Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Keystone Sacred Harp Convention

Sonlight River Brethren School, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

January 20-22, 2017

Friday, January 20

A singing school was held on Friday night at the Sonlight River Brethren School. Ruth Wampler made announcements, and then introduced the singing school teacher, Mark Brown. After opening remarks, Mark led 34b. The shapes were introduced followed by the staff, scale, and clefs (detailed in the Rudiments). Mark then had the class sing the major and minor scales and triads. Time signatures were discussed (speed limits, so to speak). He noted the modes of time expressed in two beats and three beats. The class was divided into parts in the square to sing.

Mark shared traditions he grew up with on Sand Mountain and in his church, which uses the Sacred Harp in its worship services, making the singing experience spiritual and meaningful. Beating four beats per measure for common time songs slows down the tempo and, in worship, highlights the words so that singers can take them in. Mark led 47t to demonstrate. For the shapes and the first verse, two beats per measure were denoted in beating time. For the second and third verses, four beats were denoted in beating time. Then, 47b was presented as an example of a three beat time signature.

Mark recalled the history of shared fellowship between Shady Grove Church, Liberty Church, Union Church, and Antioch Church. Worship services rotated between the locations monthly, one time each, and many learned to sing Sacred Harp: more through worship and less through singing schools. A meaningful song to the Shady Grove community is “Sweet Affliction” (145b), and is sung as an uplifting song to cure the affliction referenced by the title.

Attendees of the singing school were invited to lead songs and share their experiences. Leaders: Chris Holley 72b; Gina Balestracci 28t; Leslie Booher and Rachel Speer 178. Chris Fitzgerald expressed appreciation for individuals of different faiths being welcomed to share the hollow square, and what a privilege it is to have these voices brought together. Robert Stoddard led 32t. He said that this song is often led at Antioch as the first song of the day. Robert said he felt a striking commonality with the community there despite the differences in geography. Eva Striebeck led 107, and then shared thoughts about singing in Germany: how they started in a bunker to not disturb anyone and the privilege of watching the German singing community grow. Ray Rechenberg led 448t. Stephanie Fida asked Mark what song she would hear if she were a fly on the wall at Shady Grove. Mark mentioned the Cooper Book song “Love at Home” as particularly meaningful, and also “Consecration”. The singing school closed with Mark Brown leading 566 in memory of Johnny Lee, a friend who passed away in November. The class stood on the last verse, and was dismissed. Secretary—Joel Bassett

Saturday, January 21

The 19th annual Keystone Convention was held on the fourth Sunday and Saturday before in January at the Sonlight River Brethren School in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. Joel Bassett called the class to order leading 31b, and then offered the opening prayer.

A business meeting was held to confirm the following incoming officers: Chairman—Ruth Wampler; Vice Chairman—Molly Sauder; Treasurer—Sasha Hsuczyk; Secretaries—Linda Baysore and Sonia Chin.

Leaders: Ruth Wampler 394; Emma Rose Brown 40; Bethany Towne 205; Doron Henkin 391; Tom Tucker 176t; Matthew Kaufmann 154; Dan Hunter and Katy Hunter 405; Sarah Underhill 272; Lamar Matthew 35; Rebecca Rohrer 270; Guy Bankes 351; Ellen Ray 89; Mike Robinson and Gabrielle Robinson 30t; Erin Kelly 187; Molly Dektar 501; Jonah Chambers 425; Mary Skidmore 153; Dann Pell 173.


Charles Biada called the class to order leading 81t. Leaders: Terry Ryan 218; Ina Shea and Norris McDonald 198; Jeremy Galvagni 123t; Emma Swartz 527; Michael Sensor 86; Gwen Gethner 385t; G.C. Waldrep 260; Alice Beattie 472; Ben Sachs-Hamilton 400; Mark Brown 503; Rachel Speer and Dean Jens 286; Barbara Swetman 383; Greg Creech 33b; Stina Soderling 410b; Ben Shirley 211; Laura Densmore 311; Tom Ivey 212; Leslie Booher 274b; Jesse Vear and Chris Holley 436; Thomas Ward 179; Joanne Fuller 439.


Jason Steidl called the class to order leading 52t. Leaders: Tristan Gordon 102; Ian Smiley 442; Francesca Farrisi and Elise Cavicchi 203; John Plunkett 271b; Laura Hodges 447; Jim Glaser 322; Richard Ivey, Kelsey Ivey, and Everett Ivey 396; Owen Stoddard 42; Will Fitzgerald and Bess Fitzgerald 131t; Jonathon Smith 419; Eva Striebeck 273; Jan May 276; Andy Ditzler 570; Masti Mayrand 133; Kevin Beirne 454; Randa Harris and Karen Rollins 268; Patrick Friesen 418; Karen Ivey 422; Philippe Doyle 214; Liora O’Donnell Goldensher 528; George Sigut 146; Julian Bender 183. Mark Brown offered the noon blessing.


Carol Huang called the class to order leading 67. Leaders: Gina Balestracci 71; Thom Fahrbach 536; Nathan Rees 193; Hal Kunkel 298; Liz Cantrell 466; Hayden Arp, Isaac Green, and Fallon Cook 269; Gillian Inksetter 215; David Ivey 172; Carol Medlicott 112; David Brodeur 411; Anna Mays 426b; Dennis George 384; Justin Bowen and Alvaro Witt Duarte 564; Kate Coxon 500; Ray Rechenberg 300; Ivy Hauser and Becky Wright 397; John Hughes 168; Cheyenne Ivey 208; Robert Stoddard 376; Nicholas Thompson and Gedney Barclay 512 (for Asa Horvitz and Grandmother); Michael Nord 213t; Sara Lott 282; Mike Richards 532; Roland Hutchinson 518.


Philippa Stoddard called the class to order leading 82t. Leaders: Tom George 382; Keillor Mose 304; Sharon Strong 195; Alex Forsyth, Tom Stokes, and Dan Miksiewicz 228; Clement Slothour 49b; Jordan Lewis 455; Kathy Williams 180; Sasha Hsuczyk 111t; Stephanie Fida 74t; Ernest Chamberlain 569t; Chelsea Smiley 36b; Myles Louis Dakan 163t; Jesse Flynn 59; Isabelle Gervais Chapman 290; Jesse C. Polhemus 567; Roger Crabtree 31t; Harry Scott 474; Rachel Hall 217.

Ruth Wampler led 549 as the closing song. Shannon Latham dismissed the class with prayer.

Sunday, January 22

The Sunday session of the Keystone Convention was brought to order by Ruth Wampler, who led 135. Alvaro Witt Duarte offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: Sonia Chin 144; Gina Balestracci 430; Anna Mays 171; Gerry Hoffman 70b; Elizabeth Patton 125; Brian How 146; Leslie Booher 163b; Katie White 547; Thom Fahrbach 56t; Francesca Farrisi 209; Jim Glaser 462; Barbara Swetman 91; Nancy Tkacs 497; Terry Ryan 362.


Jessica Keyes called the class to order leading 445. Leaders: Michael Nord 411; Tristan Gordon and Molly Dektar 448b; Leon Pulsinelle 32b (dedicated to Jean Comfort-Hallowell); Gillian Inksetter 167; Gerald Clark and Miriam Delirium 29b; Ernest Chamberlain 65; Will Fitzgerald and Bess Fitzgerald 283; Roger Crabtree 47b; Greg Creech 74b; Isabelle Gervais Chapman 378t; Nicholas Thompson 192; Gedney Barclay 434; Philippe Doyle 111t; Isaac Green 548; Corinne Ducey 87; Nathan Rees and Jonathon Smith 227; Roland Hutchinson 553.


Ted Stokes called the class to order leading 337. Laura Densmore led 315 in honor of the following sick and shut-ins: Richard Mauldin, Claudene Townson, Jeff Begley, Charlene Wallace, Delorese Lee, Margaret Youngberg, Fran Henry, Edward Swetman, Sue Nord, Merv Horst, Evlyn Silvia, Ron Bornick, Margaret Bornick, Pam Regan, Chris Cotter, Joe Todd, Lyle Lindsey, Skip Trout, Craig Wilkinson, Sharyn Mead, Chelsea Musio, Annette Kastner, Matt Roberts, Kate Fortin, and Brenda Dunlap.

G.C. Waldrep conducted the memorial lesson, and led 505 in memory of the following deceased: S.T. Reed, Toney Smith, Lavoy Smith, Steve Adams, Kermit Adams, Elsie Moon, Mary-Lucia Sanford, and Levon Wootten—Alabama; Leslie Allen Kelly, Bill Horvitz, and Mildred—California; Earlis McGraw, B.M. Smith, Johnny Lee, Geneva Prichard, Mrs. Lillie, and Lucile Gunnels—Georgia; Janelle Davis—Illinois; Steven Page and Eli Todd—Massachusetts; Candace Hill and Francis Bliss—Maine; Bill Mates—New Jersey; Murielee Kurtze, Tom McCarrick, and Juanita Chamberlain—New York; John Bayer, Jr. and Leatrice Creech—Ohio; Jean Comfort Hallowell and Dorothy Kratz—Pennsylvania; Joseph Leonard Rowe—Rhode Island; Madeleine Venier and Denise LeRoux—France; Francine Grunberg—Canada. G.C. Waldrep offered a prayer to close the memorial service.

Leaders: Myles Louis Dakan and Ben Sachs-Hamilton 477; Karen Rollins and Randa Harris 345t; Dean Jens 276; Mary Skidmore 406; Becky Wright 416; Charles Biada and Gwen Gethner 349; Mike Richards 348b; Ray Rechenberg 29t; Sara Lott and Stina Soderling 216; Krista Guerrieri 532; Carolyn Dries and Joanne Fuller 504; Jesse Flynn 101t; John Hughes and Jesse C. Polhemus 344; Chelsea Smiley and Ian Smiley 38t; Carol Medlicott 182; Karen Ivey and David Ivey 34t; Alvaro Witt Duarte 186; Jesse Vear 568; Sasha Hsuczyk 138b; Kevin Griffin Moreno 179. Thom Fahrbach offered the noon blessing.


Doron Henkin and Barb Hohenstein called the class to order leading 56b. Leaders: Elizabeth Stoddard 546; Jan May 99; Richard Ivey and Alex Forsyth 30b; Carol Huang 377; Stephanie Fida and Kate Coxon 302; John Plunkett 297; Elizabeth Pilar 313t; Philippa Stoddard 336; Hayden Arp 530; Jason Steidl 573; Kevin Beirne 456; Kelsey Ivey 545; Keillor Mose 327; Liora O’Donnell Goldensher and Emma Rose Brown 542; Christine Andrews and Emma DeLisle 203; Kerry Cullinan and Chris Holley 489; Kathy Williams 560; Rachel Speer 275t; Eva Striebeck 506; Rachel Hall 385t.


Tom Tucker called the class to order leading 278t. Leaders: Andy Ditzler and David Brodeur 534; Owen Stoddard 460; Ben Cocchiaro 436; Ivy Hauser 330t; Robert Stoddard 417; Laura Hodges and Liz Cantrell 475; Justin Bowen 88t; Emma Swartz 61; Tom George and Dennis George 421; Masti Mayrand and Alvaro Witt Duarte 424; Jeremy Galvagni and Laura Clampitt 367; Fallon Cook 440; Erin Kelly 206; Ben Shirley 335; Tom Ivey 354t; Sharon Strong 299; George Sigut 448t; Guy Bankes 556; Harry Scott and Lamar Matthew 347; Dan Hunter, Katy Hunter, and Yona Hunter 111t.

Sonia Chin gave the Secretary’s report. There were 208 songs led by 150 leaders on Saturday and Sunday. There were 270 singers registered, and a total of 300 people attending from twenty-five states, the District of Columbia, three Canadian Provinces, and Germany. Sasha Hsuczyk, Treasurer, reported that all expenses were met. Elizabeth Stoddard and Isaac Green submitted the Resolutions Committee report, thanking God, all the officers, and everyone who helped to make the convention a success. The committee resolved to reconvene in Philadelphia, on the fourth Sunday and Saturday before in January, 2018.

Following announcements, Ruth Wampler and Molly Sauder led 569b as the closing song. David Ivey dismissed the class with prayer.

Chairman—Ruth Wampler; Vice Chairman—Molly Sauder; Secretaries—Linda Baysore and Sonia Chin