Piano Reflections: Hymns of Peace & Praise
Henry has been playing piano from a young age. His sisters were his first teachers, but in third grade he began studies at the Maiss Piano Studio in San Diego, CA. Piano lessons continued through high school and he also began organ lessons with Douglas Ian Duncan, San Diego's civic organist, on the city's historic instrument at the Spreckles Organ Pavillion in Balboa Park. In college, he added studies in music theory to his lessons on piano and organ. He earned a BA from Concordia Teachers College, River Forest, Illinois, (now Concordia University Chicago) in 1973 and returned to complete his Master of Church Music in 1984. He has served in Lutheran churches as organist and choir director siince 1973, serving full-time since 1985. He began to write worship music for the piano during a nine-year tenure in Michigan, where the primary worship instrument was piano rather than organ. Church members and visitors comment on the expressive and meditative qualities of his recordings and live performances. As "idiomatic" pieces for the piano, they utilize the instrument's natural expressiveness. The hymn melodies can be heard thoughout the compositions. Harmonic development and countermelodies highlight the hymn melody and the meaning of the associated text. Some of his works have been used with video backgrounds highlighting the song's lyrics as the piece progresses. Married in 1973, Henry and his wife have enjoyed watching their two sons grow into independent Christian young men. When not writing music, he and his wife, also a professional church worker, can be found hiking the trails of our national and state parks.