Founded in Dallas, Texas, the Lutheran Hymn Festival began in the early 1990’s with the idea to promote Lutheran hymnody and to celebrate together with other Lutheran churches in the area.
The first Lutheran Hymn Festival was held in 1993 and featured guest organist, Martin Jean. Keeping with tradition, the Lutheran Hymn Festival continued to host festivals every few years thereafter. Most recently, featured organists have included Jeffrey Blersch (2010), Steven Wente (2013), and David Cherwien (2016). The 2016 festival marked the tenth Lutheran Hymn Festival since its inception.
The Lutheran Hymn Festival is held in the Eugene McDermott Concert Hall at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. The organ’s 4,535 pipes range from the size of a pencil to 32 feet in length, making it one of the largest mechanical action organs ever built for a symphony hall. Both its sight and sound truly are remarkable.
The Festival Children’s Choir features children from various Lutheran churches in the Dallas-Fort-Worth metroplex. Invitations are traditionally sent to all ELCA and LCMS churches and schools in the metroplex and surrounding areas. The Festival Adult Choir represents an SABT ensemble comprised of singers drawn from the many Lutheran congregations in the four-county North Texas region.
For each Lutheran Hymn Festival, four goals are sought:
+ To glorify God . . . Soli Deo Gloria!
+ To encourage one another in the faith by singing hymns. The Scriptures bid us to do so: “. . .singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts; (give) thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 5:29-30 NEB)
And again: “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Col. 3:16-17 NEB)
+ To proclaim the Gospel. To all gathered, the hymnody chosen gives us another opportunity to tell the story of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
+ To encourage and support the training of young church musicians.