Bridging the Big Pond: A Bi-Continental Collaboration of Composer

Rebecca Groom te Velde and Philip Croydon

Tuesday, June 21, 9 AM

In this session the US-based co-editor of Oxford Hymn Settings for Organists, Rebecca te Velde,and OUP’s Head of Editorial in the UK, Philip Croydon, discuss the birth and development of this multi-volume series of hymn-based organ compositions. This includes: the rationale and logistics behind a ground-breaking collaboration of composers and editors; commonalities and differences of hymn tunes and their usage in the UK and US, and corresponding influences on the composers’ approaches to hymn treatments; the wide-ranging and intriguing responses of composers to their given tunes (compositional techniques, varied inspirations, and imaginative writing for the organ); and pedagogical use of the series as repertoire, as examples for studies in improvisation, and as examples for studies in organ composition. Some OHSO composers will be present to speak about their individual contributions and their thoughts on the challenges of writing concise, practical, accessible hymn settings on assigned tunes. The presenters will speak to the task of integrating so many creative styles and approaches into coherent and reasonably homogeneous volumes in order to meet organists’ needs on both sides of the ocean. Attendees will be invited to voice questions and comments.

For information on OHSO composers:

Rebecca Groom te Velde, M.Mus, AAGO, studied organ performance, composition and church music with Lester H. Groom at Seattle Pacific University and with Hugh McLean (organ) and Jack Behrens (composition) at the University of Western Ontario. She continued her studies in Germany with Michael Schneider, Almut Rössler and Hermann Schroeder on a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service. An active performer, teacher and clinician, she has published organ music with Oxford University Press and Darcey Press and choral compositions with Santa Barbara Music Publishing. She is Organist and Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Philip Croydon is Head of Editorial for sheet music at Oxford University Press (UK), overseeing the commissioning of new titles for key OUP markets, namely choral and organ, easy instrumental and education. He was Music Editor at the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (2000–08), a freelancer editor for other UK publishers (1990s), and staff editor on The New Grove Dictionary of Music. He trained at the University of London and the Academy of Music, Cracow, Poland, specializing in keyboard and composition.