Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Midwest Convention

Chicago, Illinois

June 29-30, 1996

Saturday, June 29

The eleventh annual session of the Midwest Sacred Harp Singing Convention opened at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago. Lisa Grayson called the convention to order by leading song on page 192. She gave a warm welcome not only to local singers but to those who had come from so far to be present. Phillip Wootten from Alabama then offered the morning prayer. Leaders: Katheen Kuiper 31b; Kathryn Krug 171; Daryl Mayberry 373; James Page 216; Charles Wells 38b; John Seaton 217; Susan Jaster 486; Jerilyn Schumacher 145t; Stephen Parker 228; James Nelson Gingerich 29 (t? b?); Karen Hojnacki 198; Julie Vea 444; Steve Warner 125; Jeff Franklin 55b; Val Eng 280; Laura Webb 178; Pauline Childers 475; Val Dunagan 203.


The morning session continued with Lisa Grayson leading song on page 434. A business session then took place, with the following officers elected or appointed: Chairman—Kathleen Kuiper; Vice Chairman—David Barford; Secretary—Kristin Richardson; Assistant Secretary—D.J. Hatfield; Chaplain—Wendy Wahn; Arranging Committee—Constance Karduck, Margie Smith, James Nelson Gingerich, and Melanie Hauff; Memorial Committee—Syble Adams, Shelbie Sheppard, Steven Levine, and Elaine Cullor; Finance Committee—Carolyn Deacy, Kathy Williams, Steve Warner, and Phillip Langley; Resolutions Committee—Jeanette Lowry, Terry Wootten, and Katy Hicks; Locating Committee—Ted Mercer, Judy Hauff, and Kelly Brest Van-Kempen. Leaders: Thomas Finney 36b; Kathryn Smith 269; Chris Thorman 474; Buell Cobb 270; Ann Jett 546; Mel Kersey 47b; Jeanette Lowry 542; John Bailey 436; Kay Bieszczad 551; Bart Bradfield 236; Elaine Cullor 235; Mark Davis 240; Pennie Thurman 480.


Kristin Richardson called the class together by leading song on page 142. Leaders: Seth Houston 277; Pam Nunn 218; D.J. Hatfield 300; Anna Pfau 415; Nancy Hejna 214; Tommie Spurlock 442; Sarah Davie 556; Walter Hartley 146; Carolyn Craig 182; Leyland DelRe and Regina Bayer 433; Dan Havens 567. The blessing for lunch was then offered by Wendy Wahn.


Richard DeLong opened the afternoon session by leading song on page 385b. Leaders: Becky Browne 304; Reba Windom 196; Gaylon Powell 365; Jodi Liss 335; Steven Levine 32t; Ernestine Pipkin 276; David Lee 201b; Mae Holt 224; Dave Ressler 454; Cassie Franklin 196; Duran Perkins 504; Carla Smith 376; Brad Oglesby 101t; Marcia Johnson 448t; Harrison Creel 498; Syble Adams 147t; B. M. Smith 273; Shelley Robbins 82t; Ted Mercer 278b; Lissa Blood 145b; Richard Popp 441; Lisa Davis 200.


David Barford reassembled the class by leading song on page 391. Leaders: John Bayer 354t; Myra Dalton 378b; Roland Hutchinson “Hallelujah New”; Elene Stovall 528; Clarke Lee 39t; Carolyn Deacy 114; Dick Dunagan 108b; Hannah Roberts 98; Jim Pfau 501; Floy Wilder 430; John Bealle 46; Judy Mincy 497; Tom Tucker 191; Karen Snowberg 99; Gary Gronau 137. Kathleen Kuiper and David Barford then closed the Saturday session by leading song on page 180.

Sunday, June 30

Kathleen Kuiper called the class to order at 9:10 a.m. leading song on page 77b. David Lee of Georgia offered the opening prayer. Leaders: Aubrey Barfield 340; Debra Langley 496; Mike Hinton 373; Jessica Roberts 436; Walt Graff 396; Rene Greene 220; Dean Slaton 383; Barbara Moore 117; Katy Hicks 37b; Jacob Griffith 288; Suzanne Flandreau 297; Michele Rae Biery 186; Jeffrey Bell 290; Beverly Enright 254; Phillip Wootten 106; Flarce Creel 299; Don Bowen 426t; Jeanette DePoy 475; Phillip Langley 222; Al Frank 59; Connie Karduck 460.


The morning session resumed with David Barford leading song on page 351. Leaders: Ashley Roberts 442; Elizabeth Lobato 177; Sande Scott and Tim Reynolds 313b; Elizabeth Todd 89; Samuel Sommers 548; Sheri Taylor 306; Emmie Barford, Regina Bayer, Leyland DelRe, and Gloria Young 277; Kelly Beard 242; Eloise Clark 84; Mary Bachman 369; Jerry Schreiber 274t; Virginia Warren 217; Sue Fairbanks 45t; Scott Schroeder 28 (t? b?); Kathy White 178.


Kathleen Kuiper brought the class together by leading song on page 203. Leaders: Greg Economides 535; Margaret Sayvetz 344; Jewell Vania 81 (t? b?); Charles Whitmer 320; Gina Balestracci 183; Johanna Fabke 122. The session was then turned over to the Memorial Committee. Shelbie Sheppard opened the Memorial Lesson with the following words: “It is just a joy, a great joy, that this many people can get together, from all walks of life, all occupations and nationalities, and sing to the glory of God. We may not all have the same religious creed, but whether we believe it or not, we all have one God. This list of names is long. You may not know anyone on this list, you may know them all. But somewhere in this walk of life, if you have not lost a loved one who appears on this list, that doesn’t mean you can’t sing for them, just like you sing for everybody else. Believe you me, I have been there, I know what I’m talking about. Sacred Harp friends mean more to you when you lose a loved one than you will ever know. Sacred Harp friends you can depend on. Sacred Harp friends are there when you need them, they’re there to help you, and when you lose one of them, it’s just like losing a member of your family. To show you what good friends I’ve accumulated over the years through Sacred Harp singing, I had people the first weekend in April that came to help me cook from the states of Washington, Minnesota, California, Illinois-and it goes on and on. And I would not have known any of them ten years ago, if it had not been for Sacred Harp singing. So if you don’t know anyone on this list, or if you know them all, sing as if it were a member of your family, because they were.” Steven Levine then read the names of the deceased: Alabama—Colbie Allen, Ester Reed, Agnes Hocutt, Joe Smith, Jack Harcrow, Aver Crider, Kelsey Wootten, Cleve Blevins, Hoyt Renfroe, Guy Parker, Dula Webb, Ruby Gibson, Hubert Greene, Dewey Williams, Tom Roberson, Homer Cordes, Ola Pruett, Lonnie Jones, Odell Cleveland, Elbert Drake, Russell Norton, Harold Jackson, Lawrence Daugherty, Luther Miller, Irvin Creel, Flecie Tucker, and Lucile Brothers; Arkansas—Odes Franklin; Georgia—Evelyn Browne, LeRoy McGraw, and Earline McGraw Baker; Illinois—George Edel, Lee Cloud, Jim Pizzia, and Doris Taub; Indiana—Welma Nelson, Walter Bavers, and Oscar Berlin; Michigan—Edith Hicks and Petra Coronado; Minnesota—Bruce Johnson; Mississippi—Cynthia Ledlow, Toxey Fortinberry, and George Boswell; New York—Joe Beasley and Bob Mottingdorfer; Pennsylvania—Ruth Fansler and Kenneth Goldstein; Texas—Lonnie Cato, Gerald Fry, Arnevis Norton, and Henrietta Henderson; Virginia—Matthew Shuster; Wisconsin—John Snowberg; Canada—Barbara Ward. Remembered also were the U.S. servicemen killed in Saudi Arabia. As a memorial to the deceased, Shelbie Sheppard led song on page 327. Elaine Cullor then read the names of the sick and shut-in for whom Syble Adams led song on page 171. Jessie Roberts offered a prayer of remembrance for those named. Leaders: Alice Hochstetler 160b; Bill Waddington 503b; Cathy Tucker 40. Cathy Tucker dismissed the class for lunch with a blessing.


Debbie Barford opened the afternoon session by leading song on page 99. Leaders: Joe Todd 337; Beth Hoffman-Reed 271t; Jerry Enright, Karen James, and Carol Buche 421; Jeff Sheppard and Terry Wootten 176t and 47t; Anne Heider 189; Johnny Lee 31t; Melanie Hauff 347; Jesse Roberts 544; Kathy Williams 455; Richard DeLong 550; Linda Thomas 472; Judy Hauff 536; Gordon Olsen 163b; Kit Pfau 48t; Ted Johnson “Boulder”; Louise Holland 318; Sharon Kellam 76b; Herb Schroeder 128; Susan Roberts 284; Al Rogers 63; Paul Wyatt 515; Kristin Richardson 269.


The afternoon session resumed with Kelly Brest Van-Kempen leading song on page 335. Leaders: Robert Meek 143; Midge Olsen 312 (t? b?); Anthony Reeves 146; Wendy Lee 148; David Lee and Clarke Lee of Georgia, together walked time for 565; Wendy Wahn 86; Bill Hamblin 47b; Sue Kessel 236; Jay Sappington 478; Jeremy York 229. Jeanette Lowry, on behalf of the Resolution Committee, spoke the following words: “Thanks to the many, many dear people who have made this eleventh session of the Midwest Convention possible. We thank the officers, the organizers, and all the committee members who handled housing, arranging, publicity, sales, registration, and all the other many jobs. We especially thank Wendy Wahn, who designed and oversaw production of the water bottles and T-shirts, and Dan Havens, who crafted and contributed the bolo tie for the raffle. We thank strong hands who helped with setting up and tearing down for the sessions each day; we thank the hosts who housed, escorted, and transported visitors; we thank the Irish American Heritage Center and St. Paul’s Church. We thank the cooks-including people like Jan Ketelle, who, coming from Wisconsin, never fails to bring several dishes. And in that category, we also thank Kate Thomas, who with her helpers organized the spreading of the tables each day, and all the folks who helped in the kitchen, especially last night-a lot of out-of-towners helped with that. I’ve also been asked to thank people who traveled many miles to come and cook this weekend, including Carolyn Deacy, Katie Hicks, and Julie Vea. We thank all of our families and friends who may not be singers but who have understood our need to remove ourselves from the world and meet with our Sacred Harp family. We thank the treasured families who have cherished and sustained the precious tradition of the Sacred Harp for generations and traveled far to teach us and support all of us. We thank the Creator, within whose circling power we stand and whose praise we sing, and we resolve to continue the tradition and spread the joy of Sacred Harp here and in all the places we call home, and we resolve to return to Chicago and to faithfully support all the singings available to us throughout the year.” The closing prayer was then offered by Wendy Wahn, and “The Parting Hand” was led by the officers: Kathleen Kuiper, David Barford, D. J. Hatfield, and Kristin Richardson.

Chairman—Kathleen Kuiper; Vice Chairman—David Barford; Secretaries—D.J. Hatfield and Kristin Richardson.