Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Minnesota State Sacred Harp Singing Convention

St. Sahag’s Armenian Church, St. Paul,
and the Landing, Shakopee, Minnesota

September 26-27, 2009

Saturday, September 26

The 20th annual Minnesota State Convention was called to order at St. Sahag’s Armenian Church, St. Paul, Minnesota, by Stacey Berkheimer and Kristie Harju leading 36t. Kit Canright offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: Steven Schmidgall 496; Carol Buche 171; Matt Wells 500; Will Gilman 67; Claudia Egelhoff 77b; Alfred Saussotte 112; Johanna Fabke 355; Jen Blair 186; Laura Densmore 522; Jeanette Nelson 503; Michael Moore 223; Shirley Figura 565; Colette Miller and Francis Gurtz 436; James Page 272.


Jim Pfau called the class back together by leading 106. Leaders: Christine Stevens 542; Michael Mosley 440; Paul Landskroener 70t; Martha Henderson 139; Paul Figura 268 (in memory of Bill Ellason); Midge Olsen 198; Tamara Harris 313t; Jim Helke 176b; Dan Edwards, Karen Edwards, Peter Edwards, and Joan Edwards 383; Bill Caldwell 240; Donna Gunderson-Rogers 52t; Charlie Obert 474; Valerie Stoehr 163b; Leon Pulsinelle 217; Denise Kania 208; Roberta Strauss 56b; Bonnie Davis 210; Robin Fox 163t.


Cathy Lutz called the class together by leading 29t. Announcements were made. Leaders: Jim Goetz 547; Gerry Skerbitz 300; Jennifer Agans 38b; John Seaton 47t; Steven Levine 195; Stephen Parker 49b.

A business session was held and next year’s officers were announced as follows: Co-chairpersons for next year’s fall convention—Kit Canright and Nancy Koester; Chairperson for the Cooper Book singing in February—Midge Olsen. Paul Wyatt offered prayer for the noon meal.


The afternoon session was brought to order by Keith Willard leading 82t. Leaders: Shelley Robbins 299; Gordon Olsen 86; Louis Hughes 472; Mary Ann Saussotte 137; Julie Vea 269; Gary Gronau 192; Steve Helwig 302; Marjorie Matthews 454; Kit Canright 99; Lisa Grayson 419; Steve Luttinen 85; Jessica Beer 430; Tanya Cothran 149; Val Eng 528; Jeff Bell 154; Becky Browne 200; Tivey 49t; Nancy Koester 501; Carol Crawford 37b; Stacey Berkheimer 297; Carol Munro Mosley 392.


Steven Levine called the class to order by leading 34b. Leaders: Kristie Harju 216; Scott Schroeder 535; Keith Willard 278b; Paul Wyatt 168; Jennie Willard 318; Beth Haaland 515; Cathy Lutz 282; Cassie Lang and Melissa Kelley 145b; Jim Pfau 448t; Jessica Beer 183; Louis Hughes 348b; Carol Buche 178; Steve Helwig 80t; Laura Densmore 376; Paul Figura 481.

Stacey Berkheimer and Kristie Harju led 323t as the closing song. The class was dismissed after prayer offered by Louis Hughes.

Sunday, September 27

The Sunday session of the Minnesota State Convention was called to order at The Landing, Shakopee, Minnesota, by Stacey Berkheimer leading 171. Jefferson Spilman of Three Rivers Park District welcomed us to The Landing (formerly known as Murphy’s Landing). Kristie Harju welcomed guests and visitors to the 20th Minnesota State Convention. Paul Figura offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: Karen Swenson 142; Jeff Bell 288; Martha Henderson 460; Stephen Parker 32t; Carol Munro Mosley 492; Lisa Grayson 218; Roberta Strauss 480; Gordon Olsen 277; Julie Vea 536; Paul Wyatt 125; Tamara Harris 212; Kit Canright 48t.


Midge Olsen called the class back to order leading 312b. Leaders: Val Dunagan and Dick Dunagan 474; Alfred Saussotte 232; Donna Gunderson-Rogers 464; Paul Figura 28t; Jeanette Nelson 455; Gary Gronau 384; Dan Edwards and Karen Edwards 84; Leon Pulsinelle 34t; Jenny Willard 349; Ann Sleeva 34b; Shirley Figura 28b; Marjorie Matthews 193. Announcements were made.


Steven Levine led 40 to call singers to the front porch of the Town Hall for a group photo to commemorate our twentieth annual convention.

Jim Pfau called the class back to order by leading 475.

Paul Wyatt and Johanna Fabke conducted the memorial lesson. The names of the deceased were read as follows: Frances Ruth Minnick, Mark Voight, Steve Jensen, Roxanne Crawford—Wisconsin; Irene Andersen, Dora Tann Adler—Iowa; John Etheridge—Florida; Frank Hataway—Alabama; Bill Ellason—Missouri; Edna Montaigne; Bonnie Brasser; Mary Travers—Connecticut; Bonnie Tinker—Oregon; Doris Parr—Maine; Allan Maynor—New Jersey; Richard Grayson, Glen Ernst—Illinois; John Yoakam, John Lutz—Minnesota; Katherine Worthington—Georgia; James Edward Zundel Bell—Pennsylvania; Blossom Miller—New York; Raj Verma—Singapore, Malaysia; Jan Osting, Louise Harris—North Carolina; Joseph Evans—Colorado. Paul Wyatt led 285t in their memory.

The list of sick and shut-ins included Peg Pearson, Victoria Bolles, Bob Scorgie, Bob Anderson, Steve Senger, Ansam Groshong, Melanie Hauff, Nancy Katzen, David, Margaret Bornick, Ron Bornick, Andy Worthington, Richard DeLong, Don Bowen, Lynn Waddington, Jeff Breting, Tott Sasser, Kim Bahmer, Cindy Kissee, John Blattner, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Dean Magraw, Mikael Rudolph, Rodney Willard, Barbara Willard, Ted Mercer, Russ Harden, and Carolyn Brown. Johanna Fabke led 472 in their honor.

Leaders: Steve Luttinen 452; Jim Helke 161. A table prayer was offered by Nancy Koester before the noon meal.


Lisa Grayson called the class to order by leading 29t. Leaders: Claudia Egelhoff 485; Louis Hughes 314; James Page 24t; Laura Densmore 328; Michael Mosley 506; Steven Schmidgall 47b; Carol Crawford 404; Jen Blair 313b; Mary Ann Saussotte 453; Becky Browne 362; Denise Kania 442; John Seaton 49b; Bill Waddington 46; Steve Helwig 373; Christine Stevens 270; Bill Caldwell 497; Michael Moore 428.


Val Eng called the class to order by leading 299. Leaders: Jim Crawford and Steven Schmidgall 315; Jessica Beer 229; Will Gilman 95; Keith Willard 112; Jim Goetz 99; Paul Landskroener 268; Melissa Kelley 114; Matt Wells and Michael Shewmaker 503; Steve Copeland 86; Robin Fox and Mary Rose O’Reilley 203; Carol Buche 547; Midge Olsen 454; Nancy Koester 290; Kim Bahmer 146; Scott Schroeder and Jim Parsons 87; Cathy Lutz and Steven Levine 217.

Announcements were made and reports were made. Secretary Nancy Koester reported that singers attended from thirteen states as follows: Minnesota, Colorado, Wisconsin, Illinois, Oregon, Missouri, New Jersey, Iowa, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Alaska, and two Canadian provinces, Alberta and Manitoba. A total of 148 songs were sung at this convention. Stacey Berkheimer expressed the gratitude and appreciation of Minnesota singers to Elouise Jerome for all that she has done for us over the years. Stacey Berkheimer and Kristie Harju thanked all who worked to make the convention a success.

Stacey Berkheimer and Kristie Harju led 347 as the closing song. Stephen Parker offered a closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Next year’s convention will be held on September 25 and 26, 2010.

Chairpersons—Stacey Berkheimer and Kristie Harju; Secretary—Nancy Koester