Organ, Sacred Music, and Historical Keyboards

2019 Utech Hymn Tune Competition

Due: July 31, 2019

The Eastman School of Music, Department of Organ, Sacred Music, and Historical Keyboards, announces a music competition to provide a tune and setting for a newly commissioned hymn text by Dr. Carl P. Daw, Jr.: “Out of Silence Music Rises.” If you wish to participate in this competition please contact Isaac Drewes, Utech Fellow at the Eastman School, to indicate your interest and receive a copy of this text (utech.hymn.competition@gmail.com). Completed compositions are due by July 31st, 2019 and will be judged anonymously. The winning composer will receive an honorarium of $3,000 and travel support to the November 1, 2019 Utech Hymnody Symposium and Festival at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.

Click here to view the rules of the competition (updated 7/12/19).

 

The George W. Utech Congregational Hymnody Fund at the Eastman School of Music

The George W. Utech Congregational Hymnody Fund was established in 2011 through the generosity of Mrs. Krestie Utech in memory of her husband George, who was a published writer of hymn texts. From its inception this fund has been administered by the Organ, Sacred Music, and Historical Keyboards Department at Eastman. The Utech fund is intended to support “the writing, composition, and promotion of texts and music for Christian congregational singing.”

Through a combination of commissions and competitions the Utech Fund fosters the creation of new hymns—poetic texts and musical settings. The first text commission went to Timothy Dudley-Smith, who, in 2012, provided three hymn texts based on Romans, chapter 8. Three composers were commissioned to set those texts: Carson Cooman, Scott Perkins, and Philip Stopford.

The second set of commissions was part of Eastman’s 2016 EROI Festival (Eastman Rochester Organ Initiative), which focused on “Breath for Singing: The Organ and the Human Voice.” On commission from the Utech Fund, Thomas Troeger provided a new text “Lord, Keep Us Modest When We Claim,” and Nico Muhly composed a setting (subsequently published in 2016 by St. Rose Music Publishing Co. and Chester Music Limited).

The first text competition took place in 2017, specifying a text suitable for a hymnal category of “Gathering,” “Beginning of Service,” or “Morning Hymns,” the text to be sung to either of two Genevan Psalter tunes: Psalm 136 or Psalm 138. The panel of judges—Emily Brink, Carl Daw, Sister Delores Dufner, and Martin Jean—evaluated 28 text submissions anonymously and unanimously chose a text by Wayne Wold entitled “Voices Arise, Let Joy Be Heard,” sung to “Psalm 138” from the Genevan Psalter. The first singing of this hymn occurred at the 2017 Utech Hymnody Symposium and Festival.

The 2019 Utech Hymnody Symposium and Festival (November 1, 2019) will feature the first singing of a newly commissioned text by Carl P. Daw, Jr.: “Out of Silence Music Rises.”