For Immediate Release
July 26, 2023

David E. Eicher and Simei Monteiro have been honored as Fellows of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada for outstanding leadership and significant contributions in encouraging, promoting, and enlivening congregational song. The new Fellows were recognized on July 19 during the organization’s recent Annual Conference in Montréal, Québec, Canada. This year’s conference, “Land, Language, and Liberation,” gathered people from ten nations on five continents, for mutual support, learning, celebration, and singing.

David E. Eicher was honored as a Fellow of The Hymn Society for his work as a hymnbook editor, as a promoter of congregational song, and for his service to The Hymn Society. A respected organist and church musician, Eicher served in various leadership positions in the Presbyterian Association of Musicians (PAM). He has been involved in various publishing projects as consultant and editor, notably as editor of Glory to God (2013), the most recent hymnal of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Eicher has served The Hymn Society as both Treasurer (1996-2000) and President (2006-2008), in addition to leadership roles in many Annual Conferences. Former Hymn Society President Sharon Beckstead commented, “David Eicher brings joy to everything, whether it be big or small. His skills as a musician and leader have guided The Society over the years.”

Simei Monteiro was named a Fellow of The Hymn Society for leadership in congregational song not only in her native Brazil, but throughout the world. Both a practitioner and a teacher, she has taught at the Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University and at the Methodist Seminary in São Paolo. Within the Brazilian context, Monteiro has long been recognized as an advocate for the infusion of the Christian message with local flavors. Working with missionary Nora Buyers, she was involved in the production of A Nova Canção (A New Song), an early song collection that gathered fresh expressions of Brazilian congregational music. A few years later, Monteiro and Jaci Maraschin released a new ecumenical songbook, A Canção do Senhor na Terra Brasileira (The Song of God in Brazilian Lands), which remains a staple expression of the work of her generation. She has long been involved in the global song movement and served as music enlivener and/or worship consultant for the World Council of Churches between 2001-2009. Church music Professor Marcell Silva Steuernagel remarked, “I remain grateful not only for her work, but for her shining and lively personality, for the clarity of her pastoral calling to the music of the church, and for her willingness to respond to that calling through words and music.”