Thou camest to our hall of death,
O Christ, to breathe our poisoned air,
To drink for us the dark despair
That strangled our reluctant breath.
So writes Martin Franzmann in my school’s hymn of the year: “O God, O Lord of Heaven and Earth” (LSB834). With strong and striking text, he could almost be predicting our 2020 world of “poisoned air” and “reluctant breath,” thanks to the awful virus. It may be a novel coronavirus, but there is nothing novel about sickness and death, though it is fresh in our minds these days. Since our first parents partook of the fruit of the forbidden tree, our air has been poisoned, our breath both reluctant and short, and our despair, indeed, dark.
Dr. Kenneth T. Kosche, born in 1947, holds a DMA in choral music and served on the faculty in the music department at Concordia University Wisconsin from 1978 to 2009. In those 31 years, Kosche conducted the school’s two choirs and taught classes in composition, conducting, and choral literature.
If you’re a church musician, chances are high that the way you’ve performed music (or haven’t) at church has been completely different from “normal” circumstances. Maybe you’ve switched to pre-recorded services, or livestreamed services with limited groups of musicians accompanying. In some cases, the organist and a soloist might be the safest options.
CPH is pleased to introduce this new collection of thirty-five hymns for men’s voices, following the classic first volume published in 1961. Featuring all new settings for the Church Year by Kevin Hildebrand, these hymn arrangements include predictable, pleasing harmonies with the melody almost always in the top voice (Tenor 1). These will be useful as stand-alone choral anthems or choral stanzas in alternation with congregational singing.
“Repetition is the mother of all learning.”
This is a common saying, especially in education. The exhortation to repeat, repeat, repeat hopefully is prevalent in our Lutheran schools. Only through repetition does one learn and retain something. You are only reading this right now because someone drilled you on your ABCs and phonograms. In music, we drill note names and scales and rhythms.
The Christian life begins and ends as we gather together to receive God’s gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation in weekly worship. Whether you’re a service planner, worship leader, or hymn lover, you’ll sing for joy at these music posts.