enry Doktorski served as organist at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rochester, Pennsylvania, from 2006 to 2007 and he served as Music Director from 2007 through 2015. During his last six months as Music Director, he wrote 24 consecutive weekly blog posts (from the 8th Sunday after Pentacost to Christmas Eve) about the music featured each Sunday at Grace which were uploaded to the church's website for the benefit and enjoyment of parishioners.
Doktorski's blog posts, simply titled "Notes from the Music Director," examine key points from each Sunday's scripture readings, and demonstrate exactly why a particular hymn was chosen to reinforce the message of the Gospel. He also presents biographies of the authors of hymn texts and the composers of hymn tunes. At the end of each article is a link to a beautiful and inspiring video recording of the featured hymn on YouTube. Many members and staff of Grace Lutheran expressed appreciation for Doktorski's weekly blog and some claimed that reading his posts and listening to the hymn videos prior to the Sunday services helped them better understand and appreciate some of the scriptural readings and liturgical themes, as well as the music and hymns, each week.
Doktorski explained, "There are few activities I enjoy as much as performing sacred music, but one activity which comes close is researching and writing about sacred music. I find inspiration in learning about the authors of hymn texts and the composers who wrote such beautiful and memorable tunes and I enjoy sharing their fascinating life stories with others. Perhaps because I also like to compose music, I can identify with the composers of hymn tunes. In any case, I hope you enjoy reading these 24 blog posts as much as I enjoyed writing them."
The 24 blogs can be accessed here as PDF files.
No. 1: The King of Love My Shepherd Is
No. 2: By Your Hand You Feed Your People
No. 3: All Who Hunger, Gather Gladly
No. 4: I Am the Bread of Life
No. 5: Lord, Who the Night You Were Betrayed
No. 6: O Living Bread from Heaven
No. 7: Abide With Me
No. 8: O Son of God, In Galilee
No. 9: Take Up Your Cross
No. 10: Will You Let Me Be Your Servant
No. 11: Whatsoever You Do
No. 12: Let the Children Come to Me
No. 13: Morning Has Broken
No. 14: Lord, Whose Love In Humble Service
No. 15: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
No. 16: For All the Saints
No. 17: Christ, Be Our Light
No. 18: Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
No. 19: Christ Is the King, O Friends Rejoice!
No. 20: Wait For the Lord
No. 21: The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns
No. 22: Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
No. 23: The Angel Gabriel From Heaven Came
No. 24: Silent Night