Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Midwest Convention

Ida Noyes Hall, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

May 28-29, 2011

Saturday, May 28

The 26th annual Midwest Sacred Harp Convention was called to order by Richard DeLong leading 57. Rachel Adelstein offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Carol Munro Mosley and Michael Mosley 171; Mark Dawson 236; Leah Wilde 146; Ann Miczulski 361; Peggy Mistak 496; Bob Sullivan 503; Will Fitzgerald and Bess Fitzgerald 447; Michael Appert 65; Rochelle Lodder 39t; Sarah Trumbore 410t.

A business meeting was held with the following officers elected: Co-Chairmen—Carol Munro Mosley and Michael Mosley; Vice Chairmen—Randy Neufeld and Susan Geil; Secretary—Cathryn Bearov; Chaplains—Rachel Adelstein and Steve Warner; Memorial Committee—Darrell Swarens and Lisa Grayson; Finance Committee—Jim Helke, Mary Rose O’Leary, and Kelly Kennedy; Arranging Committee—Jeff Breting, Marcia Johnson, Ted Mercer, and Ryan Wheeler.


The class was brought back in session by Michael Mosley leading 82t. Leaders: Evelyn Lamb 505; Cecelia Kramer 216; Will Gilman 377; Gerry Hoffman 376; Ben Copenhaver 528; Laura Noble 162; Michael Darby 113; Nell Whitman 107; Gillian Inksetter 446; Peter Trumbore 48b; Nicoletta Rogers 328; Steve Rogers 312b; Marian Mitchell 383; Erik Schwab 550; Dave Barford 56b; Melissa Kelley 451.


The class was brought back in session by Carol Munro Mosley leading 66. Leaders: Johanna Fabke 475; Bill Waddington and Stanley Yuk 362; Beth Todd 501; Melanie Hauff 421; Brad Oglesby 151; Lori Graber 458; Christine Stevens 270; Daniel Bearden 149; JoDell Albi 229; Sarah Burghardt 454 (in honor of young Katy whose fish all died); Eleanor Haase 352; Jo Schultz 150; Steve Schmidgall 369; Beverly Rose Enright 441. Rachel Adelstein offered grace before the noon meal.


The class was brought back in session by Randy Neufeld and Susan Geil leading 105. Leaders: Jim Pfau 228; Joe Todd 103; Carolyn Deacy 411; Reba Windom 192; Gary Gronau 384; Ted Johnson “Boulder”; Dave Ressler 189; James Page 188; Darrell Swarens 341; Rebecca Browne 299; Julie Vea 218; Megan Jennings 203; Kiri Miller 442; Lisa Grayson 436; Karen Isbell 214; Jeff Breting 448t.

The chairmen recognized the finance committee. Becky Browne offered a powerful appeal to the class, reminding them that going to dinner and a movie was probably less meaningful than two days of singing and that the high cost of Ida Noyes Hall was becoming increasingly prohibitive. This collection was going to decide whether this singing space could continue to be a viable location for the convention. As the collection was taken, Jim Helke led 319.


The class was brought back in session by Cathryn Bearov leading 114. Leaders: Mary Rose O’Leary 385b; Richard Popp 198; Stephen O’Leary 497; Anne Heider 268; John Seaton 47t; Steve Littinen 345b; Kim Bahmer 133; Myles Alexander 128.

The chairmen called for a business meeting. The finance committee reported we had met the costs for the room rental. Tomorrow’s collection was to cover everything else.

Leaders: Brian How 143; Rachel O’Leary 290; Liisa Eckersberg 30 (t? b?); Lucy O’Leary 269; Shawn Fenton 70b; Arthur Olson 267; Wendy Popp 148; Bill Beverly 547.

Carol Munro Mosley and Michael Mosley led 347. Rachel Adelstein offered the closing prayer.

Sunday, May 29

The Sunday session of the Midwest Sacred Harp Convention was called to order by Carol Munro Mosley and Michael Mosley leading 34b. Steve Warner offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Randy Neufeld 99; Ryan Wheeler 81t; Debbie Barford 207; Jim Helke 291; Steve Warner 171; Anna Pfau 191; Jim Swanson 564; Doug Stapleton 440; Jan Ketelle 448b; Susan Geil 344; Laura Russell 504; Jason Martin 178; Paul Wyatt 460; Ginny Landgraf 372; Wendy Wahn 270; Martha Beverly 536; Kathy Kaiser 368.


The class was brought back to order by Darrell Swarens leading 36b. Leaders: James Baumgartner 183; Jennifer Hedrich and Noelle Copeland 535; Daniel Myers 49b; Sasha Maslanka and Judy Hauff 107; Sam Sommers 560; Karen Swenson 442; Rachel Adelstein 300; Ted Mercer 202; Jim Pfau 474; Ann Sleeva 45t; Jo Schultz 120; Christine Stevens 542; Kelly Kennedy and her parents 532; Beth Todd 430; Leah Wilde 479; Brian How 114.


The class was brought back to order by Lisa Grayson leading 278b. Leaders: Callie Lang 335; Erik Schwab 179; Steven Schmidgall 333; Joe Todd 102.

The memorial lesson was conducted. Darrell Swarens began the lesson speaking of his sense of home, which is in the hollow square. We are all part of a family which is comprised of those who are present, those who are no longer with us, and those who cannot be present. For those who are unable to join us, any contact from singers is deeply appreciated. In 176t, the words have a special meaning for Darrell because he feels he is part of this band, this family. He belongs here. He noted that in the second verse of this song the ‘sweet angels’ are, of course, the altos. He read the following names on the homebound list: Willodean Barton, Bud Oliver, Sammie Oliver, Lonnie Rogers, John Grant, Miriam Tarsa, Carol Mingo-Revill, Louise Holland, George Holland, Geneva Prichard, Martha Cooper, Connie Karduck, Paul Park, Yvette Pina, Sarah Davie, Patrick Stevens, John Merritt, Doris Littrell, Bob Anderson, and Bob Scorgie. Darrell led 176t.

Lisa Grayson spoke of the process she had begun to prepare for the lesson-namely reading through previous memorial lessons and taking notes from them. This morning she completely scrapped those words feeling that they did not fill her sense of this lesson. Memorial lessons are concrete offerings, not simply mental or spiritual communion with those who are now dead. The lessons offered over the days bring many former singers to mind and heart. The lessons cause us to miss specific faces and voices. Earlier, when we were singing 383 she had looked to the tenors eager to hear Dean Slayton’s voice in the fugue. But he was not there. When the class sang ‘Florida’ she looked for Jeanette Lowry, but did not see her. For a moment Lisa was confused, because she knew that Jeanette loved the Midwest Convention, so only something serious would cause her to disengage from the singing. Well, Jeanette is seriously disengaged from us. She is deceased. For a very practical reason we only list the names of the deceased for one year-length. A year is not enough time to assuage the pain and grief for those no longer singing with us. But for that time, we publicly hold people in our square. After that, the grief is more private. She read the following names on the deceased list: Corine Lacey, Ernestine Pipkin, Billy Williams—Alabama; Virginia Cowart—Arkansas; George Griffith, Robbie Nichols, Paula Ogren, Sandee Gardebring Ogren—California; Phyllis Bruce—Connecticut; Claire Sullivan—Florida; Mary Florence Smith—Georgia; Robert Barford, Carolyn Douma, Rose Edwards, Jerry Enright, Linda Lehman, Helen Hogg, Joseph Sleeva, Paul Streeter, Betty Zinzer—Illinois; Bob Meek—Kentucky; Mary Lee Yatchak—Massachusetts; Warren Loud—Minnesota; Genia Albrect, George Seiler—New York; Henry Bizzel—North Carolina; Robert John Landgraf—Ohio; Melinda Bell—Pennsylvania; George Jones—Texas; Dennis Murphy—Vermont; Ian Krieg—Washington; Joyce Anderson—Wisconsin; Henri Martinot—France. Just under a year ago, Jerry Enright passed away. Lisa expressed sorrow that his widow, Karen Freund, was not present. The lesson Lisa selected in memory of the deceased was a favorite of Jerry’s. She led 77t in remembrance of those who are deceased. Darrell Swarens concluded the memorial lesson by offering a prayer.

Singing resumed with Johanna Fabke leading 84. She spoke of the deep gratitude for the care and attention singers paid to her as she experienced an extended recovery from illness. If anyone has doubts about whether being mentioned in memorial lessons or being contacted as a result of those lessons matters, they need only contact her to learn the deep meaning those attentions hold. Steve Warner offered the blessing before the noon meal.


The class was brought back to order by Kim Bahmer leading 34b. Leaders: Paul Wyatt 456; Daniel Bearden 222; Judy Hauff 250; Grace Scrimgeour 216; Marcia Johnson 485; Shawn Fenten 480; Rachel O’Leary and Lucy O’Leary 215; Reba Windom 196; Ben Copenhaver 415; Richard DeLong 411; Kiri Miller 344; Gillian Inksetter 548; Mary Rose O’Leary 142; Carolyn Deacy and Sasha Maslanka 87; Becky Browne, Gary Gronau, Karen Isbell, and Dave Ressler 272; Steve Rogers 28b; Alexa Copeland and Will Gilman 444; Stephen O’Leary 52b; Nell Whitman 209; Gerry Hoffman 546; Mary Rose O’Leary, Kelly Kennedy, and Jim Helke 277; Kathy Kaiser 29t; James Baumgartner 112; Petrina Patti 217; Nicoletta Rogers 538; Melissa Kelley 146; Michael Darby and Laura Russell 40; Peter Trumbore and Sarah Trumbore 170; Wendy Wahn 163b; Megan Jennings 481; Anna Pfau 455; Bill Waddington and Steve Luttinen 294; Bill Beverly and Martha Beverly 192; Cecelia Kramer and Marian Mitchell 174; Eleanor Haase 32t; James Page 351; Julie Vea 288.

The secretary reported the convention was attended by 131 people from 15 states with 159 lessons led over the two days by 115 leaders. The finance committee reported that we were still about $300 short of expenses and encouraged more donations. The resolutions committee offered thanks to God for milder temperatures and a gracious rain. Also thanks to the officers and organizers of the convention, especially Susan Geil, who coordinated housing for out-of-town guests, Kris Richardson, who hosted a beautiful social the previous evening, Bill Windom, for filming the convention, and Shawn Fenton, for recording the singing.

Announcements were made. The convention closed with the singing of 62, and attendees taking the parting hand as they felt moved and were able to do so. Steve Warner offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Co-Chairmen—Carol Munro Mosley and Michael Mosley; Vice Chairmen—Randy Neufeld and Susan Geil; Secretary—Cathryn Bearov