WMSHC 2019 Election Candidate Statements
2 candidates will be elected for a 2-year term. The Board of Directors is responsible for the overall governance of WMSHC in accordance with our bylaws.
Michael Nord (incumbent)I'm honored to accept this nomination to continue serving on the WMSHC Board. Since I was introduced to Shape-note singing almost 10 years ago, this community has become an important part of my life. With a spirit of gratitude, I continue to feel inspired to serve in this role to foster the growth and development of our community into the future.
After looking on at the WMSHC community longingly for several years, I finally moved here nearly two years ago! I’m so happy that I’ve finally set down roots here, and look forward to taking part in the community still more. Now that I’ve served as chair of an all-day singing here, I certainly feel like this is my home singing community. As a member of the WMSHC board, my goals would be twofold: to make sure that everyone who comes to sing with us feels and is welcome and included, and to continue to build the infrastructure of the community so that things run as smoothly as possible. In particular, I would like to assemble information about who has what items, who has taken on what roles in the past, and how the roles for planning a singing tend to be delegated. All these things should demystify the process for people who are curious about taking on planning roles but haven’t already chaired a singing or been closely involved behind the scenes already.
Convention Officer Candidates
Becca Hawkins — Candidate for Convention Chair
I first experienced Sacred Harp about seven years ago in a class at Bennington College and I immediately fell in love. I've been singing with WMSHC since 2013. I have attended numerous singings both near and far, and I've been to Camp Fasola twice. It has been a joy to serve on the WMSHC Board this year and as Vice Chair at last year's convention. Sacred Harp is such a delightful and important part of my life and, after gaining some experience last year, I would be honored to serve as Chair for the 2020 Western Mass Convention.
Julia Seidenstein — Candidate for Convention Vice-Chair
I’ve been singing shape note music for 9 years in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and now Western Massachusetts. After my first singing, I excitedly told my music theory professor how much fun I had singing and suggested we sing shape note rather than jazz chords to learn how to sing. (He did not take my suggestion.) I love the shape note community because belting out powerful tunes, surrounded by wonderful folks just for the experience of singing together feeds my soul. I’ve enjoyed traveling to conventions and all-days as well as helping with singings in my communities. I’m especially proud of helping to organize the Cornucopia All-Night singing in New Jersey for a few years.
Sara Lennox — Candidate for Convention Secretary
I came late to Sacred Harp music, but since I discovered WMSHC in May 2014 the Tuesday evening singings have brought great joy to my life. I’m happy too that I’ve been able to facilitate second Thursday Shenandoah Harmony singings at the David Ruggles Center in Florence as well as singings before WMSHC all-day events there. And it’s great fun to have so many people (especially the Canadians!) bunking at my house during the convention, which also makes me feel ever more included in the shape note community. I’m honored to be a candidate for Convention secretary and to serve an organization that has given so much to me.