posted October 27, 2011

Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings Honors Huw Lewis

Celebrating its 30th year, Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings (DCWS) has honored Dr. Huw Lewis of the Hope College music faculty as one of 30 individuals whose support, leadership and generosity over the years have helped make the three-decade milestone possible.

When DCWS was formed in 1982, Lewis was director of music at Detroit's St. John's Episcopal Church, where he had founded the St. John's Bach Society. He made the church available to DCWS for its first concerts, and the St. John's Bach Society served as the fiduciary for DCWS until the organization obtained its own tax exempt status.

Lewis was among several of the honorees recognized during DCWS's "30 Something" concert and 30th Year Gala on Saturday, Oct. 22. His participation in the event included performing the harpsichord in a suite by Handel with DCWS members Kevin Good, Vicki King and Don Baker, who are also Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians.

The 30 honorees include founding musicians, past board members and board chairs, collaborative partners and those who have donated their time and expertise to the organization. Those recognized during the gala included H. Robert Reynolds, conductor and artistic advisor of DCWS, who is retired from the University of Michigan faculty and currently conducts and teaches at the University of Southern California.

A professor of music and organist, Lewis has taught at Hope since 1990. Born in Wales, he performs nationally and internationally on a regular basis, and has been featured at important meetings and conventions sponsored by many professional organizations including the American Guild of Organists and the Royal College of Organists.

He was a featured recitalist at the 1987 International Congress of Organists. Dr. Lewis's playing has been broadcast in America and in Great Britain where he has made numerous recordings for the BBC. He has served on many competition juries, most recently for the 2003 Dallas International Organ Competition.

While a student, Lewis received numerous prestigious scholarships, fellowships, and prizes. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London, at Cambridge University, and at the University of Michigan.

He served at St. John's Episcopal Church, where he was also organist and choirmaster, from 1974 until joining the Hope faculty. Before coming to Hope he had also been choir director of Temple Israel of West Bloomfield since 1987 and a member of the adjunct faculty at Marygrove College - teaching organ - since 1982.

Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings is an ensemble committed to bringing to life the body of repertoire that utilizes between six and 20 musicians. DCWS musicians are drawn primarily from the Detroit Symphony and Michigan Opera Theatre orchestras. Now in its 30th year, Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings presents mixed works for winds, brass and strings. Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings was named Crain's Detroit Business 2010 Best-Managed Nonprofit. More information about DCWS is available online.