Secretary’s Newsletter 82 Autumn 2019

The Secretary’s Newsletter:

No.82: Autumn 2019
From the Secretary:
Revd Robert A. Canham
CA12 5SZ
Phone: 017687 78054
Email: Please see our Contact page

The Hymn Society Website: www.hymnsocietygbi.org.uk
Core Hymnody:

At the Canterbury conference our Executive Vice-President, Martin Leckebusch, used a Sectional to launch a project exploring what hymns we think should be “core” hymnody. Martin’s paper, which is printed in this quarter’s Bulletin, tells how he has identified around 160 “core” hymns which already appear in most of our recent hymn books. However, Martin would like to invite all members to offer other items which they feel should be added to the list. These can be suggested via our website; follow the link from the Home Page or the News Section (About Us > News). If you would like to participate but cannot access the website then please contact Martin at:

69 Oxstalls Way, Longlevens, GLOUCESTER GL2 9JY

– he can then provide you with a printed list of the items which are already “core” and would then welcome your additional ideas.
All suggestions no later than 28 February 2020, please!

Hymn Society Short Guide – revision

Short Guide 18 Getting Hymns Published, originally produced by Andrew Pratt in October 2014, was revised by him in March 2019 and is available, as are all the other Short Guides, on our website including in pdf format for providing paper copies for Workshops, study groups, or personal use. If you haven’t already discovered them, or for more information, check out the Society’s website. Simply click on Short Guides on the Homepage strapline and scroll down to the list of all 27 Guides.

A copy of Short Guide 18 (revised) ‘Getting Hymns Published’ is enclosed with this mailing.

We welcome new members who recently joined the Society:

Revd Dr Stephen Edmonds (London)
Mrs Holly Farrow (Illinois, USA)
Mr John Hayward (Barnsley, South Yorkshire)
Ms Edith Holmes (Templepatrick, County Antrim)
Ms Colleen Muriel (West Molesey, Surrey)
Mrs Ruth Patterson (Dungannon, County Tyrone)
Mr Robert P. Rogers (Glenville, Pennsylvania, USA)
Mr James Shrimpton (Aberdeen)
Mrs Mary Todman (Burgess Hill, East Sussex)
Mr Michael Topple (Colchester, Essex)
Mr Wayne A. Weaver (Cambridge)
Mr Thomas Wilson (Antrim, County Antrim)

We regret having to report the deaths of members:

Mr Stanley L. Redfearn (London)
Revd Canon G. D. Underwood (Glen Parva, Leicester)

We are also very sorry to learn from the HSUSC Stanza that one of our Joint Members in USA, Ms Nancy Wicklund Gray has died. Nancy was a member with us for many years and served on the HSUSC Executive committee from 2005-2009. Nancy was Librarian Emerita at Westminster Choir College and was an active church musician.

The Cross is raised – in Welsh

Of interest to Welsh-speaking members, the hymn The Cross is raised by Ruthie Thomas has now been translated into Welsh and is available from Stainer & Bell Ltd. It was originally reviewed, along with her collection You can’t keep a good song down, in Bulletin 288, Vol.21, No.7 Summer 2016 p.252. Also, the Heaven Direct Music Catalogue is available on the Heaven Direct Music Website.

New owners for Calamus licence

The Calamus copyright licence has been acquired from Decani Music by the online licensing service, One License. It includes those hymns previously covered by Calamus, together with many drawn from the Roman Catholic tradition, the Taizé Community, and other music not covered by CCLI, though, as always, this needs carefully checking!

This new service for Calamus customers came into operation on the 1st July this year. At the same time, One License appointed Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd as its UK, Ireland, and continental Europe agent. For more information, go to the One License website. (Much of this information was gleaned courtesy of Singing the Faith Plus).

The 2020 Hymn Society Conference

This will be a three-day Conference and is due to take place, earlier than usual, from Tuesday, 14th July to Friday, 17th July 2019, at The Prince of Wales Hotel, Southport. Please note the dates in your diary.

Honoured across ‘The Pond’

The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada has honoured two of its members, Thomas H. Troeger and Ken Nafziger, naming them as Fellows of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada at their Annual Conference, this year held in Dallas, Texas.

Thomas H. Troeger is a hymn writer of international repute and author of twenty-four books covering preaching, poetry, hymnody and worship. His first significant contributions to hymnody came through the publication of two collections with musical settings by Carol Doran: New Hymns for the Lectionary (Oxford, 1991) and New Hymns for the Life of the Church (Oxford, 1992). In the following years he finished four volumes of hymn texts and poems without musical settings: Borrowed Light (Oxford, 1994), Above the Moon Earth Rises (Oxford, 2001), God, You Made All Things for Singing (Oxford, 2009), and Song that Blesses Earth (Oxford, 2015).

His friend and colleague, Michael Hawn (also a Fellow of HSUSC) has said of him: “He is a ‘renaissance person’ known for writing the most intriguing incipits—those opening lines that say, ‘What is going on here? What’s going to happen next?’ He is a ‘thinking person’—covering a wide range of topics including lectionary passages, expanding our language for Deity, and especially the blending of faith and science.” HymnQuest lists 271 of Thomas Troeger’s hymns, many including the full text. These are excellent hymns, well worth exploring, and will enrich worship.

Probably known by few in the UK, Ken Nafziger is, nevertheless, an internationally recognised musician, conductor and educator noted for his mentoring of emerging artists, church musicians and scholars, he is, in addition, a hymnal editor and practitioner of church music. Among his many accomplishments he has been active in animating congregational singing and song leadership through workshops, writing, and hymn editing. He was music editor of Hymnal: A Worship Book (1992) and its accompanying handbook and assisted the editor of its two supplements, Sing the Journey (2005) and Sing the Story (2007); Mennonite collections which are well-known for their accessibility and celebration of music from around the world.

‘All things bright and beautiful’ strongly defended!

Church Times (No. 8170, 18 October 2019 p. 20) contains an article Words wise and wonderful by our member, Gillian Warson. It is a robust defence of Cecil Frances Alexander’s hymn, All things bright and beautiful, which has come in for sustained criticism in recent years. The article is an abbreviated version of Gillian’s lecture, which she delivered to The Hymn Society Conference in Canterbury in July. The article is also, hopefully accessible, on the Church Times website www.churchtimes.co.uk

Hymns in unlikely places?

From time to time, mention is made of hymns, or information about hymns, popping up in unlikely places. My attention was recently drawn to an article by Margaret Ashworth, a retired national newspaper journalist, which appears in The Conservative Woman, containing a short synopsis of the life of John Newton and his hymn Glorious things of thee are spoken. The article is immediately followed by an enthusiastic response by our member, Marylynn Rouse of The John Newton Project. Never mind whether-or-not you agree with the politics – it is a good article! Apparently, Margaret Ashworth contributes a hymn or something similar each week. The article was still there when I looked recently:

Postscript from our member Michael Haighton:

In the last Bulletin (300 Vol.22 No.7 Summer 2019), Ian Sharp wrote an excellent piece on Vain repetitions in hymnody. The following may bring a smile to members: An organist, not very good with tunes, played the first hymn – O for a thousand tongues to sing which was set to LYDIA. To his dismay, he then discovered that the second hymn, Jesus the Name high over all, was set to LYDIA also! Swiftly flipping through the book, he found the next Common Metre tune which was DIADEM (see the final hymn in this year’s Festival of Hymns booklet) set as usual to All hail, the pow’r of Jesu’s name. All went well until the last line. Try singing it and you will discover vain repetitions for yourself!

PPS – and finally:

Spotted by our member, John Crothers, in the latest on-line catalogue by Encore Publications, where reference is made to an arrangement of what, one might muse, could be a newly-discovered hymn tune by G. F. Handel. It is evidently of Scottish origins being named: ‘MacCabeus’.

If you wish to print this out please open the PDF file here.