Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Potomac River Convention

Washington, D.C.

April 4-6, 2003

Friday, April 4

The Potomac River Convention began with a New Traditions Singing, and was held at Pohick Church, in Lorton, Virginia on Friday night before the first Sunday in April. Tom Tucker called the session to order at 7:30 p.m. leading “Millbrook” (by Neely Bruce). The leaders below were also the song composers unless noted otherwise.

Leaders: Blake Morris “Shanksville”; Mary Ann Daly “Bethesda”; Nick Schliapin “Nantahala”; Hal Kunkel “Conversation”; Cathy Tucker “The Angels’ Song” (Lowry); Guy Bankes “Moriah” (Billings); Dick Levine 55 (EH).


Blake Morris resumed the singing with 148. Leaders: Tom Tucker “Conflict” (Lewis); Blake Morris “Zion’s Joy”; Nick Schliapin “Life”; Peter Pate 64 (EH); Guy Bankes 75 (EH); Kat Kinkade, “Sabbath Day” (D. Henkin); Blake Morris 88 (EH); Mimi Stevens 1 (EH); Rosemary Greenaway 110 (EH); Mary Ann Daly “Deuteronomy”; George Seiler 58 (EH).

Cathy Tucker and Tommy Freeman closed the evening session with 106 (EH).

Saturday, April 5

Blake Morris opened the fourteenth annual Potomac River Sacred Harp Singing Convention, at Pohick Episcopal Church in Lorton, Virginia leading 32t. Craig Baughan offered the opening prayer. Chair Mary Ann Daly welcomed the guests and led 59; Tom Tucker 129; Diane Mennella 77b; Ginny Landgraf 81t; and Craig Baughan 144.

A business meeting was held with the following officers elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—Peter Pate; Vice Chair—Rosemary Greenaway; Secretary—Tom Tucker; Treasurer—Frank Evans; Chaplain—Jean Seiler; Memorial Committee—George Seiler; Arranging—Rosemary Greenaway; Resolutions—Guy Bankes. Leaders: Peter Pate 479; Rosemary Greenaway 68b; Don Polaski 300; Nick Schliapin 43; Laura Densmore 76b; Sue Hanson 209; Sandra Hack Polaski 168; Jason Law 66; Frank Evans 200; Joni Seidenstein and Aelliana 278b; Elise Meyer-Bothling 120; Kat Kinkade 191; Hal Kunkel 318; Martha Beverly 269; Joan Aldridge 189; Steven Sabol 428.


Peter Pate called back the class to order by leading 37b. Leaders: Gail Doss 34t; Tim Brown 551; Mary Ellen Schrock 178; Bill Beverly 547; John Holbrook 145b; John Hewes 38t; Juanita Heyerman 114; Lee Schumacher 40; Briana Hirsh 195; Guy Bankes 486; Cathy Tucker 236; Hannah Polaski 299; Matt Wojcik 532; Dick Levine 155; Adrian Mariano 183; Greg Saue 31t; Rosemary Greenaway 72b; George Seiler 480; Mary Wright 121; Carly Goss 148; Pat Temple 384; Mary DeNys 285t; Walter Hartley 146; Jean Seiler 217; Marty DeNys 454; Will Reilly 569b; Blake Morris 297. Chaplain Jean Seiler offered the blessing for the noon meal.


Chairman Peter Pate opened the afternoon session with 49t. Leaders: Doron Henkin 74b; John delRe 370; Fred Beardsley 513; Liz Cusick 163b; Kelly Macklin 399b; John Daniel delRe 86; Diane Mennella 448t; Ginny Landgraf 447; Craig Baughan 347; Don Polaski 362; Kathy Manning 365; Laura Densmore 542; Hannah Polaski 159; Sue Hanson 280; Joan Robertson 344; Jason Law 268; Frank Evans 223.


Peter Pate resumed the singing by leading 47t. Leaders: Joni Seidenstein 481; Sandra Hack Polaski 84; Jay Parotta 82t; Rosemary Greenaway 496; Elise Meyer-Bothling 91; Kat Kinkade 383; Mary Ann Daly 373; Bill Beverly and Martha Beverly 254; Joan Aldridge 228; Steven Sabol 567; Jon Singer 504; Tim Brown 198; Mary Ellen Schrock 143; Hal Kunkel 380; John Holbrook 448b; John Hewes 334; Juanita Heyerman 441; Lee Schumacher 117; Guy Bankes 442; Matt Wojcik 171.

Announcements were made. Chairman Peter Pate led 110 as the closing song. Jean Seiler closed the day’s singing with a prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Sunday, April 6

Chairman Peter Pate opened the Sunday singing with 52t and welcomed the singers to The Grange in Great Falls, Virginia. Jean Seiler gave the opening prayer.

Leaders: Peter Pate 137; Rosemary Greenaway 171; Tom Tucker 42; Adrian Mariano 419; Donna Abraham 29t; Pat Temple 34b; George Seiler 159; Doron Henkin 189; Jean Seiler 273; Walter Hartley 106; Kacy Pate 312b; Greg Saue 99; Mary Wright 421; Laura Densmore 302; Hal Kunkel 433; Guy Bankes 556; Steven Sabol 85; Diane Mennella 35; John delRe 71; Dick Levine 102; Ginny Landgraf 538; Peter Pate 40.


Cathy Tucker called the class back to order by leading 48t. Leaders: Mary Ann Daly 430; Will Reilly 38b; Joan Aldridge 270; Juanita Heyerman 56b; Kelly Macklin 173; Mary Ellen Schrock 178; John Daniel delRe 481; Kat Kinkade 411; Matt Wojcik 456; Sue Hanson 372; Carly Goss 47b; Joni Seidenstein 144; Joan Robertson 66; John Hewes 410 (t? b?); Frank Evans 163b; Mary DeNys 378b.

George Seiler opened the memorial lesson with remarks on the honor and pain of singing for members of our family that are taken from us. He emphasized the power of Sacred Harp in dealing with losses in life with the quote, “Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional,” then read the names of the deceased and led 122 in their memory: Frances M. Duncan—Maryland; Marie Law—New York; Frances Lee—Florida; David Nagy and Allan R. Winn—Pennsylvania; G. Robert Jacks, Donald Juel, Charles Simone, and Ralph “Robbie” Robertson—New Jersey; Leroy Campbell—Washington, D.C.; Jeannette Hardin—Virginia; Loretta Ernst and Lorraine Davie—Illinois; John Reed—North Carolina.

Hal Kunkel took a “lesson” of the memorial lesson: that we should reach out to those who cannot be with us due to illness, read the list of sick and shut-ins, and led 287 in their honor. Jean Seiler closed the memorial lesson with a prayer.

Chairman Peter Pate led 76b, and the class was dismissed for lunch with a blessing offered by Chaplain Jean Seiler.


Susan Munch opened the afternoon session by leading 39t. Leaders: Janine Smith 345t; Kathy Manning 384; Marty DeNys 497; Doron Henkin 333; John Holbrook 162; Jean Seiler 299; Dick Levine 49b; Matt Wojcik 186; Laura Densmore 201; Diane Mennella 564; John delRe 408; Ginny Landgraf 37b; Guy Bankes 510; George Seiler 183; Pat Temple 373; Joan Aldridge 475; Kelly Macklin 220; Hal Kunkel 415; Sue Hanson 142; Greg Saue 523.


Peter Pate called the class back with 49t. Leaders: Kat Kinkade 368; Walter Hartley 452; Mary Wright 180; Mary Ellen Schrock 63; Will Reilly 499; Carly Goss 203; Tom Tucker 369; Adrian Mariano 128; Mary Ann Daly 112; Steven Sabol 245; Mary Ann DeNys 313b; Kathy Manning 209; Marty DeNys 232; Janine Smith 350; John Holbrook 282; Joni Seidenstein 191; John Hewes 188; Joan Robertson 31t; Jean Seiler 31b; Matt Wojcik 445; John delRe 300; Laura Densmore 528.

Chairman Peter Pate called for committee reports and final announcements.

Guy Bankes, the Resolutions Chair, thanked all the volunteers who made the convention possible and all the participants who made it memorable.

The Secretary reported that there were 66 song leaders who led 178 songs plus 21 songs led on Friday evening.

Chairman Peter Pate led 217 and 62 as the closing songs. Jean Seiler offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Peter Pate; Vice Chair—Rosemary Greenaway; Secretary—Tom Tucker.