Sunday, May 03, 2009

Dr. Hancock awarded St. Peter's Medal:

For all his accomplishment, today’s honoree, Dr. Gerre Hancock prefers to be known simply as Gerre, Dr. H, or affectionately as Uncle Gerre to many of us. He is one of America’s most highly acclaimed concert organists and choral directors. Presently, Gerre is Professor of Organ and Sacred Music at The University of Texas at Austin, where he and his beloved, Dr. Judith Hancock, are directing the Organ Performance and Sacred Music Center programs.

Prior to this appointment, Dr. Hancock held the position of Organist and Master of Choristers at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York City where, for more than thirty years, he set a the standard for church music in America. Dr. Hancock held positions as Organist and Choirmaster of Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati, where he also served on the Artist Faculty of the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, and as Assistant Organist at St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York City.

A Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, Gerre Hancock has been a member of its National Council and is a founder and past president of the Association of Anglican Musicians. He has served on the faculty of The Juilliard School in New York City and taught improvisation on a visiting basis at the Institute of Sacred Music, Yale University in New Haven, CT, and The Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. In 1981 he was appointed a Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music and in 1995 was appointed a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists.

Gerre received honorary Doctor of Music degrees from the Nashotah House Seminary, and The University of the South. In May 2004 he was awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree (Honoris causa) from The General Theological Seminary. Also in 2004 he was honored in a ceremony at Lambeth Palace in London, where he was presented the Medal of the Cross of St. Augustine by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

As we can gratefully attest, Gerre consummate skill is clearly apparent in all of his concert appearances. He has a masterly interpretive ability and is an artist of taste, exceptional warmth, perception and style. In addition to his mastery of the classical repertoire of sacred music, he is recognized as one of the finest organ improvisers in America. On behalf of the Parish of St. Peter’s, we honor Dr. Hancock’s outstanding lifetime of achievement in a magnificent music ministry dedicated to the glory of God and present him with The St. Peter’s Medal.

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