Paul Manz passed away yesterday. My wonderful friend Rita Juhl introduced me to him just last spring. Paul was a gifted Organist, Composer and Church Musician who made the Hymn Festival what it is today. His improvisations and introductions to hymns are epic and influence almost all church organists. Now everywhere I look there is something floating around by him or a person remembering the amazing gifts he brought to the world of Church Music. To quote from the MorningStar article:
The esteem and respect with which Paul Manz is regarded can be seen in the many honors he has received. He has twice been named one of the "Ten Most Influential Lutherans." He has 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."Having the chance to meet these men and women who have directly influenced the world of music in their lifetime is an honor. Most of them never intended to leave a mark as they have but instead through love and a drive for excellence they simply did what they believed they were supposed to do. Out of that dedication and love you find the real impact that moves in waves far beyond anyone else's expectations. And when a simple person like myself gets to shake their hand, they are truly interested in who I am. I think that's what make them great. Love and passion for others. Being a fine musician/organist/composer is just a bonus.
Guess the moral here is be good at what you do, but most of all, love the people who find their way into your life. Thank you Paul Manz for your wonderful gifts you have given us and may light shine perpetually upon you. We will remember you in song and heart for generations to come.