Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Inaugural Australian Sacred Harp Convention

Brunswick Uniting Church Hall, Melbourne, Australia

January 23-24, 2016

Saturday, January 23

The first Sacred Harp Singing Convention in Australia was held in Melbourne on the weekend closest to Australia Day (26 January). Shawn Whelan welcomed everyone. Natalie Sims conducted a brief singing school, introducing the scale and shapes, and leading 45t.

In a business session the following officers were elected: Chairman—Shawn Whelan; Vice Chairman—Natalie Sims; Chaplain—Rev. Dr. Morag Logan; Treasurer—Helen Rowe; Secretary—Jim Kilpatrick; Arranging Committee—Ruth McNamara and Melanie Albrecht.

Leaders: Shawn Whelan 49t; Ruth McNamara 34b; Morag Logan 159; Elaena Gardner 178; Melanie Albrecht 107; Peter Rayner 535; Meg Quinlisk 452; Myfanwy Godfrey 117; Edmund Richardson 32t; Natalie Sims 475; Shawn Whelan 142; Ruth McNamara 274t.


The class joined in a prayer offered by Chaplain Morag Logan, who then led 46. Leaders: Melanie Albrecht 383; Elaena Gardner 47b; Peter Rayner 496; Meg Quinlisk 277; Myfanwy Godfrey 288; Edmund Richardson 171; Shawn Whelan 63; Ruth McNamara 34t; Morag Logan 72b; Melanie Albrecht 300; Elaena Gardner 344; Peter Rayner 155; Meg Quinlisk 472. Morag Logan asked a blessing on the mid-day meal.


Natalie Sims called the class to order leading 203. Leaders: Sherrill McKinnon 49b; Edmund Richardson 473; Conor O’Hanlon 163b; Daniel Whelan 540; Lauren Reader 276.

Melanie Albrecht conducted the memorial lesson on the theme of our common broken-ness. The class remembered the following deceased: Rose Thomson, Isabel Cid de Fels, and Mike Raupach. The class also remembered the following sick and shut-ins: Carol Moschetti, Steve Blundell, and Karl Von-Bauberger (missing and subsequently found deceased). Melanie Albrecht concluded the lesson leading 50t.

Leaders: Ruth McNamara 31t; Shawn Whelan 106; Morag Logan 122; Elaena Gardner 268; Peter Rayner 312b; Meg Quinlisk 166; Natalie Sims 32b; Myfanwy Godfrey 86; Sherrill McKinnon 162; Daniel Whelan 38b; Joy Mills and Meg Quinlisk 267; Lauren Reader 55; Meg Quinlisk and Elaena Gardner 481.

Morag Logan offered the closing prayer. Shawn Whelan concluded the class for the day leading 340.

Sunday, January 24

Shawn Whelan and Natalie Sims welcomed everyone to the class. Morag Logan read an opening prayer, and led 388.

Leaders: Shawn Whelan 146; Myfanwy Godfrey 542; Sherrill McKinnon 350; Meg Quinlisk 546; Ruth McNamara 155; Bill Thomson 47b; Peter Rayner 69t; Elaena Gardner 455; Natalie Sims 335; Melanie Albrecht 457; Ruth McNamara 77t; Shawn Whelan 89; Morag Logan 107; Myfanwy Godfrey 277; Sherrill McKinnon 71; Meg Quinlisk 347; Bill Thomson 40; Peter Rayner 49t; Elaena Gardner 142; Natalie Sims “Brunswick” (composed by Angharad Davis, 2014); Melanie Albrecht 163b; Ruth McNamara 143; Shawn Whelan 475; Morag Logan 472; Myfanwy Godfrey 117; Sherrill McKinnon 86; Meg Quinlisk 503.

Shawn Whelan thanked the visitors, especially those from New South Wales. In total, there were 43 singers from two Australian states, singing a total of 76 songs led by 17 leaders.

In a brief business session, the class resolved to accept the Sydney singers’ offer to host the next Australian Convention on the weekend closest to Australia Day next year (28 (t? b?)-29 January, 2017). Shawn thanked the officers, the cooks, and all others who helped on the day. Melanie Albrecht moved a vote of thanks to Shawn Whelan and Natalie Sims for organizing the convention.

Shawn Whelan led 62. Morag Logan read “We Give Thanks for Singers” (by Micheal Leunig) as the closing prayer.

Chairman—Shawn Whelan; Vice Chairman—Natalie Sims; Secretary—Jim Kilpatrick