Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Midwest Sacred Harp Convention

Pulaski Park Fieldhouse and Irish American Heritage Center, Chicago, Illinois

May 30-31, 2015

Saturday, May 30

The 30th meeting of the Midwest Convention was held at Pulaski Park Fieldhouse on the fifth Sunday and Saturday before in May. Susan Matthews brought the class to order by leading 49t. The invocation was offered by Will Fitzgerald.

Leaders: Ginny Landgraf 65; Nick Pasqual 195; Michael Mosley 228; Megan Dunning 76b; Hollie Powell 564; John Seaton 47t; Barb VanderJagt 63; Nathan Berry 227; Jim Helke 279; Sam Singleton-Freeman 390; Anna Pfau 522; Megan Jennings 203.

The following singers, who were also present at the first Midwest Convention in 1986, were recognized: Ted Mercer, Judy Hauff, Carolyn Deacy, Kathy Williams, Larry Nothwehr, Marcia Johnson, Kris Richardson, Gary Gronau, Ted Johnson, Anne Heider, Wendy Wahn, and Karen Isbell.

A business meeting was held to elect the following officers: Chairman—Ginny Landgraf; Secretary—Rochelle Lodder. The following committee members were appointed: Memorial Committee—Janelle Davis and Cathryn Bearov; Finance Committee—Jim Helke and Sam Sommers; Arranging Committee—Jim Swanson, Jim Page, Eileen Ferguson, and Lyda Jackson; Chaplains—Will Fitzgerald, Becky Browne, Ryan Wheeler, and Jeannine Oakes Daugherty.


Ginny Landgraf called the class to order leading 82t. Leaders: Cathryn Bearov 368; Beth Todd 411; Erik Schwab 184; Frances Miller 474; Tom Fahrbach 132; JoDell Albi 131t; Lisa Bennett 497; Leslie Alpern 268; Beverley Rose Enright 535; Kay Huener 556; Michael Hinton and Aldo Ceresa 532; James Page 505; Andy Ditzler 54; Micah Sommersmith, Anna Leigh Smith, and Diane Begley “Birthday Anthem”; Jenny Solheime “Glede”; Douglas Stapleton 485.


Ginny Landgraf called the class to order leading 324. Leaders: David Barford 182; Will Fitzgerald 570; Anne Heider 350; Donnie Simmet 399b; Gary Gronau 192; Tamara Harris 573; Anna Tighe 442; Grace Scrimgeour 33b; Shawn Fenton 191; Jeff Begley 55; Ben Copenhaver 345t; Kiri Miller 42; Kathy Williams 27 (for Melanie Hauff); Martha Beverly 377; John Plunkett 571. Becky Browne offered grace before the noon meal.


Ginny Landgraf called the class to order leading 81t. Leaders: Lisa Grayson 528; Jan May 344; Eleanor Haase 327; Donna Gunderson-Rogers 549; Bruce Coates 503; Aldo Ceresa 506; Presley Barker 464; Jeff Bell 560; Bill Beverly 547.

Judy Hauff spoke in tribute to her sister Melanie, who, because of deteriorating health, may never be able to attend another convention. Judy described Melanie’s many generous and creative contributions to the Chicago Sacred Harp community since the beginning of this convention, including drawing the cover art for the Midwest Supplement and typically bringing eight different dishes to dinner on the grounds. She and Marcia Johnson led 216 in honor of Melanie Hauff.

Leaders: Dick Patterson 280; David Brodeur 200; Marian Mitchel 141; Ray Cott-Meissel 99. Jim Helke spoke on behalf of the Finance Committee, and led 180.


Rochelle Lodder called the class to order leading 34b. Leaders: Jesse Latimer 328; Barb Patterson and Clarissa Fetrow 151; Carolyn Deacy and Lindy Groening 168; Ted Johnson “Boulder”; Karen Isbell 34t (for Melanie Hauff); Anne Missavage 137; Stacey Latimer 569b; Natalie Jablonski 60; Joy Huener and Kay Huener 159; Frank Griggs 352; Wendy Wahn 372; Joel Menk 436; David Smead 466; Kat Kohorst 384; Dave Ressler 419; Elise del Mas 189; James Solheim 444.

Ginny Landgraf led 347 as the closing song, and Becky Browne dismissed the class with prayer.

Sunday, May 31

The Sunday session of the Midwest Sacred Harp Convention held at the Irish American Heritage Center was called to order by Ginny Landgraf leading 77b. Ryan Wheeler offered the invocation.

Leaders: Debbie Barford and Sheila Patterson 178; Len VanderJagt 452; Hanna Barlow and Ellen Torrie 105; Kathy Kaiser 332; James Patterson 86; Jim Pfau 217; Jason Martin 155; Gerry Hoffman 148; Denise Kania 500; Grace Patterson 344; Leon Pulsinelle 365; Brian How 183; Paul Wyatt 176 (t? b?); Cecelia Kramer 174; Marcus Whitman 278t; Gillian Inksetter 202.

The business session was re-opened, and Mary Rogel and Jerry Gripshover were elected as Vice Chairmen.


Mary Rogel and Jerry Gripshover called the class to order leading 556. Leaders: Jeanine Oakes Daugherty 448t; Stacey Berkheimer 440; Tullaia Powell 300; Jan Ketelle 368 (in honor of Judy and Melanie Hauff); Beverly Coates 176b; Larry Nothwehr 242; Bob Borcherding and Anne Missavage 454; Deanna Reynolds 448b; Christine Stevens 114; Stephanie Fida 234; Matthew Lind 145b; Alec Jenkins-White 269; Ann Sleeva 228; Benjamin Bedroke 192; Clarissa Fetrow 138t; Sheila Patterson 70b; Molly Whedbee 95.


Mary Rogel and Jerry Gripshover called the class to order leading 268. Leaders: Carol Ann Munro 77t; Anna Leigh Smith 53; Dan Nickel 39t; Diane Begley, Ben Begley, and Jeff Begley 330b.

Cathryn Bearov spoke on behalf of the sick and shut-ins, illustrating the powerful effect that cards and support from such a strong community can have in the life of a sick person with the example of her mother, who was not a singer, but nevertheless received cards, flowers, and origami cranes from singers who had never met her but only knew Cathryn. She told us that her mother treasured the cranes and cards and they gave her strength to work toward healing after she was mugged and almost died. Cathryn led 315 for the following sick and shut-ins: Berkley Moore, Michelle McSwain, Melanie Hauff, Laura Lyngass, Richard Popp, Pamela Blatt, Johanna Fabke, Val Dunagan, Richard Dunagan, Susan Bingham, Claire Singleton, Lynn Holt, Steven Holt, B.M. Smith, Bill Breting, Loraine Bayer, Tom McTighe, Carol Selleck, Katie Eichenlaub White, Curtis Owen, Edith Owen, and Rodney Willard.

Janelle Davis conducted the memorial lesson, speaking of the void in our hearts and community when we lose our people, and how we rely on our traditions of naming them on memorial lists, telling their stories, singing their songs, and reaching out in unique ways to comfort each other, to both remember and honor them and to help ourselves bear our grief. As in the chorus of 318, we are the Present Joys who sing and are joyful; those on the memorial list are our Blessings Past; but we have the Hope of Heaven at Last where we’ll all sing together again in an eternal place. She read the following names of the deceased, and led 209 in their memory: Bob Sullivan, William Kelley, Rabbi Byron Sherman, Richard Stromberg, Art Thieme, Donald A. Smith, and Greg Oakes—Illinois; Bob Scorgie, David Buchannan, and Phil Fritz—Wisconsin; John Scott—New Mexico; Hobert Ivey, William Stanly Edwards, Betty Wright, Sammie Oliver, Olivia Wootten Moore Allen, and Evelyn Harris—Alabama; Doris Hanks—Texas; Junie O. Wooten, Josephine Denney, Raymond Hamrick, Joyce Harrison, and Mary Hamilton—Georgia; David Rust, Janet Davis, and Art Hall—Indiana; Danny Arms, Don Rhodes, and Donald Ward—North Carolina; Joe Fothergill and Kathie Warne—Ohio; Alvina Marklowitz, Paul Schleicher, and Ernest Neufeld—Minnesota; Roy Wyatt—Minnesota and Alabama; Edwin Hauff—Iowa; Margrith Muhlheim—Colorado; Timothy Paul and Jane Brooks—Pennsylvania; Caroline Bonnet and Shirley Begley—California; Virginia Duke—Tennessee; Ray Kennedy—Missouri; Charles Mars—West Virginia; Cathryn Bearov—Virginia; Doris Goldberg Rose—Florida; Sarah Hauser—Oregon. Ryan Wheeler led the class in prayer to close the memorial lesson, and offered grace before the noon meal.


Ginny Landgraf brought the class back to order leading 117. Leaders: Marcia Johnson 163t; Janelle Davis 84; Susan Geil 163b; Jim Swanson 224; Julie Vea 327; Rebecca Browne 304; Ryan Wheeler 480; Samuel Sommers 426b; Eileen Ferguson 36b; Ginny Landgraf 504; Rochelle Lodder 31t; Michael Appert 107; Prem Seetharaman 47b; Lisa Grayson 112; Ben Copenhaver 64; Kiri Miller 542; Ted Mercer 296; Aubrey Hemminger 142; Kathy Williams 472. Samuel Sommers spoke on behalf of the finance committee, stating “I could never afford what this is worth,” and led 26.


Rochelle Lodder called the class to order leading 171. Leaders: John Plunkett 297; Jan May 276; Daniel Braithwaite 311; Bruce Coates 566; Michael Hinton 534; Anna Pfau and six first-time singers 101t; Lisa Bennett 50b (for Tom and Pam Price); Aldo Ceresa 411; Andy Ditzler 318; Thom Fahrbach 399t; Frances Miller 272; Lindy Groening 383; Frank Griggs 299; David Smead 527; Carolyn Deacy 430; Anna Tighe 362; Missouri singers 76b.

The officers led 62 as the closing song, and those who wished took the parting hand. Jeannine Oakes Daugherty offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Ginny Landgraf; Vice Chairmen—Mary Rogel and Jerry Gripshover; Secretary—Rochelle Lodder