Hymn Writer, Professor of Worship to Lecture on the Psalms

March 27, 2015
Ruth DuckRuth Duck courtesy photo.

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

WACO, Texas (March 27, 2015) – The 29th Annual Northcutt Lecture will feature a talk by Ruth Duck, Ph.D., hymn writer and professor of worship at Northwestern University’s Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Duck will give a lecture titled, “Sing Praise, Sing Lament, Sing Joy: The Psalms As Congregational Song” at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, in the McLean Foyer of Meditation of Armstrong Browning Library.

“Hymnody, unlike many other forms of poetry and prose, provides a very small palette on which to work, and the author must compress profound thoughts into brief form that will be understandable by the average person,” said David Music, Ph.D., professor of church music in Baylor’s School of Music.

“Despite their seeming simplicity, good hymns are difficult to write, and Dr. Duck is very good at it.”

Sponsored by LeGrande and Cassandra Northcutt of Longview, The Northcutt Lecture annually brings a major scholar or writer to the Baylor campus to speak on the subject of church music. Duck is considered to be one of the foremost living hymn text writers in the United States, Music said. Her hymns are widely anthologized in recent hymnals and are sung in a variety of denominational settings.

Duck’s hymnals are featured in texts from several countries and dominations: “The New Century Hymnal of the United Church of Christ,” “Voices United of the United Church of Canada” and “Glory to God, the Hymnal of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.” She also has published three collections of her own: “Dancing in the Universe,” “Circles of Care” and “Welcome God’s Tomorrow.”

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Armstrong Browning Library is located at 710 Speight Ave. in Waco.

For more information, call the Baylor University School of Music at 254-710-3991.

by Sarah Czerwinski, 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 16,000 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 12 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. Our 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, the 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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