Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Western Massachusetts
Sacred Harp Convention

Northampton, Massachusetts

March 9-10, 2002

Saturday, March 9

The fourth Western Massachusetts Sacred Harp Convention was held at the Northampton Center for the Arts. Kelly House called the class to order leading song on page 32t. Eric Morgan offered the opening prayer. Chair Eliza Cavanaugh turned the class over to Kelly House who led a singing school during which the class sang 47t, 155, 274t, and 569 (t? b?).

Chair Eliza Cavanaugh led song on page 350 and then the class was turned over to the Arranging Committee. Leaders: Phill Wisor 48t; Berk Meitzler 171; Linda Shea 30 (t? b?); Bob Parr 362; Laura Clawson 362; Kshama Ananthapura 100; Jean Seiler 101t; Bill Holt 550; Dennis George 220; Paula McGray 57.


Eric Morgan called the class back to order leading song on page 145t. Leaders: Mirjana Lausevic’ 39t; Jeff Colby 179; Seth Holloway 388; George Seiler 480; Susan Bingham 340; Claire Simon 347; Ronald Bornick 186; Daniel Davis 86; Peter Amidon 318; Barbara Swetman 203; Laura Timmerman 475; Kara Morin 178; Richard Schmeidler 254; Katherine Collett 217; Lela Crowder 168; Paul Setford 273; Joanne DeVoe 551; Andrew Magee 77t; Alice Kast 107; Jim Desmond 454; Joanne Bowman 169; Guy Bankes 361; Gary Smith 569b; Nicola Collett 455; Sally House 31t; Oona Mia Coy 146. George Seiler offered prayer, and the class was dismissed for lunch.


Eliza Cavanaugh called the class back to order for the afternoon session leading song on page 73t. Leaders: Rodney Ivey 88t; Bill Dunn 66; Larry Gordon 216; Cath Oss 556; Allison Schofield 542; Peter Irvine 260; Judy Holst 114; Henry Johnson 375; Alexandra Gilmore 29t; Ruth Hooke 198; Holly Laws 444; Phill Wisor 319; Margaret Bornick 268; Nathan Morrison 269; Chris Noren 384; Bobbie Goodell 474; Berk Meitzler 496; Clare Maher 330t; L.H. Spencer 56b; John Redman 137; D.J. Hatfield 430; Eva Neuhaus 155; Ginny Ely 196; Matt Green 182; Paul Butler 565.


Allison Schofield called the class back to order leading song on page 76b. Leaders: Kelly House 142; John Plunkett 63; Eric Morgan 328; Richard DeLong 421; Kelsey Wessels 67; Sarah Beasley Smith 108t; Diane Holmlund 335; Tim Eriksen 442; Tom Padwa 473; Diane Mennella 536; Michael Truelsen 32b; Marcia Tucker 163b; Ted Johnson 89; Laura Timmerman 81t; Charles Collett 547; Brian Collett 236; Kate Richardson 282.

Eliza Cavanaugh led song on page 323t as the closing song, and Tim Eriksen offered the closing prayer.

Sunday, March 10

Chair Eliza Cavanaugh brought the class to order for the Sunday morning session leading song on page 475. Kshama Ananthapura offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: Phill Wisor 81t; Berk Meitzler 426 (t? b?); Linda Shea 59; Kitty Kagay 195; Paul Gauthier 384; Juanita Heyerman 287; Anne Louise Kazlauskas 207; Aaron Girard 440; Guy Bankes 143; Lydia Vernon-Jones 503; Rosie Wojcik 312 (t? b?); Kiri Miller 419; Andrew Magee 56b; Oona Mia Coy 162; Susan Bingham 446; Bob Parr 502; Daniel Davis 344; Jean Seiler 299.


Diane Mennella called the class back to order leading song on page 106. Leaders: Barbara Swetman 390; Paula McGray 300; Jenna Strizak 68b; Joanne Bowman 180; Kara Morin 99; Ronald Bornick 84; Rachel Speer 417; Charles Cofone 117; Mary Jo Shafer 410t; Elizabeth Meitzler, Harrison Meitzler, and Berk Meitzler 159; Margaret Bornick 228; Paul Setford 40; Nick Edwards 32t.

The class was turned over to the Memorial Committee. Alexandra Gilmore shared her thoughts on what it is like to be unable to attend a singing, and led song on page 72b for the following sick and shut-ins: Dot Garber—Connecticut; Don Herold and Mary Frances Beasley Lee—Florida; Susan Firestone—Georgia; Stephanie Rubin—Illinois; George Myers—Kentucky; Martha Lang and Leonard Spencer—Massachusetts; Gina Ballestracci—New Jersey; Ev Yoder—New Mexico; Dan Hertzler—Vermont; Bettel Liota—Ontario, Canada.

George Seiler spoke of the Sacred Harp family and the bonds of love. We share the joys and pains, expressing our grief in song for those who could not be with us in body. They are with us in spirit and memory. George Seiler led song on page 122 for the following deceased: George Cox, Helen Smith Hall, Helen Connor Smith, Ethel McGough, Elizabeth Singleton, and Freeman Wootten—Alabama; Tera Alston and Mike Rimmey—California; Rev. William Bliss, John Lathrop, and George Nichols—Connecticut; Randy Wells—Florida; Berta Woods—Georgia; Dorothy Cummings—Indiana; Winifred Bruner—Iowa; Gertie Martin—Kentucky; Dorothy Williard—Maryland; Charollett Baker, Leona Bean, Alice Gauthier, Richard Hooke, Carol Pash, and Phil Stern—Massachusetts; Caroline Henderson—New Hampshire; Joey Aguinaldo, Juan Infante, Asher Lans, Gertrude Morrison, Owen Politano (infant), and Linda Smart—New York; John Bayer, Sr.—Ohio; Phyllis Hatfield—Oregon; Gerald Woodruff—Rhode Island; Sherry Pearson—Texas; Benjamin Klein, Rose O’Ryan, and Paul Stockwell—Vermont; Dave Grant and Clayfoot Strutters—Virginia; Mary K. Friday—Washington, D.C.; Gus Butcher—New Brunswick, Canada; and John Weaver. Eric Morgan closed the memorial lesson with prayer.

Leaders: Cath Oss 278t; Ginny Ely 454; Ellie Soler 277; Charlotte Ehrman 523; Judy Holst 229; Bobbie Goodell 496; Inga Knets 148. Sally House offered prayer, and the morning session was closed.


Eliza Cavanaugh called the class back for the afternoon session leading song on page 30t. Leaders: Richard DeLong 546; Kelsey Wessels 270; Rodney Ivey 189; John Plunkett 492; Eric Morgan 567; Kelly House 532; Henry Johnson 138t; Tim Eriksen 37b; Lela Crowder 448t; Harrison Meitzler and Elizabeth Meitzler 245; Dennis George 224; Allison Schofield 83b; Ted Johnson 142; Phill Wisor 285t; Mirjana Lausevic’ 217; Gary Smith 31t; Peter Irvine 426b; Alice Kast 49b; Kshama Ananthapura 138b; Sarah Beasley Smith 129; Clare Maher 235; Ruth Hooke 48t; Laura Clawson, Rodney Ivey, and Lela Crowder 186.

A business meeting was held for the purpose of hearing reports from various committees.

Treasurer Linda Shea reported that all expenses had been met and thanked everyone for their generosity.

Secretary Berk Meitzler reported the class total for the two days was 247 (final count 262) with 18 states and 3 foreign countries (Canada, England, and Scotland) represented. There were a total of 177 songs sung during the two days.

The Resolutions Committee, Kitty Kagay and Marcia Tucker, thanked all committees and individuals who helped to make this convention happen. End of business session.


George Seiler called the class back to order leading song on page 146. Leaders: Alexandra Gilmore 47b; Sally House and Kelly House 171; Lynne deBenedette 430; Eric Elias and Peter Irvine 495; Zara Bode 272; Lisa Palumbo 178; Chris Noren 383; Diane Holmlund 65; Paul Butler 499; Eloise Goddard and Paula McGray 47t; Claire Simon 91; Marcia Tucker 497; Matt Wojcik 442; Kate Richardson 371; Linda Shea 348b; Laura Timmerman 448b.

Chair Eliza Cavanaugh and other officers led song on page 62 as the closing song. Eliza Cavanaugh offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chair—Eliza Cavanaugh; Vice Chair—Phill Wisor; Treasurer—Linda Shea; Secretary—Berk Meitzler.