Minds and Hearts in Praise of God: Hymns and Essays in Church Music in Honor of Hugh T. McElrath

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Minds and Hearts in Praise of God: Hymns and Essays in Church Music in Honor of Hugh T. McElrath edited by J. Michael Raley and Deborah Carlton Loftis. Franklin, TN: Providence House Publishers, 2006. 310 pp. ISBN: 978-1-57736-307-1. U.S. $24.95.

In the interest of "truth in advertising," this reviewer of Minds and Hearts in Praise of God must acknowledge that he wrote one of the recommendations found on the back of the book. That said, the reviewer feels confident in reiterating what he said there, that this volume "is a fitting tribute to an outstanding teacher and leader in the field of hymnology." Hugh T McElrath spent a long career teaching hymnology and other subjects at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and has been named a Fellow of The Hymn Society.

The recommendation also states that this Festschrift "includes contributions from many of the most significant hymn writers and church music scholars active today." A mere listing of the persons involved will bear this out. Among the hymn writers are Louis Ball, A. L. Butler, Carl P. Daw, Jr., Hal H. Hopson, Austin C. Lovelace, Milburn Price, Rae E. Whitney, Donald Eugene Winters, Brian Wren, and Carlton R. Young, while the essays were written by Paillette Moore Catherwood, Esther Rothenbusch Crookshank, Harry Eskew, Janelle Ganey, Paul Hammond, C. Michael Hawn, Donald Paul Hustad, Deborah Carlton Loftis, William N. McElrath, J. Michael Raley, Paul A. Richardson, and Mel R Wilhoit; a bibliography of published and selected unpublished works by McElrath - including theses and dissertations he supervised or for which he was a member of the committee-compiled by David Louis Gregory and William Jeffrey Jones is appended. The bibliography, all of the articles, and several of the hymns were written by the honoree's former students, faculty colleagues, co-authors, or relatives (several of the contributors fall into more than one of these categories).

The hymns include both new texts and new tunes. …