Friday, November 13, 2009

A Manz tribute and a choir repeat

A few weeks ago, the world lost one of the greatest organists and sacred music composers in recent history, Paul Manz. He had a profound influence on Lutheran church music and earned numerous awards, including an honorary docterate from my alma mater.

Manz was actually born in Cleveland, though he became most well known for his work in Chicago and Minneapolis churches, as well as concerts around the world. As a Lutheran, he was steeped in the hymn tunes, literature, and traditions that we all know so well, but he updated them with a spicier, more rhythmic sound for a fun change of pace.

His work has a large following - certainly, he is admired and idolized by Lutheran organists everywhere. I often use Manz's hymn arrangements; in fact, when you hear a hymn arrangement with a "modern" sound, you can probably safely assume that it's his. This week, the postlude will be "Lord, You I Love with All My Heart." It seems like an appropriate tribute for a church musician, since it epitomizes the church musician's philosophy since the time of Bach: "Soli deo gloria" (To God alone by the glory).

The choir will be reprising the anthem from last week: "Go, Ye, Into all the World." By repeating the anthem, we can focus on other places we can enhance worship, including the acclamation and antiphon, as well as a hymn descant. We're also hard at work preparing music for Thanksgiving. Make sure Nov. 25th is on your calendar for the Wednesday night service!

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