Sewanee Hymn Festival
On Saturday, September 26, 2015 at 2:00 pm, The University Choir, at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, will host a hymn festival under the direction of Richard Webster, Director of Music at Trinity Church Copley Square, in Boston, Massachusetts. He will be joined by organist Colin Lynch, Associate Director of Music at Trinity Church, and ten members of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra brass and percussion sections, who will lead choirs from Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis, Murfreesboro, South Pittsburg, Fort Ogelthorpe, and Huntsville, AL. Dr. Pamela Macfie, Professor of English at The University of the South, will read selections from poems, scripture, and spiritual writings between the singing of the hymns. All are cordially invited to attend this festival and make a joyful noise by singing some of your favorite hymns for the church year.
Mr. Webster's electrifying arrangements of hymns for brass, organ, percussion, choirs and congregation are heard across the English-speaking world, including the CBC's annual Christmas and Easter broadcasts and the BBC's “Songs of Praise,” the mostly widely viewed religious broadcast in the world. A new recording of hymns from Taiwan features his hymn settings sung in Chinese.
The exuberance of singing hymns alongside enthusiastic musicians and non-musicians alike, accompanied by the majestic Casavant organ and a splendid brass ensemble, all in the glorious acoustics of Sewanee's All Saints Chapel, is an experience not to be missed. As group singing is increasingly rare in our time, don't miss the joy, fun and transcendence this occasion promises for all involved.
Richard Webster -- composer, church musician, choral conductor and organist -- is Director of Music and Organist at Trinity Church, Copley Square, Boston. As a composer and arranger he is in demand for several commissioned works a year. His hymn arrangements for brass, percussion, organ and congregation are heard across the English-speaking world, including the CBC's annual Christmas and Easter broadcasts and BBC's "Songs of Praise." A new recording from Taiwan features his hymn settings sung in Chinese.
At Trinity, Boston, he has led the Trinity Choristers and Schola on two tours to England, with residencies at Lincoln, Ely, Chichester and St. Paul's Cathedrals. Richard is Music Director of Chicago's Bach Week Festival, featuring some of the nation's most acclaimed musicians. Sought after as a choral clinician, he has led choir courses and workshops across the U.S. and South Africa. In 2011, he was awarded the honorary Fellowship of the Royal School of Church Music (FRSCM) in England.
He has performed and recorded as organist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in works from the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony to Ives’ Fourth Symphony. He is the Organist and Choirmaster Emeritus of the Parish Church of Saint Luke in Evanston, Illinois, where, from 1974 to 2003 he directed the Choir of Men and Boys, the Girls Choir, Adult Schola and the St. Luke’s Singers in a program widely respected and emulated. The restoration of the celebrated 1922 Ernest M. Skinner organ at St. Luke’s was accomplished under his leadership.
AGO2014 Hymn Festival
Standing room only. Hundreds of people who love to sing hymns. Scroll down to hear recordings.
Hymn Festival Program Booklet
Prelude - Siciliano from Paschal Suite for Brass and Organ
Hymn - Praise to the Lord the almighty
Hymn - Hark A thrilling voice is sounding
Read more to hear the rest of the live recording.
Host a Hymn Festival
Under the direction of Richard Webster, hymn festivals featuring his hymn settings for brass, organ, choirs and congregation are held in cities across the country, and meet with resounding success.
What do YOU need to host a hymn festival in your city?
- Five to eight accomplished brass players and a timpanist
- A dedicated choir - perhaps a massed ensemble drawn from area churches
- An organist who plays hymns in the "symphonic" style
- A fine organ in a favorable acoustic
- A crowd of people who love to sing hymns!
Commission a work by Richard Webster
to discuss these and other possibilities.
A church musician's perspective on the Boston bombings.
Read Jason Overall's article about Richard Webster in The Diapason magazine - "A church musician's perspective on the Boston Bombings".