Sunday, July 12, 2009

Join In a Song With Sweet Accord

I am near Minneapolis at the moment, here for my second time at the annual conference of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, which begins this afternoon. As you can see, we'll be at St. Olaf's College, and I'm looking forward to another great week of singing and learning (you can the full schedule of workshops and other sessions).

One new aspect of the program this year is that most of the hymn festivals (big sings!) will be streamed online for anyone to watch and listen. You can go to the St. Olaf's multimedia page each day and the links will be there to access the program.

Sunday, July 12: We Sing Our Story: A Sing for Joy Hymn Festival
John Ferguson and Bruce Benson, Coordinators; 7:30 pm CDT

Monday, July 13: Into the Way of Peace
Carl P. Daw, Jr., Coordinator; Mark G. Meyer, Organist; 7:30 pm CDT

Wednesday, July 15: Giving Life to the Word: Hymns on Parables
Tina Schneider, Scott Foxwell, and Adam M. L. Tice, Coordinators; 7:30 pm CDT

Thursday, July 16: Youthful Hearts: Sing to the Lord!
Paul Westermeyer, Coordinator; David Cherwien, Organist; 10:30 am CDT

Remember -- all times are Central Daylight!

If I figure out where the camera is, maybe I'll wave...

Sunday Night UPDATE: Things are off to a good start, though I am trying not to take it as a bad omen that the first hymn we sang tonight was missing its final verse! The hymnal used (the one in the chapel pews here at St. Olaf's) is the newish Evangelical Lutheran Worship, and apparently its editors think author Henry Van Dyke went on too long -- they only wanted three verses. Here's the last, in case you were watching and missed it too.

Mortals, join the mighty chorus
Which the morning stars began;
All God's love is reigning o'er us,
Kindred love binds hand to hand.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife;
Joyful music leads us sunward
In the triumph-song of life!

I feel better now. We also sang The Canticle of the Turning, a modern version of the Magnificat that commenter Leland mentioned to us back on May 31, 2008. And there were some other new, interesting texts as well as old favorites. Toward the end, the climax of the evening came with Shall we gather at the river. The weather here is quite hot, and I was thinking about author Robert Lowry's uncomfortable Brooklyn summer that prompted the writing of that hymn, and also about singing it on hot summer nights in New York myself many years ago.

Early to bed; it's going to be a busy week.


AuntE said...

So, I guess Minneapolis becomes "Zion" for the week, does it? :)

C.W.S. said...

It's pretty close!

The first event of the afternoon was an organ recital, and during a set of variations on the plainchant Veni Creator Spiritus by deGrigny, the assembly was invited to sing the chant verses interspersed between the variations. From the first line, you could tell that everyone in the place was singing (unlike your average Sunday congregation -- you know what I mean).

These are my people.

AuntE said...

Sounds like a heavenly way to spend a few days!

Leland Bryant Ross said...

Yeah, I've always been a bit put out by Joyful Joyful curtailments. I haven't done any Lutheran indexing yet, but it's not only they that cut it short. So far I have 38 occurrences of the hymn indexed, and the following hymnals have only 3 stanzas: the two latest Baptist Hymnals, the Presby 1990, Yale, UU, Reorg LDS, SDA, the fundy-Baptist Majestic Hymns, and Hope's The Worshiping Church! Shocking!

Dorothy said...

Wishing you a wonderful week, C.W.S.

Leland Bryant Ross said...

I have a niece who's looking at possibly going to St. Olaf's in a year or two. She's a singer, state champion in fact in some competition or other. My brother and sister-in-law were telling me this, and were a bit surprised when I said "I wish I was at St. Olaf's next week!"

AuntE said...

Watched the live stream tonight. Very well done, production-wise. Good sight lines, etc. Missed a bit of the piano intro on the John Bell hymn, but the problem was corrected before the words came in. I'm sorry I missed the Sun. evg. hymn sing, but hope to watch and listen in on Thurs.

Enjoy yourself!

Leland Bryant Ross said...

AuntE, the Sunday hymn sing is still there in the archives: here. No need to miss it just 'cause you missed it! ;-)

AuntE said...

Yes, Leland, I discovered that afterwards. Thanks!

Leland Bryant Ross said...

I was looking through Evangelical Lutheran Worship on the bus today, and found there are a number of hymns they've truncated stanzaically. Mine eyes have seen the glory and Angels from the realms of glory come to mind. It does have some nice unusual pieces, though, and occasionally a sufficiency of stanzas (e.g. O come, O come, Emmanuel which has its full 7 (or 8 if you do the incipit again at the end of the series), making possible a proper celebration of vespers in the week prior to Christmas Eve.

Anonymous said...

The Episcopal 1982 also does not include vs. 4.
In THE CHRISTIAN LIFE HYMNAL (#235) we did include it, with minor alterations to the second line for gender inclusivity.

Here is the text we include:

Mortals, join the mighty chorus
Which the morning stars began;
Love divine is reigning o'er us,
Leading us with mercy's hand.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife;
Joyful music leads us sunward
In the triumph song of life!

The original as written by Van Dyke is as follows:
Mortals, join the happy chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us,
Brother love binds man to man...

Eric Wyse
Editor, The Christian Life Hymnal