Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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University of Chicago Anniversary Singing

Friends’ Meeting House, Chicago, Illinois

October 30, 1999

The second session of the University of Chicago Anniversary Singing was called to order at 11:30 a.m. by outgoing Chairman Mark Miller leading song on page 99. After welcoming remarks were given, Jim Swanson led the class in prayer.

Leaders: Kiri Miller 270; Kate Lingley 59; Jim Swanson “Sessions” (CB); Marcia Johnson 440; Jim Page “South Dakota” (by Jim Page); Bill Beverly 52 (t? b?).

A short business meeting was conducted with the following officers elected or appointed to serve: Chair—Kiri Miller; Vice Chair—Kate Lingley; Secretary—Mark Miller; Chaplain—Jim Swanson; Arranging Committee—Mark Miller; Memorial Committee—Suzanne Flandreau and Jim Swanson; Resolutions Committee—Cathryn Baker; Finance Committee—Dean Slaton.

Leaders: John Seaton 47t; Berkley Moore “Lingham” (ACH); Cathryn Baker “Boulder” (by Ted Johnson); Dave Stockwell 63; Doug Stapleton 66; Pete Ellertsen “Devizes” (NHC).

RECESS

Kate Lingley brought the class to order leading song on page 178. Leaders: Suzanne Flandreau 274 (t? b?); Rosemary Greenaway 171; Martha Beverly “Palmetto” (CB); Dean Slaton 110; Ann Meczulski 378 (t? b?); Randy Neufeld 128.

Jim Swanson began the memorial lesson noting the importance in the Jewish tradition of sanctifying a space to be used for an important purpose, and its similarity to the manner in which singers are careful always to take time out of a singing, when they’d be happy to sing straight through, to sanctify time with the memorial lesson. He then expanded and inverted this relation between time, considered in human terms, measured in lives and deaths, and sanctification of it through the cessation of singing, saying that in a larger sense (i.e. not within the temporal confines of a singing), singing is an effective way to sanctify time, and with that, the passing of loved ones. He went on to recount music’s relation to the final moments of several of his friends and family members’ lives, and remarked on the value of that relationship and on the binding force of music on those who celebrated the deaths. Lastly, he read the list and led song on page 159 for the deceased: Lawrence Steger, Ted Storlie, Gerry Armstrong, Gladys Johanan—Illinois; Cleo Hawkins—Mississippi; Ethel Klein—Florida.

Suzanne Flandreau continued the lesson on behalf of the sick and shut in, emotionally recounting the wonderfulness and terribleness of her thirty years of singing, meeting singers, watching them pass away or into less active phases of their lives having gone from thinking the memorial lesson a somewhat mundane and not entirely welcome adjunct to the Sacred Harp tradition to considering it to be at the core. The extent to which she has been transformed was exemplified, she believed, by the fact that in her earlier years of singing she knew no one who was on the memorial lists, but at this day’s singing alone, she added five names herself, in addition to knowing a great many others. Sick and shut-ins: Linda Morris—Maryland; John Flandreau—New York; Bernice Embry, Hugh Bill McGuire, and Madeline Steel—Mississippi; Bob Scorgie and Nick Fabke—Wisconsin; John Bailey and Melanie Hauff—Illinois; Virgil Phillips and Ruby Philips—Alabama; Vivian Rogers—Georgia.

The memorial was closed.

Leaders: Jim Helke 186; Susan Geil 81 (t? b?); Bruce Holmes 147 (t? b?); Sue Kessel 146; Steve Warner 89; Ted Johnson 84.

LUNCH

Kiri Miller brought the class to order leading song on page 454. Leaders: Berkley Moore 179; Judy Hauff 332; Patrick McGuire 59; Steve Warner 203; Rosemary Greenaway 384; Kelly Brest van Kempen 312 (t? b?); Pete Ellertsen 89; Randy Neufeld 80 (t? b?); Dave Stockwell 155; Martha Beverly 212; Mark Miller 183; Marcia Johnson 436; Doug Stapleton 344; Jim Page 216; Jim Helke 501; Melanie Hauff 215; Bill Beverly 86; Ted Johnson 269; Ann Meczulski 339; Dean Slaton 348b; Jim Swanson 133; Susan Geil 410 (t? b?).

RECESS

Mark Miller brought the class to order leading song on page 267. Leaders: Martin Pergler 455; Ariel Weinburger 47b; Violet Stark 358; Rosemary Greenaway 163 (t? b?); Sue Kessel 236; Cathryn Baker 472; Ann Meczulski 361; Melanie Hauff 542; Bill Beverly 503; Martin Pergler 268.

RECESS

Kate Lingley brought the class to order leading song on page 196. Leaders: Suzanne Flandreau 148; Jim Page 550; Martha Beverly 430; Pete Ellertsen 473; Kelly Brest van Kempen 335; Berkley Moore 85; Judy Hauff 528; Patrick McGuire 49 (t? b?).

Chair Kiri Miller called for committee reports.

The finance committee reported that expenses for the singing had been met.

The Arranging Committee reported that 33 leaders had led 69 songs for 47 (t? b?) registries and approximately 55 attendees, some coming from Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ontario.

The Resolutions Committee gave the following report:

“Let us first resolve to be thankful to God for providing us with the gift of song with which to sing His praise... And whereas we could not enjoy such company or carry on the tradition and love of this music without dedicated people, let us resolve to be thankful for all those who have helped this fledgling Hyde Park group come to existence and carry on for these past two years. We would like to make a special resolution for Suzanne Flandreau who has tirelessly listened to our ideas and helped to shape them even more surely than we sometime named our notes... The weekly singings have also benefited greatly from the presence of Doug Stapleton and Bruce Holmes...The undergrads, especially the first year students, should be thanked...They have shown great persistence in coming each week to the singings in the neighborhood and even getting us to sing songs we don’t know, because they don’t know what we have sung a hundred times...Let’s be resolute in thanking the Chicago Sacred Harp Singers for all their assistance to us, morally, emotionally, and in actual task assistance... Which brings us to thankfulness and appreciation for all those who brought food, and those who enjoyed it...There are people who do lots of work to pull these singings off. To that end, let’s resolve to thank all the officers and committees. You who have come from downstate Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ontario are part of what helps maintain the links of our fellowship, much as circuit preachers once did for the singing schools in earlier times. So we much appreciate the time you have taken to join us in song and fellowship and hope to join you in your singings. We are mindful that the music is primarily for the praise of God and joy in the creation and that we are only here a short while, so we need to be mindful of how we live...”

The resolutions were approved for addition to the minutes of the singing by unanimous consent.

Announcements were made. Kiri Miller led song on page 347 as the closing song. Chaplin Jim Swanson dismissed the class with prayer.

Chairman—Kiri Miller; Vice Chairman—Kate Lingley; Chaplain—Jim Swanson; Secretary—Mark Miller.