I got a wonderful surprise yesterday after church when Dr. Carl Haywood came up to the organ to introduce himself and say hello. Dr. Haywood is an eminent composer and arranger of sacred music, but is also a well-known conductor, teacher, clinician, and church musician. His work has been particularly significant in the Episcopal Church as he was an editor and leading contributor to the African American hymnal Lift Every Voice and Sing (LEVAS), a resource we use regularly at St. Luke’s for the choir and congregational singing. His music appears in the Episcopal hymnal supplements Wonder Love and Praise (also used by us frequently) and Voices Found. His works are in several other denominational hymnals. St. Luke’s has sung his original compositions and arrangements over the years, and the choir and many in the congregation especially love his setting of the Gloria, which was sung at the Washington National Cathedral for the Absalom Jones Celebration in 2016, accompanied by the Theodicy Jazz Collective – you can hear it here His original Simplified Anglican Chant setting of the psalm, combined with Leon C. Roberts’ refrain, was used at Bishop Anne Hodges-Copple’s consecration service in 2013, and our congregation at St. Luke’s loves and has used it many times.
Dr. Haywood was warm and gracious when we met yesterday. He autographed my organist copy of LEVAS, was kind enough to pose for a photo, and promised to come back when he visits Durham again.
If you’d like to read more about Dr. Haywood, you can look here