“What gift can we bring, what present, what token?”
Jane Marshall (1924-2019), well-loved composer, teacher, and friend, brought great gifts of music to all who offer music in worship.
“What words can convey it, the joy of this day?”
Those who knew or studied with Jane certainly have great joy in their remembrances of her. There would be few who have sung in a church choir over the last 50+ years who have not sung one of her pieces.
“When grateful we come, remembering, rejoicing,
What song can we offer in honor and praise?” *
All sacred musicians are encouraged to offer a song in honor and praise of Jane and her impact on sacred music by including one of Jane’s compositions in worship during the weekend of Sunday, September 29.
Please share this word via your own social and/or personal networks so that as many people as possible will know of this effort. This effort is being instigated by The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, but sacred musicians in all religious settings are encouraged to participate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is there some special significance to September 29?
A: No, there isn't. But we wanted to choose a date that was soon enough to maintain interest, but also to give many choirs the chance to regroup after a summer break.
Q: Do we need to tell anyone what we are doing?
A: No, but we will be receiving comments on this post where you can share your plans, pictures, and video links.
* “What Gift Can We Bring,” Stanza 1, by Jane Marshall, 1980. © 1982 Hope Publishing Co. Used with permission.
At the past week's Choir Rehearsal at College Heights UMC in Lakeland, Florida, I reminded my choir about Jane Marshall including my memory singing under her direction as a high school student in the Florida Fellowship Music Workshop. She was a kind and gentle soul, an incredible inspiration in preparing music, and a loving director.
We will sing Jane Marshall's "Credo" on Sunday, September 29, as a dedication to Jane's life and service. As we read through the anthem, we discussed the structure and had a brief discussion of the creed section. Several ideas have been bounced around including the creed coming from the sound booth on a mic (affectionately know as "The Voice of God Mic" in the theatrical world).
Today, I'm researching creeds and trying to determine if we would use one of the old standards from The United Methodist Hymnal or one updated for today's world.
We landed on using the current UMC Social Creed (http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/social-principles-social-creed) in the creed section. It was read by our tech guy from the booth in the balcony (in the theatre world, we would call it "Voice of God."). It worked out really well. So well that our minister referenced the social creed in her sermon on the lectionary reading from Jeremiah 32.
I was asked to write a short article for the bulletin also. Here's the article:
Today, The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music & Worship Arts (“The Fellowship”) is honoring composer Jane Marshall (1924-2019), well-loved composer, teacher, and friend, brought great gifts of music to all who offer music in worship. In addition to her work as a composer and hymn writer, she was a longtime faculty member of Perkins School of Theology, SMU. She received a lifetime award from The Fellowship and was a Youth Choir Clinician at The Florida Fellowship’s Church Music Workshop.
Marshall’s “Credo” is a famous anthem of hope and faith that combines an inscription found in a Cologne, Germany cellar where Jews hid during WWII and quotes Mark 9:24.
From Carolyn Deuel:
The Sanctuary Singers and congregation of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Casper, WY, will include Jane Marshall’s “Credo” in our worship service on Sept. 29th!
I learned much from this delightful and so very talented woman at several Fellowship Convocations! I remember a very special service led by Jane, Carlton Young, and, I think, Austin Lovelace - three giants in church music!
This Sunday at First UMC Gastonia NC we will sing Jane's hymn "What Gift Can We Bring". Children's choir will sing her setting of Psalm 98, and the Chancel Choir will sing her anthems "Awake My Heart" and "Bless the Lord, My Soul".
It was a great privilege to study with Jane at the Church Music Summer School at SMU.
Our choir is singing "My Eternal King" this Sunday, and the church is singing "What Gift Can We Bring?"
The choir has never sang the anthem before, and it has been a challenge in the few weeks since we started rehearsing after summer break, but it is coming along well and should be effective in worship.
Minister of Music,
Edwardsville (IN) United Methodist Church
Retired Bass Trombonist,
Louisville Orchestra, 1970-2016
I was fortunate to work with Jane on the editorial committee for the first Supplement to The Book of Hymns, 1982. We worked together in many NC Jurisdictional Convocations and Fellowship Biennial Convocations. Our family friendship stayed strong over the years.
My choir is singing "The Prayers I Make" on September 29 to honor her.
Sara J. Collins, Director of Music, First Congregational UCC, Shelby MI
Our Chancel Choir at Jasper UMC in Jasper, GA will be singing "My Eternal King" and our Organist is playing "What Gift Can We Bring?" as her Offertory. Jane has always been a wonderful inspiration to all of us who are honored to be in Choral Music. She
In 1996, the Chancel Choir commissioned Jane to compose an anthem to celebrate Walker Breland's 15th anniversary as organist for First-Centenary UMC in Chattanooga, TN. We are pleased to present "How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place" in memory of and with appreciation for the important contributions Jane made to our lives and our worship ministries.
Our Chancel Choir will be sharing "My Eternal King", and the congregation will be singing "What Gift Can We Bring".
Here at Second-Ponce, we have been singing "Awake My Heart" as our choral call to worship all of this month. And today, along with churches across the nation, we performed "My Eternal King," with choir, organ and orchestra. What a tremendous blessing to once again experience this magnificent piece, and to share it with those in the sanctuary and watching our livestream. Will share here in the next couple of days. Blessings to all!
Bill Gabbard, Minister of Music
Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church
On Sunday, September 29th, the Munsey Memorial UMC Chancel Choir shared two of Jane's anthems in worship - "Awake My Heart" and "Wondering." In addition, the congregation closed the worship service by singing "What Gift Can We Bring." Several members of the congregation mentioned other selections the choir has sung over the years, such as "My Eternal King," "None Other Lamb," "Sometimes a Light," and "Credo." It was a wonderful morning of worship. Jane Marshall's legacy and inspiration will live on, and her influence on United Methodist worship leaders and music directors will be felt for years to come.
Douglas Grove-DeJarnett, Associate Pastor for Music & Congregational Life
Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church
Johnson City, TN