At 10 a.m., we celebrate 20th century American organ composers this July 4th “pre-weekend.” Paul Manz was Cantor Emeritus at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where his legendary hymn festivals were first performed. Many of his organ improvisations have been published and elaborated upon including this week’s prelude, “Aria.” Calvin Hampton was organist/choirmaster at Calvary Episcopal Church in New York City. From 1974 - 1983, a year before his death, he performed in the country’s most famous organ recital series at Calvary, “Fridays at Midnight.” A composer known for his inventive settings of hymn tunes, an excerpt from Hampton’s Prelude and Variations on “Old Hundredth” (the tune of our familiar Doxology) will serve as the offertory. Organist David Johnson composed well over 300 pieces in his life, most for use in church. His trumpet voluntaries in particular have been widely used. “Voluntary in D Flat Major” will close this Sunday morning’s service in a suitably festive spirit.
At 6 p.m., Bobby will provide further explorations in music by American composers, both older and new.
Two excerpts from Romantic-era organ sonatas, both second in the composers’ organ sonata catalogue, will be heard this Sunday morning. “Grave and Allegro” from Organ Sonata No. 2 in A Flat Major (Fantasie-Sonate) by German composer Josef Rheinberger opens the morning service. Rheinberger composed twenty organ sonatas, all in different keys. He intended to write four more to cover all twenty-four major and minor key signatures but was prevented to do so by declining health. The sonatas pay homage to the counterpoint and classical form of Bach and also to the spirit of 19th century composers such as Brahms and Mendelssohn. The penultimate movement from Mendelssohn’s second organ sonata will then appropriately close the service, “Allegro maestoso.”
The Summer Choir begins their season anew this week with John Rutter’s original setting of the hymn text “All Things Bright and Beautiful." You are all welcome to join us…really! Rehearsal will begin at 9:15 a.m. this Sunday morning. All that is required is a love of singing. I hope to see you in the chancel!
At 6:00, we get to experience “Electric Hymnody.” Guitarist Alan Skowron will plug in and, along with vocalist Adrienne Harlow and friends of Plymouth, lead an electric spin on songs and musical offerings: jangly and perhaps a bit rockin’.
Director of Music
As always, here is a preview of this Sunday’s music.
We’ll be treated to a bluegrass style of worship at Rolland Moore Park this weekend. Thank you to Ben and Eli Slocumb for assembling a crew of talented musicians to lead our hymns and offer songs by such as artists as The Stanley Brothers and Mississippi John Hurt. It will be fun!
And looking ahead to these hazy, lazy summer months, Summer Choir will return for the following 10:00 a.m. Sunday services: June 17, July 8, and August 12.
All are welcome! Rehearsals will be just prior to the services at 9:15 a.m. Anthems will be very easy and if we must adjust, we will. If you enjoy singing and wish to have a very different view of the sanctuary for even just a brief moment, come and join us.
Hope to see you in the chancel!
Mark Heiskanen Director of Music
Each week, Director of Music Mark Heiskanen writes a Music Minute previewing the upcoming Sunday's musical offerings and occasionally opines on other music-related topics.
We are blessed by an engaging music program at Plymouth!
Mark Heiskanen has been Plymouth's Director of Music since September 2017. Originally from Northeast Ohio, Mark has experience and great interest in a diverse range of musical styles including jazz, rock, musical theatre, and gospel. He is thrilled to serve a congregation and staff that values diversity and inclusion in all facets of life.