Lord, Bless Our Unity
by French, Dirk
text by Dirk French
Dirk French (b. 1933) was born in Wisconsin, where he spent his first twenty years. His first contact with things Moravian was a visit to the Tank Cottage in Green Bay with his parents. Throughout high school he studied piano at the Lawrence Conservatory of Music, and he subsequently majored in piano and classics at Lawrence College (now Lawrence University). He continued studying music throughout his graduate studies in classics at Princeton University. He taught classics at the Asheville School for Boys, the University of Mississippi, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Davidson College, where he was chairman of the Department of Classical Studies for eleven years. His real induction into the Moravian world was his marriage to the former Anne Tesch of Winston-Salem, who provided him with a Moravian bishop and three Moravian ministers as in-laws. As a musical scholar, he has reconstructed two 18th-century Moravian lovefeast odes, identifying and editing the anthems, translating hymn and anthem texts, and preparing them for presentation at New Beginnings Moravian Church, in Huntersville, North Carolina, where he has served as organist and director of music since its founding in 2000. He has written both words and music to many hymns and anthems, many of which have been performed by the Moramus Chorale, of which he and his wife Anne have been members since 1987.
The funding for this publication is provided by the French Family in honor of the composer’s long and joyful participation in the Moramus Chorale, his deep and scholarly devotion to traditional Moravian music, and his own contributions to this living musical tradition.