Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Western Massachusetts Sacred Harp Convention

Northampton, Massachusetts

March 8-9, 2003

Saturday, March 8

The fifth annual Western Massachusetts Sacred Harp Convention was held at the Northampton Center for the Arts on the second Sunday and Saturday before in March. Eric Morgan called the class to order leading 37b. Alexa Gilmore offered the opening prayer. Chair Allison Schofield welcomed everyone; following introductions, she turned the class over to Eric Morgan for a singing school. Eric reviewed the rudiments; for illustrations, he led the class in singing the songs on pages 146, 171, and 34t. Eric also described his own experiences growing up singing this music with his family, and then as an adult encountering and becoming part of this area’s Sacred Harp singing community during his years here. The singing school was concluded, and leaders were called.

Leaders: Chair Allison Schofield 89; Vice Chair Jenna Strizak 81 (t? b?); Secretary Kitty Kagay 138b; Treasurer Briana Bean Hirsch 228; Michael Ryan 102; Inga Knets 59; Kara Morin 178; Andrew Magee 285t; Paula McGray 446; Bill Holt 224; Victoria Bolles 162; John Holbrook 145b; Ginny Landgraf 375; L.H. Spencer 442.


Kate Richardson brought the class together leading 371. Leaders: Martha Lang 312b; Rachel Speer 324; Bob Parr 430; Phill Wisor 47b; Jill Accetta 300; Bill Dunn 34b; Joanne Hoover 477; Neely Bruce 250; Peter Amidon 31t; George Seiler 68b; Barbara Swetman 203; Paul Butler 312t; Doron Henkin 564; Roland Hutchinson 553; Catherine Oss 318; Alexa Gilmore 101t; Anne Johnson 198; Paul Gauthier 542; David Wright 216; Bobbie Goodell 474. Dan Hertzler offered the blessing for the noon meal.


Minja Lausevic brought the afternoon session to order leading 39t. Leaders: Eliza Cavanaugh 76b; Henry Johnson 418; Laura Clawson 182; Lela Crowder 440; Jeannette DePoy 328; Tim Eriksen 142; Eric Morgan 274t; Kelsey Wessels 99; Bradford West 384; Dennis George 383; Judy Caudle 193; Kelly House 475; Matt Wells 481; Lynne deBenedette 269; Dan Hertzler 29t; Jean Seiler 315; Ginnie Ely 454; Paul Setford 28b; Liz Meitzler 245; Gina Balestracci 218; Kshama Ananthapura 426 (t? b?); Nick Edwards 168; Sarah Beasley Smith 141; Kiri Miller 112; Lydia Vernon-Jones 535.


Matt Wojcik called the class together leading 335. Leaders: Diane Mennella 441; Susan Loucks 566; Lynnette Combs 497; Edith Berger 270; G.C. Waldrep 260; Gerry Hoffman 272; Eliza Goodhue 148; Nathan Morrison 163b; Sheila Kelley 455; Jim Ulrich 273; Mary Jo Shafer 410t; George Pomfret 311; Guy Bankes 510; Sally House 155; Effie Cummings 344; Ronald Bornick 84; Elric Elias 131b; Alice Kast 567; Ellie Soler 504; Gary Smith 569b; Linda Shea 282; Patricia Geritz 479; Scott Luscombe 195; Aaron Girard 377; Laura Timmerman 421.

Allison Schofield led 82t as the closing song, and Jenna Strizak closed Saturday’s session with prayer.

Sunday, March 9

Allison Schofield called the class to order leading 448b. The morning prayer was given by Eliza Cavanaugh.

Leaders: Jenna Strizak 33b; Kitty Kagay 539; Briana Bean Hirsch 503; Margaret Bornick 48t; Sherry Wong 183; Lucy Roberts 452; Anne Kazlauskas 532; G.C. Waldrep 370; Charlotte Ehrman 490; Ronald Bornick 454; Oona Coy 501; Bob Mills 271t; Juanita Heyerman 280; Kate Richardson 390; David Highlander 178.


Kelsey Wessels brought the class together leading 89. Leaders: Bobbie Goodell 171; Sally House 146; Dan Hertzler 113; Doron Henkin 192; Katherine Collett 217; Glen Wright 474; Patricia Geritz 47t; Martha Lang 480; John Holbrook and Greta Holbrook 162; Rachel Speer 67; Gordon Hellegers 312b; Rowen White 95; Gary Smith 31t; Joanne Bowman 485; Paula McGray 299; Ginny Landgraf 547; Susan Mampre 66; Bill Dunn 37b; Alexa Gilmore 111b.

A memorial lesson was given to remember our loved ones absent from the square. Sheila Kelley reminded us that being unable to get out to sing can feel very isolating, and confirmed from her own experience during a recent extended illness that being sung for is both comforting and healing and then led 68b for the following sick and shut-ins. Those remembered were: Elsie Beasley—Alabama; Mary Seiler Kneeland—California; Lee Stewart—Colorado; Sue Miller—Connecticut; Win Tyler—England; Eleanor Bazler and Richard DeLong—Georgia; Sally Dahlgren—Illinois; Marie Bartlett, Joey Becker, and Thomas Lanzillo—Massachusetts; Janet Ziroli, Marcia Tucker, Agnes Jeannopoulos, and David Luscombe—New York; Holly Wong—Turkey; Dinah Breunig—Vermont; Karen Willard—Washington.

Linda Shea spoke of the support this community can provide one another in time of loss and led 348b in memory of the following deceased: Elizabeth Singleton—Alabama; Donald Edwin Meitzler, Amy Morgan, Michael Wowk, and Bob Williams—Connecticut; Frances Beasley Lee—Florida; Kenneth DeLong, Frances McDaniel, Dr. John Slade, and Vivian Rogers—Georgia; Janet Keller, Dolorous Higgins, and Steve Higgins—Illinois; Lillian St. Clair Meitzler, Esther St. Clair Ammann, Phillip Shea, Leonard R. Spencer, Elizabeth Russ, Daniel Shea, Maria Maraggia, Ann Graham, Judy Goddard, and James Gath—Massachusetts; Gina Grazier—Maryland; Chip Bryant, Buddy Bryant, and Randy Bryant—Maine; G. Robert Jacks, Charles Simone, Don Juel, Ralph (Robbie) Robertson, Sally Tottenfrost, and Bill Turnbull—New Jersey; Kert Lundell, Paul Vasko, Andreas Albrecht, and John Bishop—New York; David Carter—Oregon; Tim Geritz, David M. Nagy, and Rev. Allan R. Winn—Pennsylvania; Virginia Grandidge—Rhode Island; and Jack Phillips. Jean Seiler closed the memorial lesson with prayer.

Leaders: Jeff Colby 236; Paul Gauthier 228; George Seiler 347; Tom Padwa 515. Inga Knets asked the blessing for the noon meal.


Eliza Cavanaugh opened the afternoon session leading 350. Leaders: Lynne deBenedette 436; Jenna Strizak and Kelsey Wessels 145b; Laura Clawson 362; Matt Wojcik 269; Henry Johnson 341; Mirjana Lausevic’ 270; Eric Morgan 567; Carla Wojczuk 61; Bradford West 376; Judy Caudle 540; Tim Eriksen 229; Lela Crowder 215; Laura Timmerman 337; Lisa Palumbo 274t; Dennis George 196; Allison Schofield 542; Nick Edwards 159; Paul Setford 448t; Jean Seiler 200; Matt Wells 49b; Kelly House 186; Jill Accetta 549; Jeannette DePoy 411; Kshama Ananthapura 222.

A brief business meeting was held.

The Treasurer reported that all expenses had been met.

The Secretary reported that the class total for the two days was 257 singers, with 20 states and 2 foreign countries represented. A total of 188 songs were sung during the two days.

The Resolutions Committee thanked the many committees and individuals who helped to make this convention happen, and the business session was closed.


Alexa Gilmore called the class together leading 72b. Leaders: Barbara Swetman 313b; Inga Knets 340; Charles Taylor 456; Diane Mennella 477; Elric Elias 495; Joanne Hoover 496; Andrew Magee 399b; Sarah Beasley Smith 288; Joanne Devoe 327; Seth Holloway 388; Sheila Kelley 300; David Wright 391; Liz Meitzler 148; Aaron Girard 114; Ginnie Ely 546; Guy Bankes 486; Paul Butler 105; Alice Kast 70b; Kitty Kagay 189; Ellie Soler 277; Anne Johnson 430; Scott Lescum 306; Bob Parr 208; Linda Shea 406; Nathan Morrison 73t; Oona Coy 70t; Kate Richardson 499.

The officers closed the convention leading 62 while singers took the parting hand, and then Allison Schofield offered the closing prayer.

Chair—Allison Schofield; Vice Chair—Jenna Strizak; Treasurer—Briana Bean Hirsch; Secretary—Kitty Kagay.