Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Singing with giants. . .

I was reminded that on September 26 of this year, one of the most profound composers and musicians of our church turned 90!  I am referring, of course, to the beloved parish musician, composer, arranger, author, and professor of music emeritus, Dr. Carl F. Schalk.  He is a giant of a talent whose gifts to the church have secured him his place in the hearts of so many though he is most humble about both his abilities and his accomplishments.  

For many years he taught various music classes at his alma mater, Concordia University (then River Forest, now Chicago) -- a tenure spanning more than 40 years!  Prior to that, he served as Lutheran teacher and parish musician to students, choirs, and congregations most fortunate to have such a great man as their parish musician. His bibliography reads long on the many books on worship in the church, church music, and commentary as well as scholarly articles and popular columns (thinking here of The Amen Corner).  In addition to all of this, he also  worked as an editor for the journal Church Music.  

His primary influence was in congregational hymn tunes and choral works for the parish choir.  He exerted a deep influence over the generations of parish musicians whom he mentored and he is a living example to the best of our ability for the glory of God accompanied with the highest commitment to Lutheran doctrine and piety with its high view of Scripture.  So open your hymnal, look at the index to find composers, and sing through some of the hymn tunes and hymn settings Dr. Schalk produced -- works that live on as we open our hymnals to sing to the Lord every Sunday!  And as you do this, do not forget to say thank you to the Lord for providing such examples of faith and dedication.

Click here to find a list of his compositions from CPH and you can also listen to any number of his anthems recorded.   Or, listen to one of my personal favorites, Before the Marvel of This Night.

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