Cathryn Wilkinson, organist
Psalm Settings for Organ by Emma Lou Diemer
Psalm 103: “Bless the Lord, O my soul.” Moderately
Psalm 15: “O Praise the lord! Let everything that breathes praise the Lord.” Quietly and Expressively, based on the tune Nicaea
Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Expressively
Psalm 75: “We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks; We call on your name and recount your wondrous deeds.” Exuberantly
O Waly Waly, Scottish ballad arr. Diemer
Wade in the Water, African American spiritual, arr. Barbara Harbach
In an era when only a few women were able to achieve professional recognition as composers, Emma Lou Diemer was destined to become one. As a 5-year old in her native state of Kansas, she was surrounded by a musical family and began to make up tunes at the piano. She eventually established her professional standing by earning music degrees from Yale University and the Eastman School of Music. She became an accomplished organist, pianist, and teacher, and held an appointment as professor of composition at The University of California, Santa Barbara for twenty years. She founded the electronic/computer music program at UCSB and was honored as Professor Emeritus in 1991. She then served two years as composer in residence with the Santa Barbara Symphony.
Over the past 60 years Dr. Diemer has composed hundreds of orchestral, chamber, piano, choral, and organ works. Her music for organ spans from highly virtuosic concert works to easier solos for newer and younger organists. She has performed as a church organist for most of her life and and was featured as a soloist to mark her 90th birthday in 2017 in Santa Barbara.
Dr. Diemer has published nearly 100 settings inspired by the moods and sentiments of the Psalms of David. These verses inspired the music you hear today.