Organ, Sacred Music, and Historical Keyboards

Utech Hymn Text Competition

~~Announcing the Winner of the Hymn Text Competition: Dr. Wayne L. Wold~~

Wayne L. Wold (b. 1954) is an author, composer, performer, church musician, and teacher. He is the author of three books and numerous articles and edits a monthly column “Musicians on the Side” for the journal The American Organist. Over 300 of his compositions are in print, including works for organ, choirs, instrumental ensembles, and congregation. Several of his hymn texts and hymn tunes appear in hymnals and supplements in the U.S. and Australia. He served on the editorial committee that created Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006) and owns a private collection of over 3,000 hymnals and hymn-related books.

He performs widely on organ as a solo recitalist and with ensembles, and he has performed across the U.S. and in Europe. Known for his skills at improvisation, he leads numerous hymn festival each year. He performs on harpsichord as a soloist and with the Hood Chamber Players, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Bach in Baltimore, among others. Since 2013 he has served as director of Music Ministry at First Lutheran Church (ELCA) of Ellicott City, Maryland. Since 1990 he has taught at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, where he now holds the position of Professor, Chair of the Music Department, and College Organist. He frequently lectures on topics related to hymnody, pastoral care of church choirs, and other aspects of sacred music.

He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota a Master of Sacred Music degree from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia, who named him their “alumnus of excellence, 2015.” A native of Minnesota, Wold lives in Frederick, Maryland.



The Organ, Sacred Music, and Historical Keyboards Department at the Eastman School of Music is pleased to announce a competition for a new hymn text. The winning text will be included in the program of our biennial Utech Hymnody Symposium and Festival, which will be held at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York on November 17–18, 2017. This year’s symposium and festival will feature guest lecturer Paul Westermeyer and guest organist Bruce Neswick.

We seek a text suitable for a hymnal category of “Gathering,” “Beginning of Service,” or “Morning Hymns.” From the Genevan Psalter tradition we have chosen two tunes: Psalm 136 and Psalm 138. We encourage poets to select one of the tunes and submit one text, though we will accept one text submission for each tune. (We will not accept multiple text submissions for a single tune.)

Preliminary judging took place at Eastman with selected texts then submitted to the panel of judges: Emily Brink, Carl Daw, Sister Delores Dufner, and Martin Jean. The winning text was announced September 19, 2017.

The winning text will be sung at an evening hymn festival played by Bruce Neswick on Friday, November 17, 2017 in Rochester.

The winning poet will receive an award in the amount of $1,000 and travel support (up to $500) to Rochester for the November symposium and festival.

Eastman will arrange for subsequent performances of the winning hymn at several geographically and denominationally diverse United States churches.