Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Minnesota State Singing Convention

St. Paul and Basswood Grove, Minnesota

September 19-20, 1998

Saturday, September 19

Merriam Lexington Presbyterian Church, St. Paul

Co-Chairs Paul Wyatt and Midge Olsen called the ninth Minnesota State Singing Convention to order leading song on page 171. Chaplain Gordon Olsen offered an opening prayer.

Leaders: Matt Wells 47t; Denise Kania 276; Stephen Parker 32t; Gene Hauptmann 29t; Jim Parsons 444; Karen Buche 421; Myles Alexander 299; Cindy Kissee 330b; Craig Wright 86; Keith Willard 100; Dean Slaton 179; Lisa Grayson 436; Walter Graff 101t; Eleanor Haase 352; James Page 451; Kathy Kaiser 203; Steven Schmidgall 496; Connie Karduck 548.


The class was called back to order by Shelley Robbins leading song on page 82t . Leaders: Michael Shewmaker 117; Kathy Wallace 315; Gordon Olsen 344; Anna Pfau 198; Thomas Willard 106; Felicia Stevens 56t; Paul Landskroener 288; Julie Vea 383; Brad Hunnicutt 133; Frances Mendenhall 228; John Bailey 475; Wendy Popp 472; Charlie Obert 142; Martha Henderson 176t; Gary Gronau 362; Reba Dell Windom 192; Jerry Enright 272; Val Eng 474; Ted Mercer 328.


Jenny Willard called the class back together leading song on page 46. Leaders: Carol Buche 143; Berkley Moore 378 (t? b?); Carol Crawford 70 (t? b?); Judy Mincey 538; Dick Levine 440; Syble Adams 99; Midge Olsen 454.

Co-Chairs Midge Olsen and Paul Wyatt called a business session to elect next year’s officers. The following officers were elected or appointed: Co-Chairs—Martha Henderson and Keith Willard; Secretary—Stephen Parker; Treasurer—Matt Wells; Arranging Committee—Jim Pfau and Bill Waddington; Memorial Committee—Kit Pfau and Syble Adams; Chaplain—Gordon Olsen.

Chaplain Gordon Olsen offered grace for the noon meal.


Bill Waddington and Jim Pfau called the class back into session leading song on page 52t. Leaders: Maryann Corbett 159; Charles Scudder 515; Alice Love 551; Sarah Davie 384; Robin Fox and Mary Rose O’Reilly 441; Shelley Robbins 218; Dave Ressler 181; Meg Parsons 217; Greta Eckhardt 178; Kit Pfau 34b; Scott Schroeder and Stephen Parker 504; Christine Stevens 411; Becky Browne 304; Steven Levine 350; Jenny Willard 36b; Judy Hauff 448t; Ted Mercer 186.


Martha Henderson called the class back together leading song on page 277. Leaders: Dan Housepian 455; Bill Waddington 503; John Rebischke 268; James Page 216; Judy Mincey 347; Matt Wells 300; Frances Mendenhall 532; Gary Gronau 385t; Lisa Grayson 378b; Julie Vea 208; Syble Adams 39t; Denise Kania 547; Reba Dell Windom 542; Jerry Enright 271t; Paul Wyatt 182.

Midge Olsen and Paul Wyatt led song on page 146 as the closing song. Gordon Olsen led the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Sunday, September 20

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Basswood Grove

Approximately thirty singers from the convention began the day by singing in St. Mary’s Episcopal Church regular service as a means of expressing thanks to the church for hosting the convention. A copy of “The Sacred Harp” was presented to the congregation to commemorate the occasion.

Co-Chairs Midge Olsen and Paul Wyatt called the convention to order leading song on page 40. Leaders: Martha Henderson 48t; Keith Willard 39t; Eleanor Haase 327; Robin Fox 150; Tony Parke 299; Gordon Olsen 163b; Christine Stevens 74b; Matt Wells 497; Scott Schroeder 149; Carol Buche 122; Michael Shewmaker 84; Frances Mendenhall 236; Gene Hauptmann 148; Greta Eckhardt 56b; Gary Gronau 430.


The class was brought back together by Meg Parsons leading song on page 155. Leaders: Kathy Wallace 77 (t? b?); Charlie Obert “Lynnhurst” (his own composition using words from Lloyd’s Primitive Hymns); Gretchen Pfau 312b; Myles Alexander 550; Carol Crawford 117; Steven Schmidgall 571 (Cooper Book); Diana Hauff Zweig 368; Dick Levine 228; Anna Pfau 99; James Page 254; Kathy Kaiser 341; Berkley Moore 145b; Lisa Grayson 522; Jim Parsons 313b.


The class was called back into session by Steven Levine leading song on page 52t.

The Memorial Lesson was given by Syble Adams who spoke about those who are deceased. Syble mentioned an old tombstone upon which these words appeared: “Remember me as you pass by. As you are now, so once was I. As I am now, so you will be. Prepare thyself to follow me”. She talked about how she has fond memories of people who used to sit in the square who are no longer there. We should not take our presence in the square for granted, but should give thanks for every day. While Syble read the names of the deceased, the class was asked to hum the song on page 235. After the list was read, she led the class in singing the words. The deceased remembered were: Mae Seymour, Annie B. Wyatt, and Jerry Sheppard—Alabama; Herman Aihara—California; Janet Borman and Frances Giunchedi—Illinois; Ruth Wyatt, Matt Bue, and Karen Wiard—Minnesota; Barbara Scudder—Nebraska; Norman Wersan—New Jersey; Ruth Christensen, Art Lee, Robert Mason, and Ester Thingelstad—South Dakota; Clifford Parsons—Tennessee; Rubin Douglas Nagler and Lucille Vea—Wisconsin; Gerrit van Eysden—The Netherlands; Marian Matters, Frances Goulet, and Cathy Winter—state not given.

Kit Pfau spoke for the sick and shut-in. Sickness is a lonely journey, because it reminds us of how we will eventually be separated from those we love. No one can go on that journey with us. We hope, however, that those who are sick and shut in feel their presence in our square, just as we feel them here with us. Kit read the names of the sick and shut-in, and then led song on page 159.

Those remembered were: J.V. Gilbert, Gerelene Gilbert, Lawrence Underwood, Lula Underwood, Jap Walton, Joyce Walton, and Woodie Walker—Alabama; Maurice Faubion—Arizona; Sara Curry—California; Ethel Klein—Florida; Mozelle Sheppard, Horace DeLong, I. V. Mc Whorter, and Roy Wyatt—Georgia; Karen Hojnacki—Illinois; Delle Jacobs, Maggie Novak, and Helen Stevens—Minnesota; Arlie Prokop—Nebraska; Sara Nagler—Wisconsin; Bernice Haiwick, Barb Olsen, and Scott Strong—state unknown. The Memorial Lesson was closed.

Leaders: Ted Mercer 434; Reba Dell Windom 224; Stephen Parker 31t; Judy Hauff 536; Walter Graff 39b.

Chaplain Gordon Olsen said grace, and the class was dismissed for lunch.


The singing resumed with Christine Stevens leading song on page 107. Leaders: Jerry Enright 377; Alice Love 65; Cindy Kissee 42; Dean Slaton 195; Wendy Popp 215; John Bailey 535b; Julie Vea 385t; Connie Karduck 391; Keith Willard 278b; Syble Adams and Reba Dell Windom 505 (Cooper Book); Denise Kania 137; Dave Ressler 216; Meg Parsons 384; Becky Browne 163t; Jenny Willard 564; Steven Levine 82t; Judy Mincey 540; Val Eng 528; Midge Olsen 66.


Robin Fox brought the class back to order leading song on page 35. Leaders: Karen Buche 501; Jeff Bell 290; Mark Ellenberger 421; Sarah Davie 45t; Kathy Kaiser 47b; Dick Levine 68b; Greta Eckhardt 556; Becky Browne 436; Dave Ressler 29t; Syble Adams 460; Judy Mincey 34t; Reba Dell Windom 196; Paul Wyatt 373.

A business session was held for the purpose of hearing various reports.

The Arranging Committee and the Secretary reported there were fourteen states represented: Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota, Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts, Michigan, Iowa, New Jersey, Missouri, Maryland, and Minnesota.

Treasurer Matt Wells reported that funds collected just covered expenses for the convention. Eloise Jerome’s crocheted afghan was raffled for more than $200, and was won by Janet Crosby.

Judy Mincey presented the Resolutions Committee report: “In a spirit of gratitude and reverence to our gracious God, who brought us together and made this singing possible, we resolve as follows: We thank Co-Chairs Midge Olsen and Paul Wyatt for their exceptional work, and the other committees: to Denise Kania for organizing the food; Carol Buche and Karen Buche for the beverages, with special thanks to Bill Waddington and “Tea Source”; to the Arranging Committee, Jim Pfau and Bill Waddington; to Christine Stevens and Val Eng for child care; to Stephen Parker, our recording Secretary; to Gordon Olsen, our Chaplain; to Martha Henderson and Cindy Kissee for registration set-up; and to Marlene Levine for handling registration; to Eloise Jerome for our beautiful afghan; to Keith Willard for building the acoustic wall; to Paul Wyatt and Steve Schmidgall and the bratwurst committee; to Matt Wells, our Treasurer and Publicity Committee Chair; to our Hygiene Committee: Shelley Robbins and Jenny Willard; to the Sanitation Committee: Kit Pfau, Jim Parsons, and Mary Ann Corbett; to Steve Levine, Chairman of the Enthusiasm Committee; to Cathy Lutz, Kathy Wallace, and Walt Graff for cleanup; to Stephanie Digby for sale table set-up; for the Memorial Committee: Kit Pfau and Syble Adams; for the flyer, Kathy Wallace and Midge Olsen; to Karen Buche and Carol Buche who hosted the Saturday evening social; to Robin Fox, who organized housing, and to all those local singers who graciously hosted out-of-town guests; to the people of Merriam Lexington Presbyterian Church in St. Paul, Minnesota and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church of Basswood Grove, Minnesota who lent us their spaces. Thanks to the Minnesota Sacred Harp Singers for their hospitality, and to all our fellow singers from out of town who traveled from across the country to gather in joyous and powerful song.

Announcements of upcoming singings were given.

The class was dismissed with prayer.

Co-Chairs: Midge Olsen and Paul Wyatt; Secretary—Stephen Parker.