Today’s postlude, “I Am Bound for the Promised Land,” represents the talents of two women: Matilda Durham and Anna Laura Page

Ms. Durham (1815-1901) composed the tune on which the postlude is based. Born in South Carolina and later living in Georgia, she is described as a “colorful personality” who taught singing and wrote Baptist religious tracts. The tune first appeared in Southern Harmony (shown at left), one of the most popular early hymnals used in the American south. It was first published in 1835.  

Anna Laura Page (born 1943), who wrote the arrangement played for the service, is a composer, clinician and organist who writes sacred music for organ, piano, choir and handbells. She received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Kentucky, and has taught organ and music theory in colleges in Georgia and South Carolina. Ms. Page has helped to shape two hymnals, and also has served as the handbell editor for a major music publisher.  


You may recognize Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (1805-1847), who composed today’s prelude, as well as the Oct. 11th postlude. 

She was a German composer and pianist. She began writing music as a teenager alongside her brother, Felix Mendelssohn. Eventually, she was to write more than 460 pieces, mostly for piano and voice. However, few of her compositions were published under her name during her lifetime. Both her father and brother discouraged the publication of her compositions; her father told Hensel that music could not be her profession but “only an ornament.” Although Felix valued his sister’s critique of his own compositions, he said that “publishing [her own works] would only disturb her” in fulfillment of her duties as a woman. Felix published some of Hensel’s compositions under his name.

A collection of her songs was finally published and credited to Hensel a year before she died of a stroke.