Gerre Hancock

Dr. Gerre Hancock (1934-2012), one of America's most highly acclaimed concert organists and choral directors, was Professor of Organ and Sacred Music at The University of Texas at Austin where he and his wife, Dr. Judith Hancock, co-directed the Organ Performance and Sacred Music Center programs. They taught organ and develop the curriculum for the study of sacred music. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Hancock held the position of Organist and Master of Choristers at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in New York City where he set a new standard for church music in America for more than thirty years.

Dr. Hancock's consummate skill was clearly apparent in his concert appearances. Possessing a masterly interpretive ability, he was an artist of taste, warmth, perception and style. Considered one of the finest organ improvisers in America, Dr. Hancock has been heard in recital in many cities throughout the United States, Europe, South Africa, and Japan. On occasion he performed in duo recitals with his wife.

Dr. Hancock served on the faculty of The Juilliard School in New York City and taught improvisation on a visiting basis at the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, and The Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. In 1981 he was appointed a Fellow of the Royal School of Church Music (Wiltshire, England), and in 1995 Dr. Hancock was appointed a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists (London, England). He received honorary Doctor of Music degrees from the Nashotah House Seminary in Nashotah, Wisconsin, and The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. In May 2004, Dr. Hancock was awarded the Doctor of Divinity degree Honoris causa from The General Theological Seminary in New York City.

He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in America and his biography appears in the second edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. In 2004 he was honored in a ceremony at Lambeth Palace in London, England, where he was presented the Medal of the Cross of St. Augustine by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Compositions by Dr. Hancock are published by E.C. Schirmer Music Company, Oxford University Press, and Paraclete Press. His compositions for organ and chorus are widely performed, and his textbook, Improvising: How to Master the Art (Oxford University Press, 1994), is used by musicians throughout the world. He has recorded for Gothic Records, Decca/Argo, Koch International and Priory Records, both as Conductor of the Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue Choir and as an organist.

View Choral Music by Gerre Hancock