Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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New England Sacred Harp Convention

Dennison Hall, Framingham Massachusetts

October 4-5, 2002

Friday, October 4

The twenty-seventh annual New England Sacred Harp Singing Convention was called to order at 7:30 p.m. by Bill Holt leading song on page 52t. Robert Dove led the class in the opening prayer. Bill Holt led song on page 34b.

The class held a business session with the following officers elected to serve: Chairman—Bill Holt; Treasurer—Bob Parr; Secretary—Dennis O’Brien.

The singing proceeded with Bob Parr leading song on page 528. Leaders: Dennis O’Brien 162; George Seiler 475; Lila Farrar 178; David Rust 314; Mary Neville 569b; George Pomfret 163b; Sheila Girling MacAdam 142; Jenna Strizak 195; Jessica Holland 299; Peter Amidon 47t; Diane Mennella 203; David Bliss 66; Allison Schofield 542; Jackie Hall 503; Aaron Girard 567; Patricia Geritz 49b; Michal Truelsen 217; Guy Bankes 569t; Kelly House 442; Bruce Randall 479; Kitty Kagay 506; Ginnie Ely 196.


Matt Wojcik brought the class to order leading song on page 68b. Leaders: Edwin MacAdam “Immortal Love” (his own composition); Dan Hertzler 29t; Liz Meitzler 245; Bill Dunn 48t; Barbara Swetman 72b; Andrew Clarkson 128; Scott Luscombe 32b; Margaret Bornick 236; Francis Bliss 300; Kshama Ananthapura 274 (t? b?); Larry Gordon 411; Kara Morin 228; Ian Smiley 65; Chris Noren 112; Sally House 146; Ron Bornick 454; June Matthews 556.

Bill Holt led song on page 36b as the closing song. Jessica Holland dismissed the class with prayer.

Saturday, October 5

Bill Holt called the Saturday morning session to order and led song on page 148. George Seiler offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Bill Holt 371; Lyra O’Brien 212; Nicola Collett 147 (t? b?); Paul Gauthier 344; Joanne Bowman 34t; Jim Bean 128; Bobbie Goodell 218; Ishmael Stefanov-Wagner 113; Jean Seiler 209; Sheila Kelley 155; Brian Collett 474; Kiri Miller 224; Linda Shea 67; Phil Tyler 340; Cathy Brochet 163b; Jane Zanichkowsky 31t; Tom Padwa 569b; Sarah Beasley Smith 35; Cath Oss 278t; Chuck Neville 49t; Steve Marini 250; Katherine Collett 178; Seth Holloway 388; Susan Jaster 486.


Bill Holt reconvened the session leading song on page 82t. Leaders: Sheila Girling MacAdam “New England” (original composition by Mick Verrier); Richard Schmeidler 254; Anne Kazlauskas 280; Bob Parr 270; Anayis Wright 551; Rachel Speer 417; Charles Cofone 66; Gary Smith 523; Cindy Bean 163t; Paula McGray 528; Glen Wright 497; Victoria Bolles 200; Charlie Taylor 99; Dan Hertzler 70t; Greta Eckhardt 390; Charles Collett 504; Joanne Devoe 327.

The memorial lesson followed. Ginnie Ely spoke to the class of the manner in which the practice of the memorial lesson embodies Sacred Harp singing, with the spirit of a worldwide community of singers. We support each other in times of sorrow and in joy. We bring those feelings into the square, and we take them away to sustain us in the days ahead. Through our fellowship, we can celebrate those singers who have gone before us.

Ginnie Ely read the names of the deceased, whose memory we cherish, and led verses 1 and 2 of song on page 122 for: Jack Jackson, Kenneth DeLong, Winifred Bruner, Ron Bryan, Diana Hannah, Kate Elizabeth Ball, Harriet Henry, Dean Cowles, Jim Nichols, Vaughn Ward, Paul Vasko, Jr., Rosalind Kranis, Hettie Belle Hughes Fisher, Alice Gauthier, Bart Tarmy, John Lawson, William Bliss, John Bailey, Jerry Gibson, Daniel Shea, Linda Smart, Hy Bean, Caroline Henderson Frost, Rose O’Ryan, Frances Beasley Lee, Ethel McGough, Donald Edwin Meitzler, Bryce Butler, Elizabeth Hopkins Wallace, Al Whitehead, Alice Hasserdjian, Robert Adamson, Ben Klein, O.J. Carter, Theresa Lyster, Gus Butcher, Allen Kaynor, and Flora Skinner.

Sheila Girling MacAdam read the names of the sick and shut-ins, and led song on page 68b for: John Gertz, Dinah Breunig, John Bishop, Elsie Beasley, Warren Cadwallader, Win Tyler, Joseph Graziosi, Carol Crompton, Jennie Hawthorne, Virginia Metz, and David Luscombe. George Seiler closed the memorial lesson with prayer.

The singing was resumed with Peter Amidon leading 77t; Eric Hildebrant 198; and Ed White 268. Jean Seiler offered prayer for the noon meal.


Bill Holt brought the class back together for the afternoon session leading song on page 40. Leaders: Dennis O’Brien 93; Susan Mampre 106; Matt Wojcik 383; Lynne deBenedette 454; Edwin MacAdam 538; Kelly House 282; George Seiler 480; Mary Neville 168; Paul Gauthier 384; Aaron Girard 385t; Ginnie Ely 546; Bill Holt 376; Larry Gordon 522; Susan Loucks 276; Alexandra Gilmore 278t; David Rust 74 (t? b?); David Bliss 84; Heather Klein 47b; Jackie Hall 217; Jessica Holland 101t.


Bill Holt reconvened the class and led song on page 63. Leaders: Chris Noren 485; Marianna Tu 277; Elric Elias 535; Guy Bankes 162; Barbara Swetman 542; Howard Katz 481.

The convention went into a business session to hear reports from the various committees.

The Treasurer announced that due to the exceptional generosity of all attending, the convention had met their expenses, with a small surplus to be forwarded to Connecticut as start-up funds for next year’s convention.

The Secretary reported that 89 different leaders over two days led a total of 129 songs. Total registered for the convention was 177.

The Resolutions Committee reported thanks to the officers, Arranging Committee, Food Committee, and all who helped with lodging and accommodations, as well as site selection. It was noted that this hall seemed particularly well suited to the singing. End of business session.

Leaders: Robert Dove 287; Ian Smiley 312b; Patricia Gertz 501; Scott Luscombe 39t; Margaret Bornick 117; Sally House 171; Ron Bornick 87; Kshama Ananthapura 216.

The officers led song on page 62 as the closing song as the singers took the parting hand to close the convention. Robert Dove led the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Bill Holt; Treasurer—Bob Parr; Secretary—Dennis O’Brien.