Recently, Dr. David J. Hurd decided that he will leave his position as Professor of Church Music and Organist, Director of Chapel Music, effective June 30, 2015. With great sadness for his departure and with great joy for his many years of accomplishments, General Seminary will celebrate his 39 years here at a special Evensong on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, during the annual Alumni Gathering. Dean and President, the Very Rev. Kurt H. Dunkle will present Dr. Hurd with a special recognition for his many years of service to General and The Episcopal Church. A reception will follow.
Hurd is a native New Yorker who attended both the High School of Music and Art and the Juilliard School before finishing as an organ major at Oberlin College. His principal graduate work was undertaken in organ performance at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has served as Assistant Organist of Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel, and as Director of Music at the Church of the Intercession, All Saints Church, and the Church of the Holy Apostles, all in Manhattan. He joined General Seminary as the Director of Chapel Music in 1976 and was appointed Professor of Church Music and Organist in 1984, with tenure granted in 1987. Hurd is the recipient of honorary doctorates from four Episcopal seminaries.
World-renowned for his composition and organ playing, Hurd is the recipient of many awards and performance prizes, including those for improvisation. In 1981, he was invited to perform at the Internationaal Orgelfestival Haarlem, during which he received a diploma for improvisation from the Stichting Internationaal Orgelconcours. He has played concerts around the world for more than 30 years and has been a judge for many local, national and international competitions in the areas of organ performance, improvisation and composition. Hurd has penned dozens of compositions, including several in The Hymnal 1982 of The Episcopal Church. This extensive catalogue of musical compositions emphasizes organ and choral works, and his liturgical works are published and known internationally and ecumenically.
Hurd has had an undeniable influence in the world, in the Church and at General Seminary. His 39 years of service at General have left an indelible mark on generations of students, leaving each with the tools and sphere of knowledge that prepare a graduate from General for ministry in the wider world. His contributions to chapel life are unmatched in the Seminary’s history and have brought a profound beauty to our corporate worship.
Regarding Hurd’s departure, Dean Dunkle says, “David Hurd’s influence on generations of church leaders is legion and for that General Seminary gives thanks. As his student a dozen years ago, he had a significant impact on me as a priest, as I know he has impacted hundreds of others in our church. I will miss him and bless him in his next undertaking.”