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Contributed by Leon W. Couch on 10/06/2010
By invitation, Assistant Professor of Music Leon W. Couch III served as a clinician and solo recitalist for the Planning for Music Ministry symposium in Lewisburg, PA.
Sponsored by the Susquehanna chapter of the American Guild of Organists, this symposium featured four clinicians and a recitalist. Music teachers, church musicians, and university faculty from the region attended this one-day symposium.
The workshop entitled "Hymn Appreciation: Teaching People How to Write Hymns" trained these leaders how to teach amateurs how to craft hymn texts and tunes. The presentation addressed theology, rhetorical devices, poetic issues specific to this genre, tune writing for general audiences, and the matching of tunes and texts. The talk included numerous handouts for teaching purposes and sample student hymns. (The students often had never played an instrument nor knew how to read music notation.)
The solo recital featured works from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. The program included masterworks by Dieterich Buxtehude, Johannes Pachelbel, J. S. Bach, Janet Linker, and Louis Vierne, including two movements from Vierne's infamously difficult Sixth Symphony. The recital was received with a standing ovation.