Tomorrow the offertory anthem will be the spiritual, “Elijah Rock,” a piece in a new genre for the LCH Choir. It was written by Moses Hogan (1957-2003), an African-American composer who published over seventy choral anthems and who tragically died at the age of 45 of a brain tumor. A website devoted to his music and life says that “Until his untimely death in 2003, Moses Hogan was one of the most celebrated contemporary directors and arrangers of spirituals. In his short life, he created dozens of new original arrangements of classic spirituals, and formed several choirs that performed them with new vitality.”
Hogan must have been an accomplished pianist because he took first place in the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin competition. In addition to being Artist in Residence at Loyola University, New Orleans, Hogan founded the Moses Hogan Singers and the Moses Hogan Chorale. He also wrote some arrangements for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Here’s a YouTube video of the Moses Hogan Chorale singing “Elijah Rock” in 2007, dedicated to the memory of its founder. Allen Bauchle will be conducting as Miguel Felipe is away.
The choir will also be singing tomorrow afternoon at the memorial service for Ruth Ann Johnson, wife of long-time Pastor Don Johnson, who died of breast cancer. Allen Bauchle, trumpeter, and I will be playing “Aria” by Flor Peeters and “Trumpet Voluntary” by John Stanley as the prelude and postlude, respectively.
Georgine Stark, soprano, will sing the showstopping spiritual, “He’s got the whole world in his hands,” arranged by Margaret Bond, and Carl Crosier accompanying. That means Georgine will sing two high Ds tomorrow — once in “Elijah Rock” and the other in “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” Wow!