Nunc dimittis

January 4, 2017

Nunc Dimittis

Harry Lyn Huff, minister of music for Old South Church, Copley Square, Boston, Massachusetts, died November 3, of complications from a brain aneurism. Born October 25, 1952, in Sevierville, Tennessee, he studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston-Salem, and later at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. He won competitions sponsored by the American Guild of Organists, the Royal Canadian College of Organists, the National Society of Arts and Letters, and the Music Teachers’ National Association. He was guest artist at the Aspen, Spoleto, Mostly Mozart, Copenhagen, and Avignon summer festivals, and appeared with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the American Composer’s Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony, the New York Pops, and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

From 1978 until 2004, he enjoyed a career in New York City that included collaborations with artists as varied as Jessye Norman, Judy Collins, Al Hirt, and Lar Lubovitch. His recording projects included organ music of late composers Calvin Hampton and Chris DeBlasio. More recent solo organ recital appearances included the E. Power Biggs Celebrity Series Recitals at Busch Hall, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Peter Schickele’s “PDQ Bach” concerts in Carnegie Hall, New York City.

From 1984 until 2004, Huff was director of music for Calvary Episcopal Church and from 1986 until 2004 organist and artist-in-residence at Union Theological Seminary, both in New York City. He also served as adjunct organist at St. Paul’s Chapel, Columbia University, organist of Temple Shaaray Tefita, and director of choral activities for the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, City University of New York, and artistic director for St. George’s Choral Society.

Harry Huff became minister of music for Old South Church, Boston, in September 2007, supervising the church’s music program including its multiple choirs, jazz ministry, the Old South Ringers, and concert series. He was also lecturer on ministry at Harvard Divinity School, chapter organist in the Memorial Church, Harvard, as well as associate in the music department and an affiliate of Lowell House of Harvard, as well as artist associate of the St. Botolph Club of Boston.

Harry Lyn Huff is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Don and Beth Stanton, nephews Bruce, Billy, and Wesley, and their families. A memorial service was held at Old South Church, Boston, on November 19. Donations may be made to the Harry L. Huff Memorial Fund, Old South Church, 645 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02116.

 

Gary Jenkins died September 29, 2016, at the age of 74. He was born in Rockford, Illinois; his parents moved shortly thereafter to Terre Haute, Indiana, then later to Chicago, Illinois, where he spent most of his life. Jenkins served in churches of various denominations, including Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, United Brethren, and United Church of Christ congregations, as well as a synagogue. The churches he served included the First United Methodist Church of Park Ridge, Illinois, and St. Genevieve Catholic Church of Chicago. He also taught at the Park Ridge School for Girls, Park Ridge, Illinois. Jenkins returned to Terre Haute in 2000 to care for his mother. There he served as minister of music for Central Presbyterian Church.

Gary Jenkins is survived by his stepbrother, Patrick O’Malley, of Terre Haute. A memorial service was held October 8 at the Carmelite Monastery of Terre Haute.

 

Sue Ellen Page Johnson, 67, died November 27, 2016, of brain cancer. She was born June 29, 1949, in Osceola, Iowa, to parents who were church musicians. Johnson earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in music education and sacred music at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, Princeton, New Jersey, and taught there as an adjunct instructor. She received a specialist diploma from the Orff Institute of the Mozarteum, Salzburg, Austria. She conducted choral festivals for children and youth and taught teacher training seminars around the United States and abroad. She was well known for her arrangements and compositions for children and youth singers.

From 1982 until 2016 she was director of choirs for children and youth at Nassau Presbyterian Church, Princeton, and was founder in 1989 of the Trenton Children’s Chorus, serving as its artistic director until 2004. Among her awards were a New Jersey Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and the distinguished alumni award from Westminster Choir College.

In 1972, she married Eric Johnson, who survives her. Also surviving are her four children: Amanda, Luke, Ben, and Mandy; four brothers: Bill, Richard, Bob, and Dave; and seven grandchildren.

A memorial service for Sue Ellen Page Johnson was held December 20 at Nassau Presbyterian Church. Memorial gifts may be made to the Trenton Children’s Chorus (www.trentonchildrenschorus.org) or CASA for Children (www.casaforchildren.org).