Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Pacific Northwest Convention - Washington

Sunset Hill Community Club, Seattle, Washington

February 23-24, 2002

Saturday, February 23

The eleventh annual session of the Washington portion of the Pacific Northwest Convention met at the Sunset Hill Community Club in Seattle, Washington, on the fourth Sunday and Saturday before in February. The class was called to order by Chairman David Hough at 9:30 a.m. leading song on page 37b. The opening prayer was offered by Chaplain Jordan Singer.

Karen Willard introduced Jeff and Shelbie Sheppard of Anniston, Alabama who presided over a two-part singing school which they opened leading the class in song on page 142. In this morning session of the school the Sheppards told stories of renowned Sacred Harp teachers and leaders they have known who had varying degrees of “crustiness,” and of their experiences and profound gratitude they felt for having had the opportunity to learn from them. They also concentrated on helping the class sing in the style sternly imparted in Alabama and Georgia in their youth which included: accenting, speed, watching the leader, beating all of the opening measure including rests, and sounding the chord. The following leaders were given hands-on help with their leading techniques and footwork: Darlene Simpson-Brown 566; David Wright 234; Karen Stingle 335; Jordan Singer 313b; Marie Brandis 319; Susan Helf 448t; James Brock 120; Jinx McGuire 276. Reba Dell Windom demonstrated non-dancing footwork on 196. Students resumed with Martha Johnson 34b; Jack Lofton 532; Jim Friedrich 455; Anne Huckins 272; Shannon McGuire and Shelbie Sheppard led song on page 269 in first her own and then her mother’s tempo; Raoul Titus 39t; Elizabeth Riggs 479. Jeff Sheppard closed this portion of the school leading song on page 273 to illustrate a different leading technique. Jordan Singer asked the blessing as the class was dismissed for the noon meal.


The afternoon session was devoted to a regular singing. Chairman David Hough brought the class to order leading song on page 59.

A brief business session was held with the following officers elected or appointed: Chairman—David Hough; Treasurer—Katharine Hough; Secretary—Karen Willard; Arranging Committee—Joanne Hoover, David Wright, Susan Helf, Ken Cofield, Karen Willard, and Kathy Vlach; Chaplains—Jordan Singer and Joanne Hoover; Memorial Committee—Ruth Brown, Katharine Hough, and Susan Helf; Resolutions—David Wright.

Leaders: Kathy Vlach 515; Peter Irvine 340; Karen Willard 456; Katharine Hough 183; Eric Morgan 89; Myrka Hall-Beyer 280; Judy Whiting 171; Ken Cofield 49b; Kathy Lee 421; John Carson 159; Reed Schilbach 61; Alan Weeks 350; Reba Dell Windom 192; Marilyn Murata 274t; Floy Wilder 187; Ros Clements 339; Eric Holt 47t; Audrey Karabinus 82t.


David Wright brought the class back to order leading song on page 39b. Leaders: Fran Ross 178; Paul Robinson 260; Shelbie Sheppard 28b (for Bill Windom); David Lee 503; Anna Maria Nygren 77t; David Hough 384; Ginny Currens 148; Jim Van Horn 285t; Barbara Nicol 198; Charles Scudder 288; LaRue Allen 454; Betty Jones 73t; Jenny Jensen 212; Joanne Hoover 72b; Debbie Drummond 27; Jeff Sheppard 316; Martha Applegate 551; Anne Huckins 128; Jim Friedrich 99.

Announcements were made. Chairman David Hough led song on page 147 (WB) as the closing song, and Chaplain Jordan Singer led the closing prayer.


The afternoon session of the singing school was brought to order by David Lee leading song on page 146. Shelbie Sheppard led the class through the minute book giving insights into how to use it most effectively and gave guidance to the secretaries of singings in their duties.

A discussion was held, at the request of the local singers, on cooking for dinner-on-the-ground, and how to carry food so it remains hot/cold without the need for kitchen facilities at the singing. She called upon the vast experience of Ruth Brown, Reba Dell Windom, LaRue Allen, and Floy Wilder for additional recipes, tips, and techniques.

The class was given the opportunity to learn the following songs which the local group either did not know or seldom used. Jeff Sheppard led songs on pages 426b, 293, 436, and 168; David Lee led song on page 383, and then Shelbie Sheppard and Reba Dell Windom led the song again to demonstrate a different tempo. Eric Morgan led song on page 330t and the class was adjourned.

Sunday, February 24

Chairman David Hough called the class together at 9:30 a.m. leading song on page 32t. Chaplain Joanne Hoover led the opening prayer. Leaders: Jinx McGuire 148; Anne Huckins 34b; Jim Brock 350; Marie Brandis 448b; Judy Whiting 318; Darlene Simpson-Brown 290; Jeff Sheppard 550; Gerry Currens 191; Kathy Vlach 474; Karen Willard 362; Stan Jensen 112; Marcia Stedman 180; Reba Dell Windom 224; Alan Weeks 304; Callie Jordan 569b; Jack Lofton 220; Jean Murphy 497.


Ken Cofield brought the class back to order leading song on page 71. Leaders: Marilyn Murata 415; Shelbie Sheppard 195; Jenny Jensen 353; Martha Johnson 119; Eric Morgan 70b; Jill Accetta 33b; Kathy Lee 107; Jordan Singer and Richard Singer 480; Ros Clements 496; Floy Wilder 297; Joanne Hoover and Deems Urquhart 477; Susan Helf 66; Karen Stingle 114; David Hough 282; Peter Irvine 229; Raoul Titus 86.

Ruth Brown gave a very moving memorial lesson in which she gave inspirational thoughts derived from songs we sing. She reminded us there is a “Holy City” built by a God of love and concluded with we are “Passing Away.” She asked the class to softly hum the tune on page 285t while Susan Helf read the list of the deceased. Those remembered were: Winston Jones, Tommye Denson Mauldin, Gladys Harden, Freeman Wootten, Helen Hall, Lawrence Underwood, Ruby Wilks, Ethel McGough, George Cox—Alabama; Clifford Gene Munce—Idaho; Peter Vea—Wisconsin; Jay Byrne and Harriett Reimer—California; Dan Davis—Nebraska; Jim Lykins—Utah; Richard Hooke—Massachusetts; Elizabeth Jefferis—North Carolina; Howard Stingle—Virginia; Billy Hickox—Georgia; Carol Elson—Minnesota; Bruce Helton—Tennessee; Lane Albritton—Florida; Sue Turchan, Ruby Mason, and Vivian Cornwell—Oregon; Jerilyn Schumacher—Illinois. Ruth Brown and Susan Helf led song on page 122.

Ruth Brown talked about those who are sick and encouraged us to contact through visits, telephone calls, and encouraging notes and cards, all who were unable to sing with us today. Katharine Hough read their names and then led the class in singing song on page 56b. Those remembered were: Leigh Van Sickle, Melvin Thompson, Jim Lykins, Rick Hull, Melanie Markle, Steve Hough, Kay Smith, Revy Williamson, Reby Stanford, Mozelle Sheppard, Polly Moore, the Roy Nelson family, Gladys McGraw, Vivian Rogers, Betty Wright, Jap Walton, Joyce Walton, Jane Denker, and Melisa Doss. The class was then asked to sing only the words of 45t, and Chaplain Joanne Hoover closed the memorial lesson with prayer.

Leaders: Karen Willard 137; Reed Schilbach 324. Chaplain Joanne Hoover asked for the blessing upon the food, and the class was dismissed for lunch.


Katharine Hough called the class back to order for the afternoon session leading song on page 40. Leaders: Kathy Vlach 200; Angie Johnson 64; David Wright 391; Anne Zuckerman and Mya-Li Zuckerman 370; Anna Maria Nygren 37b; LaRue Allen 434; Ros Clements 287; Kathy Lee 146; Shannon McGuire 163; Floy Wilder 430; Paul Robinson 250; Eric Morgan 328; Jan Bridges 178; Marie Brandis 319; Meg Larson 503; Stan Jensen 475; Peter Irvine 217; Reba Dell Windom 76b; Mryka Hall-Beyer 236; Jeff Sheppard 222; Katharine Hough 376.


The class was called back to order by Joanne Hoover leading song on page 145b. Leaders: Alan Weeks 151; Jim Van Horn 269; Fran Ross 532; Linda Laing 312b; Judy Whiting 515; Shelbie Sheppard 556; Jim Friedrich 424; Charles Scudder 358; LaRue Allen 426; John Carson 361; David Lee 47b; Jinx McGuire 163b; Jean Murphy 268; Martha Johnson.

A business session was held for the purpose of hearing committee reports.

The Treasurer reported that all expenses had been met and thanked the class for its generosity.

The Arranging Committee reported attendees from the following states: Washington—65; Oregon—21; Alabama—7; England—3; Georgia—2; Nebraska—2; Utah—2; California—1; New Mexico—1; Canada—1. There were 105 registered and a few who slipped in just to listen.

David Wright gave the Resolutions Committee report. “We resolve to thank:

  • God for gathering us here in song, for all the blessings of this life, and for the promise of an eternal home hereafter;
  • All of the singers who traveled from near and far to share in this fellowship;
  • Jeff and Shelbie Sheppard for their invaluable singing school instruction, and for all their dedicated service to the Sacred Harp throughout their lives;
  • All those who prepared food for our meals;
  • To all the convention officers, committee members, and workers;
  • And to Jordan and Yoko Singer for the Saturday night social.

Also, be it resolved that we each continue to support our local monthly singings, all-day singings and conventions, as well as travel, if we are able, to support the singings and conventions of others.”

All the reports were approved as read. Chairman David Hough led song on page 62 as the closing song, inviting all that wished, to take the parting hand. Chaplain Joanne Hoover dismissed the class with prayer.

Chairman—David Hough; Treasurer—Katharine Hough; Secretary—Karen Willard.