The students of the Hope College chapter of the national Delta Omicron music honorary society have honored Dr. Huw Lewis of the music faculty with induction as a Chapter Patron.
Lewis, who is a professor of music and college organist, received the honor on Friday, Nov. 2, as a surprise during a ceremony held in conjunction with an organ and orchestra concert in which he was performing in Dimnent Memorial Chapel at Hope.
The college's Alpha Chi chapter of Delta Omicron nominated Lewis for the award for the way that he represents the national organization's mission of supporting excellence in music and musicianship.
"We nominated Dr. Lewis for this honor because we as a chapter felt he takes the ideals of Delta Omicron to heart and represents them to the students at Hope College," said Tyler Racey, a senior from Ludington who is the chapter's secretary. "He desires for his students to attain the highest possible achievement as musicians and embodies them himself as a scholar and performer."
It is the first time that the college's chapter has nominated a Chapter Patron since the chapter was chartered in November 1972. The nomination was approved by the Board of Directors of the national organization, which was founded in 1909 and consists of students of music and professional musicians. The Hope chapter consists of 17 student members and the group's faculty advisor, Linda Strouf.
Lewis has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1990, and his tenure has included service in the past as chair of the department of music. In addition to playing for all formal college functions, he teaches organ and theory.
He previously spent 16 years as director of music at historic St. John's Episcopal Church in Detroit, where he also founded and directed the St. John's Bach Society. He also served as choirmaster at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield.
Lewis 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. His 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.
Born into a musical family in Wales, Lewis studied at the Royal College of Music in London, at Cambridge University, and at the University of Michigan. While a student, he received numerous prestigious scholarships, fellowships, and prizes.
The concert on Friday, Nov. 2, was presented as part of the college's annual Parents' Weekend and also was the fifth and final performance of the 2007 Skinner Organ Rededication Series at Hope. The concert featured the world premiere of the "Concerto for Organ and Orchestra" written by Benjamin Boyle through a commission from the college to celebrate the recent refurbishing of the historic organ.