Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Garden State Singing Convention

Montclair Friends Meetinghouse, Upper Montclair, New Jersey

May 18-19, 2018

Friday, May 18

The 26th annual Garden State Convention, a two book singing, was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Gina Balestracci, who led 336t (CB), and offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: Roland Hutchinson 49b; Sue Peters 32t; Susan Bingham 45t; John Hansen and Gina Balestracci 178; John Hughes 501; Myles Dakan 271t; Stefani Priscos 270; Claire Simon 31t; Nancy Mandel 54t (CB); Barbara Swetman 140 (CB); Laura Densmore 210 (CB); Jean Seiler 217; Sarah Leitao 123b.


Roland Hutchinson called the class to order by leading 48t. Leaders: Nancy Mandel 511b (CB); Roland Hutchinson 505 (CB); Sue Peters 341; Myles Dakan 578 (CB); John Hughes 315; Myles Dakan 29t; Jean Seiler 142; Stefani Priscos 472; Claire Simon 473; Sarah Leitao 61; Gina Balestracci 38t; Barbara Swetman 451 (CB); Laura Densmore 504t (CB); Susan Bingham 107; Nancy Mandel 39 (CB); Myles Dakan 28t; Roland Hutchinson 587 (CB); Barbara Swetman 367 (CB); Susan Bingham 454; Sue Peters 339; Gina Balestracci 485 (CB); Claire Simon 347; John Hughes 393. Gina Balestracci offered the closing prayer, and led 574 (CB). The class was dismissed.

Saturday, May 19

Gina Balestracci called the class to order leading 313b, and offered the morning prayer. Leaders: Claire Simon 143; Roland Hutchinson 515; Susan Bingham 38t; Stefani Priscos 37b; Dann Pell 36b; Rachel Speer 56t; Laura Densmore 313t; Terry Ryan 148; Jean Seiler 168; Lamar Matthew 31t; Barbara Swetman 452; Harry Scott 171; Sue Peters 77b; Sarah Leitao 77t; Leon Pulsinelle 426b; Rachel Hall 204; Elsa Phemayotin 29b; Ina Shea 29t; Miriam Delirium 28t; Dean Jens 125; Guy Bankes 311; Joyce Smith 547; Colman Durkee 319.


Barbara Swetman called the class back to order leading 48t. Leaders: Claire Simon 122; Lisa Bennett 374; John Hughes 371; David Smead 439; Roland Hutchinson 535; Barbara Hohenstein 415; Gina Balestracci 430; Dann Pell 428; Sue Peters 271t; Sarah Leitao 411; Elsa Phemayotin 419; Laura Densmore 542; Terry Ryan 200.

Gina Balestracci conducted the memorial lesson, reading the following list of names of the sick and shut-ins: Melanie Hauff, Tommie Spurlock, Carol Stevens, Mary Ellen Schrock, Ron Bornick, Margaret Bornick, Kathryn Davis, Giani Colafico, Don Bowen, Marlene Levine, Concetta Branson, Rosemay Viquist, Evelyn Silvia, Ester Wildey, Joan Trout, Michael Kaye, and Joann Trimarco. She led 472.

Gina then read the following list of names of the deceased: Johnny Lee, Dolorese Lee, Hugh McGraw, and Louise Holland—Georgia; Eloise Wootten—Alabama; Steve Helwig—Oregon; Darrell Swarens—Indiana; Julie Vea—Wisconsin; Ann Sleeva—Illinois; Barbara Bell—New York; Wayne Jens—Iowa; June Durkee—Maine; Thomas Fedorick—New Jersey; Winter Acorn—Pennsylvania; Marjorie Forbush Scott—Maryland. She led 387 in memory of those named. Gina offered a prayer to close the memorial lesson.

Leaders: Jean Seiler 318; Leon Pulsinelle 498; Dean Jens 341; Miriam Delirium 235; Susan Bingham 159; Joyce Smith 401; Coleman Durkee 85; Lamar Matthew 157. Gina Balestracci led 180 as a grace before dismissing the class for dinner on the grounds.


Terry Ryan called the class back to order by leading 106. Leaders: Miriam Delirium 107; Guy Bankes 120; Stefani Priscos 548; Ina Shea 438; Harry Scott 192; Rachel Hall 340; Jeff Gauthier 236; Elsa Phemayotin 58; Rachel Speer 441; Linda Bennett 269; Eric Xu 477; Barbara Hohenstein 302; Dann Pell 209; Joyce Smith 312b; John Hughes 112; Evan Druce 228.


Singing resumed with Gina Balestracci leading 155. Leaders: Sarah Leitao 378t; Dean Jens 486; David Smead 351; Barbara Swetman 475; Jean Seiler 299; Lamar Matthew 154; Susan Bingham 63; Leon Pulsinelle and Guy Bankes 391; Sue Peters 32t; Terry Ryan 344; Laura Densmore 349; Roland Hutchinson 524; Gina Balestracci 506; Joyce Smith 504; Eric Xu 502; Barbara Hohenstein 183; Jeff Gauthier 384; Lisa Bennett 348t; John Hughes 377; Evan Druce 117; David Smead 521.

Announcements were made. Gina Balestracci invited the other officers to join her in leading 62, after which Lamar Matthew offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Gina Balestracci; Vice Chairman—Susan Bingham; Secretary—Claire Simon