11/02/2019 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Lenoir-Rhyne University
Grace Chapel
$45.00 ($20 full-time students)
Ryan Luhrs

This event will honor the legacy of Paul Manz, a celebrated Lutheran composer and organist who influenced multiple generations of organists. He is recognized as the pioneer of the modern hymn festival, and 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of his birth. Manz helped design the LRU sacred music program’s curriculum and made multiple trips to Hickory to lead hymn festivals, including a 1999 hymn festival at St. Stephen’s Lutheran LCMS, which was one of his final public appearances as a festival leader. Guest clinician Michael Costello will lead two interest sessions. The event will begin Friday, Nov. 1, 7:30p with an All Saints program led by the Lenoir-Rhyne A Cappella Choir and conclude Saturday, Nov. 2, 3:00p with a  Manz-inspired hymn festival.

All events will be held in Grace Chapel on the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne University.


November 1, 7:30 p.m. – All Saints Commemoration led musically by Michael Costello and LRU A Cappella Choir (open to public) 

November 2 – Hearts*Hands*Voices event 
8:30a.m. – Registration/check-in
9:00a.m. – Morning prayer and welcome
9:30a.m. – Session #1: “Improvisations on Hymns for the Organ — Lessons from Paul Manz” (Costello) 
10:30a.m. – Break 
10:45a.m. – Session #2: “Empowering Congregational Singing with Your Small Church Choir” (Luhrs)
11:45a.m. – Lunch 
1:00p.m. – Session #3: “Bach, Manz, and the Lutheran Chorale” (Costello) 
2:00pm. – Closing worship 


Improvisations on Hymns for the Organ: Lessons from Paul Manz (Costello) 
From chorale preludes to hymn accompaniments and harmonizations, Manz’s work continues to inspire the church’s song. In this session we will explore some of the compositional techniques that Paul Manz employed to create inspiring improvisations based on hymns of the church. Exploring Manz’s work will provide ideas for enriching leadership of the church’s song, particularly for those who lead from the keyboard. 

Empowering Congregational Singing with Your Small Church Choir (Luhrs)
Though Manz was known primarily for his leadership from the organ bench, the choir also played an integral role in his hymn festivals and service leadership. This session will explore how choirs — especially smaller ensembles — can help empower the congregation’s song.  

Bach, Manz, and the Lutheran Chorale (Costello) 
The Lutheran chorale is an essential element in the works of both Johann Sebastian Bach and Paul Manz. In this session we will explore ways in which each composer utilized the chorale. From the cantatas and passion settings of Bach to the chorale preludes of both composers, the chorales are a centerpiece of the church’s prayer and praise. Participants in this workshop will leave with a heightened appreciation for the Lutheran chorale and how it can be utilized as a tool for faith formation.


Michael Costello, Cantor (Director of Music) at Grace Lutheran Church and School in River Forest, IL and Artistic Director of Chicago Choral Artists, will serve as the principal workshop clinician and present two sessions related to Manz’s musical legacy. Michael graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC, where he studied Sacred Music with Paul D. Weber and Florence Jowers. In 1999 he won the Ruth and Paul Manz award and won the Region IV Young Organists Competition of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) in the same year. He went on to perform during the AGO’s 2000 national convention in Seattle, WA. A portion of that program aired on National Public Radio’s Pipe Dreams.

Dr. Ryan Luhrs is Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC. He directs the A Cappella Choir, College Singers, coordinates the Sacred Music Program, and mentors future choral music educators. Prior to his appointment at LRU, Luhrs was on the faculty and led the music program at Andrew College in Cuthbert, GA. He holds degrees from Florida State University, Luther Seminary (with St. Olaf College), and Luther College. Luhrs previously taught music in public schools in Iowa and Minnesota and has served as a church musician in Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Georgia, and North Carolina. He lives in Hickory with his wife, Sarah, and their three children.