2019 is the 100th anniversary of Paul Manz’s birth. In honor of the occasion, we’re reminding ourselves of the incredible contributions Manz made to church music, and invite you to join in. If you are performing any of Manz’s works in 2019, let us know in the comments!
If you’re not familiar with Manz’s legacy as a musician, composer, teacher, and worship leader, a great place to start is Scott Hyslop’s book, The Journey Was Chosen: The Life and Work of Paul Manz. Along with publication of the book came a Paul Manz Portal, where you can quickly find articles, photos, and programs, among other resources.
Manz’s best-known piece is “E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come.” Watch a video with the score below!
To view all of Manz’s works with MorningStar, click here.
Paul Manz long served the church as recitalist, composer, teacher and leader in worship. He was Cantor Emeritus at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saint Luke, Chicago, Illinois; as well as Cantor Emeritus of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was the director of the newly established Paul Manz Institute of Church Music, and was Professor Emeritus of Church Music at Christ Seminary Seminex at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago.
A Fulbright grant enabled him to study with Flor Peeters in Belgium and Helmut Walcha in Germany. The Belgian government invited him to be the official United States representative in ceremonies honoring Flor Peeters on his 80 th birthday and his 60 th year as titular organist of the Cathedral of Saint Rombaut in Mechelen, Belgium. At that time, Flor Peeters referred to his former student as “my spiritual son.”
Paul Manz concertized extensively in North America. He appeared at the Lincoln Center in New York City, with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall and with the Minnesota Orchestra under the direction of Charles Dutoit, Leonard Slatkin, and Henry Charles Smith. In addition, he played recitals in churches and cathedrals here and abroad. He was in great demand for his hymn festivals, which are his legacy as a church musician. He conducted many organ clinics, participated in liturgical seminars and appeared as lecturer and recitalist at the regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists.
The esteem and respect with which Paul Manz is regarded can be seen in the many honors he has received. He was twice named one of the “Ten Most Influential Lutherans.” He served as National Councilor of the American Guild of Organists and is listed as one of the “101 Most Notable Organists of the 20th Century.” He was the recipient of many honorary doctorates and awards. Northwestern University, his alma mater, presented him with the prestigious “Alumni Merit Award”; The Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago presented him with the distinguished “Confessor of Christ Award”; The Chicago Bible Society presented him with the “Gutenberg Award”; and the Lutheran Institute of Washington, DC honored him with the first “Wittenberg Arts Award”. At a convention of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, his colleagues honored him for his work in the church. A large gathering in Minneapolis, Minnesota held a “Paul Manz Celebration: Honoring the Life of a Church Musician” where substantial gifts were given to the Ruth and Paul Manz Scholarship for Church Musicians.
Trinity Seminary of Columbus, Ohio bestowed the “Joseph Sittler Award for Theological Leadership” and among his many honorary doctorates is the Doctor of Sacred Music degree from Valparaiso University, Indiana, and most recently, the Doctor of Music degree from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota.
His musical compositions are internationally known. His organ works are extensively used in worship services, recitals and in teaching. His choral music is widely used by church and college choirs here and abroad. His motet, “E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come” is regarded as a classic and has been frequently recorded here and abroad. His life and works is the subject of a doctoral dissertation which details his career spanning more than fifty years and analyzes his organ works.