Interview with Lyricist Mel Bringle and Composer Sally Ann Morris PGE 64

This episode is part of one of my ongoing series I call “Christian Music Not Played On Christian Radio.” The purpose of the series is heighten awareness that although traditional Christian music may no longer be the dominant music style experienced in Christian Churches in the United States, the composition of new music in the traditional forms of hymns and anthems is thriving.

In this episode we get the pleasure of experiencing the fruit of a long and wonderful partnership between lyricist, Dr. Mary Louise, ‘Mel,’ Bringle and composer Sally Ann Morris. Much of their music is intended for congregational singing. They share with us a smidgen of the range of their work and give us insights into the process of their partnership.

Sally Ann Morris has composed upwards of 200 hymn tunes and congregational songs, many of which are found in multiple denominational hymnals in the United States, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, and Japan. Her musical styles range from classically traditional influences to lyric melodies, jazz, folk, and pop. Sally is a Life Member of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and, in 2021, was named a Fellow of the Society, its highest honor. She lives in Winston-Salem, NC, and is Musician in Residence at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity where she leads, enlivens, encourages, demonstrates and teaches the diverse wealth of congregational song for chapel services.

Mary Louise (Mel) Bringle is a Professor of Philosophy and Religion and coordinator of interdisciplinary studies at Brevard College in Brevard, NC; she is also a ruling elder at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Hendersonville, NC. Her Ph.D. in practical and pastoral theology is from Emory University.  An award-winning hymn writer whose original texts and translations appear in the hymnals of numerous denominations in North America and Scotland, she has served as President of The Hymn Society in the US and Canada and as chair of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song, responsible for creating the hymnal Glory to God.  In the summer of 2020, she was named a Fellow of the Hymn Society.

Mel and Sally’s music played for this episode is published by GIA Publications and is used by permission.

The intro and outro music for this episode is from a clip of a song called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is found on The Porter’s Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project.