Wilbur C. Held (1914–2015), organist, composer, and teacher passed away on March 24, 2015 in Claremont, California, a few months shy of his 101st birthday. Held served as professor of organ at Ohio State for 30 years. He was a prolific composer whose accessible compositions and hymn settings remain a constant in the repertoire of church organists everywhere.
In Memoriam: Wilbur Held (1914-2015) by Nancy M. Raabe | Read Dr. Held's biography.
Presentation of Inaugural Scholarship at the 2015 School of Music Honors Convocation. Speaker, Albert Adcock (BS 1967, MA 1969).
Give to the Wilbur Held Fund
The Wilbur C. Held Endowed Music Scholarship Fund will provide scholarships for students who are enrolled in the School of Music with specializations in organ, piano, voice or choral conducting and majoring in performance, music education, music pedagogy, or conducting at the undergraduate or graduate level. Preference is to be given to students who have demonstrated interest in liturgical music.
To contribute to this effort, please visit the Dr. Wilbur C. Held Endowed Music Scholarship Fund page.
Checks may be mailed to The Ohio State University Foundation to the attention of:
Director of Development
College of Arts and Sciences
The Ohio State University
1501 Neil Avenue, Suite 020
Columbus, OH 43210
Please be certain to indicate fund #643170 on the memo line of your check.
Linda S. Hoover (BM 1965, organ; MA, 1971) established the Dr. Wilbur C. Held Endowed Music Scholarship Fund in honor of her teacher and mentor. She recalls, “I pursued a career outside of music. However, I value my time at Ohio State and remember Dr. Held as a wonderful teacher. I enjoyed my organ studies with him. I think I took every class he taught. He was the advisor for my master’s thesis and I even played my bachelor’s recital on the organ in his living room. It was wonderful to learn that he continued to play and compose right up to the end of his very long and productive life.”
Dr. Stephen Jacoby (BM 1964, church music; MA 1966, organ pedagogy; PhD 1985, music history), professor emeritus of Bluffton University (Bluffton, OH) and principal organist at Worthington Presbyterian Church (Columbus), shares: “Wilbur Held was precise and meticulous, always expecting the best from his students, yet caring and sympathetic to each student’s strengths and weaknesses. He pushed, but not beyond your ability to succeed. The organ scores I studied with Dr. Held were well-worn, often coming apart with every page turn. Newer editions could replace the notes, but it would be impossible to replace all of his markings in red pencil. I always consult those old scores before performing a piece I studied with him. Wilbur Held will be missed by all of us who had the privilege of studying with him. Hopefully as we play and teach we are able to continue his spirit in our churches and with students.”