Choir director's musical scores are published ANNAPOLIS/SOUTH COUNTY * Davidsonville * Edgewater* Shady Side * Deale

MUSIC FOR THE MASSES

September 13, 1993|By Angela Winter Ney | Angela Winter Ney,Staff writer

An Annapolis choir director has had several of her musical scores published in a new national Unitarian hymnbook.

Betsy Jo Angebranndt, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, wrote or arranged the music for seven of the pieces in the new book, "Singing the Living Tradition."

The local church devoted its services yesterday to the presentation of the books to the congregation.

Five years in the making, the book includes works of American and Canadian Unitarian Universalists as well as music and texts from six continents.

"We are absolutely ecstatic," said Ms. Angebranndt, who teaches piano when not working at the church.

Ms. Angebranndt, 62, who has had her choral and piano music published in the past, completed the musical scores for the book and wrote arrangements for other scores two years ago.

"The Unitarian church has had its own hymnbook for years, but this book has much more variety of religious expression," she said.

While the new book retains some material from the original Unitarian hymnal, lyrics have been changed to remove certain gender references -- God as father, for example. It also includes material from many religious traditions.

"It's not just Christian and Hebrew," Ms. Angebranndt said. "There are also selections from Buddhism, from India, from American Indian cultures. It's really worldwide."

The trend to revamp hymnbooks is common among many mainline denominations, such as the Methodist church, which put out a modernized book five years ago.

A hymnbook inclusive of many religious beliefs "enriches your worship," Ms. Angebranndt said. "As a musician, I hope that hearing and singing the music will draw people to the church."

Ms. Angebranndt has been the church choir director for 20 years and a Unitarian for 30 years.

The church is located at 333 DuBois Road, off Route 50 and Best Gate Road. Sunday services begin at 10:30 a.m.

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