Internationally renowned composer and organist David Hurd was honoured at the 20th anniversary of Rejoicensemble on April 10 at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Mr. Hurd has written more than 100 compositions and 55 hymns, antiphons and pieces of service music. His work appears in Hymnal 1982 and other Episcopal hymnbooks. He has been on the faculty at General Theological Seminary since 1976 and currently serves as professor of church music and organist.
“David Hurd is one of the most prolific, published African-American composers in the country,” said Carl MaultsBy, founder and executive artistic director of Rejoicensemble. Yet he remains “largely unknown to both the African American and general public.”
Mr. MaultsBy said this made him the “perfect candidate” to reflect Rejoicensemble’s 20-year mission.
Rejoicensemble is a not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to commissioning and presenting works of African-American composers as well as increasing the general public awareness of the cultural significance of sacred music of the African Diaspora. It was founded in 1984 by Mr. MaultsBy in response to an inquiry by Harry Belafonte for a choral group to close his movie Beat Street.
The ensemble’s repertoire runs the gamut of musical styles from chant to spirituals to gospel to sacred jazz to anthems and art compositions.