Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Pacific Northwest Convention - Oregon

Mississippi Rising Ballroom, Portland, Oregon

October 15 -16, 2005

Saturday, October 15

The thirteenth annual session of the Oregon portion of the Pacific Northwest Convention was held at the Mississippi Rising Ballroom in Portland, Oregon, on the third Sunday and Saturday before in October. Chairman Matthew Sellens called the class to order at 9:30 a.m. leading 448b. Matthew Sellens and Co-Chairman Dan Thoma welcomed everyone. Mary MacDonald Lewis offered the invocation.

The following officers were elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—Matthew Sellens; Co-Chairman—Dan Thoma; Secretary—Sarah Hauser.

After a brief business meeting, David Wright introduced the singing teacher, Richard DeLong. Richard DeLong began the class by quoting A.M. Cagle, “Sacred Harp will get down in your soul and make you so happy.” He spoke about time, tune, accent, and the importance of having all three come together. With his melodious Georgia accent and gracious manner, he taught a singing class that emphasized these elements as well as the tradition and joy of Sacred Harp. He led us in his current favorite, 411.


The class was brought to order by Richard DeLong leading 458. The singing school continued as Richard shared his personal life-changing experience of being critically ill, and how Sacred Harp aided his recovery. He brought the class to a close by leading 278b, and exhorting us to practice our scales as we go about our daily chores. Matthew Sellens thanked Richard DeLong and led 39t. Chaplain Mary MacDonald Lewis offered the noon blessing for the food.


Dan Thoma opened the afternoon session with 68b. Leaders: Sarah Hauser 46; Kathy Vlach 84; Jack Lofton 319; Philip Gerrie 321; Alberta Hardy 333; Martha Johnson 480; Jessica Beer 383; Ethan Hardy 66; David Hough 33b; Shelby Sampson 31b; Gary Plouff 101b; Arcana Ferschke 192; Bridgett Hill 276; Joanne Hoover 477; Tom Gerber 277; Sally House 503; Tammi Ziola 282; David Wright 424; Katharine Hough 236; Zeek Chambers 288; Mark Miller 183; Tom Payne 300; Connie Stanton 99; Mary MacDonald Lewis 171; Marie Zaworski 245.


The class was called back to order by Dan Thoma leading 85. Leaders: Suzanne Denker 318; Eric Schwab 207; Alice Poinier 473; Susan Fetcho 106; Rachel Foster 335; Karen Willard 349; Susan Helf 112; Jill Accetta 505; Jane Grant 350; Caleb Hardy 523; John Carson 163t; Anne Huckins 384; David Fetcho 356 (?); Steven Helwig 274t; Molly Whedbee 535; James Brock 72b; Bruce Rowland 426b; Tigre Lusardi 65; Carolyn Gilkey 142; Jim Friedrich 163b; Jenn Dolan 157.

Fran Ross led 198 as the closing song. Chaplain Mary MacDonald Lewis offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

A social and informal singing was held Saturday evening at the home of Jessica Beer and Emily and Vasilios Gletsos.

Sunday, October 16

Dan Thoma called the class to order at 9:30 a.m. leading 479. Mary MacDonald Lewis offered the opening prayer. Leaders: Greg Saue 147t; Meg Larson 147b; Scott Kennedy 146; Lara Eilhardt 47b; Leon Janssen 38b; Lucinda Saue 186; Jean Murphy 106; Ken Cofield 324; Pat Nida 457; Erica Wilson 547; Eric Holt 344; Tamara Harris 56b; Vasilios Gletsos 497; Martie Hoadley 330b; Marcia Cutler 361; Thom Fahrbach 122; Leta Marshall 127; Matthew Sellens 126; Lyle Lindsey 40; Myles Alexander 448t.


The class was called back to order by Dan Thoma leading 77t. Leaders: Kathy Vlach 510; James Brock 100; Tigre Lusardi 29t; Mark Miller 217; Carolyn Gilkey 528; David Hough 496; Sarah Hauser 452; Susan Fetcho 475; Bob Schinske 530; Dan Thomas 148; Bridgett Hill 209; Martha Johnson 430; John Carson 312b; Alice Poinier 162; Richard DeLong 395; Philip Gerrie 227; Susan Helf 61; Connie Stanton 438; Tom Payne 362.

Molly Whedbee conducted the memorial lesson. She read the names of the sick and shut-ins, wishing them rest and release from pain, and led 61 in their honor. Those remembered were Dick Sarpola and Agnes—New York; De Moreland—Nebraska; Reed Schilbach, Rosella Helf, David McCullough, and Darlene Simpson-Brown—Washington; Jack Accetta—Pennsylvania; Sally Campbell—Illinois; Kay Smith—Iowa; Everen Lacy Miller—Wisconsin; Didie Kenna—Texas; Danna Lytchen, Robert Thoma, Laura Henderson, and Jill Firiend—Oregon.

Molly Whedbee told a moving story of a personal encounter with the death of a young friend earlier this year. “We know that death is always walking with us, always waiting just around the corner, in the unseen potential for loss, in the real losses we grieve, and in the knowledge of our own mortality. I feel that singing about this keeps us mindful, that it can remind us now while we’re alive that we are all on fire, all burning with that mystery that is ourselves, our time here.” She then led 86 in memory of those who have died this year: Mabel Mayer, Leslie Close, and John Seitz—New York; Dottie Jones—Florida; Lorna Burkett—Michigan; Dean Slaton—Indiana; Al Frank, Vi Stark, Ario Teoli, and Rudy Ross—Illinois; Bill Trevarrow—Texas; John Hocutt—Alabama; Steven Hough—California; Jim Tremann—Washington; Terry Vitale, Diane Lewis-Moles, Michael Loving, Kathleen Cotton, Marjorie Wolfe, and Terry McMenamin—Oregon. The memorial was concluded.

Leaders: Katharine Hough 269; Arcana Ferschke 376; Karen Willard 478. Mary MacDonald Lewis offered the noon blessing.


Matthew Sellens brought the class back to order leading 49t. Leaders: Marie Zaworski 142; Gary Plouff 328; Shelby Sampson 30b; Jessica Beer 384; Anne Huckins, 178; Fran Ross 455; Audrey Carabinus 74t; David Fetcho 296; Jack Lofton 53: Steve Helwig 285t; Mary MacDonald Lewis 268; Jill Acceta 445; Ruby Bloom 168; David Wright 391; Emily Gletsos 315; Myles Alexander 107; Caleb Hardy 143; Jenn Dolan 182; Meg Larson 323b; Lara Eilhardt 48t; Erica Wilson 128; Jean Murphy 380; Cindy Reuter 138t; Thom Fahrbach 300; Richard DeLong 276.


Matthew Sellens brought the class back to order with 26. Leaders: Lyle Lindsey 34t; Jim Friedrich 454; Tom Gerber 81t; Bridgett Hill 383; Joanne Hoover 365; Tamara Harris 67; Mark Miller 176 (t? b?); Bruce Rowland 282; Erika Wilson 503: Ken Caufield 49b; Jill Accetta 278b; Leta Marshall 155; Greg Saue 31t; Scott Kennedy 235; Molly Whedbee 267; Susan Fetcho 203; Lucinda Saue 532; David Fetcho 481; Matthew Sellens 74b.

Matthew Sellens conducted the business meeting, and announced that 209 people had attended the convention, and 142 songs had been led.

David Zaworski announced that the expenses of the convention had been met.

Lyle Lindsey presented the Resolutions. Thanks were given to all who traveled to attend. Special recognition was given to Bridgett Hill who came from Alabama at the invitation of Connie Stanton. The two women met this year at Camp FaSoLa. Thanks were given to all who helped with the arrangements of the convention, especially to Cindy Reuter for the organization of the food and Thom Fahrbach for coordinating housing.

A Sacred Harp quilt, made by Carolyn Gilkey with a design representing the hollow square and themes from various songs, was gratefully presented to our excellent singing teacher, Richard DeLong, along with locally made nuts and chocolates.

Matthew Sellens expressed his joy at having been the Chairman of the convention for the last three years, and his gratitude in announcing next year’s Chairman, Dan Thoma. He also thanked Jessica Beer for her on-going dedication to the work of the North West Convention and Sacred Harp singing. The business meeting was closed.

Announcements were made. The song on page 36b was sung as all who wished took the parting hand. Mary MacDonald Lewis offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Matthew Sellens; Co-Chairman—Dan Thoma; Secretary—Sarah Hauser.