Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Ted Mercer Memorial Singing

Kilbourn Park Fieldhouse, Chicago, Illinois

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Chicago Sacred Harp Singers hosted a memorial singing for Theodore C. “Ted” Mercer, Jr., at Kilbourn Park Fieldhouse in Chicago. Ted died August 4, 2022.

After Lisa Grayson opened the singing, chaplain Wendy Wahn led the class in prayer. Lisa welcomed the class, then announced that the singing would be from the 1991 Revision and Shenandoah Harmony, since Ted preferred that both books be used at the Midwest Convention. She added that the singing would not be a standard one: there would be no memorial lesson or officers.

The arranging committee (Carolyn Deacy, Judy Hauff, Marcia Johnson) called several leaders, then Ted’s younger brother John Mercer of North Carolina spoke movingly and amusingly about the many facets of his brother.

The arranging committee called leaders. Ted’s housemates, Erick Alexeyev and Lee Beaty, joined by household dog Comet, shared memories of Ted. This was followed by a brief recess.

John Seaton brought the class back; the arranging committee called leaders. Marcia Johnson spoke about Ted and told a joke about how he knew everyone. Wendy Wahn said grace, and class was dismissed for a catered meal for one hour. Many in attendance viewed the slide show of Ted prepared by his brother David Mercer.

After the class reconvened, the arranging committee continued to call leaders. Lisa Grayson shared memories of Ted as a travel companion. The class broke for a short recess, then resumed singing under the arranging committee.

Judy Hauff offered the final prepared remembrance of Ted. She then led her composition “Chelton,” dedicated to Ted Mercer, after which several people offered further stories of Ted’s influence on them and on Sacred Harp.

Carolyn Deacy; Lisa Grayson; Judy Hauff; Marcia Johnson; Mary Rose O’Leary; Kris Richardson; and John Seaton led the class in taking the Parting Hand with song 62. Chaplain Wendy Wahn closed the memorial with a benediction.

Chairperson—Lisa Grayson; Chaplain—Wendy Wahn