Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Midwest Convention

Chicago, Illinois

May 29-30, 1999

Saturday, May 29

The fourteenth annual Midwest Sacred Harp Singing Convention opened at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 29, 1999 at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago, Illinois with Chairman D.J. Hatfield leading song on page 59. Herb Schroeder led the morning prayer.

Leaders: Ann Heider and Steve Warner 171; David Barford 65; Kathy Krug 217; Phillip Trier 268; Nathan Barford 260; Jim Swanson 29t; Presley Barker 218; Martha Henderson 288; Susan Harcrow 186; Sarah Davie 384; Roy Nelson 316; Bill Beverly 133; Don Bowen and Rodney Ivey 99 (for Bill Waddington).

RECESS

The morning session resumed with Chairman D.J. Hatfield leading song on page 270, followed by Lee Rogers with song on page 475.

A business meeting was held, and the following officers were elected or appointed: Chairpersons—Ann Heider and Steve Warner; Vice Chairpersons—Melanie Hauff and Kris Richardson; Secretary—Henry Schuman; Assistant Secretary—Cathryn Baker; Arranging Committee—Marcia Johnson, Lisa Grayson, Jerry Enright, and Jerilyn Schumacher; Memorial Committee—Connie Karduck, Wendy Wahn, Buell Cobb, and Shelbie Sheppard; Finance Committee—Judy Mincey, Don Bowen, Kiri Miller, Jim Pfau, and Scott DePoy; Resolutions Committee—Keith Willard, Martha Beverly, Mark Miller, and Carolyn Deacy; Chaplain—Herb Schroeder.

Leaders: Ted Mercer 132; Lisa Grayson 430; Brad Hunnicutt 35; Michael Darby 135; Karen Buche 421; Jeremy York, Chandler York, and Aurelia Miller 350; Mary Florence Smith 91; Linda Sides 480; David Wright 200; George Seiler 68b; Kit Pfau 48t; Johanna Fabke 312b; Mark Miller 300; Eloise Clark 47t; Floy Wilder 187; Linda Thomas 299.

RECESS

Ann Heider and Steve Warner brought the class back together leading song on page 52t. Leaders: Wendy Wahn 56b; John Seaton 34b; Daphene Causey 198; Cindy Franklin 362; Scott Schroeder 87; Elene Stovall 436; James Nelson Gingerich 454; Judy Hauff 434; Pam Nunn 528; Rodney Ivey 137; Julie Vea 142; Jerry Enright 222 (for Coy Ivey); Jessica Roberts 215; Dean Slaton 460; Reba Windom 196; Jeff Sheppard 220; Kathy Williams 455; Gary Gronau 112; Jackie Tanner 208; Fred Todt 40. Herb Schroeder led the class in a blessing for lunch.

LUNCH

The afternoon session was called together by Melanie Hauff and Kris Richardson leading song on page 148. Leaders: Al Frank 113; Barbara Swetman 313b; Rebecca Browne “Sixty-Five South” (by Dan Gibbons); Ted Johnson “Boulder” (by Ted Johnson); Jim Pfau 396; Jerilyn Schumacher 369; John Bayer 53; Connie Karduck 498; David Lee 503; Brad Oglesby 39b; Sue Kessell 236; Jesse Roberts, Jr. 344; Richard Popp 536; Regina Bayer, Hans Bayer, and Jubal Bayer 512; Jean Seiler 492.

RECESS

Henry Schuman brought the class to order leading song on page 32t. Leaders: Paul Wyatt 28b; Luke Barker 146; Val Eng 474; Herb Schroeder 102; Stephen Parker 504; Bonnie Flowers 458; Ruth Brown 36b; Carol Crawford 155; Walter Graff 287; Kathryn Bowers 497; Louis Hughes 565; Jeannette DePoy 542; Cynthia Kissee 191; Eleanor Haase 352; Louise Holland 37b; Larue Allen 302; Gary Smith 569 (t? b?); Ginny Huszagh 276; Laura Akerman 192.

Ann Heider and Steve Warner closed the afternoon session with announcements concerning the evening social. Chaplain Herb Schroeder dismissed the class with prayer.

Sunday, May 30

The Sunday morning session began at 9:30 a.m. in Ida Noyes Hall of the University of Chicago with Chairpersons Ann Heider and Steve Warner leading song on page 59. Chaplain Herb Schroeder led the opening prayer.

Leaders: Kiri Miller 163t; Dick Dunagan and Val Dunagan 271t; Patricia Butterfield 181; Beverly Enright 543; Gretchen Pfau 178; Gene Hauptmann 63; John Seaton 47t; Bill Hamblin 106; Suzanne Flandreau 297; Kelly Brest Van Kempen 335; Berkley Moore 195; Gladys Epting 87; Jim Page 24t; Dave Ressler 216; Jenny Willard 318; Matthew Lind 299.

RECESS

Melanie Hauff and Kris Richardson called the class back to order leading song on page 146. Leaders: Charlie Obert “The Happy Alto” (by Charlie Obert); Judy Mincey 475; Pearl Guier 45t; Estelle Flowers 434; John Bealle 442; Teenie Moody 410t; Gordon Olson 547; Sarah Smith 159; Matt Wells 39t; Carolyn Deacy 290; Steven Schmidgall “Not Made With Hands”; Laura Russell 72b.

RECESS

Henry Schuman reconvened the class leading song on page 89. Leaders: Anna Pfau 361; Chris Thorman 189; Wendy Popp 472.

A Memorial Lesson was held. Connie Karduck began the memorial by reading the list of the deceased: Cecil Gilliland, Alice Washburn, Mae Seymour, Maude Keeton, and Flossie Jones—Alabama; Don Jolly—California; Ethel Klein and Gertrude Teusink—Florida; Horace DeLong, Mary Frances Dannels, Roxy Duffy, and Jerry Sheppard—Georgia; Janet Borman, Marge Ogren Anderson, Dolores Doss, Tony Colon, Henry Knepler, Andrew Thomas Berry, Mary Salzer, and Lawrence Joseph Steger—Illinois; Richard Allison—Indiana; John Fleagle—Massachusetts; Thomas Perry, Ernie Mishler, Florence Becker, Karen Wiard, and Ruth Wyatt—Minnesota; Cleo Hawkins—Mississippi; John Anthony Fries—Missouri; Nicole Schnarr—New Jersey; Ursula Woodfield—New York; F. Sawyer—Ohio; Anna Jacob—Pennsylvania; Ruth Christensen, Bertha Christensen, Leonard Schlenker, Robert Mason, Mabel Baloun, and Esther Thingelstad—South Dakota; Margaret Wright—Tennessee; Ruth Noel—Washington; Lucille Vea—Wisconsin; Ted Pankey, Tom Parounek, and Shirley Boskey—state unknown; Jarlath Concannon—Ireland; Gernt van Eysden—The Netherlands; Roland Seaton—United Kingdom.

Buell Cobb spoke for the deceased of Alabama and Georgia. “When I first started singing Sacred Harp, about 35 years ago, there were very few names on the memorial list that I knew. As I circulated throughout the existing Sacred Harp territory, I came to know most of those names. Now, again, when I go to singings there are many names on the list that I don’t know, and that is less a testimony of how little I get out anymore than how much our territories have expanded. In that we rejoice and take great heart.

Two of the names that come to me are Don and Marilou Jolly from San Diego. I met them here at the Midwest Convention some years ago and instantly fell in love with them, as we often do with people in such sessions. They came south and sang with us. In April of 1997, I got a short letter from Marilou saying that we’re coming to the National Convention and we’re getting in on Wednesday night. “What can we do to help you?” That was entirely typical of them. They closed the note saying that they were so happy. Almost immediately she contracted a very aggressive form of cancer and died in early June. We greatly miss them! It was Marilou who was the singer of the two. Don came along with her, he participated, but Marilou was the one who took great joy in it. But Don, in her absence, became a real singer. When I was out in Los Angeles for the All-California Convention in January, he drove from San Diego to Los Angeles to participate; and now suddenly we find that Don has died. Very much like Marilou, he contracted a very fast form of cancer and died. That reminds me of a little bit about the human condition that we acknowledge and observe when we have the memorial lesson. These are the things that are expected of us, even anticipated, and so much surprise us both in terms of gain and loss. It catches us unaware.

Of the names that have been read here, you will recognize many of these people. I think in particular of good old soldier stalwarts in the Sacred Harp cause: Mae Seymour, Jerry Sheppard, and Horace DeLong. Horace DeLong was 92 years of age, and what a lovely man he was!

I’m going to sing the song on page 390, New Prospect, and would like to bring your attention to this song, written by W.S. Turner, an itinerant Methodist preacher. His father, J.R. Turner, gave us Confidence (270) and Monroe (370). But look at the date (on New Prospect)—1866. Think of what loss they suffered in their time and out of that he gave us this beautiful song. I commented on this some years ago in a memorial lesson at another convention. As we sing in their memory here today, our hope is that it will be sung with the same meaning as over a hundred years ago, and with the peace that is depicted in the last verse of this song”.

Melanie Hauff led the song on page 368 for the others on the list of the deceased.

Wendy Wahn read the list of sick and shut-ins: Marie Ivey, Virgil Phillips, Ruby Phillips, Woodie Walker, Jap Walton, and Joyce Walton—Alabama; Sara Curry—California; Dorothy Garber and Susan Garber—Connecticut; Gerrie DeLong, Mozelle Sheppard, and Allene Stanford—Georgia; Janet Fraembs, Marilyn Nehring, Bob Hillis, Josephine Mead, Pam Eckley, and Bill Hackney—Illinois; David Sours and Jay Featherstone—Michigan; Bernice Embry and Hugh Bill McGuire—Mississippi; Marie Davie and Helen Stevens—Minnesota; Joanne Mahler and Cindy Shely—Missouri; Scott Strong—New Jersey; Janet Burn—Pennsylvania; Hubert Anderson—Tennessee; William J. Reynolds—Texas.

Shelbie Sheppard spoke and led song on page 327 for the sick and shut-ins. “Many of you have heard me say many times what a privilege it has been to sing with a lot of great people, a lot of people that are in this room, and we start naming names and we forget to mention some. But it is a privilege to sing with you. You are a great singer now and it’s our privilege to sing with you and we appreciate that. The list of the sick and shut-ins is long and it doesn’t even begin to cover everyone that is sick, and if you have ever been sick you know how much this means to you to think that somebody is thinking of you. Some of us have been that way, and there are those of us now that are sick, so it is a privilege to sing for those persons.”

Jesse Roberts closed the memorial with prayer.

Leaders: Joseph Pimentel 107; Scott DePoy 282; Christine Stevens 74b; Martha Beverly 358; Marian Mitchell 147t; Donald Klein 466. The class was dismissed for lunch with a prayer by Chaplain Herb Schroeder.

LUNCH

The afternoon session was called together by Ann Heider and Steve Warner leading song on page 46. Leaders: Teddy Thomas 76b; Thomas Willard 36b; Felicia Stevens 56t; Dennis George 373; Beth Hoffman Reed 454; Henry Johnson 487; Marcia Johnson 283; Hannah Roberts 350; Dave Richardson 473; Louis Hughes, Jr. 448t; Sarah Harcrow 388; Syble Adams 171; Johnny Lee 566; Cassie Franklin 556; Shelbie Sheppard 269; Mary Rose O’Leary 179 (for Steven O’Leary).

RECESS

The afternoon session resumed with Melanie Hauff leading song on page 148. Leaders: Darlene Dalton 535b; Kate Lingley 117; John Plunkett 346; Lorena Moore 77 (t? b?); Diana Hauff Zwieg, Colleen Zwieg, and Maggie Dorn 114; Jon Gregg 347; Sandy Klein 209; Kate Lind 551; Carol Crawford 122; Cassie Franklin, Cindy Franklin, Dennis George, Sarah Harcrow, Susan Harcrow, Rodney Ivey, Henry Johnson, Linda Sides, Jackie Tanner, and Linda Thomas 270.

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

Judy Mincey reported for the Finance Committee. Sufficient funds were collected to defray all expenses.

Jerry Enright, on behalf of the Arranging Committee, reported the number of songs, leaders and states represented.

Mark Miller spoke for the Resolutions Committee, and gave the following report. We give thanks to: The Almighty for the opportunity to come together to sing, enjoy fellowship, and for the wonderful weather; Singers for coming from far and near-Dave Richardson was here from England; Local people who provided lodging, and the tasty and bountiful food; People who took the bus up so that Ruth Brown could come; The Irish American Heritage Center, the University of Chicago, and Sue Kessel and Kris Richardson for the excellent facilities for singing and socializing;

Elected officers, Chaplain, Arranging Committee for keeping us in line despite a boisterous ninety leaders in a day; Locating Committee, and other Committees for their efforts; Behind the scenes many people contributed to success. Suzanne Flandreau and her crew at registration; Jim Helke, Jerry Enright and the bus driver for set up; Dean Slaton for housing; Kris Richardson for paper goods; Ted Mercer and Melanie Hauff for fund raising; Lisa Grayson for design; Petrina Patti for facilities; and Ann Heider, Steve Warner, and crew for publicity;

Kudos to the kitchen-wizard, Kate Thomas, and her crew including Nathan Barford, Kate Lingley, and Nora Strommen; Ted Mercer for setting up and fixing the Sacred Harp Hot Line; Thanks to Pam Nunn, Reba Dell Windom, and Dave Ressler for providing much needed floor clean up; Next year we are considering appointment of a standing Zamboni committee; Pitchers—Jeff Sheppard, Richard DeLong, David Lee, Judy Hauff, and Jesse Roberts. Eric Zorn, of the Chicago Tribune, a special thanks for his informative article and for bringing new people to listen, learn, and perhaps, to sing.

Keith Willard said that ten years ago when he and his wife wanted to head south to learn about Sacred Harp and become immersed in its roots, Hugh McGraw sent him to Chicago. He found here not just Sacred Harp, but a tradition. Singers from the South come and meet singers from the North at this “gateway” convention; the tradition is extended and blessings are shared. Quoting from the front of the book, Keith said, “Resolved that this Convention always seek the old paths and walk therein.”

The business session was closed. Announcements were made of upcoming singings across the country.

After taking “The Parting Hand”, the class was dismissed with a prayer by Chaplain Herb Schroeder.

Chairpersons—Ann Heider and Steve Warner; Vice Chairpersons—Melanie Hauff and Kris Richardson; Secretary—Henry Schuman; Assistant Secretary—Cathryn Baker.