Baylor School of Music Welcomes Internationally Published Hymn Writer

March 28, 2013
Brian Wren, Ph.D.Brian Wren, Ph.D.

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Media contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (March 28, 2013)--The 27th annual Northcutt Lecture will present a lecture by hymn-poet and author Brian Wren, Ph.D., at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, in Meadows Recital Hall, in the Glennis McCrary Music Building, 110 Baylor Ave.

Wren's lecture, "More to Follow: A Lyricist's Appreciation of P. P. Bliss," will focus on Bliss' career as a Gospel singer, famous for writing the words and music for hymns including "Almost Persuaded," "Hallelujah, What a Saviour!" and "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning."

Wren is an internationally published hymn-poet whose work appears in hymnals from all denominations and traditions. Wren, emeritus Professor of Worship at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga., is also a writer, preacher, and worship and workshop leader.

"Brian Wren is one of the foremost living hymn writers and lyric theologians of the present day. Students who attend this lecture will gain renewed appreciation for and understanding of the art of writing lyrics for worship," said David Music, Ph.D., professor of church music for Baylor University's Center for Christian Music Studies.

His publications include "What Language Shall I Borrow? -- God-Talk in Worship: A Male Response to Feminist Theology," "Praying Twice: The Music and Words of Congregational Song," "Advent, Christmas and Epiphany: Liturgies and Prayers for Public Worship," "Hymns for Today" and seven hymn collections totaling 250 hymns.

"Brian Wren is hands down one of the finest hymn writers of his generation," said Randall Bradley, D.M.A, Ben H. Williams Professor of Music and director of church music in Baylor's School of Music.

"His hymn texts have been groundbreaking both in terms of language usage and the wide range of subjects that they have addressed. However, he is not to be overlooked as a fine scholar with several important books to his credit. Through the Northcutt Lecture, Baylor students will have the opportunity to interact with a hymn writer who will go down in history as one of the most important of our time," Bradley said.

The Northcutt Lecture in church music was established in 1985 by LeGrande and Cassandra Northcutt of Longview. Annually, it brings major scholars in the philosophy or practice of church music to Baylor's campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Baylor University School of Music at 254-710-3991.

by Rebecca Malzahn , student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.


The Baylor University School of Music provides transformational experiences that prepare students for careers in music. Students thrive in a Christian environment characterized by a nurturing resident faculty, an unwavering pursuit of musical excellence, a global perspective, dedication to service, and devotion to faith. They investigate the rich musical and cultural heritage of the past, develop superior musical skills and knowledge in the present, and explore and create new modes of musical expression for the future. While preparing for future leadership roles, students join with School of Music faculty in enhancing the quality of community life, enriching the larger culture, and making Baylor a place in which heart, mind and soul coalesce.

The School of Music of Baylor University is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music and the Texas Association of Music Schools. Degree programs leading to the bachelor of music education degree conform to certification requirements of the Texas Education Agency.

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