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Text Identifier:"^as_when_the_shepherd_calls_his_sheep$"

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Omer Westendorf

1916 - 1997 Author of "Gift of Finest Wheat" in Psalter Hymnal (Gray) Omer Westendorf, one of the earliest lyricists for Roman Catholic liturgical music in English, died on October 22, 1997, at the age of eighty-one. Born on February 24, 1916, Omer got his start in music publishing after World War II, when he brought home for his parish choir in Cincinnati some of the Mass settings he had discovered in Holland. Interest in the new music being published in Europe led to his creation of the World Library of Sacred Music, initially a music-importing firm that brought much of this new European repertoire to U.S. parishes. Operating out of a garage in those early years, Omer often joked about the surprised expressions of visitors who stopped by and found a wide range of sheet music in various states of “storage” (read disarray). Later, as World Library Publications, the company began publishing some of its own music, including new works with English texts by some of those same Dutch composers, for example, Jan Vermulst. In 1955 World Library published the first edition of The Peoples Hymnal, which would become the People's Mass Book in 1964, one of the first hymnals to reflect the liturgical reforms proposed by Vatican II. Omer also introduced the music of Lucien Deiss to Catholic parishes through the two volumes of Biblical Hymns and Psalms. Using his own name and several pen names, Omer composed numerous compositions for liturgical use, though his best-known works may be the texts for the hymns “Where Charity and Love Prevail,” “Sent Forth by God’s Blessing,” and especially “Gift of Finest Wheat.” As he lay dying, his family and friends gathered around his bed to sing his text “Shepherd of Souls, in Love, Come, Feed Us.” NPM honored Omer as its Pastoral Musician of the Year in 1985. =========================== Pseudonyms: Paul Francis Mark Evans J. Clifford Evers --Letter from Tom Smith, Executive Director of The Hymn Society, to Leonard Ellinwood, 6 February 1980. DNAH Archives.

Robert Kreutz

1922 - 1996 Person Name: Robert E. Kreutz Composer of "BICENTENNIAL" in Psalter Hymnal (Gray)

John Allen Ferguson

b. 1941 Person Name: John Ferguson, b. 1941 Harmonizer of "BICENTENNIAL" in Hymnal Supplement 1991 John Ferguson’s name is immediately associated with hymnody and the words “hymn festival.” Every year he is invited to design and lead such events, both in local congregations and at gatherings of organists, choral conductors, and church musicians. In 1995 he designed and led a hymn festival in the Washington National Cathedral for the American Choral Directors Association national convention and in 1998 did the same at the national convention of the American Guild of Organists in Denver. He has presented such events abroad as well as in Asia (July, 1996 in Seoul, Korea) and Europe (August, 1997) in the National Cathedral of Norway, Nidaros Dom, Trondheim, as a part of the celebration of the millennium of the birth of St. Olaf. Although he is a Lutheran, his festivals are ecumenical experiences drawing upon the greatest treasures of Christian song from many centuries, traditions, and styles. Ferguson is the Elliot and Klara Stockdal Johnson Professor of Organ and Church Music and Cantor to the Student Congregation at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. St. Olaf’s great choral tradition began with F. Meluis Christiansen and has influenced many generations of fine church musicians. Christiansen’s lifelong interest in hymns is evidenced by the many hymns included in his choral compositions as well as his contributions to hymnals of his day. Ferguson’s creative hymn arrangements continue this tradition with a renewed emphasis upon congregational participation. A native of Cleveland, Ferguson’s degrees are from Oberlin College, Kent State University and the Eastman School of Music. He is respected as a fine teacher and performer and his unique skill as improviser and leader of congregational song has won national acclaim. When someone attends one of his festivals, the experience is never dull. With Ferguson at the organ and the creative use of instrumental and choral sound, the assembly is enveloped and whisked away into an experience of song that will never again happen in just that way.

Georgina Pando-Connolly

b. 1946 Person Name: Georgina Pando-Connolly, b. 1946 Translator of "You Satisfy the Hungry Heart (Tú Sacias Todo Corazón)" in Oramos Cantando = We Pray In Song

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