"Each generation must add its stanza to the great hymn of the church."
-- Bishop Joel Martínez.
The sessions in this year's Kemp Church Music Symposium will explore the complex and rich streams of song that make up the North American musical and theological landscape. How can each of these streams contribute to the spiritual life of our congregations? How do the streams reflect the Christian spiritual landscape of North America? What does our generation have to say to the church about the present realities that confront us and its future in the world?
The day will conclude with a hymn festival on the theme: The Lord's Prayer: A Global Perspective.
The Kemp Endowment for Church Music at Westminster Choir College of Rider University honors the memory and legacy of John S.C. Kemp, church musician and educator, who chaired the sacred music department at Westminster during the 1970s and early ’80s. Its foundation is based on Dr. Kemp’s belief that rigorous musical training and scholarship, as well as continuing education and the development of pastoral skills are crucial for music ministry to be effective. By supporting student scholarships and lectureships at Westminster, the Kemp Endowment sponsors educational programs that engage pastors and musicians in conversation about liturgy and song.
Together with his wife Helen, John Kemp served numerous churches as minister of music. The Kemps modeled their multiple-choir programs after the church choir school concept set forth by John Finley Williamson, founder of Westminster Choir College, from which both Helen and John graduated, met and married. Thousands of lives have been enriched by the Kemps through their work in churches both large and small; the leadership they provided at the Choir College; the workshops led and articles written, in particular, through the Choristers Guild; and the important work done on national and local committees and boards of directors.
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Michael Hawn, guest clinician
Tom T. Shelton, assistant professor