Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Minnesota State Sacred Harp Singing Convention

St. Sahag Armenian Orthodox Church, St. Paul, Minnesota

September 24-25, 2005

Saturday, September 24

The Saturday session of the sixteenth Minnesota State Sacred Harp Convention was held at St. Sahag Armenian Orthodox Church in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The class was called to order by Co-Chairs Donna Gunderson and Paul Wilson leading 47t. Jim Pfau offered the opening prayer.

The following officers were elected or appointed to serve: Co-Chairs—Donna Gunderson and Paul Wilson; Secretary—Paul Wyatt; Arranging Committee—Denise Kania and Matt Wells; Finance Committee—Matt Wells; Memorial Committee—Christine Stevens and Jim Helke.

Leaders: Paul Wyatt 76t; Stacey Berkheimer 114; Cathy Lutz 441; Steve Luttinen 278b; Steven Schmidgall 369; Eleanor Haase 32t; Martha Henderson 368; Christine Stevens 542; Paul Landskroener 150; Kit Canright Pfau 47b; Jim Goetz 312b; Jessica Beer 455; James Page 296; Denise Kania 500; Gordon Olsen 344.

RECESS

Matt Wells called the class back by leading 52t. Leaders: Val Eng 528; Jim Helke 123t; Shirley Figura 67; Bill Waddington 218; Linda Booker 490; Walter Graff 68b; Kathy Tucker 189; Michael Moore 232; Claudia Egelhoff 210; Dick Levine 300; Colette Miller 436; Peter Bradley 163b; Midge Olsen 454; Guy Bankes 327; Julie Vea 411.

RECESS

Steven Schmidgall called the class back with 473. Leaders: Kim Bahmer 155; Karen Swenson 268; Robin Fox 215; Carol Buche 499; Francis Gurtz 501; Jen Blair 186.

A business session was held in which Kim Bahmer and Christine Stevens were elected as Co-Chairs of the 2006 fall convention, and Steven Levine was elected as the Chair of the February, 2006 Cooper Book Singing. Jim Pfau offered prayer for the noon meal.

LUNCH

Denise Kania brought the afternoon session to order leading 63. Leaders: Matt Wells 39t; Chandler York-Hall 547; Lisa Grayson 419; Paul Figura, Ann Drexler, and Roberta Strauss 310; Jenna Strizak 384; Keith Willard 144; Kathy Wallace 29t; Jim Crawford 351; Laura Densmore 328; Jim Parsons 504; Fran Ross 496; Tom Tucker 102; Carol Crawford 70t; Jenny Willard 392; Mike Hinton 373; Margo McCreary 313b; Jim Pfau 474; Johanna Fabke 378b; Scott Schroeder 335; Shelley Robbins 299; Cassie Lang 497; Steven Levine 350.

RECESS

The class was called back by Paul Wyatt leading 36b. Leaders: Stacey Berkheimer 297; Guy Banks 365; Julie Vea 385t; Doug Donley 424; Jessica Beer 400; Jenna Strizak 277; Mike Hinton 146; Lisa Grayson 421; Paul Figura 457; Laura Densmore 196.

Donna Gunderson and Paul Wilson led 347 as the closing song. The closing prayer was offered by Jim Pfau, and the class was dismissed.

Sunday, September 25

The Sunday session of the Minnesota State Sacred Harp Convention was held in the historic Town Hall at Murphy’s Landing in Shakopee, Minnesota.

The class was called to order by co-chairs Donna Gunderson and Paul Wilson leading 171. The opening prayer was offered by Nancy Koester.

Leaders: Jim Pfau 59; Eleanor Haase 40; Martha Henderson 313t; Christine Stevens 101t; Steve Luttinen 409; Nancy Koester 33t; Walter Graff 137; Karen Swenson 38b; Lars Christiansen 504; Midge Olsen 198; Michael Moore 487; Anna Pfau 300; Jim Helke 538; Lisa Cohen 148; David Moore 455; Stacey Berkheimer 566; Mike Hinton 340; Claudia Egelhoff 77 (t? b?).

RECESS

The class was called back to order by Kim Bahmer leading 34t. Leaders: Paul Wyatt and Nancy Wyatt 347; Kit Canright Pfau 129; Steven Schmidgall “Windgate” (by Tom Tucker); Laura Densmore 157; Paul Figura 334; Jenna Strizak 440; Todd Mitchell 86; Joan Yeatman 503; Peter Bradley 112; Heidi Hackbarth 107; James Page 411; Fran Ross 85; Bill Waddington and Maggie Waddington 209; Carol Crawford 370.

RECESS

Jim Pfau called the class back to order with 32t. Leaders: Jessica Beer 200; Jim Parsons 191; Cathy Lutz 472.

Christine Stevens conducted the memorial lesson and commented about the effects and emotions hurricane Katrina had on her. She stated that she had felt at times that singing was a luxury, but had come to realize that was not the case. A Sacred Harp Singing Convention is not a luxury. It is almost an obligation; it is worship; it is honoring God’s gift of singing. Sacred Harp is given to us so we may cry out our pain in songs and express the hope we still have. Singing is our way of lifting ourselves and each other up; and, we should always offer praise and gratitude for Blessings Past, for Peace and Joy, and for Amazing Grace.

We sing and draw nearer to one another and to our God through song. In singing, we draw strength from each other and form bonds that last for a lifetime. We need to sing for the love of God. We need it, this country needs it, and the world needs it.

Jim Helke read the names of the sick and shut-ins and led 143 in their honor: Marilyn Darch, Sarah Curry, and Carroll Lunsford—California; Jeanette Lowry and Callie Webb—Missouri; Helen Stevens, David Horstmann, and Kate Denucci—Minnesota; Lewis Wilson—British Columbia; Bob Meek—Kentucky; Irene Anderson—Iowa; Myra Palmer, Edith Owen, and Ophelia Matthews—Texas; Janice Hughes—Georgia; Marcia Johnson—Illinois; Bob Scorgie, Bob Anderson, R.J. Crawford, and Roxanne Crawford—Wisconsin; Mary Vimmerstedt—Ohio; Orville Senger—Oregon.

Christine Stevens read the names of the deceased and led 330b in their memory: Tom Gibney—New Jersey; Helen Schneyer and Laurette Elizabeth Wojcik—Vermont; Winnie Winston—New Zealand; Hedy West—Pennsylvania; Phil Tabor—Tennessee; Jesse Stanaland, Dottie Jones, and Jay Vest—Florida; Lewis Brown—Iowa; Diane Lewis-Moles—Oregon; Dale Eddington, Alan Frank, and Violet Stark—Illinois; Vern Harman, Lou Ann Lewis, Thomas Hansmeyer, Brad Horras, Harrison Wojcik, Ann Bronson, Regina Kania, John Storm, Greg Albiny, Stephanie Claussen, and Carl Swenson—Minnesota; Dean Slayton—Indiana; Josephine Henderson—Nebraska; Allen Fannin and Roxanne Mennella—New York; Phil Alderman—Missouri; Kelly Beard—Texas; Meg Sanders—Massachusetts; Adrian Karsten and Bill Kepner—Wisconsin; John Hocutt—Alabama; Ed Davis—Connecticut; Catherine Ashendin—New Hampshire; Melva Neal; Seth Garwood; Steven Linsner; Erwin Moore; James Paquin.

Keith Willard led 303. Nancy Koester offered prayer for the noon meal.

LUNCH

The class was brought to order by Matt Wells leading 106. Leaders: Denise Kania 203; Paul Wilson 77t; Lynn Dixon 277; Julie Vea 142; Ted Mercer 434; Cathy Tucker 480; Dick Levine 228; Kim Bahmer 47b; Guy Bankes 352; Carol Buche 178; Shirley Figura 348b; Tom Tucker 339; Robin Fox and Mary Rose O’Reilly 532; Lisa Grayson 448t; Gordon Olsen 547; Cassie Lang 68b; Linda Booker 354t. Eloise Jerome has been a long-standing friend and supporter of singing in Minnesota. A quilt made by her was given in a fundraising raffle and won by Julie Vea.

RECESS

The class was called back to order by Martha Henderson leading 71. Leaders: Paul Landskroener 87; Johanna Fabke 114; Aubrey Hemminger 84; Shelley Robbins 192; Bob Dixon 417; Charlotte Baldwin 383; Matt Wells 481; Laura Densmore 29t; Cathy Tucker 385b; Midge Olsen 99; Chandler York-Hall 501; Mike Hinton 543.

Announcements were made. The Resolutions committee, on behalf of the convention, thanked all the people who made the convention possible by attending singing, cooking, and working. Gratitude was also expressed to all the singers who had gone before us, who had worked so hard to hand this singing and this tradition down to us. Finally, the committee thanked God, without whom none of this would have been possible.

Chairs Donna Gunderson and Paul Wilson led 62 as the closing song while those who wished took the parting hand. Nancy Koester offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Co-Chairs—Donna Gunderson and Paul Wilson; Secretary—Paul Wyatt.