Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings

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Minnesota State Sacred Harp
Singing Convention

St. Paul’s On the Hill Episcopal Church, St. Paul, Minnesota and Murphy’s Landing, Shakopee, Minnesota

September 25-26, 1999

Saturday, September 25

Co-Chairs Martha Henderson and Keith Willard called the convention to order leading song on page 82t. B.J. Harris offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: Midge Olsen 171; Paul Wyatt 49b; Jim Pfau 29t; Matt Wells 28b; Jeff Bell 340; Eleanor Haase 184; Gordon Olsen 163b; Meg Parsons 384; Robin Fox 304; Scott Schroeder 155; Kathy Wallace 147t; Paul Landskroener 440; Denise Kania 40; Walter Graff 39b; Pierre Gingerich 312b; Joanne Hoover 501; James Brock 344.


Keith Willard brought the class to order leading song on page 254. Leaders: Richard Popp “Seeley” (new song); Richard Green 99; Patricia Butterfield 270; Tony Reeves 300; Tony Park 34 (t? b?); Charlie Obert and Stephen Parker “Boundary Waters” (new song); Julie Vea 564; Louis Hughes 492; Gary Gronau 192; Steven Levine 350; Everette Denney 426 (t? b?); Lynne deBenedette 430; Reba Dell Windom 224; James Gingerich 455; Shelbie Sheppard 211.


Gordon Olson called the class to order leading song on page 32t. Leaders: Kit Pfau 137; Rodney Ivey 186; Max Berueffy 282; Kathy Lee 59; Ted Mercer 416; David Ivey 83b; Pauline Childers 234.

Co-Chairman Keith Willard gave a short commemorative speech. He acknowledged our tenth convention by asking those present at the first all day convention to stand. He also called attention to those who have sung in Minnesota since the early 1970s under the leadership of Robin Fox and Mark Ellenberger.

Finally, Keith asked those present who had been singing all their lives to stand and be recognized. Because of their contribution to Sacred Harp, it has survived and come down to us, so that we can sing it today.

The class went into business session. Matt Wells moved, and the class seconded the motion, to elect next year’s Co-Chairs. Kit Pfau and Christine Stevens were elected by acclamation.

Co-Chair Martha Henderson then announced the members of the committees. Co-Chairs—Martha Henderson and Keith Willard; Secretaries—Stephen Parker, Paul Landskroener, Paul Wyatt, Stephanie Digby, and David Bowen; Treasurer—Matt Wells; Finance Committee—Walter Graff and Tom Mitchell; Arranging Committee—Jenny Willard, Christine Stevens, Kathy Wallace, Matt Wells, and Kit Pfau; Resolutions Committee—Midge Olsen, Joanne Hoover, and Pearl Guier; Memorial Committee—Johnny Lee, Rodney Ivey, Walter Graff, and Jim Pfau.

Louis Hughes said grace, and the class was dismissed.


Keith Willard called the class back into session leading song on page 39t. Leaders: Karen Freund 76b; David Ressler 215; Johnny Lee 503; Coy Ivey 222; Elene Stovall 436; Jeff Sheppard 236; B.M. Smith 225t; Daphene Causey 140; Jerry Enright 42; David Lee 274t; Tim Eriksen 448t; Catherine Oss 318; Roy Nelson 522; Christine Stevens 68b.


Keith Willard called the class back together leading song on page 101t. Leaders: Shelley Robbins 218; Becky Browne 362; Evelyn Harris 47t; Jim Solheim “New Song” (Missouri Harp); Lisa Grayson 419; Cynthia Kissee 68t; Pearl Guier 143; Susan Green 57; B.J. Harris 303; Kshama Ananthapura 33b; Dick Levine 228; Don Bowen 475; Alice Love 551; Mirjana Lausevic 378b; Allison Schofield 542; Martha Beverly 497; Henry Schuman 480; Val Eng 280; Jim

Parsons 474; Carol Crawford 122; Wendy Popp 391.

Keith Willard and Martha Henderson made closing announcements. The class was dismissed with prayer offered by David Lee.

Sunday, September 26

The Sunday session of the convention was held at Murphy’s Landing, Shakopee, Minnesota.

Co-Chairs Martha Henderson and Keith Willard called the convention to order leading song on page 145t. Steve Schmidgall offered the opening prayer.

Leaders: Collette Miller 436; Shelley Robbins 178; Richard Popp 277; Gordon Olsen 117; Cathy Lutz 66; Karen Buche and Carol Buche 421; Sarah Davie 384; Wendy Popp “Pomerania” (new song); Francis Gurtz 454; Kshama Ananthapura 410 (t? b?); Henry Schuman 532; Christine Stevens 411; James Gingerich 34t; Everette Denney 405; Mirjana Lausevic 142; Anthony Reeves 107; Alice Love 535; Scott Schroeder 163b; Dick Levine 203.


Keith Willard brought the class to order leading song on page 101t. Leaders: Paul Landskroener 268; Jim Solheim 352; Charles Scudder 30t; Joanne Hoover 56b; Anna Pfau 133; Thomas Jefferson Willard 36b; Robin Fox 212; Josephine Denney 145b; Allison Schofield 70b; B.J. Harris 503; Eleanor Haase 48t; Karen Freund and Lynne deBenedette 383; Jim Parsons 216; C.W. Garner 45t; Val Eng 504; James Brock 479; Jenny Willard 302.


Keith Willard called the class to order leading song on page 106. Leaders: Tony Park 299; Midge Olson 198; Lisa Grayson 434.

Keith Willard turned the class over to the Memorial Committee: Johnny Lee, Rodney Ivey, and Walter Graff.

Johnny Lee noted that the committee was incapable of fully conveying the solemnity that the occasion requires. We were requested to ask ourselves, why are we here as Sacred Harp singers? And, why are there other true Sacred Harp singers not here? Hold this thought in mind. We were reminded of two women singers who, if they were here in the body and the spirit, would be here today, in this place, and raise their voices. These were the mothers of Johnny and Delorese Lee, who died sixteen years ago. Johnny Lee’s mother is buried in front of a headstone reading, “Give me the roses while I live....” Was she seeking a handful of flowers? No. She was seeking, as another song says, the Rose of Sharon, that special rose. Those of us here today also want the Rose of Sharon. Let us try to remember the sick and shut-ins by visiting or writing them, telling them of attending the Minnesota singing, and sharing with them who were here, and which songs touched our bosom.

Johnny Lee read the names of the sick and shut-ins, and led song on page 340. He then called for Rodney Ivey to lead 376.

The Memorial Lesson followed. Walter Graff reminded us that we are part of a wonderfully varied community of men and women of all sorts and conditions. Why do we remember those whom we have never met? Because we are part of a great river of community, and the dead are simply those who have left at an earlier upstream port, but who have left their legacy of this singing tradition to us, for which our gratitude is profound. A song from Missouri Harmony was quoted: “My lips shall teach it to my sons and daughters, that generations yet unborn may teach it yet to theirs.”

Walter Graff read the names of the deceased, and called for Jim Pfau to lead 285t in their memory.

Walter then said that, despite disturbing images from popular media nowadays, we know from the Bible that we are assured in the after-life of three things: that we will enjoy God’s presence, that we will recognize each other, and that we will sing. Walter Graff gave the prayer to close the memorial lesson.

The names of the deceased were: Flossie Jones, Vester Jones, Lindberg Lacy, Phillip James, and J.V. Gilbert—Alabama; Maurice Faubion—Arizona; Scott Carlson—California; Horace Delong, Roxy Duffy, and Roy Wyatt Jr.—Georgia; Dolores Doss—Illinois; Richard Allison—Indiana; Eunice Bostwick—Maine; Karen Wiard, Dan Walsh, Florence Becker (101 years of age), Janet White, and Emily Gross—Minnesota; Judith Greenwald—New Jersey; Spencer Nelson—Pennsylvania; Gerrit van Eysden—The Netherlands.

The names on the sick and shut-in list were: Woodie Walker, Lawrence Underwood, Lula Underwood, Marie Aldridge, Virgil Phillips, and Ruby Phillips—Alabama; Lonnie Rogers,Vivian Rogers, and Mozelle Sheppard—Georgia; Sarah Curry, Scott Strong, and Janet Twombly—California; Hazel Schofield—Florida; John Bailey, Hunter Legitt—Illinois; Charlotte Allison—Indiana; Linda Lowe Morris—Maryland; Delle Jacobs, Don Calliez, Bob Maschka, Eleanor Strait, Maggie Dowse—Minnesota; Gabriel Spector—New Jersey; Nick Fabke, Johanna Fabke, Bob Scorgie—Wisconsin.

Gordon Olsen offered grace for the noon meal.


After lunch, the class assembled on the front steps of the Town Hall at Murphy’s Landing for a group photo, taken by Tom Mitchell, to commemorate our Tenth Annual Minnesota State Sacred Harp all-day convention.

Martha Henderson brought the afternoon session to order leading song on page 31t.

Leaders: Richard Green and Susan Green 217; Julie Vea 528; Steven Levine 49b; Max Berueffy 112; Rod Ivey, Steven Schmidgall, and Bud Oliver 270; Shelbie Sheppard 269; Ted Mercer 278b; Reba Dell Windom 196; Don Bowen and Coy Ivey 282; Becky Browne 304; Jim Pfau 396; Pauline Childers 475; David Lee 47b; Gary Gronau 385t; Kathy Lee and Kit Pfau 218; Bud Oliver 39b; Jeff Sheppard

322; Margie Smith and Nancy Allen 84; Ruth Brown 335; Daphene Causey 189; Paul Wyatt 551; Louis Hughes 496; Elene Stovall 99; Tim Eriksen 236; Felton Denny 73t; Patricia Butterfield 419; B.M. Smith 313t; Jerry Enright 77t; Catherine Oss 477; Dave Ressler 377; Myles Alexander, Meg Parsons, Stephen Parker, Kathy Wallace, Matt Wells, Craig Wright, and Mark Ellenberger 29t; Roy Nelson 318; Denise Kania and Michael Shewmaker 63.

The class then attended to final business.

Ms. Eloise Jerome conducted the raffle for the afghan she had made once again this year. The raffle was won by Maggie Thurmes of Benson, Minnesota. Co-Chairs Keith Willard and Martha Henderson then asked for committee reports.

Treasurer Matt Wells reported that collections exceeded expenses by $119.

The Arranging Committee announced that 80 songs were led on Saturday and 73 songs on Sunday.

Joanne Hoover and Pearl Guier read resolutions of thanks to all who had a hand in organizing this year’s convention.

Jeff Sheppard and Ruth Brown thanked the Minnesota folks for hospitality and a good singing.

Co-Chairs Martha Henderson and Keith Willard recognized the twenty-two states that were represented at this singing: Alabama, California, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Announcements were made of upcoming singings.

The class heard a full-hearted parting prayer from our brother David Lee, and took the parting hand singing song on page 347.

Co-Chairs—Martha Henderson and Keith Willard; Secretaries—Stephen Parker, Paul Landskroener, Paul Wyatt, Stephanie Digby, and David Bowen.