Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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United Kingdom Sacred Harp Convention

Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom

September 19-20, 2015

Saturday, September 19

The 20th annual session of the United Kingdom Sacred Harp Convention was held at the Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom, on the third Sunday and Saturday before in September. Erin Johnson-Williams brought the class to order by leading 32t. She welcomed everyone. Rev. Marjorie Brown offered the opening prayer.

The following officers were elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—Erin Johnson-Williams; Vice Chairman—Matthew Parkinson; Treasurer—Arthur Swindells; Chaplain—Rev. Marjorie Brown; Arranging Committee—Tom Macarte, Samantha Cole, Eimear O’Donovan, Sarah West, Susannah Gill, Vicki Elliott, and Matthew Parkinson; Secretary—Kate Kirwan.

Leaders: Matthew Parkinson 171; Marjorie Brown 70t; Kate Kirwan 36b; Arthur Swindells 70b; Tom Macarte 72b; Teresa Maguire 30b; Nigel Bowley 44; Ella Cumber 101t; Emily Isaac 40; Heather Thompson 31t; Megan Macarte 65; Sarah West 123b; Steve Brett 123t; Ruth Steggles 33b; Andrew Clark 535; Francis Gaskin 487; Colin Munson 102; Guy Hayes 186; Susannah Gill 350; Joe Vickers 314; Jo Ellis 473; Liam Kirby 134; Steve Biggs 276.


Barry Parsons called the class to order leading 319. Leaders: Vicki Elliott 81t; Mark Wardlaw 445; Rachel Jordan 546; Leilai Immel 343; Florent Decherf and Frederic Eymard 399b; Joe Jones 477; Cath Tyler 391; Seth Dickens and Sarah Hill 47b; Rachel Idelstein 218; Ewan Paterson 569b; Jill Thompson 299; Arthur Swindells 454; Fynn Titford-Mock 385b; Rudi Schmidt 45b; Karen Turner 84; Edwin Macadam 444; Tom Greig 547; Cath Saunt 228; Mick Verrier 538.

Michael Walker conducted a celebration lesson to mark the occasion of the 20th United Kingdom Sacred Harp Convention. Sheila Girling Macadam and Rachel Jordan, who were present at the first Convention, led 178 in memory of Chris Whiting, founder of the UK Convention, who died six months before the first Convention took place in 1996. Joe Vickers offered a prayer in remembrance and celebration.

Leaders: Ben Zuckor 410t; Hannah Land 505. Andrew Clark offered thanks before the noon time meal.


The class was called to order by Eimear O’Donovan leading 145t. Leaders: Nick Hall 287; John Davis 542; Philip Langley 430; Elaine Denny 428; Zachary Marcus 271t; Steven Levine 474; Rachel Rudi 302; Henry Johnson 289; Lucinda Saue 143; Pamela Minor 312b; Richard Schmeidler 254; David Wright 196; Ginny Landgraf 290; Lisa O’Grady 332; James Baumgartner 383; Michael Walker 426b; Grey Lane 99; Katie Ahern 112; Ian West 500; Sarah Hill 189; Rebecca Over and Philip Langley 333; S. Fred Langridge 501; Piers Blewett 351; Steve Welsh 147b; Tom Gerbel 67; Ian Lamb 313b; Geoff Grainger 163b.


Susannah Gill and Joe Jones called the class to order by leading 82t. Leaders: Ed Johnson-Williams 113; Jill Thompson 504; Sheila Girling Macadam 142; Anna Baldini, Sally Summer, and Mick Verrier 107; Emily Isaac 282; Ellen Southern and Phil Owen 106; Sue Lanfear 479; Ian Lamb 452; Tom Gregg 448t; Leila Gamaz 83t; Dan Arden and Guy Hayes 345t; Karen Turner, Margaret Bradshaw, and Sula O’Duffy 266; Barry Parsons 177; Sarah Wilcox and Emily Verrier 86; Joe Vickers 493.

The Chairman invited all the singers present at the first United Kingdom Sacred Harp Convention in 1996 to lead a song. Ian West, Jill Thompson, Richard Schmeidler, Ruth Steggles, Mick Verrier, Rachel Jordan, Sheila Girling Macadam, Edwin Macadam, and Steve Biggs led 155.

The Chairman then invited all past Chairpersons of the United Kingdom Sacred Harp Convention present to lead the closing song. Hannah Land, Erin Johnson-Williams, Sarah West, Cath Tyler, Sheila Girling Macadam, Michael Walker, Edwin Macadam, and Mick Verrier led 521. Rebecca Over offered the closing prayer.

Sunday, September 20

The Sunday session of the United Kingdom Sacred Harp Convention was called to order by Erin Johnson-Williams leading 56t. Lucinda Saue offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: Matthew Parkinson 49b; Teresa Maguire 39b; Tom Gerber 38b; Hannah Land 283; Geoff Grainger 523; Rebecca Over and Ann Chesterton 47b; Steve Welch 489; Sarah Hill 100; S. Fred Langridge 159; Mark Wardlaw 572; Sheila Girling Macadam 114; Arthur Swindells 77t; Steve Biggs 288; Sally Greaves-Lord 34b; Frances Gaskin 60; Ruth Steggles 45t; Nick Hall 455; Cath Tyler 531.

The memorial lesson was held at this time. Josie Gunn spoke and read the names of the sick and housebound, and led 472 for the following people: Ellyn Stokes-Ross, Steve Atkinson, Martin, Kerry Bloom, Josie Bloom, Phoelse Davison, Lin James, Geoff Morris, Kirsty Grainger, Andrew Maguire, Dot Green, Gary Robley, Sam Walker, Catherine Harkin, Mike Smith, Chris Swayne, and Helen Bushell.

Tom Macarte spoke and led 69t in memory of the following deceased: Jacob Larsen, Jean Ritchie, Packie Manus Byrne, Noreen Read, George Garner, C.W. Garner, Raymond Hamrick, Captain Andrew Adams, Mike Spittal, Conrad Douma, Donald Capps, Lily Pratasik, Bill Kerridge, Rina Rogers, Danny Arms, Flo Charles, Drew Logan, Bryna Schwartz, Evelyn Mary Quine, Ken Quine, Marjorie Louise Franks, George Read, Peter Selby, Geoffrey Nathan, Farrin Eldora, Charles Steynor, Peter Linwood, Harold Pigott, Uncle Simon, Charles Gwilt, Keith Bushell, and Brian Sewell. Rev. Marjorie Brown closed the memorial lesson with a prayer. Leilai Immel led 494.


The class was called to order by Marjorie Brown leading 59. Leaders: Joe Jones 270; Jacqui Selby 82t; Colin Monson 117; Steve Fletcher 216; Nigel Bowley 201; Frederic Eymard and Matthew Parkinson 354b; Susannah Gill 334; Fynn Titford-Mock 565; Lauren Ciancio 448b; Phil Tyler 369; Kate Kirwan 173; Arthur Swindells 48t; Sarah West 215; James Baumgartner 315; Ewan Paterson 335; Barry Parsons 336; Katie Ahern 217; Elaine Denny 481; Frederic Eymard and Michael Walker 306; Pamela Minor 277; Ella Cumber 292; John Davis 89; Steven Levine 441; Rachel Jordan 200; Lucinda Saue 276; Philip Langley 564; Greg Saue 198; Rebecca Over 372. Greg Saue gave thanks before the noon time meal.


Kate Kirwan called the class to order leading 172. Leaders: Erin Johnson-Williams 322; Richard Schmeidler 475; Rachel Rudi 548; David Wright 465; Ginny Landgraf 397; Zachary Marcus 294; Eimear O’Donovan 432; Erin Johnson-Williams 442; Steve Brett 386; Rachel Adelstein 269; Henry Johnson 418; Florent Decherf 460; Ruth Linehan and Katie Ahern 328; Matthew Parkinson 209; Hannah Land 316; Tom Macarte 324; Vicki Elliott 542; Sarah Hill 206; Fynn Titford-Mock and Daire O’Sullivan 318; Karen Turner 339; Guy Hayes 313t; Steve Fletcher 454; Matthew Robley-Siemonsma 444; Lisa O’Grady 183; Emily Isaac and Robert Spademan 424; Joe Jones 480.


The class was called to order by Steven Levine leading 87. Leaders: Phil Tyler 451; Lauren Ciancio 268; Jacqui Selby 122; James Baumgartner 192; Piers Blewett 111b; Cath Tyler 499.

The Secretary reported that 163 singers had registered over the two days, with representation from six countries: UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, and USA. Thirteen American states were represented: Alabama, California, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. There were 97 leaders and 179 songs were sung: 93 on Saturday and 86 on Sunday. Erin Johnson-Williams thanked everyone who had worked to ensure the success of the Convention.

She led 62 as the closing song, and those who wished took the parting hand. Joe Jones offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Erin Johnson-Williams; Vice Chairman—Matthew Parkinson; Secretary—Kate Kirwan