Choral masterpieces

By singing anthems for Sunday worship each week, our choirs go through a goodly amount of choral literature. And not to toot our own horns, we sing quite a wide variety of styles of anthem literature. For example, in the month of January, our worshipers heard harmonically bold 20th Century anthems; harmonically tame but lyrical 20th Century anthems; a gospel hymn arrangement; an African-American spiritual setting; a German chorale arrangement by one of my beloved CHC predecessors; ... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Favorite hymns

This past Saturday, I was privileged and honored to be asked to present a program to the Daughters of the King (DOK) of Church of the Holy Communion, which actually included DOK members from parishes throughout the Diocese of West Tennessee. By request, I was asked to speak on the topic "Hymns As Spiritual Devotion." A subtitle for my talk was "Those who sing pray twice," a verbal nod to the phrase traditionally attributed to St. Augustine.  One of my undergraduate ... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Beatitudes

This Sunday's (February 17) Gospel reading is one of the passages that we know as the Beatitudes, Jesus' sermon where he used the format, "Blessed are the..." I have written in this blog before about my career-long quest for "mustard seed anthems." Jesus often spoke in parables, and some of them are more obvious than others. "Having the faith of a grain of mustard seed" is one of those parables in which I search for anthems to illuminate the te... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Thursday, February 14, 2019


Whatever our chosen field or life’s work, and no matter how well we prepare ourselves academically or experience-wise, having a mentor or two or three makes sense. If we want to be the best, we should surround ourselves with the best and then pay attention. Church music is definitely a mentorship. Those of us who dreamed of doing church music as a vocation spent time practicing and studying and then observing those whom we thought did it well. For me, Bob Powell was that person.... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Thursday, February 7, 2019

All about love

In church this Sunday, we will hear “The Love Chapter” from First Corinthians 13. We all remember how the love litany reads: “Love is patient, kind, and not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. Love is not insistent or irritable or resentful or rejoicing in wrongdoing. Love bears, believes, hopes, endures all things and never ends.” At Holy Communion, I am privileged to play for a goodly number of weddings annually, and about half the time I hear this scripture r... Read More
Posted by Dr. David Ouzts at Friday, February 1, 2019