in the air and call at random. Thanks to the Arranging Committee: Marilyn Murata, Beth Webb and MaryLynn Bergstrom.
  • Location and acoustics are irrelevant—Sacred Harp is so wonderful it sounds good anywhere. Thanks to Angels Gate Cultural Center.
  • It’s easy and cheap to travel long distances to sing, plus it takes very little planning. Thanks to our out-of-town and out-of-state singers.
  • A hundred singers sound alike no matter which hundred you pick.
  • Going to regular singing groups is the best way to enjoy Sacred Harp. There’s more time to talk between songs.
  • Rooms come ready to use—nothing to do to set them up but come in, sit down, and start singing. Thanks to all who helped set up and clean up for the convention.
  • Finally: there’s no hurry going south to sing with traditional singers—they will all be around forever. Thanks to all the traditional singers who have shown us the power and beauty of Sacred Harp singing.

All reports were approved as given, and the business session was closed.

Announcements of upcoming singings were made. Rick Russell led song on page 276 as the closing song while the class took the parting hand. Jim Friedrich dismissed the class with prayer.

Chairman—Rick Russell; Vice Chairman—Chris Thorman; Secretary—Larry Arnstein.