Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Australian Sacred Harp Convention

Brunswick Uniting Church Hall, Melbourne, Australia

January 25-26, 2020

Saturday, January 25

The 5th Sacred Harp Singing Convention in Australia was held in Melbourne on the weekend closest to Australia Day (January 26). Meg Quinlisk led 47t and welcomed everyone. Peter Rayner made an Acknowledgement of Country, and offered the opening prayer.

Natalie Sims taught an introductory singing school, providing an overview on the shapes, major and minor triads, repeats, leading, time signatures and singing etiquette. Natalie Sims led 45t.

Leaders: Ruth McNamara 31t; Thomas MacDonald 26; Meg Quinlisk 99; Caitlin McHugh 47b; Natalie Sims 354t; Lauren Reader 460; Madeleine Griffeth 448t; Peter Rayner 34b; Dianne Porter 46.

A business session was held and the following officers and committee members were elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—Morag Logan; Secretary—Lauren Reader; Chaplain—Peter Rayner; Treasurer—Christine Durbridge; Arranging Committee—Melanie Albrecht and Ruth McNamara; Food Coordination—Helen Rowe and Jim Kilpatrick.

Leaders: Morag Logan 472; Ruby Foster 350; Evelyn Saylor 30t; Caitlin Jay 53; Elaena Gardner 42.


Morag Logan led 178 to bring the class back to order. Leaders: Shawn Whelan 503; Ruth McNamara 49t; Thomas MacDonald 112; Meg Quinlisk 432; Daniel Whelan 168; Caitlin McHugh 127; Natalie Sims 312t; Lauren Reader 485; Peter Rayner 148; Dianne Porter 122; Elaena Gardner 506; Ruby Foster 299; Evelyn Saylor 545; Morag Logan 367; Caitlin Jay 270; Madeleine Griffeth 344; Shawn Whelan 474; Ruth McNamara 481; Thomas MacDonald 280; Meg Quinlisk 380. Peter Rayner asked a blessing of the noon meal.


Daniel Whelan led 107 to bring the class back to order. Leaders: Caitlin McHugh 401; Myfanwy Godfrey 277; Natalie Sims 457; Lauren Reader 531; Peter Rayner 532; Elaena Gardner and Philippa Stevens 213b; Ruby Foster 524; Dianne Porter 49b; Evelyn Saylor 383; Morag Logan 198; Caitlin Jay 376; Madeleine Griffeth 56b; Shawn Whelan 430.

The memorial lesson was conducted by Jim Kilpatrick. The following sick and shut-ins were named: Jennifer Jones, Geraldine Fynn, Meg’s brother, George Franklin, and Julie Smith. Jim Kilpatrick led 70t. The following deceased were remembered and honoured: Roma Wood, Allan Walters, Margaret Perrin, Uncle Phil Cooper, and Charm Matyson. Jim Kilpatrick led 163b.

Leaders: Meg Quinlisk 200; Ruth McNamara 540; Thomas MacDonald 550; Daniel Whelan 551; Caitlin McHugh 54; Myfanwy Godfrey 146; Natalie Sims 448b.


Lauren Reader led 410t to bring the class back to order. Leaders: Peter Rayner 183; Philippa Stevens 74b; Elaena Gardner 142; Ruby Foster 553; Dianne Porter 143; Evelyn Saylor 410b; Morag Logan 442; Caitlin Jay 475; Madeleine Griffeth 282; Shawn Whelan and Maggie Murphy 268; Thomas MacDonald 245; Caitlin McHugh 254; Ruby Foster 236; Elaena Gardner 106. Morag Logan thanked those who worked to make the first day of the convention happen. Announcements were made. Morag Logan led 302 as the closing song. Peter Rayner offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Sunday, January 26

The Sunday session of the Australian Sacred Harp Convention was brought to order by Morag Logan leading 312b. Peter Rayner offered an Acknowledgement of Country, and the opening prayer.

A brief business session was held and the following officers were appointed to serve: Deputy Treasurer—Myfanwy Godfrey; Resolutions Officer—Shawn Whelan.

Leaders: Evelyn Saylor 30b, 345b; Meg Quinlisk 467, 435; Ruth McNamara 348t, 284; Elaena Gardner 66, 106; Caitlin Jay 294, 372; Myfanwy Godfrey 117, 146; Peter Rayner 159, 72b; Lisa Haynes 276, 455.


Shawn Whelan led ‘Brunswick’ by Angharad Davis and ‘Tune My Heart’ by Shawn Whelan to bring the class back to order. Leaders: Morag Logan 171, 209; Philippa Stevens 213b; Philippa Stevens and Meg Quinlisk 94; Melanie Albrecht 47b, 547; Thomas MacDonald 58, 67; Don Warren and Alda Balthrop-Lewis 70b, 162; Caitlin McHugh 311, 504; Natalie Sims 138t, 316; Lauren Reader 131b, 84; Ruby Foster 436, 478; Evelyn 89, 564.


Meg Quinlisk led 108b and 224 to bring the class back to order. Leaders: Lauren Reader, Ruth McNamara, Maggie Murphy, and Naomi Colville 288; Elaena Gardner, Meg Quinlisk, Ruby Foster, Tom MacDonald, Caitlin Jay, Caitlin McHugh, and Philippa Stevens 505; Meg Quinlisk, Jill Griffiths, Elaena Gardner, Shawn Whelan, Alda Balthrop-Lewis, Morag Logan, and Evelyn Saylor 110; Shawn Whelan 454; Thomas MacDonald 189; Caitlin McHugh 495; Natalie Sims 269; Lauren Reader 36b; Ruby Foster 318.

In a business session, the Resolutions Officer 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 outgoing chairman and to those who served as officers for their work to support the convention.

The Secretary reported that forty-seven singers attended the convention. Twenty-four leaders from four Australian states and territories and two countries led one hundred twenty-six songs.

The Chairman, on behalf of the Treasurer, 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 resolved to use remaining donations to further explore the establishment of a fund to support participation in singings, such as travel and accommodation assistance and the purchase of additional songbooks. Announcements were made and it was resolved to gather again next year in Sydney on the weekend closest to Australia Day (=23-=24 January 2021) to reconvene the Australian Sacred Harp Convention.

Morag Logan led 62. Peter Rayner offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Morag Logan; Secretary—Lauren Reader