Holy Trinity (Auburn, AL) and Dr. Matthew Hoch receive AAM’s inaugural Brittenback-Meezan Presidential Award

Association of Anglican Musicians
Posted Mar 14, 2023

The Association of Anglican Musicians is pleased to award the inaugural Brittenback-Meezan Presidential Award to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Auburn, Alabama, and their choirmaster and minister of music, Dr. Matthew Hoch. Intended as a resource for small- and mid-sized congregations in the Episcopal Church, the Brittenback-Meezan Presidential Award is an annual grant which demonstrates the value of continuing education as a means of enlivening worship and deepening Christian understanding through music.

In addition to attending the Annual Conference of the Association of Anglican Musicians, Dr. Hoch plans to use the award to continue his work in the certification program of the American Guild of Organists, studying organ with AAM mentor, Dr. Jeannie Kienzle, Principal Parish Musician at All Saints Episcopal Church, Mobile, Alabama. He writes, “I am honored to receive the first Brittenback-Meezen Presidential Award from the Association of Anglican Musicians. I know this funding will provide professional development opportunities for me that will enrich worship at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. I am grateful to the donor for this generous investment into the parishes of AAM members.” The Rev’d Bob Blackwell, Rector of Holy Trinity adds, “We are very grateful for the Brittenback-Meezan Award which will help Dr. Hoch continue his work with the organ. We know this will aid in continuing the high standards for worship which we hold at Holy Trinity, and be to the glory of God.”

This annual award is made possible by W. Michael Brittenback, in honor of his late husband, Bill Meezan. Michael writes, “I wanted to honor Bill for his unwavering support of me that allowed me, in midlife, to become a full-time Organist/Choirmaster. He encouraged me to give lessons to help musicians who were committed to learning how to play the organ for their small congregations, only asking them for what they could afford. This award is my way of thanking him for this.”

About Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

Holy Trinity has a young spirit within an old inheritance. There have been Episcopalians worshipping in the Auburn area since the 1840s. In 1886, the Church of the Holy Innocents was founded and a building was soon built downtown. From Holy Innocents sprung both Saint Dunstan’s and Holy Trinity. Holy Trinity parish moved to its current location in 1958 and its current nave was built in 1998.

Today, the church is growing and dynamic. The parish is passionate about being followers of Jesus within the Episcopal tradition, Christians who are grounded in common prayer, beautiful liturgy, careful study of the Holy Bible, and mission in the world. The parish’s core values are Gospel Formation, Beautiful Worship, Radical Hospitality, Relational Mission, and Sacrificial Giving.

About Matthew Hoch

Dr. Matthew Hoch is choirmaster and minister of music at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Auburn, Alabama, as well as professor of music at Auburn University. His books include Welcome to Church Music and the Hymnal 1982 and a volume on sacred music for the So You Want to Sing series published by the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). Hoch has served on the editorial board for the Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians and was a 2016 fellow in residence at the School of Theology at the University of the South. He holds a DMA degree in voice performance from the New England Conservatory and a certificate in vocology from the National Center for Voice and Speech in Salt Lake City. He has been a member of the Association of Anglican Musicians (AAM) since 2010.

About Jeannie Kienzle

Dr. Jeannie Kienzle is currently the Principal Parish Musician at All Saints Episcopal Church, Mobile, Alabama. She studied at Westminster Choir College (BM, Donald McDonald), Kent State University (MM, John Ferguson), and University of Cincinnati/College Conservatory of Music (DMA, Roberta Gary).

About the Association of Anglican Musicians

Founded in 1966, the Association of Anglican Musicians is a member-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of musicians and clergy serving in the Episcopal Church and internationally within the Anglican Communion. Its members host an annual Conference and produce a bi-monthly Journal. Committees within AAM advocate for lay employees working in the Episcopal Church on a local and national level.