Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Western Massachusetts
Sacred Harp Convention

Northampton Center for the Arts, Northampton, Massachusetts

March 10-11 2001

Saturday, March 10

The third Western Massachusetts Sacred Harp Convention was called to order at 9:30 am by Tim Eriksen who taught a singing school. He taught the class the major and minor scales, timing, and answered questions from the class. He reminded us that most of the parts of the music we are singing is familiar to the people of this area. Because we live in this area, it makes the technical side of learning to sing the songs much easier. He shared his enthusiasm, and was exceedingly helpful in getting the class all ready to sing together. The lesson ended at 10:30.


Cath Oss called the class to order leading song on page 48t. George Seiler offered an opening prayer. Leaders: Eliza Cavanaugh 39t; Phill Saylor Wisor 131b; Linda Shea 171; Richard DeLong 542; Kelsey Wessels 448b; Tim Eriksen 430; Laura Timmerman 475; Joanne Bowman 178; Guy Bankes 474; Jean Seiler 217; Greg Freemon 457; Inga Knets 312b; John Plunkett 562; Paula McGray 458; Kitty Kagay 328; Marcia Tucker 51; George Seiler 84; Andrew Magee 77t; Henry Johnson 385t; Sam Schaefer-Joel 268; Dennis George 546; Charlotte Ehrman 66; Ellie Soler 551; Jill Accetta 503; John Redman 362. Tim Eriksen offered grace for the noon meal.


The afternoon session was resumed with Jeff Colby leading song on page 316. Leaders: Eric Morgan 379; Kara Morin 228; Barbara Swetman 168; Bob Snope 569b; Matthew Wojcik 250; Bradford West 99; Kate Richardson 348b; Bill Dunn 101t; Jessica Holland 299; Allison Schofield 82t; Ruth Hooke 198; Mirjana Lausevic 274t; Peter Irvine 67; Kshama Ananthapura 32t; Judy Holst 504; Laura Clawson 196; Lynne deBenedette 142; Jim Desmond 186; Nathan Morrison 532; Roger Garberg 288; Jim Ulrich 344; Paul Butler 83b; Duncan Vinson 380; Louis Freilicher 300.


Kelsey Wessels brought the class to order leading song on page 276. Leaders: Kiri Miller 34t; Aaron Girard 315; Joanne DeVoe 31t; Bob Parr 442; Chris Noren 294; Jeff Colby 496; Dan Hertzler 235b; Ted Stokes 298; Richard DeLong 123b; Tim Eriksen 37b; Susan Waters 56b; Laura Timmerman 145t; Kelly House 282.

Announcements were made. Cath Oss led song on page 323t as the closing song. Eric Morgan dismissed the class with prayer.

Sunday, March 11

Cath Oss called the class to order at 9:30 leading song on page 318. Leaders: Eliza Cavanaugh 477; Phill Saylor Wisor 319; Linda Shea 59; Bill Holt 73t; Matthew Wojcik 179; Jean Seiler 492; Peter Irvine 72b; Nick Edwards 171; Judy Holst 501b; Gina Balestracci 102; Tom Padwa 77b; Ellie Soler 228; Roland Hutchinson 518; Laura Clawson 82t; Sally House 178; Louis Freilicher 335.


Kelly House called the class to order leading song on page 565. Leaders: Jim Desmond 245; Roger Garberg 117; Bill Dunn 49b; Allison Schofield 376; Guy Bankes 254; Inga Knets 216; Marcia Tucker 556; Andrew Magee 56b; Sam Schaefer-Joel 334; Charlotte Erhman 147t; Barbara Swetman 481; Kate Richardson 383; John Redman 532; Jessica Holland 528; Mirjana Lausevic 217; Paul Butler 287; Jeff Colby 148.

Laura Timmerman began the memorial lesson speaking of the sick and shut-in singers. She said that by singing we experience joy, fellowship and comfort and that we should sing for those who are unable to be with us today to share in our experience. Those remembered were: Ilmars Knets, Dot Garber, and Laurette Wojcik—Connecticut; Faye Pettis—Georgia; Lou DeFelice and Susan Accetta—Pennsylvania; Richard Bernivs—New York; Marjorie Pierce—Maine; Bill Gipperich, Susie Gipperich, and Don Herold—Massachusetts; Heather Holden-Bodmann—California; Sharon Neely Nygren—North Carolina. The class sang song on page 68b in their honor.

Richard DeLong continued the memorial lesson by giving comments and leading song on page 65. He spoke of singing at the Western Mass convention last year for his grandmother and now he would sing this year for her brother, Jack Corley. He noted that there will never be a convention without a memorial lesson, and that is our duty to remember those who have passed away. He said that Sacred Harp gets down into your innermost soul, and that we should sing for those who sang their whole lives with love.

Eric Morgan spoke of what a humbling experience it is to think of the meaning of the memorial lesson and the solemn nature of the lesson. We come together and sing together, and are brought together by the bonds of love, as a family. The class sang song on page 499 for the following deceased: Jerry Kelly, Priscilla Hertzler, Judy Scanlan, Isabel Arnold, Peggy Sibley, and Joan Manley—Massachusetts; George A. Seiler, Michael Rimmy, Alex Neidorf, and Bill Muth—California; Robert Todd, K. Danner Clouser, Joanna Sorlien—Pennsylvania; Jack Smith, Jack Corley—Georgia; Elizabeth Singleton, Marie Aldridge, and Cecil Edwards—Alabama; Karen House, Maney Mattson, and Moses Pfefferman—New York; Susan Garber—Connecticut. Kelly House closed the memorial lesson with prayer. Cath Oss led song on page 49t. Dan Hertzler offered grace for the noon meal.


Allison Schofield brought the class to order leading song page 448b. Leaders: Dan Hertzler 480; Bradford West 324; Richard DeLong 411; Lynne deBenedette 224; Henry Johnson 278b; Kiri Miller 47b; Dennis George 270; Kelly House 192; John Plunkett 312t; Ted Stokes 125; Tim Eriksen 448t; Sarah Pilzer 38b; George Seiler 183; Ruth Hooke 48t; Greg Freemon 163t; Joanne DeVoe 327; Bob Parr 419; Aaron Girard 378b; Laura Timmerman 454.

A motion was made and seconded to begin the business meeting. The committees gave their reports and public appreciation was given to those deserving singers and organizers who had made the weekend possible. Announcements were made of up coming conventions, all-day singings, and regular singings.


Peter Irvine called the class to order leading song on page 345b. Leaders: Linda Shea 277; Oona Coy 70t; Chris Noren 112; Phill Saylor Wisor 33b; Laura McCarty 163b; Bridget Gallberg 340; Kshama Ananthapura 182; Susan Loucks 155; Eric Morgan 58; Kelsey Wessels 495; Eliza Cavanaugh 306; Paul Gauthier 107; Paula McGray 326.

Cath Oss led song on page 62 as the closing song, and those who wished took the parting hand. Cath Oss dismissed the class with prayer.

Chairman—Cath Oss; Vice Chair—Eliza Cavanaugh; Treasurer—Linda Sheat; Secretary—Phill Saylor Wisor.