Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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United Kingdom Shape Note Convention

Woodside Hall, Hitchin, Hertfordshire

September 14-15, 1996

Note: Two books were used—the Sacred Harp, and Northern Harmony. Unless otherwise noted with an (NH), all other page numbers are from the Sacred Harp. Also, the following people and the state in which they live are from the United States, and this information will not appear each time after the listing of their name: Bruce Randall—Massachusetts; Georgia—Judy Mincey; Washington—Dave Hough, Katharine Hough, Joanne Hoover, Susan Helf, and Ken Cofield; New York—Diane Menella and Richard Schmeidler.

Saturday, September 14

Steve Fletcher (Hitchin) led song on page 276. A workshop was conducted by Bruce Randall with the following selections used: 49t, 49b, 479, 40, 155.


Following the break, the workshop continued. Other selections used were: 84, 209, 191, 178, 279, 268, 114.


The convention was called to order, and the following leaders were called: Steve Fletcher (Hitchin) 178 for Ian Giles and David Ward; Richard L. Schmeidler 34b; Bernard Collard (Ramsden, Oxon) 362b; Diane Menella 551; Rachel Jordan (Lewes) 183; Dave Hough 282; David Atkin (Hungerford) 31t; Judy Mincey 532; Dave Townsend (Witney) and Ali Foden (Brighton) 268 for Sally Drage; Ian Head (Burnham, Bucks) 100 (NH), 26 (NH); Susan Helf and Ken Cofield 442; Mandy Townsend (Witney) 440; Ken Cofield 344; Steve Fletcher (Hitchin) and Clare Mee (London) 98 (NH), 44 (NH); Paul Sanderson (Bury) 107; Joanne Hoover 504; Dave Richardson (Warwick) 61; Caroline Humphreys (Winchester) 16 (NH).


Leaders: Sheila Smith (Wimbledon) 86; Richard Schmeidler 84; Mike Bailey (Winchester) 287; Simon Beirne (Linslade) 186 (NH), 76 (NH); Gillian Warson (Bicester) 299 for Gordon Ashman; Dave Townsend (Witney) 47t; Mick Verrier (Essex) 188 (NH); Steve Fletcher (Hitchin) and Mike Hoy (Nottingham) 76 (NH), 72 (NH); Bob Lilley (Leighton Buzzard) 84 (NH); Brian Fisk (Romsey) 479; Paul Gailiunas (Newcastle) 204 (NH), 108 (NH); Joanne Hoover 146; Bernard Collard (Ramsden, Oxon) and Michael Bloom (London) 148 (NH), 10 (NH); John and Pat Stonell (Newcastle) 140 (NH); David Atkin (Hungerford) and Jill Thompson (Brighton) 40; Mike Bailey (Winchester) 334 for all morris dancers; Joanne Hoover 277; Judy Mincey 198. The Saturday afternoon session closed.

Sunday, September 15

The Sunday morning session began with a workshop conducted by Bruce Randall. The following selections were used: 63, 86, 58. “Hallelujah New” was taught by Diane Mennella, and “Relief” by Bruce Randall.


The convention was called to order, and the following leaders called: Steve Fletcher 159; Judy Whiting (Bolton) 503; Katharine Hough 455; Bob Lilley 12 (NH); Dave Hough 385 (t? b?); Caroline Humphreys 22 (NH); Susan Helf 163b; Ruth Cooper (Nottingham) 7 (NH); Joanne Hoover 66; Mick Verrier and Jacqui Clark (Southampton) 150 (NH).


Leaders: Joanne Hoover and Christine Gaskin (Bromley) 49t; Bernard Collard (Ramsden) and Jutta Ried (Richmond) 168 (NH), 12 (NH); Jackie Patten (Morchard Bishop) and Ian Ferguson (Bournemouth) 9 (NH); Dave Townsend and Cressida Pryor (Hitchin) 31t; John Stonell and Sophie McDougall (Alnwick) 10 (NH).

A time for Lessons: Memorial, Sick and Housebound, and Celebration. Judy Mincey gave opening remarks. Paul Sanderson gave the Memorial Lesson, and used a composition by Bruce Randall, “Relief”, which was written in memory of Chris Whiting. The following deceased were remembered: David Gaskin, Mary Gurovitch, Aver Crider, Greta Townsend, Edgar Barnard, Dewey Williams, Robert Mottingdorfer, Eric Hedger, LeRoy McGraw, Chris Barnett, Donald Millichap, Ester Reed, Chris Whiting, Bill Tow, Agnes Hocutt, Dall Allsopp, Mary Taylor, Irvin Creel, Edna Gee, James Sanderson, Lucille Brothers, Jean Passmore, Juliet Lynch, Erlene McGraw Baker; Ellen Hough, Len Blake, Tommy Creel, William Duncan, Janis Beirne, Johnnie Sue Beasley, Alan Week’s mother, Joe Beasley, William Headrick, Roger Hume (Bert Fry, Archers), Kelsey Rene Wootten, Hazel Cagle, Ruby Sheppard Gibson, and Dillie Creel Harris. Paul Sanderson remembered the following sick and housebound by leading “Millbrook” (NH) by Bruce Randall: Catherine Brant, Jack Turney, Keith Wright, Johnny Jeans, Marilyn Osterman, Ian Giles, Gordon Ashman, Eileen Spurr, Dorothy Tow, Jenny Hambridge, Maggie Miskin, Alicia Baddley, and Jackie Beardslee. The Celebration Lesson was given by Bernard Collard, leading song on page 228. The celebrations are: (1) the return to good health of Christine Gaskin; (2) the return to good health of Sophie McDougall; (3) Joan and Robert Ross’s 17th wedding anniversary; (4) Joan Ross’s new job; (5) Jean and Alan Seymour’s silver wedding anniversary; (6) Janet Campbell Smith and Ian Wiseman married 6 September; (7) Sophie and Stuart McDougall’s 2nd wedding anniversary; (8) Ruth and Dave Cooper’s silver wedding anniversary on 11th September; (9) Paul and Diane Sanderson’s baby, due in February 1997; (10) Dave and Katharine Hough’s wedding on July 26, 1996; (11) Gillian and Richard Warson’s 10th wedding anniversary on 19 September; (12) Alan Simpson, recovering from an operation; (13) ourselves, the first United Kingdom Shape Note Convention.


Leaders: Ken Cofield 71; Dave Richardson 452b; Mary Townsend 163t; Dave Hough 68b; Dave Townsend 324; Richard Schmeidler 184; Mike Bailey 164 (NH), 58 (NH); Diane Mennella 313b; Sheila Smith 42; Katharine Hough 378b; Ian Head 194 (NH), 28 (NH); Judy Mincey 376; Mandy Townsend 117; Steve Fletcher and John Souter 209; Dave Townsend 128; Bruce Randall 497; Steve Fletcher 45t. The convention was closed.

A total of 48 (t? b?) attended the workshop and singing on Saturday, and 40 on Sunday.

Submitted by: Judy Mincey.