Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Australian Sacred Harp Convention

Brunswick Uniting Church Hall, Melbourne, Australia

January 27-28, 2018

Saturday, January 27

The 3rd Sacred Harp Singing Convention in Australia was held in Melbourne on the weekend closest to Australia Day (January 26). Elaena Gardner led 146, and welcomed everyone. Shawn Whelan taught an introductory singing school, focusing on intervals and on leading in different forms of meter.

A business session was held, and the following officers were elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—Natalie Sims; Secretary—Lauren Reader; Chaplain—Rev. Ian Ferguson; Treasurer—Naomi Duryea assisted by Daniel Whelan; Arranging—Melanie Albrecht; Food Coordination—Sherrill McKinnon and Christine Durbridge.

The opening prayer was offered by Rev. Ian Ferguson.

Leaders: Natalie Sims 31t; Lauren Reader 63; Jean Rosenberg 162; Tricia Entwistle 210; Ruby Foster 270; Melanie Albrecht 535; David Rosenberg 99; Margo Lanagan 114; Daniel Whelan 430; Rachel Jordan 171; Natalie Sims 384; Geoff Grainger, Jill Griffiths, and Isabella Moore 68b; Meg Quinlisk 515; Peter Rayner 452; Thomas MacDonald 424.


Shawn Whelan led 297 to bring the class back to order. Leaders: Nick Hall 183; Myfanwy Godfrey 277; Elaena Gardner 142; Lauren Reader 84; Jean Rosenberg 454; Tricia Entwistle 148; Ruby Foster 206; Shawn Whelan 532; Melanie Albrecht 86; David Rosenberg 34b; Margo Lanagan 42; Daniel Whelan 276; Rachel Jordan 546; Natalie Sims 567; Geoff Grainger, Jill Griffiths, and Isabella Moore 156; Meg Quinlisk 228; Peter Rayner 67.

Rev. Ian Ferguson offered prayer before the meal.


Nick Hall led 106 to bring the class back to order. Leaders: Thomas MacDonald 250; Myfanwy Godfrey 38b; Pip Ross and Nick Hall 268; Lauren Reader 472; Sue Bird and Rachel Jordan 178; Nick Hall 455; Elaena Gardner 506; Jean Rosenberg 269; Tricia Entwistle 474; Ruby Foster 236; Shawn Whelan 274t; Melanie Albrecht and Simone Riches 45t; David Rosenberg and Tim Thelander 457; Margo Lanagan and Daniel Whelan 320.

The memorial lesson was conducted by Christine Durbridge. The following deceased were remembered and honored: Jody, Joe Gardner, Muriel Moulton, Klara Golab, Hugh McGraw, Darrell Swarens, Jack Lanagan, Joan Foster, Betty Teal, Guinness Price, Kevin, Kathleen Evelyn Rowell, Steve Helwig, Val Milne, Nicola Best, Wendy Doye, and Soraya Ray. Natalie Sims and Christine Durbridge led 300.

The following sick and shut-ins were named: Dilini Jayakody, Linda, Debby Sharpe, Pat Costello, Andy Spence, Chris Brown, Paula Mogensen, Les Reader, and Lisa Haynes. Shawn Whelan and Christine Durbridge led 34t.

Leaders: Daniel Whelan 542; Rachel Jordan 500; Geoff Grainger 523; Natalie Sims and Simone Riches 32b; Meg Quinlisk 290.


Peter Rayner led 72b to bring the class back to order. Leaders: Thomas MacDonald 198; Myfanwy Godfrey 117; Lauren Reader 288; Nick Hall 538; Elaena Gardner 192; Jean Rosenberg 35; Tricia Entwistle 38t; Ruby Foster 478; Shawn Whelan 335; Melanie Albrecht 76b; David Rosenberg 448b; Margo Lanagan 133; Daniel Whelan 110; Rachel Jordan 189; Geoff Grainger 339; Natalie Sims 182; Meg Quinlisk 550; Peter Rayner 122; Thomas MacDonald 85.

The Chair thanked those who had worked hard to make the first day of the Convention a great success. Announcements were made. Natalie Sims led 340 as the closing song. Shawn Whelan offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Sunday, January 28

The Sunday session of the Australian Sacred Harp Convention was brought to order by Natalie Sims leading 77b. Natalie Sims offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: Daniel Whelan 77t; Shawn Whelan 48t; Nick Hall 66; Jean Rosenberg 59; Morag Logan 72b; Thomas MacDonald 200; Natalie Sims 344; David Rosenberg 36b; Lauren Reader 421; Peter Rayner 496; Margo Lanagan 497; Myfanwy Godfrey 203; Ruby Foster 222; Geoff Grainger 503; Jean Rosenberg 254; Rachel Jordan 564.


Geoff Grainger led 178 to bring the class back to order. Leaders: Philippa Stevens and Meg Quinlisk 282; Shawn Whelan 198; Nick Hall 105; Margo Lanagan 196; Meg Quinlisk 504; Conor O’Hanlon 163b; Morag Logan 159; Thomas MacDonald 193; Natalie Sims 474; David Rosenberg 565; Lauren Reader 481; Peter Rayner 312b; Myfanwy Godfrey 40; Ruby Foster 168; Geoff Grainger and Thomas MacDonald 242; Madeleine Griffeth 448t; Jean Rosenberg 299; Rachel Jordan 475.


Meg Quinlisk led 294 to bring the class back to order. Leaders: Diane Heywood and Melanie Albrecht 47b; Shawn Whelan “Tune My Heart” (composed by Shawn Whelan, 2016); Nick Hall 287; Margo Lanagan 311; Meg Quinlisk 510; Nick Hall, Geoff Grainger, Rachel Jordan, and Diane Heywood 49b; Jean Rosenberg, David Rosenberg, and Alda Balthrop-Lewis 479; Ruby Foster, Meg Quinlisk, Thomas MacDonald, Elaena Gardner, Christine Golab, Philippa Stevens, Suzanne Dixon, Cath Ivin, Margo Lanagan, and Rob Wills 49t; Natalie Sims “Brunswick” (composed by Angharad Davis, 2014); Melanie Albrecht 547; Morag Logan 551; Thomas MacDonald and Ruby Foster 388.

In a brief business session, the Chair thanked all those who attended the Convention and contributed to its success, particularly those who had travelled from overseas and interstate to attend. Thanks were expressed to the office bearers, and to all those who had helped coordinate food and refreshments.

The Secretary reported that sixty singers attended the Convention. Thirty-four leaders from six Australian states and territories and four countries led one hundred twenty-seven songs.

On behalf of the Treasurer, Shawn Whelan reported that donations made during the Convention were sufficient to cover its costs as well as to provide for a donation to be made to the Brunswick Uniting Church for the use of the hall. It was noted further consideration would be given to additional fund-raising that may be used to increase publicity for the Convention and to support travelers to attend.

Announcements were made, and it was resolved to gather again next year in Sydney on the weekend closest to Australia Day (25-27 January, 2019) to reconvene the Australian Sacred Harp Convention.

Meg Quinlisk, Thomas MacDonald, Ruby Foster, Elaena Gardner, Margo Lanagan, and Philippa Stevens led 62. Rev. Ian Ferguson offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Natalie Sims; Secretary—Lauren Reader