New Executive Director Named



JULY 17, 2018


The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada is pleased to announce that the Reverend Dr. J. Michael McMahon of Silver Spring, MD, has been named the full-time Executive Director of The Hymn Society. Dr. McMahon was selected after a final round of interviews held in New York, NY. An active life member of The Hymn Society, Dr. McMahon has participated in numerous conferences, hymn festivals, and workshops. Dr. McMahon will assume his new responsibilities beginning September 1. The Hymn Society’s current three-quarter-time Executive Director, Dr. Jan Kraybill, will be departing on July 31 to pursue her active performing and teaching career.

Dr. McMahon holds degrees in theology from Washington Theological Union, University of Notre Dame, and Catholic University of America and is an ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  Since 2013, he has served as Minister of Music at National City Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Washington, D.C.  From 2001 until 2013 he was President and CEO of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM), an organization of mostly Roman Catholic musicians, clergy, liturgists, and other pastoral leaders dedicated to fostering the art of musical liturgy.

In addition to his extensive experience as a pastoral minister, music director, and association executive, Dr. McMahon has taught in the Department of Theology at the Catholic University of America and has been featured as a speaker and clinician for numerous regional church gatherings and national music organizations. He is the author of a book on Christian initiation, has written numerous articles on worship and church music for a variety of journals, and has contributed to several books on music ministry.

Dr. McMahon will continue to reside in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area and the offices for The Hymn Society will relocate to that area.

“The Hymn Society has experienced exciting growth in the past year: our membership is growing, we are producing more events and resources than ever, and our donors are increasingly generous in their support of our mission.  Dr. McMahon’s experience, skills, and ability to serve the organization in a full-time capacity will enable us to continue to build on these successes and boldly lead in the area of congregational singing,” said Dr. Kraybill.

Marilyn Haskel, president of The Hymn Society added, “I am looking forward to working with Dr. McMahon, who is bringing to The Hymn Society a clear understanding of our organization and solid experience in working with a non-profit. I believe we will be well equipped to move forward through this expansive transition.”

“Mike McMahon brings an extraordinary combination of passion, creativity and experience to this position,” said Rev. Geoffrey Moore, immediate past president of The Hymn Society. “We feel confident that Mike’s mix of gifts as an administrator and a pastor is exactly what we need at this crucial time to help the Society cast the vision to lead us into our second century while helping us manage our rapidly expanding programs.”

Since 1922, The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada has lived out its mission to encourage, support, and enliven congregational singing. Members of the Society are guided by the belief that the holy act of singing together shapes faith, heals brokenness, transforms lives, and renews peace. Through its annual conference, publications, and special events, The Hymn Society serves those who create, study, and lead congregational song. As an outcome of its successful capital campaign, the Society officially launched The Center for Congregational Song in Dallas, TX, in October 2017. This new endeavor develops new resources and provides regional and local events to support those who lead congregational singing.


For additional information contact Marilyn Haskel at

To download the full press release as a PDF, click here.