Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Midwest Sacred Harp Convention

Pulaski Park Fieldhouse and Irish American Heritage Center,
Chicago, Illinois

April 28-29, 2018

Saturday, April 28

Susan Geil and Randy Neufeld opened the Saturday session of the 33rd annual meeting of the Midwest Convention at Pulaski Park Fieldhouse by leading 171. Melanie Hansen offered the invocation.

Leaders: Rochelle Lodder 397 (ShH); Cathryn Bearov 179 (for her daughter, Cate); Debra Barford 102; Jim Helke 173 (ShH); Mary Rogel 324 (ShH); John Seaton 47t; Carol Ann Munro 474; Doug Stapleton 440; Michael Mosley 48 (ShH); Nick Pasqual 451; Steve Warner 84; Sasha Maslanka 157.

A business meeting was convened to elect the following officers: Chairman—Cathryn Bearov; Vice Chairmen—Eileen Ferguson and Dave Barford; Secretary—Rochelle Lodder.


John Wiens called the class to order leading 133. Leaders: Eileen Ferguson and Dave Barford 140t (ShH); Dave Ressler 140b (ShH); Ginny Landgraf 390 (ShH); Kay Huener 192; Ann Miczulski 282; Matthew Siefert 216; Lori Graber 107; Presley Barker and Barbara Chopin 326b (ShH); Linda Heemskerk 324; Catherine Brown 66; Eleanor Haase 352; Paul Wyatt 260b (ShH); Marian Mitchell 195; Paul Landskroener 232; Cecelia Kramer 254 (ShH); Claudia Egelhoff 241 (ShH); Beverley Rose Enright 146. Cathryn Bearov announced appointed officers and committees.


Carolyn Deacy and Kathy Williams called the class to order leading 132 (ShH). Leaders: Jan May 125 (ShH); Christine Stevens 532; Steve Luttinen 420t (ShH); Beth Huener 200; Larry Nothwehr 218; Jim Lawrie 148; Ben Hartland 21 (ShH); Carol Buche 105 (ShH); Cheri Neilson 364 (ShH); Joel Menk 298; Dan Huger 38b; Laura Mae Noble 270. Carol Ann Munro offered grace before the noon meal.


Cathryn Bearov called the class to order leading 114. Leaders: Lisa Grayson 242 (ShH); John delRe 169 (ShH); Judy Mincey 382 (ShH); Nora Miller 223 (ShH); Jacob Kiakahi 112 (ShH); Kathy Williams 178; Kelly Macklin 350 (ShH); Ted Johnson 89; AnnaLeigh Smith 226 (ShH); Joshua Barnett 227 (ShH); Hanna Brolander 142; Leyland delRe 145 (ShH); Judy Hauff 392 (ShH); Graham DeZarn 452 (ShH); Ted Mercer 151; Topher Lawton 202 (ShH).


Rochelle Lodder called the class to order leading 36b. Leaders: Jim Swanson 258 (ShH); Jim Crawford 546; Mark Dawson 496; Carolyn Deacy 430; Jerry Gripshover 39b; Erica Detemmerman 39t; Michael Mosley 56b;n John Wiens 400; Carol Crawford 480; Cheri Neilson 501.

Cathryn Bearov led 347 as the closing song. Carol Ann Munro dismissed the class with prayer.

Sunday, April 29

Cathryn Bearov opened the Sunday session at the Irish American Heritage Center by leading 276. Carol Ann Munro offered the invocation.

Leaders: Steve Warner 171; Ginny Landgraf 384 (ShH); Dave Barford 101 (ShH); Rochelle Lodder 417 (ShH); Eileen Ferguson 183 (ShH); Carol Ann Munro 464; Kenan Serenbetz 82t; Lori Graber 28t; Beth Huener 454; Michael Mosley 408t (ShH); Beverley Rose Enright 547.


AnnaLeigh Smith called the class to order leading 147 (ShH). Leaders: Dave Ressler 282 (ShH); Luke Patterson and Daniel Braithwaite 31t; Joel Menk 110 (ShH); Carolyn Deacy 472; Ben Hartland 171 (ShH); Ted Johnson 300; Cheri Neilson 102 (ShH); Christina Marie and Lauren Virnoche 504; Carol Buche 178; Cecelia Kramer 264b (ShH); Presley Barker and Barbara Chopin 418 (ShH); Catherine Brown 313b; Christine Stevens 310 (ShH); Jan Ketelle 296 (ShH); Claudia Egelhoff 403b (ShH); Daniel Braithwaite and Luke Patterson 365.


Gillian Inksetter called the class to order leading 32t. Leaders: Mary Rogel 534; Topher Lawton 200 (ShH); Paul Wyatt 416 (ShH); Kathy Williams 344; Graham DeZarn 83t (ShH).

Lisa Grayson spoke on behalf of the sick and shut-ins and reminded us to get in touch with those on the list. She led 216, chosen with Melanie Hauff in mind, for the following sick and shut-ins: Carol Ruth Kimmel, Melanie Hauff, Michael Appert, Dawn Tracy, Sarah Frost, Gary Gronau, Becky Browne, Idy Kiser, Don Bowen, Joy Huener, Joe Todd, Donna Gunderson-Rogers, Paul Wilson, Jeff Bell, Johanna Fabke, Gail Barkus, and Ralph Lazzara.

Lyda Jackson spoke in memory of Ann Sleeva: Ann Jeanette Sleeva, a dearly loved sister, aunt, and friend of many, died unexpectedly on December 5, 2017, in Evanston, Illinois, from complications caused by ovarian cancer. We remember Ann as a driving force in the Chicago Sacred Harp Community. She was actively involved in the Hyde Park Singers as well as the Chicago Northside Singers. She made many trips to various singings and joined Sacred Harp Singers in Poland during a 2015 trip. She particularly loved the tunes of William Billings and led “Jordan” (page 66) most frequently. She moved to dedicate the October singing on Chicago’s Northside to a special collection of Billings’ songs which she assembled and duplicated for this yearly event. She also spearheaded an annual all-day Cooper Book Singing in August, which will now bear her name as an ongoing memorial. Ann’s life of deep faith surrounded her with numerous church family members from various traditions and cultures. She will be remembered by her large circle of friends and acquaintances for her gentle and sweet disposition, her ready and friendly smile, and her kindness toward all who were touched by her life.

Lisa Grayson spoke in memory of Julie Vea of Madison, Wisconsin.

Terry Hogg spoke in memory of Berkley Moore: Berkley was a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and was ordained a Unitarian minister serving churches in Vermont, Minnesota, and Illinois. He was well regarded by fellow clergy as one who could listen with care and intelligence. He was a trained engineer and worked for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. In later years, Berkley and I often drove to the Missouri Convention. He loved traveling to singings near and far. Though he was not one for idle chat, he was in his glory when there were people at a convention with whom he could talk Sacred Harp. Coming from both a religious and scientific background, Berkley was a rigorous scholar. He had a natural curiosity, a prodigious memory and an appreciation for detail and complexity. He literally made himself into an authority on American hymnody. Paul Figura tells me how helpful his scholarship was when their group republished the Missouri Harmony. Judy Mincey said, “Berkley was our rock when we were working on The Eclectic Harmony.”

Now I know, there may have been consternation in the ranks when Berkley led. I can just hear a new singer saying,” Is that guy leading or is he dancing?” However, there was no confusion about what we were seeing when Berkley led. It was the expression of unrestrained joy. Thanks for all you’ve done for Sacred Harp and our community Berkley—We’ll miss you. Amen!

Carol Ann Munro spoke in memory of Darrell Swarens: Darrell Swarens had a heart that was nearly as big as his rather amazing wardrobe of unique and colorful ties. The minute you met him, you were his friend, or more accurately, a part of his huge extended family. Darrell loved Sacred Harp music, but even more, he loved Sacred Harp singers. He travelled the country—literally wore a path down the road between Terre Haute and Sand Mountain—to sing but really to meet and be with singers. If you were new to a singing, someone he hadn’t run into at a singing somewhere else, it wouldn’t be long before he would draw you in, introducing you to others, finding out your life story, making you feel like you belonged and always had. I really got to know Darrell at Camp Fasola in Anniston. He was like a huge kid himself, soaking up all he could learn and hovering over the real kids like a grandfather, encouraging them and inviting the insecure ones into the square to lead with him, making each and every one of them feel special. For about the first year I knew him, I thought he was actually related to the Eldridge family, biologically; but he had simply adopted them, become their extra grandfather and their computer tutor. Living in Terre Haute, Darrell didn’t have a local singing available to him, but he drove to Bloomington, or Louisville—the distance or the time didn’t matter. Even though the Higher Ground singing had been going on several years before he started singing, Darrell quickly took it over and it became his singing. It’ll be a long time before I’m able to be at a singing without looking for his pure white hair, huge smile and wild tie. I’ll miss his standard greeting: “Well, hi Miss Carol. How’s by you? So good to see you.” And I’ll really miss his big bear hug. But I know without a doubt that my friend Darrell is where he always wanted to be, making sure that everybody else up there with him is feeling right at home.

Lisa Grayson read the list of names of those who are deceased, and the memorial committee led 145t, which was Berkley Moore’s favorite song to lead: Julie Vea—Wisconsin; Berkley Moore, Ann Sleeva, John Meeks, Judy Koster, Eleanor Pechota, Megan Howarth, Russ Gremel, and Joann Razowsky—Illinois; Darrell Swarens—Indiana; Loren Anderson, Christopher Thompson, and Charles Wells—Minnesota; Gene McCreary, Carl Weber, and Linda Domholt—California; Donna Schleifer—North Carolina; Louise Holland and Hugh McGraw—Georgia; Daphene Causey—Alabama; Dennis Wyatt and Grace Riley—Florida; Steve Helwig—Oregon; Katie Jenks—Washington; Sandy Inbody—New York; Peter Weber and Regina Weber—Arizona; Mary Lewis and Janice Collins—Michigan; Noah Delgado—Texas. Carol Ann Munro led the class in prayer to close the memorial lesson.

Leaders: Ted Johnson and Randy Neufeld 485; AnnaLeigh Smith 453 (ShH); Deborah Barford 215 (in memory of Hugh McGraw). Carol Ann Munro offered grace before the noon meal.


Nora Miller brought the class back to order leading 413. Leaders: Bill Waddington 362; Leyland delRe 235 (ShH); Dick Patterson 334 (ShH); John delRe 422 (ShH); Gillian Inksetter 532; John Wiens 124; Karen Isbell 431 (ShH); Paul Landskroener 349; Jonathon Smith 340 (ShH); Nora Miller 322 (ShH); Barb Patterson 186 (ShH); Joshua Barnett 351 (ShH); Kelly Macklin 167 (ShH); Judy Mincey 158b (ShH) (in fond memory of Lee Rogers); Jan May 266 (ShH); Dan Huger 569b; Michael Mosley 556; Steve Luttinen 381b (ShH).


Dan Nickel called the class to order leading 34t. Leaders: Judy Hauff 245 (ShH); Larry Nothwehr 55; Peter Bradley 444; Marcia Johnson and Edward Thomas 76b; Eleanor Haase 384; Carol Crawford and Jim Crawford 569t; Jacob Kiakahi 292 (ShH); Hanna Brolander 218t (ShH); Lisa Grayson 278b; Kay Huener 269; Marian Mitchell 236; Ted Mercer 297 (ShH); Jerry Gripshover 180 (ShH); John Seaton 140b (ShH); Lindsay Kruse 260b (ShH); Susan Geil 565; Matthew Siefert 342; Jim Swanson 252 (ShH).

Reports were presented. Paul Wyatt thanked God; the officers and Chicago singers; the hosts for each singing day; Kris Richardson for hosting the social; everyone who brought food; and the kitchen crew and announced our resolve to reconvene in 2019. Cathryn Bearov led 62 as the closing song. Carol Ann Munro dismissed the class with prayer

Chairman—Cathryn Bearov; Vice Chairmen—Eileen Ferguson and Dave Barford; Secretary—Rochelle Lodder