Academic journal article The Hymn

Sound in the Land: Essays on Mennonite Music

Academic journal article The Hymn

Sound in the Land: Essays on Mennonite Music

Article excerpt

Sound in the Land: Essays on Mennonite Music Ed. Maureen Epp and Carol Ann Weaver. Kitchener, ON: Pandora, 2005. 220 pp. ISBN: 1-894710-59-2. $25.00 Canadian

"The 'Sound in the Land' festival and conference, X. held at Conrad Grebel University College in May 2004, marked the first time that Mennonites, in their 300-plus years of being in North America, gathered together for the express purpose of discovering, hearing, studying, and celebrating collective Mennonite voices in music;" proclaimed the back cover of this anthology of essays, poems and conference papers. Mary K. Oyer asks "Where have Mennonites been and where are we going?" in her keynote address on the scope and legacy of 200 years of Mennonite hymnody. Musicologist Maureen Epp revisits text and music in the Ausbund. Mark Jantzen describes three songs about "Love of Enemies" found in an 1869 hymnal for Mennonites living in the Vistula Delta (in modern Poland) amid the turmoil of the Prussian wars. In "Identity and the Hymnal: Can Music Make a Person Mennonite?" Katie J. Graber examines dimensions of Mennonite identity, asking if the hymnbook shapes Mennonite being. While four-part a cappella singing is a motif throughout the book, its poems and essays reflect the diversity of Mennonite culture showcased at the conference organized by pianist, composer, and professor of music Carol Ann Weaver. In the second section, "Voices at the Edges," anthropologist Doreen H. Klassen writes about Anabaptist- Lutheran musician Benjamin Horsch who reconfigured music studies in Canadian Mennonite Bible colleges and universities around a strong lay music tradition. Victor Davies gives his account of Horsch's commission for a Mennonite Piano Concerto based on traditional Mennonite hymns, premiered at a Winnipeg Saengerfest in 1975. Aseries of essays explores how Mennonite musidans developed careers in popular music and the founding of the MennoFolk festivals in Ontario and Manitoba. …

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