Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Pacific Northwest
Sacred Harp Convention, Oregon

Laurelhurst Club, Portland, Oregon

October 15-16, 2016

Saturday, October 15

The 25th annual Oregon session of the Pacific Northwest Sacred Harp Singing Convention was held at the Laurelhurst Club, Portland, Oregon, on the third Sunday and Saturday before in October. Tom McTighe and Kate Fine called the class to order leading 448b. Julie Strayer-Thoma offered the morning prayer.

A business meeting was held and the following officers were elected: Chairperson—Kate Fine; Treasurer—Linda Berkemeier; Secretary—Betsy Jeronen.

Chris Brown was introduced as the singing school teacher. He stated that his interest was in the poetry of the songs of Sacred Harp, and that his topic for the day was the contributions of Isaac Watts to the beautiful words of Sacred Harp songs. Words matter was his theme. Isaac Watts, as a child, found the tunes that were sung in church dull and unsingable. His father challenged him to improve them. Watts wrote many, many tunes using more modern English. He wanted to make the psalms more singable, and introduced new meters and rhythms. He encouraged American composers, and altered lyrics to make them more appealing to Americans. The following songs were led to illustrate the lesson: Chris Brown 28b; Chris Noren 306; Cornelia Stanton 300; Clarissa Fetrow 500; Ruth Wampler 30b; David Wright 173; Kevin Beirne 447; Kate Coxon 120; Erik Schwab 216; Thom Fahrbach 211; Tova Houpt 430; Steve Luttinen 275b; Judy Whiting 492.


The class was called back to order by Solomon Ossa and Jessica Hahl leading 81t. Leaders: Betsy Jeronen 534; Steve Helwig 462; Nancy Novotny 215; Ana Tighe 536; Steve Cackley 121; Linda Berkemeier 421; Jennifer Jones 196; Marla Elliott and Solomon Ossa 178; Lyle Lindsey 38t; Bob Schinske 392; Reed Schilbach 213t; Jack Lofton 182; Kate Coxon 432; Ruth Linehan 440; Dan Thoma 183; Jen Rymut 138b; Emma Swartz 57; Clarissa Fetrow 418; Ben Brown 142; Karen Willard 108b; Kevin Barrans 287; Kelly Kennedy 491; Tom McTighe 318; Carolyn Gilkey 501; Kathy Vlach 169. Julie Strayer-Thoma offered the noon prayer.


The class was called back to order by Daniel Hunter leading 128. Leaders: Leon Godfrey and Leigh Cooper 268; Steve Luttinen 286; Elaine Denny 48b; Judy Whiting 472; Chris Noren 326; Dick Patterson 538; Chris Brown 475; Ruth Wampler 394 (in memory of Oliver Kindig-Stokes); Cecil Godfrey and Leigh Cooper 40; Stephanie Fida 145t; David Wright 528; Paul Figura 274t; Marilyn Murata 195; Linda Booth 269; Sean MacPherson 55; Jessica Hahl 553; Karen Noren 510; Roberta Strauss 384; Mark Godfrey 428; Caroline Helmeczi 567; Barb Patterson 332; Douglas Hill 34t.


The class was called back to order by Bradley Knoke leading 68b. Leaders: Alberta Hardy 111t; Shirley Figura 499; Claire Hogan 131t; Kevin Beirne 411; John Wiens 137; Marie Brandis 328; Erika Wilson 349; Jeff Begley 485; Leigh Cooper 456; Tova Houpt 383; Steve Tarr 309; Dorothy Robinson 160b; Alexandra Maymi 495; Daniel Hunter 59; Linda Berkemeier 542; Greg Saue 163b; Laura McMurray 375; Ethan Hardy 545; Melissa Stephenson 179; Anne Huckins 313b; Lucinda Larsen Saue 168.

Kate Fine led 36b as the closing song. Julie Strayer-Thoma offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Sunday, October 16

The Sunday session of the Pacific Northwest Sacred Harp Convention was brought to order by Kate Fine and Linda Berkemeier leading 171. Julie Strayer-Thoma offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Karen Willard 568; Steve Helwig 201; Nancy Novotny 114; Pat Coghlan 351; Andrew Fowler 148; Martha Sherwood 53; Cathy Van Blerken 547; Evan Palmer 63; Shelby Sampson 209; Cornelia Stanton 466; Judy Whiting 354t; Tom McTighe 200; Tova Houpt 339; Laura McMurray 101b; Betsy Jeronen, Anna Berry, and Elliot Picciotto 422; Mark Miller and Hannah Field 299; Jeff Begley 278b; Reed Schilbach 318; Elaine Denny 106; Greg Saue 47b.


The class was called back to order by Steve Cackley leading 354b. Leaders: Lyle Lindsey 178; Chris Brown 480; Marilyn Murata 423; Leon Godfrey 32t; Steve Luttinen 376; Clarissa Fetrow 442; Kathy Vlach 34b; Cecil Godfrey 37b; Ruth Wampler 279; Emma Swartz 177; Thom Fahrbach 310; Jen Rymut 527; Dick Patterson 68t; Erika Wilson 505; Paul Figura 68b.


The class was called back to order by Ana Tighe leading 162. Leaders: Steve Tarr 102; Claire Hogan 385b; Roberta Strauss 203; Sean MacPherson 359.

Charlie Tyndall led 34t for the following sick and shut-ins: Elaine Zidek, John Pharr, Curtis Owen, Edith Owen, Johnny Lee, Delorese Lee, Karen Turner, Don Grimshaw, Nate Green, Norma Green, David King, John Thomas Lee, Zdzislaw Gryszko, Joan Robert, Doreen Stewart-Cook, Bruce Rowland, Anne Missavage, Carla Smith, Susan Harcrow, Melanie Hauff, Raqui Thaman, Paul Wilson, and Amber Bell.

Eric Holt conducted the memorial lesson, and led 111b in memory of the following: Fran Ross and Stephen Voorhes—Oregon; Amy Suyama and Ron Huss—California; James Murrell and Teresa Niggemeyer—Washington; Gary Smith, Bernice Harvey, S.T. Reed, Toney Smith, Kermit Adams, and Steve Adams—Alabama; B.M. Smith and Earlis McGraw—Georgia; Ian Whiting and Ruth Steggles—United Kingdom; Loraine Bayer—Ohio; Joe Nall—Florida; Charlie Derleth—Missouri; Oliver Kindig-Stokes and Mary Mullen—Pennsylvania; Ken Henderson—Minnesota; Jim Gray—Michigan; Janelle Davis—Illinois; Eileen McDougall—France; Chris Holloway—Germany; George Hill and Leland Long.

David Wright led 49b. Julie Strayer-Thoma asked a blessing before the noon meal.


The class was called back to order by Tom McTighe leading 278t. Leaders: Bob Schinske 150; Daniel Hunter 334; Chris Noren 112; Erik Schwab 532; Barb Patterson 474; Shirley Figura 348b; Stephanie Fida 531; Leigh Cooper 215; Jack Lofton 362; Kevin Beirne 181; Karen Noren 410t; Jessica Hahl 335; Kate Coxon 564; Melissa Stephenson 89; Caroline Helmeczi 38b; Kelly Kennedy 492; Carolyn Gilkey 344; Mark Godfrey 176t; Marla Elliott 254; Lucinda Larsen Saue 86.


The class was called back to order by Evan Palmer leading 29t. Leaders: Dorothy Robinson 506; Linda Berkemeier 528; Dan Thoma 35; John Wiens 273; Kevin Barrans 70b; Marie Brandis 212; Solomon Ossa 436; Jennifer Jones 163t; Anne Huckins 350; Alberta Hardy 67; Ruth Linehan 270; Steve Cackley 69b; Judy Whiting 208; Chris Brown 31t; Ruth Wampler and Steve Luttinen 549; Elaine Denny 348t; Carolyn Gilkey, Paul Figura, Shirley Figura, Roberta Strauss, and Anne Drexler 277; Andrew Fowler 455; Karl Oswald 551; Mark Miller 229; Katy Hunter 39b; Barb Patterson and Dick Patterson 399t.

A business meeting was held to hear committee reports. The Treasurer reported that half of expenses were met. Registration and Arranging Committees announced 151 registered attendees from eleven states and three countries. The Resolutions Committee thanked everyone who helped organize and run the convention. Gifts were presented to Chris Brown for his singing school presentation. Announcements were made.

Kate Fine led 62 as the closing song. Julie Strayer-Thoma offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairperson—Kate Fine; Vice Chairperson—Linda Berkemeier; Secretary—Betsy Jeronen