Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Anniversary Singing

Irish American Heritage Center, Chicago, Illinois

January 9, 2000

The all day singing in celebration of the sixteenth anniversary of the Chicago Sacred Harp Singers was convened at 10:25 a.m. at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago. Chair Kris Richardson called the class to order leading song on page 142. Jim Swanson led the opening prayer. Suzanne Flandreau led song on page 276; Connie Karduck 475; Cathryn Baker 472; Jim Swanson 107; Kiri Miller 454.

Chair Kris Richardson called the class into a business session for the purpose of electing officers. The following officers were elected or appointed to serve: Chair—Suzanne Flandreau; Vice Chair—Dean Slaton; Secretary—Cathryn Baker; Chaplain—Jim Swanson; Arranging Committee—Mark Miller, Jerilyn Schumacher, and Doug Stapleton; Resolutions Committee—Kate Lingley and Ted Johnson; Memorial Committee—Kiri Miller, John Seaton, and Wendy Wahn; Finance Committee—Marcia Johnson, Jim Helke, and Dick Dunagan.

Leaders: Dick Dunagan and Val Dunagan 284; Al Frank 146; Berkley Moore 282; Kate Lingley 99; Gladys Epting 148; Lisa Grayson 383; Mark Miller 270; Becky Browne 362 (for Gary Gronau who could not come because of knee replacement surgery); John Seaton 47t; Joanna Fabke 378b; Wendy Wahn 269; Tony Reeves 300; Ted Mercer 376; Carol Crawford 164; Sue Kessel 304; Hugh Thomas 497; Samuel Sommers 422; Jeanette Lowry 183; Richard DeLong 403 (prefaced his leading with special thanks for care and attention during his time of grief at the death of his grandmother).


Dean Slaton brought the class to order leading song on page 501. Leaders: Dave Ressler 29t; Jim Helke 441; Jerry Enright 176b; James Page 505; Ann Heider 344; Herb Schroeder 332; Charlie Derleth 137; Bruce Holmes 147 (t? b?); John Bailey 436.

Chair Suzanne Flandreau called the class to order for the Founders’ Lesson. She recognized the nine “intrepid” founders of the Chicago Sacred Harp Singers who met in January sixteen years ago and laid the groundwork for us to gather together today in celebration. Three of the founders were present: Marcia Johnson, Ted Johnson, and Judy Hauff. These three briefly recounted the initial singing in a living room with chairs in rows, using a baton to lead the songs. They believe we have come very far since then and thanked the class for celebrating this anniversary. Marcia Johnson led song on 38b; Ted Johnson 485; Marcia Johnson 547; and Judy Hauff 368. This ended the Founders’ Lesson.

Leaders: Melanie Hauff 444; Doug Stapleton 217; Petrina Patti 171. Jim Swanson led the blessing before the class was dismissed for lunch.


Singing resumed with Suzanne Flandreau leading song on 32t. Leaders: Julie Vea 411; Pete Ellerton 473; Jo Dell Albi 74t; Dean Slaton 94; Bill Hamblin 106; Orin Youngquist 254; Jim Lawrie 200; David Barford 189; Becky Browne 474; Debra Barford 335; Wendy Wahn 548; Nathan Barford 274t; Samuel Sommers 358; Richard DeLong 336; Emmie Barford 86; David Ressler 214; Joanna Fabke 122; Tony Reeves 504.


The class resumed singing with Cathryn Baker leading song on page 128 (by request). Leaders: Jim Crawford 268; Jerilyn Schumacher 294; Jeanette Lowry 419; Carol Crawford 48b; Berkley Moore 215.

Chair Suzanne Flandreau called the class to order for the Memorial Lesson. John Seaton prefaced reading the names of those who had passed away in the last year by remarking that the memorial lesson means many things to the people in each class. This fellowship brings great joys. It helps us remember traditions that have been handed down for many years. But for him the memorial lesson was the reminder of the faces of so many singers as they raised their voices in song with the words lifting all of our spirits. He particularly wanted to remember the Southern singers, but others as well. There was no need to say anything else, but that as the names were read we should remember the singing faces of those named who now sing in the happy choir above.

Wendy Wahn read the following names and led song on page 347 for: Howard Rush—Indiana; Dollie Hudgins and Horace DeLong—Georgia; Bob Moran, Scott Oliver, Pat McCauley, Gerry Armstrong, Dorothy Wells, Robert Hartung, and Nellie Shelby—Illinois; Jack Page—Texas; Harold Thomas—Wisconsin.

Kiri Miller prefaced reading the names of those who are ill or shut-in by remarking that it was very hard to be young at singings. Many start singing older than she is, but we are all taught by those who are older still. It is difficult to see those who taught her appear on these lists, with more and more names being familiar as time passes. She reminded us that we could still help the people on this list and urged us to do so. The names of those remembered: Carol, Vivian, and Ray McCurry—North Carolina; John Flandreau—New York; Bernice Embry, Hugh Bill McGuire, and Madeleine Steel—Mississippi; Gary Gronau and Teddy Menke (an eleven-year-old transplant patient)—Missouri; Gail Longe—Wisconsin; Dell Lee and Rita Patrusa—Illinois; Bob Scorgie—Wisconsin; Linda Morris—Maryland; Betty Wahn—Florida; Lawrence and Lula Underwood—Alabama. Kiri Miller led song on page 34t, first verse, for those remembered, and closed the memorial.

Leaders: Charlie Derleth 66; Jim Page 155; Judy Hauff 536; Ted Johnson 448t; Connie Karduck 222; Melanie Hauff 216; Marcia Johnson 434; Ted Mercer 61; Jerry Enright 442; Lisa Grayson 112.

Chair Suzanne Flandreau called a business session for the purpose of hearing reports.

Jim Helke reported that the Finance Committee had met its expenses and thanked all those who had contributed.

Kate Lingley reported for the Resolutions Committee. For their heroic organizational work, we resolve to thank:

(1) Last year’s Chair, Kris Richardson; and all the officers for this year’s singing along with all the different committees for their outstanding jobs in keeping us all in order.

(2) Kate Thomas and Nora Stormitt for their unstinting work in the kitchen.

(3) Al Frank, Janet Miller, Hugh Thomas, and Bill Hamblin for giving up part of the singing to man the registration table.

(4) Those who provided carpools, including Jim Helke and Megan Jennings (and probably many others) for helping provide transportation for South Side singers.

(5) Sue Kessel for seeking out places for out-of-town guests to gather in the evening before the sing.

(6) The Irish American Heritage Center for providing this space for our singing.

Lastly, we resolve to thank each and every singer who showed up, brought food, and sang with all their hearts, as it is this singing which brings us together and will continue to do so for years to come.

The Arranging Committee reported that 47 people from 6 states had led 78 songs.

Announcements were made. Jim Swanson led the class in a closing prayer.

Suzanne Flandreau, Cathryn Baker, and Dean Slaton led song on page 62 as the closing song. The class was dismissed.

Chair—Suzanne Flandreau; Vice Chair—Dean Slaton; Secretary—Cathryn Baker.