Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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New England Convention

Wellesley College, Wellesley Massachusetts

October 4-5, 1996

Friday, October 4

The twenty-first annual New England Convention was held at Wellesley College, and began with Ginnie Ely leading songs on 52t and 171. The opening prayer was led by Steve Marini. Ginnie Ely was appointed as Chairman; Neely Bruce and Phyllis Bruce as Vice Chairmen; Dennis O’Brien, Bill Holt, and Ann Kaslauskas as Arranging Committee; Henry Goodhue as Treasurer; Ann O’Brien as Secretary. Leaders: Larry Gordon 168; Peter Amidon 48t; Bob Parr 200; Donna Abrahams 99; Barbara Swetman 383; Glen Wright 492; Rachel Jordan 31t; Allan Fannin 112; Jean Seiler 209; Susan Mampre 102; Hill Grimmett 195; Daniel Hertzler 147 (t? b?); George Seiler 66; Margaret Bernick 186; Jane Zanichkowsky 504; Walter Hartley 178; Joel Cohen 495; Ann O’Brien 212.


The convention reconvened with Bruce Randall leading song on page 222. Leaders: Ann Kaslauskas 203; Steve Marini 228; Bradford West 63; Ronald Bornick 128; Virginia Neville 163b; Dennis O’Brien 477; Fred Todt 278t; Kelly House 332; Sarah Smith 129; Matthew Wojcik 189b; Paula McGray 528; Gary Smith 34b in memory of Joe Beasley; Roland Hutchinson 236; June Matthews 268; Doron Henkin 220; Judy Mincey 475; Henry Goodhue 73b; Ted Mercer 328; Karen McArthur 217; Richard Schmeidler 474; Paul Gauthier 542. Roland Hutchinson announced a special singing of music by William Billings for his 250th birthday on Sunday afternoon, October 6 at the Boston Common burial ground. Ginnie Ely led song on page 373 as the closing song. The convention was dismissed with prayer by Karen McArthur.

Saturday, October 5

Ginnie Ely called the morning session to order leading song on page 34b. The morning prayer was led by Karen McArthur. Leaders: Susan Jaster 87; Bruce Randall 168; Peter Amidon 306b; Jim Bean 138 (t? b?); Diane Mennella 551; Karen House 362; Steve Fletcher 276; Gretchen Eckhardt 56b; Bill Holt 203; Carol Werba 122; Dane Richardson 32b; Gary Gronau 218; Ginnie Ely 454; Donna Abrahams 377; Sheila Girling-Smith 117.


The convention reassembled with Paula McGray leading song on page 155. Leaders: Bob Parr 391; Peter Irvine 163b; Francis Bliss 84; Bernard Collard 28b; Katie Shimieu and Kei Shimieu 228; Glen Wright 91; Tom Gibney 501b; George Seiler 347; Maura Burns 180; Kelly House 193; Frederick Rasenburger 436; Bobbie Goodell 344; Gary Smith 569b; Neely Bruce 380; Jean Seiler 142; Pat McMahon 198.


The convention reconvened with Sue Turbak leading song on page 40. Leaders: Susan Mampre 372; Dan Hertzler 547. The Memorial lesson was held at this time. Steve Marini led song on page 260 and read the following list of names of the deceased: Ernest Cote, Rosa Donno Catucci, David Cist, Judy Brewer, Joe Beasley, Dewey Williams, Ruth Fansler, Hazel Cagle, Janice Nelson, Martha Killonan, Ronald Vachon, Florence Owen, Chris Whiting, Doll Allsopp, Sybil Schwants, Ester Tennebaum, Samuel Klappent, Joyce Tracy, Alan Conboy, Catherine Bunce Mathis, Norma Federlein, Martha Drake, Ruby Sheppard Gibson, Everett Kinsey, Jeanne Arnold Stevens, Johnnie Sue Beasley, Herbert Hosmer, Dorothy Spitzer, Roger McGuiness, Robert Karnan, Benjamin Post, Edwin Krumsieg, Dmitry Pokrovsky, Cynthea Novick, Herbert Mayne, Joyce Anderson, Ora Cusson, Helen Nearing, Lou Mattingly, Marita Burke, Delores Cuff, Bob Hewitt, Kent Hines, Stuart Greenspan, Lucy Venno, Paul Viglione, Joseph DiIulio, Helene Marini, and Carmen Lewis. All of us have faced or will face the loss of our loved ones. Ultimately, these passings are not about death, but about living our lives by faith. We honor the memories of those departed, trusting in God’s grace and mercy. Ann O’Brien led the convention in prayer for the sick and shut-ins, led song on page 35, and read the following list of names submitted: Darleen Kessner, Phil Shea, Tony DeFusco, Elaine MacLachlan, Kathy Neely, Gordon Ashman, Ian Giles, Virgil Phillips, Ruby Phillips, Lyn Spotswood, Jorge Quinones. Peter Amidon then spoke for all those departed or absent from us, noting that the moments we have together are fleeting and few, and we treasure them greatly. He then concluded the memorial lesson leading song on page 288. Leaders: Larry Gordon 272; Charles Whitmer 147 (t? b?); Cindy Bean 209; Gary Sides 491; Sarah Smith 354b; Fred Todt 480; Karen McArthur 273. Hill Grimmett led the lunchtime prayer.


The convention was called together by Neely Bruce (tune number unrecorded). Leaders: Michael Kaye 48t, Eliza Goodhue 371; Tony Singleton 300; Michal Truelsen 566; David Pater 45t; Larry Spencer 504; Anayis Joy Mampre-Wright 24 (t? b?) assisted by her parents Susan Mampre and Glen Wright (other young children and their parents joined); Peter Amidon distributed and led a new song “10,000 Charms”, tune by Hal Kunkel (1996) and words by Robert Robinson (1758); Howard Katz 30b; Barbara Smith 523b; Charles Whitmer 320; Sue Turbak 335; Jeff Colby 148.


The convention reassembled with Bill Holt leading song on page 82t. Leaders: Tim Eriksen 236; Mary Neville 47b; Roland Hutchinson distributed and led a new song “Hallelujah New”, tune by himself (1996) and words by Charles Wesley (1759); Lynn DeBennedette 430; Kaiti Carpenter 538; Frank Donno 294; Gina Balestracci 287; Guy Banks 444; Paul Merry 186; Patty Cuyler 189; Joel Cohen 290. The chairman then called for a business session. The following people were acknowledged for their contributions by Sue Turbak, representing the Resolutions Committee: housing coordination, Bob Parr; food coordination, Jane Zanichkowsky; signs, Paula McGray; child care, Sharon, Tara and Lauren Gauthier; mailing list, Tom Venman; flyer and t-shirt design, Michal Truelsen; vending, Karen McArthur; site arrangements, Steve Marini. The Treasurer reported that convention expenses had been met with the generous donations that had been collected. He also detailed the expenses of the convention. The Secretary reported that approximately 300 people had registered, with a count for Friday night of 159 and Saturday 202. Registrants represented 20 states and three foreign countries: Canada with 10 registrants; Germany with one; and the U.K. with 12. Many singings throughout the U.S. were announced. For 1997 the New England Convention will be held on October 3-4 in Middletown, Connecticut at Wesleyan University, chaired by Neely Bruce and Phyllis Bruce. Singing resumed with the following leaders: Alan Fannin 442; Steve Marini 250; Susan Jaster 324; Matt Wojcik 268. Ginnie Ely then led songs on page 269 and 62, and all who wished to took the parting hand. The convention was dismissed with prayer by Steve Marini.

Chairman—Ginnie Ely; Vice Chairmen—Neely Bruce and Phyllis Bruce; Secretary—Ann O’Brien.