Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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United Kingdom Sacred Harp Convention

Old School, Cumnor, Oxford, United Kingdom

September 7-8, 2002

Saturday, September 7

The seventh United Kingdom Sacred Harp Convention was called to order at 10:00 a.m. by Chairman Edwin Macadam, welcoming all those attending, and then led song on page 47t. Helen Brown offered the opening prayer.

Sheila Girling Macadam led song on page 84, and then introduced Ginnie Ely of North Reading, Massachusetts.

Ginnie Ely conducted a workshop that included instructing the class on the shape-note system, and the history of the music from the West Gallery tradition in the United Kingdom, through its evolution and development, both in New England and in the southern states. During her workshop, Ginnie led the following songs: 34t, 59, 146, 155, 313t, 349, 269.

RECESS

Grace Scrimgeour brought the class back to order leading song on page 117. Leaders: Ros Clements 503; Bernard Collard 61; Roz Walker 347 (for her father); Helen Brown 498; Margaret Gillanders 49t; Lisa Grayson 222; Caroline Edwards 178; Alan Weeks 479; Stephen Biggs 288; Rachel Jordan 474; Judy Whiting 171; Dave Townsend 291; Anne Kazlauskas 173; Phil Tyler 340; Ruth Cooper 454; Mandy Townsend 318; Stephen Wade 276; Mick Verrier 272; Steve Fletcher 148. Ruth Cooper offered Grace for the noon meal.

LUNCH

The afternoon session was called to order by Ian West leading song on page 52t. Leaders: Ken Baddley 501; Arwen Lockley 335; Tony Singleton 300; Hannah Cooper 442; Paul Setford 40; Siri Tuttle 147 (t? b?); Ginnie Ely 373; Edwin Macadam 236; Sheila Girling Macadam 142; Grace Scrimgeour 33b; Ros Clements 510; Bernard Collard 66; Helen Brown 542; Margaret Gillanders and Jennifer Rye 523; Lisa Grayson 306; Caroline Edwards 48t; Alan Weeks 315; Stephen Biggs 268.

Rev. Dr. Brian Ford conducted a celebratory lesson, reading a list of those with special reason to be joyful. We heard news of restoration of health, school success, a recent marriage, and plans for an active retirement. Helen Brown led song on page 228.

RECESS

The class was brought back to order by Rachel Jordan leading song on page 189. Leaders: Judy Whiting 212; Dave Townsend 49b; Phil Tyler 332; Ruth Cooper 127; Mandy Townsend 480; Stephen Wade 162; Ian West 312b; Mick Verrier 107; Tony Singleton and Jean Barton 504; Henry Bizzell 159; Arwen Lockley 448 (t? b?); Ken Baddley 481; Hannah Cooper 128; Steve Fletcher 448b; Paul Setford 339; Siri Tuttle 378 (t? b?).

RECESS

The singing resumed with Tony Singleton leading song on page 496. Leaders: Anne Kazlauskas 201; Bernard Collard 198; Grace Scrimgeour 287; Sheila Girling Macadam 299; Edwin Macadam 150; Ginnie Ely 546. Ken Baddley offered the closing prayer.

A social evening of dance and song commenced with an alternative singing session led by Mick Verrier, taken from a collection of tunes submitted by convention participants. Those sung were: “Stoke Newington”; “Glynne”; “Every Blessing”; “Digswell”; “Conqueror”; “Parwich”; “Ten Thousand Charms”; “Humble Pleadings”; “Stephen Jarvis’s Psalm 69 (t? b?)”; “Taleitha-Cumi”; “Immortal Love”; “Fiducia”; “New England”; “Christmas Steps”; “Mosley”; “Eynsham Road”.

Sunday, September 8

Chairman Edwin Macadam called the convention to order at 10:00 a.m. leading song on page 40. Alan Weeks offered the opening prayer.

Sheila Girling Macadam led song on page 28t, and welcomed Ginnie Ely back for her second workshop session of the convention. Ginnie devoted her workshop to developing skills and gaining confidence in beating time and in leading. She called singers from front benches into the square to practice leading fugues and led the following songs: 52t, 35, 313 (t? b?), 87, 569 (t? b?), 146, 131b, 40, 155, 36b, 474, 64, 457, 448 (t? b?), and 455.

RECESS

Bernard Collard brought the class back to order leading song on page 63. Leaders: Grace Scrimgeour 47t; Mandy Townsend 229; Adrian Bolge 452; Lisa Grayson 278 (t? b?); Helen Brown 384; Alan Weeks 196; Margaret Gillanders 515; Anne Kazlauskas 131t; Rachel Jordan 503.

Ken Baddley conducted the memorial lesson, referring back to the 1999 Convention when many who were in attendance had prayed for the return to good health from a serious heart condition of bass singer Roy Bryan. At the 2000 Convention, Roy had recovered sufficiently to be with us again, living proof of the power of prayer. Sadly, Roy died two weeks ago on 25 August, and our prayers must now be for his family and for those who loved him. In the passing of one of our number, we are reminded that we are one great family in the joy and gift of song. But whilst we mourn his loss, we also celebrate his life and all those who were on the list to be called. Ken Baddley led the song on page 163b as we remembered: Michael Argyle, Roy Bryan, Barbara Griggs, Winston Renford Smith, Ralph Lynn, Ken Hale, Holly Wells, Jessica Chapman, Christopher Turner, Peggy Colson, Diana Hannah, Vera Richardson, Les Greaves, Trevor Vale, Joan Gillanders, Tony Rose, Bill Eddie, Fred Jordan, Hamish Henderson, Tony Jenner, Annie Oakley, Brian Osborne, Iverna Ike, Freda Morris, Mary Collins, Spike Milligan, and Gertrude Rowe—United Kingdom; Kenneth DeLong—Georgia. Winifred Bruner—Iowa; Alan Lomax—Florida.

For the sick and housebound, Bernard Collard told us that despite the loss of loved ones, prayer still works. Whilst we have life, even in the face of sickness, we must be patient and have hope. Isabelle Walker read from “Introduction to the Devout Life” by Francis Sales, and Steve Fletcher led song on page 411.

We remembered: Mary Kellaway, Gordon Ashman, Chris Tisdall, Angie Gilliatt, Sue Gould, Joan Stocks, Ken Bray, Gladys Thorp, Jacqui Paterson, Jan Green, Jan Burke, Tom King, Sara Jones, Win Tyler, Kate Richards, Tom Mattock, Pam Whittaker, Adele Botley, Dorothy Williams, Jo Harvey, Stan Gillick, and Rosalind Oldham. The memorial was concluded.

Edwin Macadam led song on page 49t, and together with Ian Ferguson, offered Grace on the noon meal.

LUNCH

The afternoon session was called to order by Mick Verrier leading song on page 163t. Leaders: Judy Whiting 569 (t? b?); Dave Townsend 82 (t? b?); Stephen Wade 267; Phil Tyler 114; Arwen Lockley 48t; Ruth Cooper 200; Henry Bizzell 268; Ken Baddley 350; Hannah Cooper 86; Steve Fletcher 279; Siri Tuttle 183; Sheila Girling Macadam 68b; Edwin Macadam 475; Ginnie Ely 454; Bernard Collard 497; Grace Scrimgeour 178; Mandy Townsend 203; Adrian Bolge 314; Lisa Grayson 112; Helen Brown 327; Alan Weeks 72b.

RECESS

The final session was brought to order by Rachel Jordan leading song on page 276. Leaders: Anne Kazlauskas 110; Margaret Gillanders 143; Henry Bizzell 524; Carmel Wood and Vicki Elliott 117; Lisa Grayson 436; Arwen Lockley 288; Siri Tuttle 39b; Bernard Collard 300; Grace Scrimgeour, Edwin Macadam, and Sheila Macadam, together with members of the local Sacred Harp singing group 347; Ginnie Ely 389.

Sheila Girling Macadam thanked Ginnie Ely, and presented her with an Oxford University embroidered T-shirt as a memento of the convention.

Announcements of forthcoming singings were made, and the Chairman then called for the officers’ reports.

The Arranging Committee announced that 73 songs were led on Saturday and 64 on Sunday, including the workshop pieces. Sixty-two singers attended over the weekend, including 5 from America and 1 now resident in Nepal.

Alan Weeks proposed thanks to the officers and all who had assisted in making the convention such a success.

Bernard Collard offered the parting prayer, and led song on page 62 as the class took the parting hand.

Chairman—Edwin Macadam; Treasurer—Grace Scrimgeour; Arranging Committee—Bernard Collard; Secretary—Sheila Girling Macadam.