Sep 15, 2005

Calvert D. Shenk

Online Edition – September 2005

Vol. XI, No. 6

Calvert D. Shenk

November 21, 1940 – July 9, 2005

Calvert D. Shenk, Church organist, choir director and composer, died on July 9 at his home in Dearborn Heights, Michigan.

Mr. Shenk was one of the musicians who worked on compiling The Adoremus Hymnal, published in 1997, and he composed the Mass of St. Theresa in this hymnal. He also directed the choir that recorded all the Masses and hymns in The Adoremus Hymnal on a four-CD album.

Mr. Shenk was born in Kansas, and studied music at Northwestern University, receiving his Master’s Degree in Organ in 1963.

He was a longtime member of the Church Music Association of America, and was a fellow and former officer of the American Guild of Organists. He had served as assistant professor of music at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, as chant instructor for the Franciscan Monastery in Birmingham, and in other teaching roles. He had also performed as an organ recitalist throughout the United States, and at the Eglise Notre-Dame in Douai, France. His choir had sung at Mass celebrated in the Sala Clementina of St. Peter’s Basilica during a papal audience.

Throughout his musical career, Mr. Shenk took special interest in Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony, organ performance and improvisation, and the theology of the liturgy. He most recently served as a Church musician at Assumption Grotto Church in Detroit, where his funeral Mass was held on July 13. He is survived by his wife, Ila, who shared her husband’s interest in Church music.

Adoremus joins his many relatives, friends and colleagues in praying for the repose of his soul.

In paradisum deducant te angelli:
In tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres,
et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem.
Chorus angelorum te suscipiat,
et cum Lazaro quondam paupere aeternam habeas requiem.

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