For Choirs and Music, I Give Thanks

Excepting intentionally brief or quiet "said" services, Episcopal liturgy regularly includes a lot of music, for which I am thankful. Obviously, planning music for liturgy is what I do for a living, is what I was trained to do, and is what I love to do.According to American theologian Frederick Buechner (b. 1926), this is the true definition of vocation: "the intersection of your greatest joy and the world's greatest need." I am fortunate, indeed, and I seek to remember this each day.In my Me... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Saturday, April 30, 2016

Liturgical Ketchup: It's All About Anticipation

As practicing Christians, we seem to spend a fair amount of time anticipating. In Advent we anticipate the birth of Jesus at Christmas. After Christmas we spend twelve days anticipating the arrival of the Magi on the Day of Epiphany. For forty days in Lent we anticipate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday), the difficult events of Holy Week and the splendor of the Resurrection (Easter Day). Another word for anticipation is hope, which I think is a much better word; indeed, hope... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Fields of Our Hearts

Sitting at my desk on National Pet Day (April 11), I admit that I sometimes struggle with that teaching-an-old-dog-new-tricks thing. On one hand, I truthfully am always on the lookout for new music for our choirs to sing – new texts, new or contemporary composers, anthems that have something to teach us both musically and textually. On the other hand, I often go after the old friends, those hymns and anthems of which I am sure, those that I am convinced are great marriages of text and tune, m... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Monday, April 11, 2016

The Time for Grand Things

It is no secret that I like grand things. I’m one of those slightly-naïve but cup-half-full people who finds life perpetually grand, hence my affection for grand liturgy and music, along with my devotion to all-things Royal and all-things Downton Abbey. Eastertide is the time for grand things. Lent not so much. And there is spiritual value in both. This Sunday’s (Apr. 10) anthem at the Offertory at our 10:30 liturgy is grand in every way – tune, text, instrumentation, voicing, phrases that ri... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Tuesday, April 5, 2016