Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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New England Sacred Harp Convention

South Congregational Church, Middletown, Connecticut

September 28-29, 2007

Friday, September 28

The 32nd session of the New England Sacred Harp Convention opened Friday evening with a singing school led by Tim Eriksen. He began by reminding the class of the strong community bonds that have always brought Sacred Harp singers together. He mentioned historical aspects of the singing school movement, as well as the relationship between written music in the hymnal and the oral and aural traditions that have sustained and passed down that music to us. The class sang major and minor scales and worked on singing with good rhythm and accent. Songs led: 28b; 28t; 171; 139; 300.


Neely Bruce led 154 to open the singing and offered a prayer.

The following officers were elected or appointed to serve: Chairman—Neely Bruce; Secretary—Lynne deBenedette.

Leaders: Aldo Ceresa 71; Liz Cantrell 168; Joanne Fuller 61; Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg 101t; Gerry Skerbitz 38t; Eliza Cavanaugh 89; Liz Meitzler 215; Terry Ryan 347; Sheila Girling Macadam 142; Lynne deBenedette 74b; Peter Golden 312b; George Seiler 99; Kitty Kagay 77t; Charles Cofone 35; Larry Gordon 272; Magdalena Zapedowska and Linda Shea 270; Tim Eriksen 387; Ruby Ross 178; Benjamin Bath 82t; Ronald Bornick 454; Gabriel Kastelle 370; Patty Cuyler 163t; Michael Heyerman 43; Jim Bean 300; Neely Bruce 306.


Neely Bruce called the class back by leading 147t. Leaders: Linda Shea 475; Jean Seiler 217; Edwin Macadam 189; Laura Clawson 442; Kyle Greenlee 299; Sheila Kelly 335; Margaret Bornick 472; Dan Hertzler 192; John Redmond 236; Diane Mennella 564; Paul Landskroener 473; Joanna Lampert 157; Henry Kiely 159; Matthew Wojcik 532; Scott Luscombe 481; Paul Setford 105; Justin Squizzero 426b; Ben Sachs- Hamilton 95; Alice Maggio 282; L.H. Spencer 56b.

Neely Bruce led 209 as the closing song, and offered the closing prayer.

Saturday, September 29

Neely Bruce opened the morning session by leading 145b and offered a prayer.

Leaders: Lynne deBenedette 82t; Laura Clawson 542; Joanne DeVoe 327; Elizabeth Stoddard 440; Chris Holley 56b; Bill Schults 504; Susan Loucks 276; Ronald Bornick 178; Tom Padwa 91; Gabriel Kastelle 506; Mark Singleton 63; Patricia Geritz 501; David Paton 47b; Richard Schmeidler 474; Laura Borrelli 29t; Meghan Sheehan 383; Russ Vernon-Jones 171; Ishmael Stefanov 183.


The class resumed singing with Neely Bruce leading 290. Leaders: John Holbrook 49b; Judith Parker and Paul Butler 268; Michael Kaye 163b; Eric Hildebrandt 551; Michael Vitale 113; Mary Alice Amidon 61; Tollie Lee 319; Steven Jens 312b; Charles Cofone 569b; Anayis Wright 454; Susan Jaster 485; Paul Butler 371; Matthew Wojcik 263.


Neely Bruce brought the class together by leading 362. Leaders: Robert Stoddard 556; Rosalie Elkington 86; Liz Cantrell 32t; Gerry Skerbitz 218.

Laura Timmerman, Paula Picton, and Tollie Lee conducted the memorial lesson. The names of the sick and shut-in were read as follows, and Laura Timmerman led 318 in their honor: Daniel Dorozywsky, Peg Pearson, Barbara Neal, Julia Duprey, Alison Schofield, Noel Kropf, Caroline Pulis, Virginia Luscombe, Violet Setford, Victoria Bolles, Kat Kinkade, Lorena Jersen, Lydia Wacker, Lynn Konowitz, Wendy Karlsberg, Alice Blanchard, and Claudia Smigelski.

Paula Picton spoke from her heart about the sustaining help this music gives and led 499 in memory of the following deceased: Reese House, Irene Reale, Edmund Wojcik, William Ward, Lillian Singer, Marianne Kaye, Kathleen Watts, LaRue Allen, Arthur Aldrich, Jim Field, Dolly Hines, Doug Johnson, Genevieve Meyer, Jeff Galper, Carolyn Jones, Marion Zimmerman, Ari Brown-Weeks, Diva Deloyza, Marsha Tucker, Sharon Nygren, Annah Jackson, Hibbard Thatcher, Trinket Clark, Robert Lepak, Heather Egan Haynes, Lara Hoggard, Deborah Fuller, Blake Reynolds, Minja Lausevic, Helene La Rue, Harold Madison, Jr. The prayer to close the lesson was offered by Tollie Lee.

Leaders: Neely Bruce 348b; Diane Mennella 335; Anne Kazlauskas 125; Peter Amidon 306; Kitty Kagay 448t; Patty Cuyler 269. Reverend Charlotte Wright offered the blessing for the noon meal.


Neely Bruce brought the afternoon session to order leading 553. Leaders: Dana Borrelli 77t; Sheila Girling Macadam 480; Holly Laws 142; Tom Malone 550; Peter Irvine 274t; Rachel Speer 321; Jennie Brown 456; Jesse Pearlman Karlsberg 411; Linda Shea 442; Tim Eriksen 192; Bill Holt 419; Benjamin Bath 428; Dean Jens 110; Paula Picton 300; Aldo Ceresa 214; Eliza Cavanaugh 475; Jean Seiler 273; Susan Mampre 280; Edwin Macadam 528; Dan Hertzler 203; Larry Gordon 538; Glen Wright 228.

The class went into a business session. It was reported that the 2008 convention, to be hosted by Vermont, has secured a location, and that the singing would be Saturday and Sunday, not Friday and Saturday. A vote was taken to add Rhode Island officially to the rotation of hosting states and passed unanimously.


The class resumed singing with Neely Bruce leading 370. Leaders: Joanna Lampert 111b; Barbara Swetman 71; Joanne Fuller 129; Justin Squizzero 340; Paul Landskroener 112; George Seiler 84; Laura Timmerman 460; Paul Setford 410 (t? b?); Magdalena Zapedowska 64; Jim Bean 148; Terry Ryan 36b; Liz Meitzler 512; Peter Golden 59; Ruby Ross 106; Ben Sachs- Hamilton 193; Michael Heyerman 200; Margaret Bornick 448b; Scott Luscombe 353; Henry Kiely 180; L.H. Spencer 260; John Redmond 38b; Kyle Greenlee 198.

Chairman Neely Bruce called for announcements and committee reports.

The Treasurer reported all expenses had been met. The Secretary reported that 211 people registered and 85 leaders led a total of 138 songs.

Neely Bruce led 62 as the closing song, and offered a closing prayer. The class was dismissed.

Chairman—Neely Bruce; Secretary—Lynne deBenedette