Musical Note

Remembering Jane M. Marshall

By Ellen Jackson

Jane M. Marshall, United Methodist composer, organist, pianist and music educator, will be remembered in worship Sunday, September 29, with the choir singing an arrangement of her hymn, “What Gift Can We Bring?” which is included in our hymnal. Jane Marshall died May 29, 2019, at the age of 94. She had a long career in the Methodist Church as a composer and as a music teacher at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology. Our choirs have sung her anthem, “My Eternal King,” multiple times. The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts encouraged congregations to remember Jane Marshall and celebrate her contributions to church music on this Sunday by singing one of her compositions.

In an essay titled “The Passionate Church Musician,” Marshall wrote about the place of music in the Christian life: “Much is said, and rightly so, about necessary faith in God—a given we all accept. What can be added is that music itself, when it is the real thing and not a cheap imitation, is worth having faith in, too. It is no exaggeration to say that music, a large mystery within the larger mystery of the Deity itself, is always there to heal and inspire when everything else on earth falls short.”