Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Pacific Northwest Convention — Washington

Sunset Hill Community Club, Seattle, Washington

February 21-22, 1998

Saturday, February 21

The seventh annual session of the Washington portion of the Pacific Northwest Convention began on Saturday, February 21, at 9:30 a.m. when the class was called to order by Chairman David Hough leading song on page 32t. The opening prayer was given by Joanne Hoover. A brief business session was held and affirmed current officers in their positions for another year.

Karen Willard introduced Johnny and Delorese Lee, David and Kathy Lee, Clarke and Julie Lee to the singers, and an old-time Hoboken-style Singing School was begun. All of the songs on Saturday were from the Cooper Book edition.

The six members of the Lee family sang 101t for Uncle Silas Lee, in “meeting house” style. David Lee described a typical 2.5 hour evening “Sing” would always begin by singing the scale, and Clarke Lee led the class in doing so. Members of the class were then arranged for a “drone” sung to 275b. David Lee explained the steps in how to “walk time” for Common Time, Compound Time, and Triple Time; cautioned the class on the unequal beat lengths in Triple Time; demonstrated counting rests; and pointed out how we should “keep our time” between singing the notes and beginning the words. Clarke Lee led 145b, a 2/4 common time song; 218, a 4/4 common time fuge; 64, a 6/8 compound time song; 154b, a 6/4 compound time song; 138t, a 3/4 triple time song; 138b, a 3/4 triple time song; and 108, a 6/4 compound time song.

RECESS

Johnny Lee brought the class back to order by leading song on page 47t. David Lee invited the class to stand and move close to one another, sing any harmony part desired or invented, and to sing words only on the following: 68t; 47b; 49b; 48t; 32t; and 82. Students were assembled in the square to learn how to walk time while the class sang: 348, “an old time walking song we used to learn on” in 2/4 common time; 378t, a 6/8 compound time song; 59, a 4/4 common time song; and 45t, a 3/4 triple time song. Craig Brandis gave the blessing as the class dismissed for dinner.

LUNCH

Kathy Lee and Julie Lee brought the class back to order leading song on page 500. The Lee family sang 27 “meeting house” style. The rest of the afternoon was structured as the “Sings” in Hoboken, Georgia used to be, with singers calling out songs for Clarke Lee as Song Leader, and with both Clarke and David Lee walking time: 155, 427, 559, 401, 159, 557, 335, 239, 43, 118, 128, 54t, 222, 132, 444t.

RECESS

The Hoboken-style “Sing” resumed with 282, 283t, 224, and 563. At 3:00 p.m. David Lee and Clarke Lee ended their School with 444b. After announcements, closing song 371 was led by Chairman David Hough and the closing prayer was offered by Craig Brandis.

Saturday Afternoon, February 21

At 4:30 p.m. a number of singers assembled informally to sing the following, as Clarke Lee or David Lee pitched and set the tempo: 393t, 392, 38t, 478, 571, 516, 518 (the long version), 572, 505, 229, 410, 336t, 411, 522, 120, 84, 135, 133. This concluded the singing for the first day of the convention.

Sunday, February 22

The Sacred Harp, 1991 Revision” edition was the predominantly used book on Sunday although some songs were sung from the “Blue Book” (Cooper Book). Where songs were led from the Cooper edition, a (C) follows the page number.

David Hough called the class together at 9:30 a.m. leading song on page 59. Chaplain Jim Friedrich led the opening prayer. Leaders: Joanne Hoover 34b; Kathy Vlach 46; Ken Cofield 82t; Susan Helf 66; Anne Huckins 114; Gary Plouff 65; Jinx McGuire, Ann Lindeke and Frank Lindeke 178; Katharine Hough 373; Jim Brock 84; Marcia Stedman 497; John Carson 324; Darlene Simpson-Brown 39b; David Lee 454; Sandy Hill 369; Bruce Rowland 384; Anita Landess 503 (for Don Bowen); Johnny Lee and Delorese Lee 573 (C); Marie Brandis 480; David Hough 371; members of the Lee family led 138t (C) “meeting house” style.

RECESS

Katharine Hough brought the class back leading song on page 569. Leaders: Jim Friedrich 163t; Gary Smith 31t; Sharon Kermiet 474; Rick Russell 448t; Sarah Smith 406; Jack Lofton 53; Seth Holloway 354b.

Memorial Lesson: Reed Schilbach, after speaking of her conviction that the spirit and emotion we put into our songs reaches those who are absent and we miss and that they can thus hear and share in our singing, led 122 for the following sick and shut-In: California—Sally Davis, Dario Landazuri, Marty Rinze, Susan Turpin; Oregon—Betty Chamberlain, Gerry Currens; New Mexico—Dodge Wiggins; Colorado—Merrilla Wells; Wisconsin—Evern Miller; Washington—Jack Aldrich. Sharon Kermiet, explaining that many of the Sacred Harp songs give us the opportunity to contemplate death, noted that each day that passes is one less day left to us in which to sing. She concluded by pointing out that when we die we’ll never turn back again, and led 378b for the following who have died: California—Isabelle Carrion, Marilou Jolly, Peter Rydell, and Leon Wilson; Washington—Ada Downs, Duane Cavanaugh, and Agnes Soderberg; Oregon—Michael Ditson and Milo Minato; Colorado—Barry Sullivan; Pennsylvania—Germaine Lacy; Arizona—Pat Farley; Alabama—Mamie Creel.

Leaders: Clarke Lee 326; Carla Smith 260; Jean Murphy 380; Laura Russell 140; Craig Brandis 58; Carolyn Deacy 290; Shannon McGuire 504; Mryka Hall-Beyer 327; Jerry Schreiber “Happy Birthday” for Carla Smith, 236. Craig Brandis gave the blessing as we adjourned for dinner.

LUNCH

Karen Willard called the class back with song on page 175. Leaders: Kathy Lee 171; Midge Harder and Julie Lee 393 (C); David Jensen 86; Anne Friend 277; Shelley Phillips 148; James Green 47; Jean Marcotte 146; Kelly Brest van Kemper 30b; Karen Willard 137 (C); Johnny Lee 72b; Karen Stingle 254; Iona Singleton 159; Julie Lee 276; Marcia Cutler 28b; Suzanne Denker 180; Paul Robinson 280; Audrey Karabinus 198; members of the Lee family 47b (C) “meeting house” style; Marie Brandis 515; the Lee family led the class in “Sweet Hour of Prayer”; Roberta Hartley 535; Reed Schilbach 312b; David Landazuri 288; Tim Shepard 48t; Jan Evans 49b; Kris Long 46; Ellen Webber 203; Marianne Costello 37t; Alicia Ferong 301; Jack Lofton 455; Carla Smith 376; Mryka Hall-Beyer 352; Laura Russell 545; Carolyn Deacy 299; Jerry Schreiber 362.

A business session was held. The Treasurer reported that all expenses had been met; the PNWSHS Board reported that the next recipient of the Travel Scholarship is Bruce Rowland of Sandy (near Portland), Oregon; the headcounters reported convention attendance as follows: Washington 53; Oregon 19; California 12; Georgia 6; Colorado 3; Alabama 2; and 1 each from Illinois, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Alberta, Canada.

Jerry Schreiber, Suzanne Denker, and Susan Helf of the Resolutions Committee “Resolved that all those assembled for the Pacific North West Convention—Washington extend sincere thanks to first, our Creator, for sharing His love and giving us this foretaste of Heaven and bringing us together in this loving community” and thanked by name all who had worked to make this weekend happen successfully, “in particular those who brought children, in the hope that they too will be imbued with a love of this music. Finally, thanks go to all those singers who have gone before and preserved this music and its traditions for us. With special thanks to the members of the Lee Family for coming so far, for the excellent singing school, and for sharing their very special tradition with us.”

Chairman David Hough led 62, inviting all who wished, to take the parting hand. Chaplain Jim Friedrich gave the closing prayer.

Chairman—David Hough; Treasurer—Katharine Hough; Secretary—Karen Willard.