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William F. Coscarelli

(Joyce)

(b Wichita, KS, May 1941). American concert organist. At age five she started piano lessons and at age eleven, after hearing Alexander Schreiner play the Mormon Tabernacle organ, she began organ studies. Bish studied organ with Dorothy Addy, Era Wilder Peniston, Mildred Andrews, and Marie-Claire Alain, studied harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt, and attended classes with Nadia Boulanger. In 1982 she began her own television series The Joy of Music, which continues to reach a vast worldwide audience every week. She also served as organist at the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for 20 years.

Bish has won several performance competitions and has been the recipient of prestigious awards. In 1963, while a student at the University of Oklahoma, she won the Mu Phi Epsilon student performance competition and later went on to be a national Mu Phi composition winner. In 1989 she was awarded the National Citation by the National Federation of Music Clubs of America. In ...

Article

Katy Romanou

(b Athens, Greece, May 5, 1969). Greek musicologist specialising in Byzantine music, university professor, cantor, and choir conductor. Chaldaeakes studied theology at the University of Athens. Due to his musical talent and vast knowledge of church music, he was employed in 1992 in the newly established music department of the same university, to assist professor Gregorios Stathis, the first teacher of Byzantine music in the department. In 1998 he earned the PhD in musicology there, and in 1999 he was elected a faculty member of the music department.

He is a diligent and ingenious researcher, with over 150 publications in Greek and other languages on Byzantine and post-Byzantine music and musicians. His scientific competence is well represented in the voluminous collection of Stathis’ writings that he edited in 2001. Aiming at closer communication between Greek and Western musicologists, he has collaborated with musicologists in the USA, England, Austria, Denmark, and Russia. As of ...

Article

Jonas Westover

(b Washington, DC, Nov 21, 1947). American hymn writer and seminary professor. She grew up studying piano, then focused on religious studies as an undergraduate at Southwestern at Memphis University, later called Rhodes College (BA 1969). She earned advanced degrees from Chicago Theological Seminary (MDiv 1973, DD 1983), the University of Notre Dame (MA 1987), and Boston University (DD 1989). She was ordained by the United Church of Christ in 1974 and served at various churches until accepting the position of professor of worship at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 1989. Having written songs as a child, she became interested in writing hymn texts in the mid-1970s. She has written nearly 200 poem-texts, including “Arise, your Light Has Come,” “O Loving Maker of the Earth,” and “When we are Tested,” most of which have appeared in various hymnals and edited collections. Some of her texts have been designed for special occasions, such as “Send us your Spirit” for the ...

Article

Kathleen Sewright

(b Peoria, IL, July 14, 1939). American jesuit priest, educator, and composer. Best known for the post–Vatican II Catholic liturgical congregational music he composed as one of the “St. Louis Jesuits” in the 1960s and 70s, Foley is nevertheless primarily an educator in the field of liturgy. He earned a PhD in Theology (specialty in Liturgy and Aesthetics) from Graduate Theological Union (1993); studied music at the University of Wichita and St. Louis University; and pursued further composition studies with Samuel Dolin, Reginald Smith Brindle, Paul Fetler, and Dominick Argento.

In addition to founding and serving as the director of the St. Louis University Center for Liturgy, Foley has taught liturgy among other courses at the university. His diverse publications include a book, Creativity and the Roots of Liturgy (Pastoral Press, 1994). His dedication to writing prayerful, scripture-based, and accessible vernacular liturgical music for assemblies led naturally to his founding of the National Liturgical Composers Forum....

Article

Gerhard Wienke

(b Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Aug 4, 1931). German organist, church musician and conductor. He studied at the Musikhochschule in Munich (1951–3) with Karl Richter (organ), Fritz Lehmann (conducting) and Gustav Geierhaas (composition), and then privately with Friedrich Högner (organ). From 1953 to 1956 he read musicology, pedagogy and English at Munich University. He completed his organ studies in 1955–6 at the Paris Conservatoire with Marcel Dupré and Falcinelli. From 1956 to 1960 he held a post as organist in Kempten. He was appointed organist and church music director of the Stadtkirche in Bayreuth in 1960. He conducts the Bayreuth Kantorei and in 1961 founded ‘Musica Bayreuth’, an annual series of concerts. In 1968 Lukas founded a consort which he directs from the harpsichord; with this ensemble, and even more as an organist, he has made concert tours to central Europe and the USSR (twice with exclusively Bach programmes) and also to the USA and East Asia. In ...

Article

Rolf Haglund

(b Höör, Jan 21, 1920). Swedish composer, church musician and teacher. After attending the Stockholm Musikhögskolan (1938–43) he took appointments as organist in Köping (1943–53) and at St Maria, Helsingborg (1953–62). He studied the organ and composition with Heiller in Vienna (1961–3), and in 1962 he was appointed precentor and choirmaster to the Oscar Parish, Stockholm. From 1965 to 1970 he taught choral liturgy at Uppsala University and at the Stockholm Theological Institute; he joined the staff of the Stockholm training college for music teachers in 1967 as a theory teacher. As a practising musician and composer he has brought new life to Swedish church music by attempting to break down the barriers between sacred and secular music. His compositions are often forceful and dramatically intense, with improvisation an essential ingredient. In the church operas his work has been pioneering....

Article

(b Selma, AL, Sept 9, 1931; d Cincinnati, OH, Nov 21, 2004). American Composer, liturgist, and priest. He is often credited with birthing the phenomenon of “Catholic gospel music.” In addition to being the first African American priest ordained to serve the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, he was also instrumental in integrating cultural and musical practices reflecting the African American experience into the liturgy of the Church. In the wake of the Second Vatican Council and its call for revitalization of the liturgy, Rivers began composing music that integrated spirituals, gospel, and jazz with Gregorian chants. His music was used at the celebration of the first official American mass in English in 1963. In 1964 he published and recorded his American Mass Program, which sold more than 100,000 copies of sheet music and 30,000 albums. This would mark the beginning of an enduring legacy within the Catholic Church: the publishing of national resources documenting African American music and culture and the establishment of the Department of Culture and Worship in the Office of Black Catholics (NOBC). The ...

Article

(b Shoah, Ethiopia, 1949). Ethiopian singer, church musician, and liturgical scholar, naturalized American. Seyoum began studying music at the age of eight and attended various religious schools in his homeland. As he grew older, he began to learn new types of performance, including the Bethlehem style of singing, Christian chant, and sacred dance. At 17 years of age, he was already named a quanygeta, or “leader of the right hand side,” an important position among Ethiopian church musicians (also called dabrata). He quickly rose from deacon to marigeta, the leader of the musicians. He spent ten years in Greece learning more about liturgical practices and then came to the United States in 1982. Seyoum settled in Alexandria, Virgina, and joined the Debre Selam Kidist Mariam Church in Washington, DC. He became a leader there, and his remarkable musical skills have led to the preservation of many traditional elements of the Ethiopian Christian tradition in America. To codify and disseminate these practices, Seyoum released a six-CD set of liturgical materials. He has memorized the entirety of the Ethiopian Psalter (Dawit) and has intimate knowledge of other sacred books, such as the Ethiopian Hymnary. Seyoum is an expert of instrumental church practices, including those that are tied to the extremely complicated notational system from Ethiopia that includes more than 600 symbols. He is also the only living master of the prayer staff and its movements (an art called ...