Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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New England Sacred Harp Convention

Burlington, Vermont

September 29-30, 1995

Friday, September 29

The New England Sacred Harp Convention rotates in turn every third year to Middletown, Connecticut; Vermont; and the Boston area. The 20th annual convention was held on Friday night at the First Congregational Church and Saturday’s session was held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Burlington, Vermont. The convention was called to order on Friday night by Chairman Larry Gordon leading the song on page 47t. George Seiler led the opening prayer. The Arranging Committee was Peter Amidon; Secretaries were Juanita Kyle and David Wright. The following leaders called were: Ginny Ely 228; Barbara Swetman 168; Joyce Walton 455; Bruce Randall 300; B. J. Harris 503b; Bernard Collard 350; Lee Rogers 287; Donna Abrahams 303; Don Bowen 475; George Seiler 148; Suzy Shedd 40; Shelbie Sheppard 183; Fred Todt and Sean O’Donnell 299; Cath Oss 367; B. M. Smith 149; Anne Kazlauskas; Ted Mercer 378 (t? b?); Katherine Benefield 373.


The class resumed singing with Larry Gordon leading the song on page 128; Leaders: Tim Erikson 285t; Jeff Sheppard 352; Michael Kaye 31t; Sheila Girling Smith 276; John Kanode 45t; John Henderson 146; Walter Olson 288; Pearl Guier 59; Tom Gibney 501; Karen House 367; Evelyn Harris 159; Mat Wojcik 189; Gina Balestracci 107; Felton Denney 523; Kelly House 456; Chris Weslowski 178; Lou Cotney 218; Howard Katz 362; Everette Denney 34b; Steve Marini 86; Steve Marini led the closing prayer.

Saturday, September 30

The Saturday session was held at St. Paul’s Cathedral, a beautiful, acoustically live, brightly lit, modern concrete building overlooking Lake Champlain. The morning session was called to order by Larry Gordon leading the song on page 31t. Neely Bruce led the opening prayer. Peter Amidon continued as arranging committee, calling the following leaders: Steve Fletcher 159; Jean Seiler 65; Bill Holt 430; Tim Wheeler 348t; Judy Mincey 180; Dan Hertzler 143; Ian Silberman and Sam Amidon 178; Lynne Benedette 542; Roy Nelson 303b; Bob Parr 304; Roland Hutchinson 242; Susan Jaster 273; Jap Walton 153; Peter Irvine 448t; Paul Gauthier 428; Gretchen Ekhardt 56b; Doron Henkin 547; Kyle Greenlee 117; Eric Bean 324; Mryka Hall-Beyer 269; June Matthews 198; Guy Bankes 344.


The class resumed singing with Larry Gordon leading the song on page 142. Leaders: Bobbie Goodell 120; Suzanne Thompson 191; Walt Colteryahn 155; Ruth Daniel and Nellie Mae White 378t; Susan Waters 47b; Mary Gardner 442; Neely Bruce 553. This convention was graced by the presence of 17 singers from England active in local “West Gallery” choirs. Led by Dave Townsend they performed Spanking Roger. Then using some reprints from the New Northern Harmony song book, the class sang two West Gallery numbers: Larry Gordon led Gibraltar (“Jesus shall reign where’er the sun”) and Dave Townsend led Song of the Angels at the Nativity (a setting of While Shepherds Watched). Both were very popular. The class continued with the following leaders: Jim Bean 148; Mary Alice Amidon 528; Jeff Sheppard 209; Ethan Ryea 236; Lynnette Combs 455.


The class was called to order following a delicious potluck lunch by Larry Gordon leading the song on page 114. Leaders: Cindy Bean 300; Eric Hiuldebrandt 299; Leonard Spencer 216; Phyllis Bruce 133; Shelbie Sheppard 29b; Dan Brittain 417; Fred Emigh 474; Bradford West 378b. The memorial lesson was then led by Steve Marini, in remembrance or consideration of the following: Harry Dumas, Carlton Hitchcock, Sara Viglione, James Hayford, Velma Kelly, Laverne Robinson, Levi Patterson, Roberta Adams, Lomond Graham, Lessie Cates, Howie Murre, Al Crossman, Robert Singer, Roger Grimsby, George Jeffers, Lee Grimmett, Bonnie Dudas, Freeman Harris, Talmadge Harris, Clellon Warren, David Parry, Nellie Miles, Dorothy Bailey, Edward Tally, Robert Mottingdorfer, Alonzo Emigh, Leola Emigh, Charles Gill, Sidney Girling, Junurs Hudgins, Fred Johnson, Miriam Bergman, Dale Redmon, Joe Fawbush, Harold Horrocks, and Joe Beasley. For the memorial, Steve Marini led the song on page 260; for the sick and shut-ins 122; and for ourselves 348b. The class continued, and leaders called were: Everette Denney 119; Hill Grimmett 477; Jeff Colby 419; Barbara Benary 50t; Pearl Guier 40.


The class resumed singing with Larry Gordon leading the song on page 106. Leaders: Peter Amidon 268; Matt Wojcik 48t; Ginny Ely 454; B. M. Smith 28b; Ted Mercer 123b; Tim Eriksen 208; Joyce Walton 436; Gloria Thompson 146; John Henderson 163b; Felton Denney 73t; Bernard Collard 34b; Donna Abrahams 532; Don Bowen and Lee Rogers 347; Dave Townsend 276; Larry Gordon 383. George Seiler led the closing prayer, followed by Parting Hand.

Attendance was about 200 on Friday night and around 300 most of the day on Saturday. Special thanks were given to the housing coordinator, Gioia Thompson, and the food coordinators, Carol Price and Cheryl Dorschner. Peter Amidon put out the pre-convention mailing. Ginny Ely and Norumbega Harmony are working on the arrangements for next year’s convention in Boston.

Chairman—Larry Gordon; Secretaries—Juanita Kyle and David Wright