2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Lutheran organist/composer Paul Manz. He is credited with influencing multiple generations of organists and is considered the pioneer of the modern hymn festival. As a composer, he penned dozens of hymn introduction and hymn-tune-based compositions, often improvisations at their origins. His choral motet, “E’en so Lord Jesus, Quickly come” has sold more than a million copies and was included in the renowned Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College, Cambridge. Although Manz had an international reputation, he also had ties locally. He helped design the curriculum for Lenoir-Rhyne’s Sacred Music Program and one of his final appearances as a hymn festival leader took place at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church (LC-MS) in Hickory in 1999.
In addition to his performance and accomplishments, Manz was known as a tender-hearted teacher. His many organ students have gone on to serve widely throughout the church. He is associated with a number of quotes related to church music leadership, including “The music may woo the people, but it is the Word who will win them” and “Love the people you are called to serve.”
Lenoir-Rhyne University will be honoring the life and legacy of Paul Manz in the weeks to come. On Friday, November 1, organist Rev. Michael Costello (who’s mother-in-law lives in the Lincolnton area!) will be in town to lead an All Saints Program with the LR A Cappella Choir at 7:30 p.m. in Grace Chapel. The program will feature many of Manz’s hymn introductions and the singing of “E’en so Lord Jesus, Quickly Come” by the choir. Other music will include Lang’s “Kontakion” and Gretchaninov’s “Nunc Dimittis,” which were both sung at Manz’s funeral in 2009. On Saturday, November 2, Costello will present workshops on the life and legacy of Paul Manz as part of the annual LR Sacred Music Conference. For more information on any of these events, contact Ryan Luhrs.
Emmanuel Lutheran will also honor Manz in the weeks to come. The chancel choir will sing his arrangement of “Let Us Ever Walk With Jesus” as the anthem on Sunday, October 6. His signature organ piece, “God of Grace” will be the postlude on October 27, Reformation Sunday. Finally, the handbell prelude on December 1, the first Sunday in Advent, will be an arrangement of “E’en So Lord Jesus, Quickly Come.”
Choir Practice 7:00 PM Wednesday nights in the Choir Room: Rehearsals begin on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 Handbell Practice 9:00 AM Sunday mornings in the Sanctuary: