The Augsburg Fortress Summer Music Clinic and Hymn Festival will return Aug. 6 and 7 to Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 35 E. Stanton Ave.

The Augsburg Fortress Summer Music Clinic and Hymn Festival will return Aug. 6 and 7 to Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 35 E. Stanton Ave.

The hymn event that starts at 7 p.m. Aug. 6, titled "Rejoice, O Earth," will be open to the public, said the Rev. June Wilkins.

The clinic and festival are held at various locations during the summer, but last year's local edition was at a Methodist church in Worthington -- "which is odd, since it's a Lutheran publishing house sponsoring it," said Tim Guenther, director of music ministries at Gethsemane Lutheran.

Indeed, according to its website, Augsburg Fortress is the publishing house of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

"As the ministry of publishing for the ELCA, we are dedicated to serving you with top-quality Christian materials that communicate the Gospel, enhance faith and enrich the life of the church and the communities it serves," the site states.

In part, the clinic and festival moved because the Clintonville church didn't have a director of music to serve as host for the events last year, Guenther said. The East Stanton Avenue building provides a perfect location for the combination of festival and music clinic, he said, estimating there will be perhaps as many as 200 participants.

"The church is spacious enough and has the facilities they need," he said. "We have an excellent organ and sufficient handbells on hand. We've got five octaves."

The public hymn event might be something of an eye-opener to attendees, Guenther said, because these won't necessarily be works they've heard before.

"They're still written today, very definitely," he said.

Leading the clinics, which began July 16-17 in Los Angeles and will conclude Aug. 9-10 in Philadelphia after stops in Seattle, Minneapolis, Chicago and Columbia, S.C., will be:

* Michael Bedford, organist and choirmaster at St. John's Episcopal Church in Tulsa, Okla., for the past 21 years.

* Bradley Ellingboe, a New Mexico-based choral conductor, soloist, composer, scholar and teacher.

* Scott Weidler, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America program director for worship and music since 1995.

In addition, the handbell clinic in Columbus will be led by Jane Irvine, organist at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Marietta and a teacher at both Marietta College and Ohio University, according to the Augsburg Fortress website.

Guenther, who has attended Augsburg music clinics in the past but never hosted one, said he is pleased the event is returning to Gethsemane Lutheran.

"I hope it settles in and that we get to serve as hosts for a run as several years," he said. "They enjoy the hospitality of the Worthington-Clintonville area and the graciousness of the presenters."