Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Ohio State Convention

Jeffrey Mansion, Bexley, Ohio

March 3-4, 2018

Saturday, March 3

The 26th annual (and 25th Anniversary) Ohio State Convention was called to order at 10:00 a.m. by Karen Arnett leading 68b. Nigel Ewan offered a morning psalm.

A business session was held, and the 2018 slate of officers were elected by unanimous vote. Chairman—Lia Mansfield; Vice Chairman—Ray Rechenberg; Treasurer—Michael Darby; Secretaries—Laura Ann Russell, Liz Hayes, and Michael Domino; Arranging Committee—Laura Ann Russell, Beth Todd, John Bealle, and Ray Rechenberg. Incoming Chairman Lia Mansfield asked Linda Coppock to form a Memorial Committee, and appointed Ally Talbot to lead the Resolutions Committee. She then asked the other committees to form, and the business session was closed.

Leaders: Lia Mansfield 178; Ray Rechenberg 40; Michael Darby 31t; Laura Ann Russell 272 (requested by Idy Kiser); Ally Talbot 66; Nigel Ewan 344; Sheila Patterson 472 (for the singers of Cork whose concurrent convention was being disrupted by storms); Sunny Jo Chapin 345t; Linda Coppock 540; Sylvia Thomas 556; Jim Mace 473; Rich Overturf and Kathleen Flanagan 100; Nancy Hunter 313b; Tom Kochan 569b; Carol Medlicott 297; Bonnie Spitzkeit 551; Josh Walton 29t; Beth Huener 454; Taylor Hand and Ray Rechenberg 47b; Corey Sees 121; Lori Graber 53; Marian L. Mitchell 368.


Ray Rechenberg called the class back to order by leading 319. Leaders: Debbie Hall 497; Keillor Mose 32t; Jim Herr 546; Hollie Long 448t; Beth Todd 373; Michael Darby 369; Barb Patterson 474; Len VanderJagt 228; Kay Huener 276; Christopher Yoder 99; Clara Herr 535; Bob Borcherding 148; Cecelia Kramer 444; Brad Oglesby 192; Gerry Hoffman 547; Michael Hieber 37b; Joel-Henry Mansfield 410t. Nigel Ewan offered a prayer before the midday meal.


Lia Mansfield called the class back to order by leading 335. Leaders: Eloise Clark 416; David Casenhiser 146; Anne Missavage 236; Jan May 362; Claire Outten 189; Ruth Wampler 383; Mary Skidmore 270; Jim Patterson 278t; Molly Sauder 455; Michael Domino 408; Eric Rutherford 481; Dick Patterson 274t; Karen Arnett 532; Jeff Shenk 208; Tim Morton 330b; John Bealle 442; Tim Gregg 105; Grace Patterson 38t; Kylie Mace 350; Jason Yoder 159; Kathleen Flanagan 39t.


Beth Todd called the class together by leading 34b. Leaders: Rich Overturf 480; Jim Mace 277; Carol Medlicott 440; Donna Bing 452; Claire Outten 112; Lori Graber 150; Marian L. Mitchell 327; Bonnie Spitzkeit 63; Tom Kochan 503; Gerry Hoffman 421; Cecelia Kramer 71; Jan May 300; Dick Patterson 47t; Keillor Mose 147t; Barb Patterson 271t; Corey Sees 285t; Len VanderJagt 38b.

Lia Mansfield thanked the class for a great day of singing, mentioned details about the evening social at the home of Sylvia Thomas, and asked for announcements. She led 347 as the closing song. Nigel Ewan offered the closing prayer. The class was dismissed until 9:30 a.m. the next day.

Sunday, March 4

Lia Mansfield welcomed singers to the second day of singing and lead 171. Nigel Ewan offered the morning prayer.

Leaders: Jim Patterson 178; Ed Walton and Josh Walton 268; Rachel Latham and Ruth Wampler 207; Deborah Koch and Corey Sees 81t; Sarah Rutherford and Michael Darby 457; Grace Patterson 47t; Taylor Hand and Mary Skidmore 436; Nancy Hunter 312b; Jason Yoder 72b; Sheila Patterson 324 (in memory of John and Loraine Bayer); Ally Talbot 86; Nigel Ewan 365; Karen Arnett 474; Liz Hayes and Laura Russell 277; Mary Jean McCarthy and Mary Skidmore 326; Tim Gregg 52b.


The class was called back to order by Laura Ann Russell leading 32t. Leaders: Michael Domino 390; Ray Rechenberg 49b; Linda Coppock 245; Tim Morton 215; Len VanderJagt 507; Corey Sees 30b; Michael Darby 133; Laura Ann Russell 142; Gillian Inksetter 534; Bob Borcherding 168; Beth Todd 501; Hans Bayer 504; Clara Herr 564; Gerry Hoffman 173; Debbie Hall 348t; Eloise Clark 417; Marian L. Mitchell 549.

The memorial lesson was held at this time. Ruth Wampler spoke of the importance of reaching out to those who were shut-in, and how a simple card or phone call could mean so much. She urged the class to sign the cards on the registration table for those on the list today and to remember them in the coming weeks. She read the following list of names: Idy Kiser, Sue Duff, Steve Duff, Katie White, Joy Huener, Bob Fisher, Begee Rechenberg, Will Fitzgerald, and Mary Stutzman. She led 430.

Linda Coppock spoke about how she stumbled upon two busloads of Alabama singers teaching the fledgling Chicago group about Sacred Harp. Over two decades later, she is grateful for those who made that trip and in so doing, planted the Sacred Harp tradition in Illinois, and through those singers, into Ohio. She read the following list of names of the deceased: Louise Holland, Hugh McGraw, and Jean Hollingsworth (Clara Herr’s mother)—Georgia; Darrell Swarens—Indiana; Berkeley Moore and Ann Sleeva—Illinois; Steve Helwig—Oregon; Julie Vea—Wisconsin; Oscar Merritt—North Carolina; San Slothour—Pennsylvania; Charles Wells—Minnesota; Gerald Hughes, George S. Kaplonski, Leroy Heeg, and John “Rusty” Neff—Ohio. Linda Coppock led 570 in their memory.

Leaders: Mary Skidmore 128; Hollie Long 348b; Jeff Shenk 129; Christopher Yoder and Alicia Yoder 163b; Joel-Henry Mansfield 218. Nigel Ewan asked a blessing on the meal.


Lia Mansfield led 276 to begin the afternoon session. Leaders: Anne Missavage 203; Jan May 351; Eric Conrad 378b; Claudia Baldwin 448b; Jubal Bayer 370; Anne Gilliland 127; Keillor Mose 186; Ezekiel Paulowski 49t; Dick Patterson 163t; Michelle Chapin 159; Cecelia Kramer 174; Molly V. Sauder 209; John Bealle 434; Ruth Wampler 279; Jamie Yeats 547; Josh Walton 117; Sunny Jo Chapin 224; Barb Patterson 107; Nicole Muffitt and Lia Mansfield 479; Jim Herr 490.


Ray Rechenberg called the class together by leading 40. Leaders: Sylvia Thomas 377; Mary Skidmore 67; Eric Conrad and Anne Gilliland 288; Gillian Inksetter 572; Keillor Mose 318; Gerry Hoffman 328; Bob Borcherding and Anne Missavage 176t; Marian L. Mitchell 485; Dick Patterson and Barb Patterson 399t; Cecelia Kramer 216; Jan May 217; Laura Ann Russell and Michael Darby 198 (in memory of Darrell Swarens); Corey Sees 77t; Tim Morton 227; Beth Todd 179.

The Arranging Committee called for all those singers present at the first Ohio State Convention in 1993 to take the hollow square. Those founding singers (John Bealle, Eloise Clark, Linda Coppock, Jim Coppock, Michael Darby, Sylvia Thomas, and Debbie Hall) joyfully led 344.

Lia Mansfield asked for committee reports. The Arranging Committee reported that eighty-two songs were led on Saturday and eighty-one on Sunday. There were one hundred fifteen singers registered with another forty non-registered participants, visitors, and children present through the weekend. Twelve states (Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, Kansas, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Texas, New York, West Virginia, and North Carolina) and one province of Canada (Ontario) were represented. Approximately seventy viewers watched the convention via live stream over the two days.

The Treasurer reported that expenses were met. The children were thanked for their contribution of ribbon book marks that brought in eager donations of $2 per bookmark.

The Resolutions Committee thanked all of you who made this singing so wonderful, particularly: the food committee (Joel-Henry Mansfield, Nancy Hunter, and all who helped them). Thank you to everyone who cooked, prepared, and contributed the delicious spread. It’s hard to find anything that tops the singing part of this weekend, but the food gave it a run for its money; Lia Mansfield and Ray Rechenberg for their hard work as chairman and vice chairman; all our pitchers for their contributions; all secretaries and members of the arranging committee, especially Laura Russell, Beth Todd, John Bealle, and Ray Rechenberg; Ruth Wampler and Linda Coppock for the memorial lesson; Chaplain, Nigel Ewan for all his work on postcards, cards, signs, and for maintaining our webpage; Michelle Chapin and her team for providing childcare; Bexley Parks and Recreation and the staff of the Jeffrey Mansion for preparing our space, particularly Randy, our contact person; Sylvia Thomas for securing the Jeffrey Mansion, and for hosting the social along with her spouse Fred Moore; all who contributed to the social, especially Brad Oglesby for his famous Sacred Harp Jeopardy; the Columbus Sacred Harp singers, and our wonderful neighbors from Dayton and Cincinnati, who took on too many tasks to name. And last, but certainly not least, all of you who’ve made this year’s convention a success. Thank you for bringing your voices, generosity, energy, and fellowship. Finally, we resolve to meet again in a year in Dayton to celebrate the 27th Ohio Sacred Harp Convention.

Announcements were made. Lia Mansfield led 62, and those who wished took the parting hand. Nigel Ewan offered the closing prayer. Lia Mansfield dismissed the class and charged it to reconvene next year in Dayton.

Chairman—Lia Mansfield; Vice Chairman—Ray Rechenberg; Secretary—Laura Ann Russell