Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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New England Sacred Harp Convention

1870 Town Hall, Berlin, Massachusetts

October 5-6, 2019

Saturday, October 5

The New England Sacred Harp Convention was held in Berlin, Massachusetts, on the first Sunday and Saturday before in October. The class was called to order by Deidra Montgomery and MB Gowins leading 33b. Will Harron offered the opening prayer. Leaders: Becky Wright 52t; William Schuller 48t; Linda Shea 475; Lilly Israel 117; John Klaess 72b; Erik-Dardan Ymeraga 68b; Will Harron 229; Robert Dove 473; DJ Hatfield 283; Joanne Fuller 460; Dan Coppock 97; Jeremy Galvagni 162; Sylvia Martin 35; Rebecca Hawkins 269; Mel Novner 293; Susan Jaster 540.


The class was called back to order by Bill Holt leading 73b. Leaders: Sheila Kelley 318; Charles Biada 484; Jasmine Mendoza 421; Judy Contompasis 399b; Jesse Flynn 568; Chris Geissler 102; Liz Cantrell 569t; Anne Kazlauskas 118; Adam Roberts 319; Sam Kleinman 214; Ishmael Stefanov-Wagner 228; Wendy Sibbison 316; Vale Cofer-Shabica 299; Lyra O’Brien 505; Jana Yeaton 146; Mike Richards 374; Anuhea Sebstad 448b; Glen Wright 474; Joan Frankel 284.


The class was called back to order by Bob Parr leading 479. Leaders: Micah John Walter 324; Andal Sundaramurthy 127; Tristan Gordon 189; Julia Seidenstein 344; Toino Dumas 300; Sally Langendorf 426b; Leon Pulsinelle 517; Al McCready 153; Susan Mampre 497; Jesse Vear 201; Richard Schmeidler 254; Nathan Aldrich 428; Rachel Field 542; Robert Stoddard 442; Eric Sandberg 440; George Sigut 448t. Will Harron offered a blessing before the meal.


The class was called back to order by Pippa Stoddard leading 157. Leaders: Lynne deBenedette 383; Dan Hertzler 203; Evelyn Lamb 340; Lauren Bock 217; Molly B. Ellis 485; Tim Eriksen 32b; Laura Hodges 302; Maggie Zhou 372; Jean Seiler 142; Jesse P. Karlsberg 377; Elizabeth Stoddard 423; Anna Mays 573; Ian Quinn 534; Gwen Gethner 353; Anya Skibbie 454; Erik Schwab 512; Stina Soderling 76b; Erin Fulton 567; Angharad Davis 564; Rachel Rudi 410b; Ben Sachs-Hamilton 327.


The class was called back to order by MB Gowins leading 135. Leaders: Christine Andrews 95; Sue Hanson 209; Crispin Youngberg 538; Quinn Ross 99; Jennie Brown 57; Dennis O’Brien 547; Joseph Pensak 313b; Dolan Dolan-Wolfe 77t; Liora O’Donnell Goldensher 313t; Joan Nagy 504; Christopher Kain 471; April Grant 388; Paul Robinson 288. MB Gowins and Deidra Montgomery led 323t as the closing song. Will Harron offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Sunday, October 6

The class was called to order by MB Gowins leading 59. Dan Coppock offered the opening prayer. Leaders: Pippa Stoddard 61; Sam Mayo 344; Bill Holt 34b; Jessica Holland 133; Paul Robinson 280; Leah Velleman 35; William Schuller 312b; Bob Parr 502; April Grant 535; Will Harron 81t; Becca Mandel 47b; Adam Roberts 270; Sheila Kelley 178; Anne Kazlauskas 218; George Pomfret 268.


The class was called back to order by Jennie Brown leading 128. Leaders: Eric Sandberg 144; Judy Contompasis 145b; Jeremy Galvagni 271t; Joan Nagy 36b; Erik-Dardan Ymeraga 416; Jesse Flynn 30b; Richard Schmeidler 120; Stuart Wheeler 285b; Tristan Gordon 331; Dan Coppock 328; James Baumgartner 480; Margaret Youngberg 426b; Bruce Randall 300; Mary Skidmore 224; Erin Fulton 562.


The class was called back to order by Vale Cofer-Shabica leading 82t. Leaders: Joanne Fuller 309; Jesse Vear 527; Kit Walsh 102; Charles Biada 326; Molly Merrett 48t; Ben Sachs-Hamilton 168.

Jennie Brown and Jesse P. Karlsberg led the memorial lesson. Jennie Brown spoke and led 176t in honor of the following sick and shut-ins: Corrone Bryant, Ruth Anne Bryant, Sara Cutshall-King, Lily Bell, John Cantrell, Amy Frankel, Pat Waggener, Charlene Wallace, Curtis Owen, Beth Valenzuela, Julia Vernon, Don Butner, Jennifer Jones, Celina Butcher, and Rhiannon Davis.

Jesse P. Karlsberg spoke and led 330b in memory of the following deceased: Katherine Glatter, Phil Haggerty, Elsie Miller, Jed Mannis, and Kim Trimble—Massachusetts; Stephen Weber—Vermont; Donald Aldrich—Rhode Island; Sally Comerata and Andy Morris—Connecticut; Hyacinth Daniels—New York; Marlene Levine and Richard Levine—New Jersey; Susan Anderson and Cophine Crosman—Pennsylvania; Jackson Greene and Nancy Skibbie—Virginia; Frank Butcher—Georgia; John Beasley, Rozlyn Greene, Sara Nelson, Eleanor M. Pulsinelle, and Ottis Sides—Alabama; Sophie Delott—Florida; Elaine Zidek and Gibby Carey—Ohio; Walter Howrey—Missouri; Andy Worthington—Arkansas; Michael Appert and Albert Mampre—Illinois; Jack Mosby and Joanne Mosby—Washington; Paul Luther Wilson—Minnesota; Gary “Doc” Taylor—Utah; Concetta Branson—Oregon; Diane Dumas—Canada; Meena Ishwar—India. Leah Velleman closed the memorial lesson with prayer.

Leaders: Elizabeth Stoddard 389; Anya Skibbie 542; Sam Kleinman 202; Becky Wright 460. Jesse Vear offered a blessing before the meal.


The class was called back to order by Deidra Montgomery leading 39t. Leaders: Ian Quinn 477; Rachel Rudi 392; Lauren Bock and Lucey Rose Karlsberg 498; Mike Richards 216; Stina Soderling 30t; Evelyn Lamb 368; Jean Seiler 87; Jesse P. Karlsberg and Lucey Rose Karlsberg 434; Kelly House 456; Liz Cantrell 422; Erik Schwab 500; Lynne deBenedette 182; Toino Dumas 106; Gwen Gethner 360; Robert Stoddard 375; Laura Hodges 348b; Allison Steel 384; Michael Nord 394; Linda Shea 371; Leon Pulsinelle 400.


The class was called back to order by Rebecca Hawkins leading 282. Leaders: Liz Patton 511; Ines Luttgen 385t; DJ Hatfield 348t; Anuhea Sebstad 69t; Brian Harris 197; Joan Frankel and Bill Holt 414; Glen Wright 228; Judy Contompasis 212; Vale Cofer-Shabica 196; Margaret Youngberg 306; James Baumgartner 112; Deidra Montgomery 470; Erin Fulton 56t; Dan Coppock 495; Tristan Gordon 558; Jennie Brown and MB Gowins 475; Erik-Dardan Ymeraga 531; Mary Skidmore 497.

The class entered into a business session. The Secretary reported that one hundred fifty-three singers had registered from fourteen states, one Canadian province, and one other country, and that one hundred nine leaders had led one hundred seventy-nine songs. On behalf of the Treasurer, it was reported that all expenses had been met.

Lynne deBenedette and Vale Cofer-Shabica reported the following: We, the Resolutions Committee of the 44th New England Sacred Harp Convention, do hereby resolve to give thanks for God’s grace in bringing us together, for the community of singers that is made and re-made at every singing, and for the diligent and thoughtful work of the Convention officers and all who worked alongside them—locating committee, welcoming committee, memorial committee, arrangers, keyers, chaplains, set-up and clean-up crew, and all who contributed to the delicious food we enjoyed each day. We are especially grateful to our co-chairs for articulating their vision for a welcoming and inclusive singing, and to all who helped make that a reality. Finally, we resolve to meet again in one year for the 45th New England Sacred Harp Convention, to be held in the state of Rhode Island. The business session was closed, and announcements were made.

MB Gowins, Deidra Montgomery, and Becky Wright led 62 as the closing song, and invited the class to take the parting hand. Stina Soderling offered the closing prayer, and the class was dismissed.

Chairman—Deidra Montgomery and MB Gowins; Secretary—Becky Wright