Prof wins hymn-writing competition

Dr. Heather Josselyn-Cranson, associate professor of music and director of music ministries at Northwestern College, has won a hymn-writing contest at her alma mater, Boston University.

Josselyn-Cranson drew on the musical aspirations of ancient Greeks, who thought there was music all around the universe, as she wrote Planets Humming as They Wander. The song won the Boston University School of Theology Hymn Competition created to celebrate the work of one of her former professors, Carl Daw, the retiring executive director of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada.

Josselyn-Cranson’s piece was chosen from among 40 submissions by current and former Boston University faculty, staff and students, earning her a $250 award. The hymn was performed by the School of Theology Seminary Singers at a community worship service on April 21.

Planets Humming as They Wander is the second award-winning hymn Josselyn-Cranson has written this year. She won second prize last fall in the Justice Congregational Song Contest sponsored by the Christian Reformed Church's Office of Social Justice, Reformed Worship magazine, and the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship for We Cannot Know What Worship Is.

A member of Northwestern’s faculty since 2005, Josselyn-Cranson earned both a Doctor of Theology degree in liturgy and liturgical music and a Master of Sacred Music degree from Boston University. Previously the minister of education and music at Old West Church in Boston, she received a bachelor’s degree in music composition from Bates College.

Article on Boston University's website, April 21, 2010