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Inspiration for Out Of the Deep I Have Called Unto
Forward by Webmaster
I had the honor of meeting Dr.
Robert Young at the
Gibson home in Waco, our
in-laws, at an Easter lunch.
Rob Gibson introduced me to "Dr. Robert
Young," who immediately said, "Hi, I'm 'Bob'." Being an eternal smart-alec
and thinking it interesting that this Robert Young had the same name as
Dr. Robert Young, I replied,
"Oh, you're trying to make people think you're the famous composer!"
Bob grinned from ear-to-ear, and I
suddenly realized he was the real Dr. Robert H. Young. I knew of
him, but had no idea he lived in Waco, or that I would ever have the honor
of meeting him. Embarrassed, I addressed him as "Dr. Young" and told him what an honor
it was to meet him -- he again reminded me his name was Bob.
For several Thanksgivings after that,
Bob and Betty (Mrs. Young) joined us at our home in Waxahachie for
Thanksgiving lunch. Friends of the Gibson's, they all came together.
The first time he came, he was already rather
ill, and we had a CD playing over the sound system in the living room with
a choir performing his works. Betty pointed up to the speakers and
asked Bob if he heard what was playing, and he again grinned ear-to-ear.
Thanksgiving is a big event in our
family, often bringing 30 - 40 people, mostly relatives. Those
attending could not believe they were dining with Dr. Robert H. Young.
They wanted to know how we got someone that famous to come to our
For those of you who were not fortunate
enough to know Bob personally, his musical ability was exceeded only by
his personality. He was a warm, gracious person, a committed
Christian, and as long as you weren't a student, he was "Bob."
Chatting with him about music, his motorcycle, or his service in WW-II,
you'd never know he was a famous composer ... he was just a very nice guy
with a lot of interesting stories. He was always gracious and didn't
know what the word "pompous" meant, although he had every right to be.
I've had the honor of meeting a lot of
famous people, including Vice-President Dan Quayle, House Speaker Jim
Wright, Al Lewis (The Munsters), Mary Kay Ash (Mary Kay
Cosmetics), and Tom Lester (Eb of Green Acres), but I've never been so impressed as
when I met Bob.
So, when I refer to Dr.
Robert H. Young in this website, most of the time he will be Bob, as that is what he
requested, and I'll respect his wishes.
Those of us
who knew and loved him, miss him.
Ray L. Williams, Webmaster, Awesome Webs
Inspiration for Out Of the Deep I Have Called
I was blessed to be able to
sing under Robert's baton for all the 27 years he served as the chancel
choir director at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Waco, Texas. He was
a delight to make music with and a dear, caring friend.
In 2005, when I lost my son to
chronic depression, I commissioned Robert to write an anthem in Andrew's
memory. Robert had known Andrew, and I reflect on them today as
kindred, gentle souls.
Robert asked me if I had any
suggestions for a lyrics source for the piece. I immediately
responded with Psalm 139, my favorite since childhood. Some months later
Robert presented me with Out Of The Deep I Have Called Unto Thee, in which
he had brilliantly blended Psalm 130 with Psalm 139, culminating with his
arrangement of a verse from Isaac Watts' glorious hymn, Oh God Our Help in
Ages Past, itself a paraphrase of Psalm 90. Robert described working
on this piece as being a spiritually mystical experience for him. As
you may expect, I cannot listen to it without tears in my eyes, both for
Andrew and for Robert. I believe it was one of Bob's last great
Dr. Donald Bailey directed the
Baylor Chamber Singers in a beautiful recording of this anthem in the
Armstrong Browning Library, which he then presented to Robert and me on
Robert's dear wife, Betty,
remains a wonderful friend; we worship together at St Paul's.