Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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New England Sacred Harp Convention

South Congregational Church, Middletown, Connecticut

October 3-4, 2003

Friday, October 3

The twenty-eighth session of the New England Sacred Harp Convention was called to order by Chairman Neely Bruce leading 105 and 280. Rev. Mary Klaaren led the opening prayer.

Leaders: Linda Shea 300; Sheila Macadam 28t; Grace Scringeour 33b; Peter Amidon 200; Lila Farrar 268; Anne Kazlauskas 203; Margaret Bornick 40; Richard Schmeidler 66; Jean Seiler 217; John Holbrook 480; Sue Hanson 209; Dan Hertzler 556; Kitty Kagay 440; Rachel Speer 448t; Bill Holt 112; Jane Zanichkowsky 547; John Redman 164.


The class was called together by Neely Bruce leading 314. Leaders: Lynne deBenedette 36b; Laura Clawson 274t; Ronald Bornick 454; Matthew Wojcik 340; Sheila Kelley 455; Bill Dunn 37b; George Seiler 168; Ian Smiley 341; Neely Bruce 277; Guy Bankes 481; Rachel Adelstein 128; Scott Luscombe 32b; Rick Johnston 99; Ginny Landgraf 378b; Jackie Hall 327.


The class resumed singing with Neely Bruce leading 192. Leaders: Kelly House 542; Heather Klein 47b; Robert Dove 479; Dennis O’Brien 162; Robert Stoddard 163b.

Neely Bruce led 308 as the closing song, Rev. Mary Klaaren led the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Saturday, October 4

The convention was called to order by Neely Bruce leading 207. Rev. Mary Klaaren offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Vice Chair Katie Mahoney 32 (t? b?); Kelly House 350; Charles Cofone 66; Lynne deBenedette 82t; Sarah Beasley Smith 129; Anitra Kaye 369; Dave Eckerson 87; Susan Loucks 504; Cathy Brochet 547; Diane Mennella 77t; Debbie Moody 288; Jim Ulrich 569 (t? b?); Mary Neville 49b; Bobbie Goodell 473; Michael Kaye 68b; Edwin Macadam 538; Marcia Tucker 497; Seth Holloway 354b.


The class resumed singing with Neely Bruce leading 332. Leaders: Victoria Bolles 503; Lyra O’Brien 553; Paul Gauthier 228; Patricia Garitz 523; George Pomfret 143; Jenna Strizals 102; Richard Lee 81 (t? b?); Mary Ann Hagen 191; Kshama Ananthapura 146; L.H. Spencer 250; Paula McGray 286; Alice Kast 567; Laura Timmerman 220; Aldo Ceresa 171.

The convention went into a business session with a discussion held concerning days/format/length of this singing. The majority preferred adding Sunday, whether or not the Friday evening singing is retained. There was no formal vote on the matter.

A motion was made by the Rhode Island singers to host the convention in 2006. It was voted on and carried.


Neely Bruce called the class back to order leading 137. Leaders: Gina Ballestracci 430; Rebecca Edwards 111 (t? b?); Catherine Collett 155; Kim Mattson 299; Michael Heyerman 183; Lauren Weintraub 47b; Brian Collett 254; Barbara Swetman 71.

Neely Bruce conducted the memorial lesson, read the names of the deceased, and led 122 in their memory. Those remembered were: Lavaughn Ballinger, Ruth Brown, A.A. Malone, and Elder Donald Smith—Alabama; Howard Hoover—Arizona; Timothy Lull, Ron Mortimore, and Martin Zanichkowsky—California; Lee Stewart—Colorado; Richard Morganson—Connecticut; Gordon Ashman, Jim Bundell, and Dennis Southwell—England; Mary Bruce—Georgia; Robert Sander—Illinois; Rob Higgins, Julie Ince Thompson, and Michael Wadham—Massachusetts; Judy Wagner—New Hampshire; Dr. Don Juel and Dr. Ed Dowey—New Jersey; Hugh Anderson, Roddie Duel, Marjorie Graves, Matt Hall, David Luscombe, Ruth McDonald, and Flora Wallace—New York; Virginia Grandidge—Rhode Island; Dinah Breunig, Frank Shaffer, and John Sheldon—Vermont; David Moody—Washington; Mabel Reed and Bill Kushel. Lydia Vernon-Jones read the names of the sick and shut-ins, and Jean Seiler led 86 in their honor. The memorial lesson was closed with prayer led by Rev. Mary Kaaren, and the class was dismissed for the noon meal.


The afternoon session began with Neely Bruce leading 344. Leaders: Laura Clawson 186; Bradford West 245; Eliza Cavanaugh 274t; Nora Connor 300; Allison Schofield 142; Sally House 496; Dan Hertzler 384; Linda Shea 270; Roland Hutchinson 112; Matthew Wojcik 282; Bill Dunn 34b; Rebecca Parish 106; Charlotte Ehrman 490; Dennis O’Brien 454; Sara O’Halloran 268; Nicola Collette 315; Mary Ellen Shrock 178; Steve Marini 236; Gary Smith 31 (t? b?); George Seiler 269; Neely Bruce 40.


Neely Bruce called the class back to order leading 380. Leaders: Rachel Adelstein 218; Robert Stoddard 510; Sheila Macadam 474; Jean Seiler 475; Grace Scrimgeour 287; Peter Amidon 528; Guy Bankes 189; Ian Smiley 431; Scott Luscombe 306; Sun Hanson 280.

The class went into a business session to hear committee reports. All reports were accepted as given, and the business session was closed. Leaders: Ronald Bornick 84; Ginny Landgraf 447; John Redman 361; Robert Dove 107; Rachel Speer 328.

Announcements were made. Neely Bruce led 62 as the closing song, Rev. Mary Klaaren led the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Neely Bruce; Vice Chair—Katie Mahoney; Secretary—Kelly House.