Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Taking A Walk With A Legend

I have to admit that I seldom take walks. I either jog or do nothing. Shame on me.

Last week, I had the extraordinary privilege of taking a walk with arguably the most respected musician/arranger/orchestrator of our time, but more importantly, a true gentleman, husband, father, grandfather, and genuine friend to many.

What a joy to simply take a walk with and converse with Ronn Huff.

Besides being a true genius of an arranger and orchestrator, this man is a deep thinker, he asks hard and great questions, and he expressed a sincere interest in my life and my career. He is quiet and determined. He is passionate and sensitive.

I treasured our time together in ways I will never be able to adequately articulate, and I pray we will have more "walks" in the future.

Here is what was written about Ronn when he was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall Of Fame (3) years ago:

"Being inducted as a non-performing member of the Hall of Fame, Ronn Huff’s legacy is well-known to anyone who has directed church choirs in the last 30 years. While minister of music in a Denver church he arranged and published two highly successful books of hymns, "Celebration, Music for Festival Choir" and "Celebration II." But his arrangements and recording of Bill and Gloria Gaither songs into a 1973 musical called "Alleluia, A Praise Gathering" brought national prominence and was the first religious recording to receive an RIAA Gold Album certification, selling over a million records and books. A Christmas work called "His Love, Reaching," a collection of early Praise and Worship songs entitled "Exaltation" and a series collaboration with the Singing Churchmen of Oklahoma are among the successful church music publications he authored. Huff claims to be an arranger, not a composer, but his work is found on many recordings, both sacred and secular. In the past two years alone his name appears on and arrangements are heard in the recordings of Faith Hill, Charlotte Church, Amy Grant, Celine Dion, Jewel, Martina McBride, Allison Krauss, Sandi Patty, John Michael Talbot, Keith Urban, George Strait, Clint Black, Lonestar, Boston Pops, and The American Boy Choir. Until recently Huff held the position of Pop's Director for the Nashville Symphony, but a battle with Parkinson’s Disease has limited his activities in recent years."

While these credits speak to the amazing accomplishments of Ronn, you would never know any of this from a simple conversation with him. He would rather talk about his family, his faith, and ask questions about you, your family, and your faith.

If I could only take more walks like this one!