Anniversary Church Music Competition

by Dr. Keith A. Loomans

In July 2003 the Texas District 100th Anniversary Task Force—Worship Committee announced the Anniversary Church Music Competition—Hymns and Spiritual Songs

The Texas District leadership saw the 100th anniversary of the district as an opportune time to encourage God's people in the district to compose songs and hymns of praise and adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication—the whole range of hymns and spiritual songs as categorized in The Lutheran Hymnal, Lutheran Worship, and worship supplements—and that would reflect cultural diversity and ethnicity as well as the diversity of worship styles.

Over 50 compositions from 21 entrants were received by the deadline in June 2005. The Texas District 100th Anniversary Task Force takes this opportunity to thank all the composers/writers for their submissions. Listed at the end of the article are the names of those who submitted entries in one or the other or both of the two competition categories.

Two panels of judges were selected by the Worship Committee to evaluate the work: one for the nineteen entries in the New Text For Existing Music division of the Anniversary Music Competition – Hymns and Spiritual Songs; and one for the thirty-two entries in the Original Composition (text & music/arrangement) division of the Anniversary Music Competition – Hymns and Spiritual Songs.

The results of the competition in the writing of new texts for existing music are: First Place, “Here I Stand” by Richard Leslie, St. Timothy, Houston; Second Place “Celebrate His Love Today” by The Rev. Gerald Thiele, Zion, Vernon; and tied for Third Place “For One Hundred Years Of Grace, O God” by The Rev. Michael Welmer, Epiphany, Houston, and “If Thou Be Faithful Unto Death” by The Rev. John Stennfeld, Christ, Austin.

The panel that judged original compositions subdivided the works into three categories—Praise Songs, Gospel Hymns and Hymnody. Individually each judge evaluated all thirty entries. Then the judges collectively discussed all the entries. They concluded that no entry would be selected for the first, second or third place awards and made that recommendation to the District 100th Anniversary Task Force. The Task Force reviewed the action of the judges and resolved to accept the judges’ recommendation.

The judges did select a number of compositions for Honorable Mention. The following received that award. In the category of Praise Song, “Your Love” by The Rev. Donald Kasper and James Marks, Faith, Huntsville; “From Generation to Generation” by Joel Endicott and Dave Smith, Gloria Dei, Houston; and “Cast Out Your Nets” by The Rev. Thomas Van Duzer, at the time of submission at Fisher’s of Men, Sugarland. In the category of Gospel Hymn, “Red Runs the River” by The Rev. Dr. Robert Preece, Zion, Dallas; “Your Boundless Love” by John Kalbas, St. Paul, Serbin; and “Hymn For Pentecost” by Carol Hartman Domasco, Trinity, Corpus Christi. In the category of Hymnody, “The King” by The Rev. Donald Kasper and James Marks, Faith, Huntsville; and “O Lord, Who Made the Heav’ns and Earth” by Denise Heimbigner, Charity, Burleson.

These compositions and the new text winning entries may be accessed as Zip files at the links below:

Download New Compositions as .zip file

Download New Text as .zip file

Composers/Writers: Carolyn Culbertson, Cross, New Braunfels; The Rev. Thomas DeVries, Pilgrim, Houston; Carol Hartman Domasco, Trinity, Corpus Christi; Joel Endicott and Dave Smith, Gloria Dei, Houston; Lou Gross, Fisher’s of Men, Sugarland; Denise Heimbigner, Charity, Burleson; John Kalbas, St. Paul, Serbin; The Rev. Donald Kasper and James Marks, Faith, Huntsville; Robert Kunce and Myles Knape, St. John, Galveston; Richard Leslie, St. Timothy, Houston; Kent Maxson, Our Savior, McKinney; The Rev. Robert Preece, Zion, Dallas; The Rev John Stennfeld and Fred Frieling, Christ, Austin; The Rev. David Tessmann, Peace, Texas City; The Rev. Gerald Thiele, Zion, Vernon; The Rev. Thomas Van Duzer, at the time of submission at Fisher’s of Men, Sugarland; The Rev. Michael Welmer, Epiphany, Houston.