Harry Huff dead at 64

December 21, 2016

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.