Skip area navigation

OBU Hosts Hymn Festival Nov. 18

November 12, 2003

Featuring Dr. Ron Davis, associate professor of organ, and the university's Chapel Choir, under the direction of Dr. John Simons, the annual event brings together hymns and sacred songs from a wide variety of areas, time periods, and styles.

Coordinated by Davis, it is an opportunity for OBU students, faculty and staff, and Shawnee community music lovers to come together to celebrate the history of sacred song and to participate in some community music making. Some pieces will be sung by the Chapel Choir, some by the audience, and some by everyone in attendance.

"With all the changes in worship music and worship practice in contemporary society, it's a treat to come together as a community and experience a variety of musical styles and idioms. It's important to understand where worship music has been, where it has gone, and where it continues to go, and it is equally important to understand that there isn't one ''correct'' type of music for worship -- all music, in the appropriate venue, can be construed as worship music," said Dr. Kristen Stauffer Todd, assistant professor of music history.

Ron Davis has been a member of the OBU music faculty since 1987, and continues to coordinate the festival.

This year's program showcases American hymnody, including shape-note hymns from "The Sacred Harp" and "The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion", early American works including "Holy Manna" (commonly known as "Brethren, We Have fMet to Worship"), and "We Have Heard the Joyful Sound" as arranged by Dr. James Vernon, chair of the Division of Music and associate professor of music composition.

Admission is free, and everyone is welcome. For more information, please contact the Division of Music at 405-878-2306 or at