ELCA NEWS SERVICE
October 30, 2009
Paul Manz, Distinguished Lutheran Organist, Composer and Teacher, Dies
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Paul O. Manz, a well-known Lutheran organist, composer, church musician and teacher, died Oct. 28 after several weeks of hospice care in St. Paul, Minn. Manz, 90, was surrounded by family at his death as they sang "E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come," his most famous choral work.
A memorial service is planned for Nov. 8 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, St. Paul, said Manz's son, the Rev. John C. Manz, a pastor at Gloria Dei, where the elder Manz attended.
As a musician, Manz's life and career were filled with honors and accolades that many performing musicians strive for yet seldom attain, according to MorningStar Music Publishers, Fenton, Mo., Manz's music publisher.
He was perhaps best known for his ability to play the organ and compose music. During his career Manz played numerous concerts, appearing with symphony orchestras at places such as the Lincoln Center, New York, and the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. Manz played in churches in the United States and abroad, and was a frequent lecturer in liturgical seminars and organ clinics. "Hymn festivals" were a favorite of his audiences.
Manz taught for many years at Concordia College, St. Paul, and later was Christ Seminary Seminex Professor of Church Music and Artist in Residence at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), one of the eight seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). He was also cantor at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Luke, Chicago.
The Rev. Martin E. Marty, Chicago, retired ELCA pastor and church historian, said it was a blessing to know Manz and his wife, Ruth, and to hear his music and collaborate with him. With the help of John Manz, Marty was able this week to phone a final benediction to his friend who could no longer speak, he told the ELCA News Service.
Marty recalled a gathering of some 200 church musicians some years ago, at which Manz spoke. "Manz had them repeat after himself three times: 'You can never know the hymns too well.' He came as close as anyone to knowing them well! No one did as much as he to bring to form the contemporary hymn-sing," he said.
"The hymn we both identified with most at times like this reads, 'Lord, let at last thine angels come.' Now it is realized for him, as he leaves us with reminiscences, organ ringing in our ears and hope," Marty said.
"The church and world were blessed beyond measure by the talents and gifts Paul Manz shared with our seminary community. His legacy of teaching and his music will continue through our graduates to touch the lives of future generations," said the Rev. James Kenneth Echols, LSTC president.
"His tireless effort, generating support for our institution through hymn festivals, was a mark of his remarkable ministry. We give thanks to God for the good fortune of having known Paul and his beloved Ruth as members of the Seminex and LSTC communities," Echols said.
Born in 1919 in Cleveland, Manz began his music career by taking piano lessons at the age of five. He attended Concordia High School in River Forest, Ill., and entered the school's teacher training program. Following graduation from Concordia in 1941, Manz was a teacher, principal and musician with several parishes in Fond du Lac, Wis., and St. Paul, Minn. In 1946 Manz was called to Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, where he served as director of Christian education and music for 37 years.
He attended the University of Minnesota and later, earned a master's degree in organ performance from Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. He was awarded a Fulbright scholarship grant for study at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Antwerp, Belgium.
Manz served on the faculties at the University of Minnesota and Macalester College, St. Paul. In 1957 he became professor and chair of the Division of Fine Arts, Concordia College, St. Paul. Turmoil in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in the early 1980s resulted in Manz's decision to resign from Concordia. He returned to full-time service as cantor at Mt. Olive before he and his wife moved in 1983 to Chicago, where he joined LSTC and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Luke.
St. Luke established the Paul Manz Institute of Church Music. He retired from LSTC in 1992, and from the institute and St. Luke in 1999.
During the course of his career, Manz was honored numerous times. Among the accolades, Northwestern University presented him the prestigious "Alumni Merit Award;" Trinity Lutheran Seminary, an ELCA seminary in Columbus, Ohio, gave him the "Joseph Sittler Award for Theological Leadership;" LSTC presented him the distinguished "Confessor of Christ Award; the Chicago Bible Society presented the "Gutenberg Award" to Manz; the Luther Institute, Washington, D.C., gave him its first "Wittenberg Arts Award;" Valparaiso (Ind.) University and St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., awarded him honorary doctorates. St. Olaf is one of 28 ELCA colleges and universities.
Manz's wife Ruth died in 2008 after 65 years of marriage. They had four children: David, who died at birth; Michael, who died in 2006; John and Peter. Following the deaths of Ruth's brother, Herbert Mueller, and his wife, Helene Mueller, the Manzs took in their four orphaned children: Mary, Anne, Sarah and John, increasing their family number to nine.
Paul is survived by his children, John Manz, St. Paul; Mary Mueller Bode, St. Paul; Peter Manz, Portland, Ore.; Anne Mueller Klinge, St. Louis; Sarah Mueller Forsberg, Minneapolis; John Mueller, Spokane, Wash.; and 12 grandchildren.
Information about Paul Manz's life is at http://www.gloriadeistpaul.org/Paul_Manz_Memorial_Eucharist.html and at http://www.morningstarmusic.com/index.html on the Web.
* Information was provided by MorningStar Music Publishers and Scott Hyslop, author of the biography, "The Journey Was Chosen: The Life and Work of Paul Manz."
For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or email@example.com
ELCA News Blog: http://www.elca.org/news/blog