Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Garden State Singing Convention

Montclair Friends Meetinghouse, Upper Montclair, New Jersey

May 18-19, 2012

Friday night, May 18

The 20th annual Garden State Convention was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Gina Balestracci leading 66. Gina offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: Claire Simon 47t; Laura Densmore 120; Roland Hutchinson 276; Pat Callahan 36b; Terry Ryan 38t; Leon Pulsinelle 448b; Gerry Hoffman 31t; Susan Bingham 45t; Jean Seiler 48t; Barbara Swetman 65; Pat Callahan 312b; Loren Fortna 156; Gina Balestracci 117; Dennis Leipold 114; Claire Simon 270; Roland Hutchinson 36t; Susan Bingham 107; Terry Ryan 217; Jean Seiler 209.

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


Leon Pulsinelle called the class back to order by leading 177. Leaders: Laura Densmore 228; Gerry Hoffman 82t; Barbara Swetman 89; Pat Callahan 67; Loren Fortna 46; Gina Balestracci 191; Dennis Leipold 189; Claire Simon 497; Roland Hutchinson 254; Susan Bingham 472; Terry Ryan 84; Jean Seiler 40; Leon Pulsinelle 430; Laura Densmore 157; Gerald Hoffman 203; Barbara Swetman 106; Pat Callahan 500; Loren Fortna 186; Gina Balestracci 506; Dennis Leipold 384; Claire Simon 313b; Roland Hutchinson 395; Susan Bingham 63; Terry Ryan 155; Jean Seiler 168; Leon Pulsinelle 198; Laura Densmore 315; Gerald Hoffman 129.

Announcements were made. Gina Balestracci led 347 as the closing song, and offered the closing prayer.

Saturday, May 19

The Saturday session of the Garden State Sacred Harp Singing Convention was called to order by Gina Balestracci leading 312b. She offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: Claire Simon 565; Carol Werba 163t; Gerry Hoffman 415; Pat Callahan 475; Michael Kaye 146; Dennis Leipold 59; Susan Bingham 361; Charlotte Ehrman 401; Barbara Swetman 171; Nathalie Levine 284; Guy Bankes 486; Ellen Lueck 369; Douglas Fower 299; Angharad Davis 118; Ian Quinn 378t; Jean Seiler 492; Sarah Jane Leitao 30t; Julia Seidenstein 410t; Terry Ryan 314; Diane Mennella 472; Loren Fortna 205; Paula Picton 129; Eric Xu 376.


Roland Hutchinson called the class back to order by leading 28b. Leaders: Aldo Ceresa 441; Laura Densmore 522; Gina Balestracci 34b; Dean Jens 42; Rachel Speer 460; Diane Mennella 318; Gerry Hoffman 196; Sarah Jane Leitao 29t; Cory Noel 313t; Carol Werba 148; Brian Sears 282; Roland Hutchinson 558; Pat Callahan 383.

The memorial lesson was conducted by Gina Balestracci, who read the following names of the sick and shut-ins: Dennis Cinelli, Rev. Dolores Henderson, Keith Simon, Joan Trout, Skip Trout, and Stephen Murdock. She led 430 in their honor.

Gina then read the following names of the deceased: Jane Guerloch Hunter—New Jersey; Dan Chase and Raymond Frater—Massachusetts; Danya Klie—Maine; Joseph Ost—Kansas; Frank Evans—Virginia; Laura Lent—Maryland; Isabelle Jones, John William Jones, and Lonnie Rogers—Georgia; Joseph Goldberg, Pearl Kaye, Peter Hine, and Martin Powers—New York; Tom Maher—Pennsylvania; Ernie Jett and Travis Keeton—Alabama; John Merritt—Mississippi; Robert Wert—Indiana. She led 260 in their memory, and closed the memorial lesson with a prayer.

Leaders: Paula Picton 107; Douglas Fower 344; Aldo Ceresa 532; Dennis Leipold 480; Jean Seiler 142; Angharad Davis 31t; Eric Xu 300; Claire Simon 122. Gina Balestracci offered a blessing for the noon meal, and led 180.


Gina Balestracci called the class back to order by leading 49b. Leaders: Charlotte Ehrman 549; Guy Bankes 352; Barbara Swetman 372; Julia Seidenstein 335; Jeff Gauthier 228; Nathalie Levine 81t; Ian Quinn 283; Ellen Lueck 497; Terry Ryan 193; Laura Densmore 456; Michael Kaye 176b; Angharad Davis 547; Susan Bingham 311; Jean Seiler 236; Pat Callahan 294; Brian Sears 373; Paula Picton 528; Gerry Hoffman 448t; Nathalie Levine 288; Roland Hutchinson 479. Announcements were made. Treasurer Roland Hutchinson reported that expenses had been met.


Gina Balestracci led 28t to call the class back to order. Leaders: Barbara Swetman 127; Ellen Lueck 47t; Ian Quinn 227; Jeff Gauthier 208; Julia Seidenstein 354b; Dennis Leipold 345b; Guy Bankes 535; Laura Densmore 542; Diane Mennella 192; Eric Xu 496; Charlotte Ehrman 350; Cory Noel 277; Douglas Fower 439; Claire Simon 551; Terry Ryan 315; Carol Werba 178; Michael Kaye 302; Brian Sears 49t.

Secretary Claire Simon reported that in 2 days, 141 songs were led by 34 leaders, with 47 (t? b?) in attendance from 6 states and one foreign country.

Gina Balestracci offered the Resolutions report, thanking all who contributed to the convention’s success.

Gina Balestracci and the other officers led 62 as the closing song. Gina offered the closing prayer, and dismissed the class.

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