In 1953, Paul Manz and his wife Ruth, were sitting bedside with their son. He was critically ill. The couple was convinced the child's life was ending and they prayed "Lord, Jesus Quickly Come." Thankfully their son survived. But during the process Paul began composing what would be come to be his most famous composition. Basing the text on Revelation 22:5, Ruth created the lyrics. Paul set the text for acappella choir and history was made. It has become a enduring classic for many choirs from the St. Olaf Choir, The Concordia Choir, and many great educational institutions to Chanticleer, the Washington Master Chorale, and the Kansas City Chorale. Its has enjoyed international success in concerts throughout the world. And it is they way I start every Advent Season (Black Friday I start listening to Christmas Music).
Paul "was Cantor Emeritus at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saint Luke, Chicago, Illinois; as well as Cantor Emeritus of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was the director of the newly established Paul Manz Institute of Church Music, and was Professor Emeritus of Church Music at Christ Seminary Seminex at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago." - wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Manz
Aside from "E'en So," Manz was most famous for his celebrated hymn festivals. Instead of playing traditional organ recitals, Manz would generally lead a "festival" of hymns from the organ, in which he introduced each hymn with one of his famously creative organ improvisations based on the hymn tune in question. The congregation would then sing the hymn with his accompaniment. Sometimes he would play an improvisation between each sung stanza, as with his well-known variations on the tune, St. Anne, sung to the Isaac Watts text "Oh God, Our Help in Ages Past" with which he would traditionally end each festival. Many volumes of these improvisations have been written out and published and are played by church organists throughout the world."
- wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Manz
I am very excited to present this choral classic at our concert next Thursday.
A Renaissance Christmas of Hope and Expectation
with Dulces Voces
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Westminster Presbyterian Church
2110 Sheridan Blvd
Celebrate the hope of the season with a Renaissance Christmas concert featuring a program to uplift throughout the ages. Featuring special guest a cappella choir Dulces Voces and organist John Ross.