Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Garden State Singing Convention

Montclair Friends Meetinghouse, Upper Montclair, New Jersey

May 13-14, 2011

Friday night, May 13

The 19th annual Garden State Convention was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Gina Balestracci leading 38t. She offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: Susan Bingham 30t; Claire Simon 31t; Laura Densmore 313t; Roland Hutchinson 47t; Carol Werba 163b; Terry Ryan 66; Margaret Bornick 46; Dennis Leipold 47b; Jean Seiler 72b; John Redman 143; Sarah Leitao 142; Ron Bornick 178; Diane Mennella 373; Clare Chapin 523; Pat Callahan 106; Rachel Speer 26; Barbara Swetman 27; Dean Jens 71; Richard Guest 192; Brian Sears 282.

The following officers were elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—Gina Balestracci; Vice Chairman—Susan Bingham; Treasurer—Roland Hutchinson; Arranging Committee—Laura Densmore; Secretary—Claire Simon.


Gina Balestracci called the class back to order by leading 84 and 28b. Leaders: Michael Kaye 68b; Jean Seiler 217; John Redman 358; Sarah Leitao 69t; Dean Jens 326; Barbara Swetman 32t; Pat Callahan 228; Terry Ryan 270; Gina Balestracci 280; Laura Densmore 370; Dennis Leipold 318; Rachel Speer 172; Brian Spears 63; Susan Bingham 455; Diane Mennella 564; Ron Bornick 503; Carol Werba 86; Roland Hutchinson 250; Claire Simon 344; Margaret Bornick 209; Richard Guest 152; Clare Chapin 497; Michael Kaye 112; Pat Callahan 35; Brian Sears 49b; Barbara Swetman 312t.

Gina Balestracci made announcements, led 49t as the closing song, and offered the closing prayer.

Saturday, May 14

The Saturday session of the Garden State Sacred Harp Singing Convention was called to order by Gina Balestracci leading 150. She offered the opening prayer, and then led 77b.

Leaders: Susan Bingham 34b; Claire Simon 287; Roland Hutchinson 473; Laura Densmore 102; Harry Scott 107; Barbara Hohenstein 566; Leon Pulsinelle 175; Pat Callahan 126; Al McCready 155; Clare Chapin 40; Guy Bankes 344; Margaret Bornick 352; Lamar Matthew 522; Jean Seiler 448t; Barton Creeth 162; Lynne Hoyt 106; Ian Quinn 278t; Paula Picton 385t; Eric Xu 444; Carol Huang 272; Dennis Leipold 273; Roland Hutchinson 51; Barbara Swetman 353; Jon Giles 351; Nancy Britton 350; Steve Hoyt 569b; Deidra Montgomery 375.


Terry Ryan called the class back together leading 105. Leaders: John Redman 164; Nancy Mandel 278b; Brian Sears 47b; Ron Bornick 454; Diane Mennella 318; Terry Ryan 569t; Charlotte Ehrman 383; Charles Hunter 479; Brenda Peña 225t.

The memorial lesson was conducted by Gina Balestracci, who read the following names of sick and shut-ins: Dennis Cinelli, Raymond Frates, Chelsea Balestracci, Robert Glick, John Merritt, and Frank Evans. She led 472 in honor of those named.

Gina spoke and then read the following list of deceased: George Seiler, David Bornick, Shirley Basch, and Larry Basch—New York; Tom Maher—Pennsylvania; Joanna Bowman—Massachusetts; Bob Meek—Kentucky; Phyllis Bruce and Jeanette McCready—Connecticut; Philip Musgrove—Maryland; Jerry Enright—Illinois; Frances Ceresa—Michigan. She led 159 in their memory. Lamar Matthew closed the memorial lesson with a prayer.

Leaders: Aldo Ceresa 480; Sarah Leitao 61; Leon Pulsinelle 34t; Lynne Hoyt 426t; Jeff Gauthier 340; Clare Chapin 196; Eric Xu 240; Claire Simon 547; Gina Balestracci 59. Lamar Matthew offered a blessing for the noon meal.


John Redman led 38b to call the class back to order. Leaders: Charlotte Ehrman 157; Dean Jens 377; Laura Densmore 542 (for John Merritt); Sonia Chin 436; Rachel Speer 456; Maya Opendak 288; Paula Picton 300; Ron Bornick 84; Jean Seiler 299; Brian Sears 282; Barbara Swetman 224; Jon Giles 507; Margaret Bornick 486; Aldo Ceresa 411; Barbara Hohenstein 506; Steve Hoyt 323b; Pat Callahan 530; Ian Quinn 283.

Announcements were made. Treasurer Roland Hutchinson reported that expenses had been met.


The class was called back to order by Jon Giles leading 37b. Leaders: Brenda Peña 99; Diane Mennella 187; Dennis Leipold 189; Nancy Mandel 564; Guy Bankes 297; Sarah Leitao 33t; Deidra Montgomery 500; Harry Scott 49b; Carol Huang 182; Al McCready 388; Barton Creeth 457; Paula Picton 234; Nancy Britton 497; Lamar Matthew 35; John Redman 532; Jeff Gauthier 236; Susan Bingham 446; Roland Hutchinson 145t.

Secretary Claire Simon reported that in two days, 138 songs were led by 46 leaders. Gina Balestracci offered the resolutions, thanking all who contributed to the convention’s success, and invited the officers to join her in leading 62. Following the closing prayer, offered by Lamar Matthew, the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Gina Balestracci; Vice Chairman—Susan Bingham; Secretary—Claire Simon